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May 2, 2017

UFCW Helps to Kick Off 25th Annuals Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) joined the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), AFL-CIO, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA), and United Way, to kick off the 25th Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive at the Capital Area Food Bank.

“From the food processing and packing facilities to your local grocery store, UFCW members help to keep America’s families fed with safe and nutritious food,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone at today’s kickoff event. “Unfortunately, our jobs also allow us to see countless customers we serve struggle to put food on their tables. The America we believe in, that I know you believe in, is one where no family or person should go hungry. This food drive truly supports America’s hard-working families and we are so proud to be a part of it.” 

BACKGROUND

Today, in the United States, an estimated 49 million people, or almost 1 in 6, struggle with “food insecurity,” which is another way of saying that someone has no idea where his or her next meal is coming from.

As America’s only national retail food workers union, UFCW represents professionals in grocery stores and food processing plants across the country who see firsthand how hard-working men and women are struggling to feed their families.

Stamp Out Hunger aims to fully restock food banks across the country that are in desperate need of supplies. Last year, a record 80 million pounds of food was collected.

To participate, all someone needs to do is fill a bag with non-perishable food and leave it at their mailbox on Saturday, May 13. Letter carriers across the country will collect donations as they deliver mail.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

May 1, 2017

UFCW members are proud to make the Kentucky Derby’s “Garland of Roses”

Since 1987, the talented men and women of UFCW Local 227 in Kentucky have been hand-crafting the delicate “Garland of Roses” awarded to the winning horse of the annual Kentucky Derby. The garland has been an iconic part of the Kentucky Derby traditions since 1932.

“I’m excited to be part of the team that makes the Garland of Roses,” said UFCW Local 227 member Leigh Wheeler.  “It takes about 14 hours and every rose has to be perfect. Derby is a wonderful tradition in our state and our union family works hard to make you and your family proud.”

 

 

April 27, 2017

Is your hard work too hard on your body?

All jobs take some kind of physical toll on the body, but through training employees to recognize safety hazards and working with employers to minimize risk, we can create safe workplaces and help reduce preventable injuries.

The UFCW is committed to nurturing a culture of safety in the workplaces we represent and working with employers to find innovative solutions. We are committed to seeing our members arrive to work safely and leave work safely.


Some Injuries are Cumulative

When you think of injuries on the job, you might first think of a specific accident, like a slip and a fall or getting a hand caught in a machine. But many injuries from work are not so obvious. Something as harmless seeming as operating a register can lead to pain when you are ringing up customers for hours on end, day after day.

Cumulative Trauma Disorders

If work and rest are balanced, it is more likely that our bodies will be able to heal the harm that happens at work. When the healing process cannot keep up with the damage, it can worsen to become a Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD).

The major risk factors for Cumulative Trauma Disorders are:

1.) Posture

Posture is the way workers must position their bodies in order to do their jobs. It refers to the design of the work station, machinery and tools. Posture is not about what workers are doing wrong.

Effective ergonomic solutions that reduce awkward postures include adjustable work stations, sit/stand options, and correctly designed tools.

2.) Force

Force is the physical effort we use with our bodies to push, pull, lift, lower, and grip when we are working.

Effective ergonomic solutions that reduce excessive force include knife sharpening, lift assists, and eliminating pinch grips.

Effective ergonomic solutions that reduce excessive force include knife sharpening, lift assists, and eliminating pinch grips.

3.) Repetition

Repetition is the number of times we make the same movement using the same parts of our body; how fast the movements are, and over what period of time. Repetition is directly related to line speed, production pressures, and staffing.

Effective ergonomic solutions that reduce excessive repetition include line speed reduction, adequate staffing, and reasonable workloads.

Effective ergonomic solutions that reduce excessive repetition include line speed reduction, adequate staffing, and reasonable workloads.

Other factors such as temperature, vibration and stress may also contribute to the risk of injury.

Good Programs Focus on Minimizing Risk, Not Symptoms

Beware of ergonomic programs that do not focus on all of the risk factors. While such programs may increase productivity, they may not decrease injuries.

Some approaches do NOT address risk factors at all, and may therefore be useless, and even harmful. Examples of this include back belts and stretching exercises.

Some approaches do NOT address risk factors at all, and may therefore be useless, and even harmful. Examples of this include back belts and stretching exercises.

For example, stretching and doing hand strengthening exercises after a long day of work might help them feel better in the short term, but it does nothing to actually address the source of the problem. A real safety solution would look at the bigger picture: are inadequate staffing or unreasonable workloads requiring you to work faster than what can be done safely? Is your workstation poorly designed and forcing you to work in an awkward posture? Are you having to expend more energy than is necessary to get the job done due to dull knives or tools that are the wrong size?

For more information, download the “Change the Workplace, not the Worker” booklet.

Download the PDF

April 26, 2017

UFCW and Tyson Foods Collaborate on Creating a Better and Safer Workplace

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the primary union for 70,000 poultry workers in the United States, applauded Tyson Foods for pledging to create a better workplace at its production facilities with new and expanded initiatives on safety, transparency, and compensation.

“Tyson Foods’ commitment to worker safety and workers’ rights should not just be applauded — it should serve as a model for the rest of the industry,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Through our ongoing partnership with Tyson Foods, we have already made valuable progress.  We look forward to these new and expanded initiatives and to continuing to work together to provide a better, safer workplace for the hard-working men and women at Tyson Foods.” 

Tyson Foods worked in collaboration with the UFCW on its efforts. In its announcement, Tyson committed to continuing its collaboration with the UFCW on a workplace safety and illness and injury prevention initiative that will be rolled out to all plants and be released publicly. Other highlights in the company’s announcement include:

  • A new initiative on transparency stating that the company will begin publicly sharing results of its third party social compliance audits.
  • A new initiative on compensation stating that Tyson Foods will make sure it’s providing competitive wages and benefits.
  • Reaffirming its commitment to allowing regularly scheduled breaks, as well as restroom breaks, as needed.
  • Reaffirming its commitment to running its processes at a speed according to the number of people available to work.
  • Reaffirming its commitment to a policy allowing workers to stop the line at any time for worker or food safety issues.
  • Reaffirming its commitment to having Team Member safety councils in place at all plants.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

 

 

April 24, 2017

Make your kitchen knives as sharp as new

Watch UFCW member Jon Viner, Cub Foods (Minneapolis) butcher and member of Local 653, show you how to sharpen your kitchen knives at home—just in time for Mother’s Day and BBQ season.

Related

April 20, 2017

Minnesota UFCW Locals express support for union cannabis jobs

Earlier today, Matthew Utecht, President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 653 and Jennifer Christensen, President of UFCW Local 1189, released a statement in support of union cannabis jobs in Minnesota:

“It’s time for every community in Minnesota to realize the incredible benefits that unions bring to this emerging sector. In the past year, we’ve negotiated contracts that brought strong wages, affordable health care and the retirement security of a pension to everyone who works at Minnesota Medical Solutions, the only union provider of cannabis medicine in our state.

“Most importantly, UFCW members who work in Minnesota’s cannabis industry have a voice and can speak up at every level, from seed to sale, to improve their lives. We encourage every patient to choose Minnesota Medical Solutions so that we can continue spreading the great benefits of union cannabis jobs to every corner of our state.”

Better Jobs

Multiple UFCW members who work at Minnesota Medical Solutions shared how being a part of a union made their cannabis jobs better.

“This 4/20, I’m lucky that I’ll be able to spend my day working amongst Minnesota’s finest medical cannabis,” said Nate Noel, a cultivator at Minnesota Medical Solutions. “Thanks to the UFCW and their partnership with Minnesota Medical Solutions, I’ll be working safely, treated fairly and growing cannabis in a compassionate, responsible and sustainable way. Our cannabis is grown under the light of the sun!”

Quality, Professional Care

“Our patients like knowing the dispensaries at Minnesota Medical Solutions are union,” said Christine Dallaire and Kari Ellingson, who work as Pharmacy Technicians at Minnesota Medical Solutions in Minneapolis. “People appreciate that our employer takes input from us and believes in our ability to improve the quality of our medicine and patient care.”

For the full release, please visit UFCW1189.org. 

April 20, 2017

There’s still time to apply for the 2017 UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship

“The collective voice and legal support provided by unions create better incomes, better benefit plans, more experienced employees and safer workplaces than non-unionized workforces.  The improved work situations of union employees create job opportunities for American people and an improved business climate for the United States.”

-Veronica Brandt, past UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship winner

The 2017 online application process closes on May 8.

The UFCW is about workers coming together to build better lives for themselves. It is about creating opportunity. That is why each year the UFCW Charity Foundation awards several scholarships of up to $8 ,000 each to UFCW members or their unmarried dependents under the age of 20. UFCW employed officers, staff and their immediate families are not eligible.

  1. The scholarships are limited to any UFCW member who has been active since January 1, 2016.
    • The children and/or dependents of active members are also eligible to apply if they are unmarried and under the age of 20 on May 31, 2017.
    • The scholarship application and essay must be completed by the eligible student to receive the scholarship.
  2. The scholarship recipients will be selected and awards made on the basis of several factors including scholastic achievements, community involvement and an essay which shows an understanding of the principles of the labor movement.
  3. The UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship Application Form is completed when the scholarship committee receives your Official Grades Transcript and Part B Form (which is provided after you complete the application online). Both must be mailed with a postmark date no later than May 22, 2017. Keep in mind the time frame needed to receive the information from your school.
  4. Scholarship recipients will receive annual payments of $2,000 for each year they are enrolled in an accredited college or university as a non-probationary student for up to four years.
    • Payment is dependent on written evidence of graduation from high school or equivalent and enrollment in an accredited college or university, or institute of higher learning.
    • Payment of subsequent stipends is dependent on the recipient’s continued eligibility as outlined in the Scholarship Acceptance Agreement.

Process for Applying

1. Read the Procedures thoroughly.

2. Complete the UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship Application online. The application requires you to fill out a family profile, list school activities, awards, and your work experience, and
completion of an essay. If you are unable to apply online, you may request an application by writing to:

UFCW Charity Foundation, Attn: Scholarship Program
1775 K Street, N.W.,
Washington, DC 20006.

3. You and a parent (for students under the age of 18) must sign and date the application before submitting it to you your high school officials. Your signatures will authorize your school to release
information about you as well as verify that the information you provided is true. It will also allow your local union to release your membership information to the UFCW Charity Foundation for the purposes of verifying your eligibility.

4. Give the application to your academic counselor who will complete it and mail it along with your grade transcript as well as proof of graduation, intent to graduate or receive your GED.

5. Please do not submit any material other than requested.

Receiving the Scholarship

Payment of the Scholarship is dependent on written evidence of enrollment in an accredited college or university and maintaining continued eligibility.

This award has a maximum renewal of four ( 4} years of disbursements, is contingent on the recipient submitting to the UFCW Charity Foundation written evidence of Registration from the
college or university that the student is or will be attending, and the recipient must be registered in such school as a non-probationary student.

The recipient must agree to maintain a satisfactory grade level and will forward to the UFCW Charity Foundation either a copy of his or her grades each quarter or semester, whichever is applicable, or a transcript of grades for the year at the end of each school year.

Payment of the benefits to scholarship recipients may be temporarily suspended upon written request of the winner under certain circumstances.

In the event that the recipient’s education should be interrupted for some reason, he or she must notify the UFCW Charity Foundation in writing of such expected interruption and advise the UFCW Charity Foundation as to the cause for the interruption and the estimated date upon which the recipient expects to resume their studies.

Other Information

NOTES:

The UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship Program is maintained and administered by the UFCW Charity Foundation, which has full discretion to make all final decisions concerning the number of scholarships awarded each year, the amounts awarded and the recipients of each of the scholarships. The UFCW Charity Foundation shall also have full discretion in deciding whether a scholarship is to be continued or deferred for any period of time.

The procedures for the UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship Program are printed in both French and Spanish on this website. If you need help with understanding the scholarship rules and application in another language, please call 800-551-4010 and we will obtain assistance for you.

Only Scholarship recipients will be notified via mail.

Recipients’ names will be posted on the UFCW Charity Foundation Website.

Email cfscholarship@ufcw.org with questions.

 

>>> APPLY ONLINE <<<

April 14, 2017

UFCW Local 328 shop steward Al Garnett named a national “Produce Manager Of The Year”

Reposted from UFCW Local 328.org

We would like to congratulate Al Garnett, produce manager at Stop & Shop in Harwich, Massachusetts, for winning the 2017 Retail Produce Manager Award from the United Fresh Produce Association! This prestigious award is granted each year to twenty-five of the industry’s top retail produce managers from across the country and Canada.

This program, which is co-sponsored by Dole Food Co. and is currently in its thirteenth year, recognizes top retail produce managers for their commitment to fresh produce, innovative merchandising, increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, community service and customer satisfaction.

Al talks about his career and why it pays to belong

A first for Stop & Shop

Each year, hundreds of nominations are submitted by supermarket chains and independent retailers from throughout the industry and this marks the first time a produce manager from Stop & Shop has been selected.


A lifelong advocate for his coworkers

Al began his career over twenty-five years ago and has been a UFCW Local 328 shop steward for most of that time. In Harwich, Al is a recognizable face and enjoys building lasting relationships with both customers and co-workers. As a shop steward, Al has been a strong advocate and has taken a proud role in educating his co-workers about the importance of the union and making sure that the contract is enforced.

April 13, 2017

Let’s top 2016’s world record for the “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive!

We know better than anyone how hard UFCW members work to put food on the table for America’s families – and our union family also believes that no hardworking man or woman should struggle alone. Which is why we work hard for those in need, supporting our brothers and sisters at the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the food drive, and we want to make this a year for the history books. We hope to top last year’s Guinness World Record—80 million pounds of food collected for the largest single day food drive in world history. Together, we know we can do it, one bag at a time.

Here’s how:

  1. FILL A BAG with non-perishable food items. (See list below.)
  2. TAKE A PIC AND POST IT! Please Tweet it or put it on Facebook with the hashtag #StampOutHunger – and please tag @UFCW and @NALC.
  3. PUT OUT YOUR BAG on May 13th before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. 

That’s it! It’s so easy – please help us Stamp Out Hunger and put food on shelves in our local food banks.

What to Put in Your Bag 

Fill your UFCW-provided Stamp Out Hunger paper bag with*:

  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Pasta or spaghetti sauce
  • Rice
  • Canned fruits and veggies
  • Canned meals (soup, chili, pasta)
  • 100% juice
  • Peanut butter
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Canned protein (chicken, tuna, turkey)
  • Beans
  • Oatmeal

*NOTE: DO NOT put in frozen food, homemade food, expired food, or home canned items – or anything in glass containers.

April 10, 2017

Create a beautiful floral crown with fresh flowers

Watch United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) member Michelle Garrett, Local 1000 Kroger florist, show you how to create a gorgeous flower crown – perfect for weddings or music festivals.

You’ll need:

  • 20 gauge wire
  • Raffia-wrapped wire
  • Floral tape [AKA corsage tape]
  • Shears with wire cutters
  • Flowers
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