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September 6, 2018

Empire Kosher ultimate Rosh Hashanah chicken recipe

Empire Kosher is not only the largest kosher poultry producer in the United States, but the hard-working men and women of the Pennsylvania processing plant are members of UFCW Local 1776.

This recipe below is from Empire Kosher’s own list of holiday recipes for your family. The recipe incorporates both apples and honey, symbols of a sweet new year, as well as pomegranate, which symbolizes fruitfulness.

How to make this recipe…

Ingredients:


1 Empire Kosher 8 Piece Cut Up Chicken
1 tablespoon Empire Kosher Rendered Chicken Fat
Salt, pepper to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup pomegranate juice (all natural unsweetened cranberry juice is also good)
¼ cup low salt Kosher chicken broth
1 granny smith apple, cored and diced into ½” pieces
¼ cup honey

Recipe Instructions:


  1. Pat chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Season lightly with salt, pepper and cayenne.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F
  3. Heat rendered fat in a Dutch oven or large 12” skillet on medium high heat until smoking.
  4. Add 4 chicken pieces to the skillet and brown on both sides for 5 minutes
  5. Remove from skillet to a clean plate. Repeat with remaining 4 pieces of chicken.
  6. Leaving the juices in the pan, add the garlic and shallots, stirring and browning until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  7. Add the pomegranate juice and broth, stir, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  8. Bring to a boil and add apple pieces
  9. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until the volume is reduced by half.
  10. Add honey to the skillet and stir into sauce
  11. Place the browned chicken pieces in a casserole dish large enough to accommodate all 8 pieces
  12. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through (160°F for white meat and 175°F for dark meat).
September 4, 2018

Local 21 Have a Heart Workers Ratify Washington’s First Adult-Use Cannabis Union Contract

The August 24th signing ceremony of UFCW Local 21 and the adult-use cannabis retailer Have a Heart made history as the first contract between a union and an adult-use cannabis retailer in the state. Have a Heart is a recreational and medical marijuana retail operation which operates five stores in Washington. The event was covered by local CBS and ABC TV stations, The Seattle Times, Bloomberg, and other news outlets.

The three-year contract, which currently covers 134 Have a Heart employees, improves wages and benefits and provides the workers with a voice in the workplace. The new agreement also includes comprehensive health and welfare coverage and other benefits, as well as trainings, mentoring programs and staff-development opportunities. Most impactful to growing our union, the employer agreed to a union recognition process for new facilities in Washington and around the country.

“This relationship is quite unusual in a very positive sense,” said UFCW Local 21 President Todd Crosby. “It’s rare for an employer and their employees to reach a first contract so quickly and one that is so promising for its current and future employees. These partnerships strengthen individuals, families and communities – and lead to superior service for customers.”

“At Have a Heart, we believe in ‘doing good,’” said Have a Heart CEO Ryan Kunkel. “We consistently strive to have a positive impact in the neighborhoods where we do business, and we see our partnership with UFCW 21 as part of our commitment to creating a safe and empowering workplace.”

August 31, 2018

UFCW President Marc Perrone in Labor Day op-ed: “A pathway to change is emerging.”

In a Labor Day op-ed in The Hill, Marc Perrone, UFCW International president, spoke about why unions will create the better America that hard-working families deserve.

EXCERPTS FROM THE OP-ED:

For decades, our elected leaders have sought to weaken unions, even as they permitted a concentration of wealth and a level of income inequality that now represents a clear and present danger to America. Yet, despite the divisive political climate, a pathway to change is emerging.

At some point soon, America’s hard-working families will cast politics aside and say enough is enough with the economic struggles they have had to endure. They will grow tired of empty corporate promises and realize the enormous value they have when they stand together.

This movement will be fueled by new technologies that are already empowering workers to organize and led by unions that are determined to prove value to workers.

Those cynics who believe that the very idea of a labor renaissance is built on false hope need to look to Missouri, where union and nonunion workers from all political stripes came together and defeated right-to-work Prop A by historic margins — the first victory against a right-to-work law in decades.

Hard-working Americans have had enough. As every day goes by, and our nation’s most prominent corporate elites continue to exploit working- and middle-class Americans, the seeds of change will grow.

As we saw in Missouri, the real power to change America for the better does not begin with joining a political party. Rather, it begins with workers joining a union and negotiating the better wages and benefits their hard work deserves.

Stamp Out Hunger Kickoff '17 - 2

 

August 30, 2018

Labor Day Op-Ed: Workers Are Ready to Choose a Better America

UFCW President Marc Perrone makes clear that it is unions that will bring workers the better life they deserve 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a Labor Day op-ed in The Hill, Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), makes clear why unions – not politicians – will create the better America that hard-working families deserve.

EXCERPTS FROM THE OP-ED:

As the wealthiest elites celebrate a booming stock market and corporate America rejoices in a tax cut windfall, millions of hard-working Americans are struggling to survive.

According to the most recent report from the Labor Department, from July 2017 to July 2018, the cost of living was up 2.9 percent, while wages were up only 2.7 percent. This means that wages for many are failing to keep up with inflation as the cost of health care, prescription drugs, gasoline and housing continues to soar.

Union workers earn, on average, nearly $10,000 more per year than nonunion workers. Union workers are more likely to have affordable health insurance, paid vacations, holidays and sick leave, fair scheduling, stronger workplace safety and health protections, as well as protection from discrimination and unfair or illegal treatment at work.

For decades, our elected leaders have sought to weaken unions, even as they permitted a concentration of wealth and a level of income inequality that now represents a clear and present danger to America. Yet, despite the divisive political climate, a pathway to change is emerging.

At some point soon, America’s hard-working families will cast politics aside and say enough is enough with the economic struggles they have had to endure. They will grow tired of empty corporate promises and realize the enormous value they have when they stand together.

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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.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

August 28, 2018

Member Spotlight: Susan Beaver, Local 876

So many of the hard-working men and women of our union have spent their careers as UFCW members, and have become valued and irreplaceable fixtures of the workplaces they have helped make successful over the years. One such member is Susan Beaver of UFCW Local 876.

Susan Beaver has been a UFCW member for the past 33 years. In 1985, Susan began her career at Farmer Jack. This month, she celebrated a well-earned retirement from Kroger in RichlandMS. 

Please join us in wishing Susan a happy retirement, and thank you to all of our long-serving members who have helped keep our union family strong through the years!

UFCW Local 876 member Susan Beaver stands with Local 876 Membership Representative Elaine Hill (l) and Executive Board Member Aaron Squeo (r).

 

August 27, 2018

Don’t miss your chance to enter the August $1000 sweepstakes

LifeMart, one of the UFCW’s discount programs, is holding a sweepstakes exclusively for UFCW members this August. If you are a UFCW member, you can win a $1000 gift card just for registering for UFCW LifeMart discounts, or by signing into an existing account.

Even if you don’t win, you’ll still have access to the amazing savings and discounts your UFCW membership gives you access to, including important life costs like education, child care, your cell phone bill and foreign language classes, as well as cosmetics, concert tickets, jewelry and movie tickets.

You can register for the UFCW LifeMart Sweepstakes here. You can get more information about all the ways you can take advantage of your UFCW value here.

August 24, 2018

Member Spotlight: Chief Steward Rob Patterson follows his passion for BBQ to victory

Rob Patterson, a member of UFCW Local 227, is the Chief Steward at Carhartt in Hanson, KY. When he’s not working his union job, you can find him posting on social media about where in the community he’ll be cooking BBQ that day – everyone knows to find Rob early, or else his delicious food will be gone by the time you get to him.

Rob holds up his awardsIn 2000, two weeks after graduating high school, Rob began working at Carhartt, where he became a UFCW union steward three years later. Since 2011, he’s been the chief steward there, and is well known for taking great care of the members who works with .

During his time at Carhartt, Rob has done just about every job at the facility, including working as a picker and special handler. After their latest contract negotiations, Rob and the other hardworking members there were able to win a better pay scale based on seniority, as well as more flexibility regarding positions worked. On top of that, Rob and his fellow steward Matt Henderson helped win the biggest grievance settlement in Carhartt history, in the amount of almost $500,000.

With his job flexibility and great union benefits, Rob is able to not only succeed at Carhartt

and take care of his young family, but also to pursue his passion: Barbecue.

Rob’s interest in grilling began as he was growing up, and as he entered adulthood. Since he began working right after graduating high school, he moved out on his own a lot sooner than most of his peers. Cooking for himself and for friends at home, on lake trips, and out camping, he got a lot of experience using a charcoal grill. He was also getting a lot of compliments on how good his food was.

All of this, paired with inspiration from his favorite TV show, BBQ Pit Masters, led Rob to build his own smoker out of a 55-gallon drum, and start his own company, called Tru Blu BBQ. He became an expert at grilling ribs, pork, butts, and making his own sauce – writing down each iteration of his recipe and tweaking it until it was just right.

Taking his skills on the road, he entered his first grilling competition in 2009, accompanied by 9 other teams, who all had big trailers that dwarfed his small smoker. He encountered some good-natured ribbing from the other competitors, who’d clearly been in the game for a while. But Rob and his girlfriend stayed up barbecuing all night through the chilly October weather, and come judging time, Rob won the competition, “hook, line, and sinker.”

He certainly was hooked on competing, because since that time, Rob has become and 18-time grand champion, including at the renowned Owensboro International BBQ Festival. And his little smoker has become a 24-foot concession trailer. He’s also a member of the Kansas City BBQ Society, and regularly competes against reality tv contestants, including grill-masters who have competed on the show that began his culinary quest – BBQ Pitmasters. He’s also been interviewed to compete on the show two times, and hopes to get the chance to do so in the near future.

Grilling isn’t just a hobby for Rob, it’s his life. In 2014, after winning one of his many competitions, Rob proposed to his girlfriend on stage, accompanied by the couple’s two-year old daughter. The ring was engraved with the number 180 – which is a perfect score in the grilling competitions. Rob had never received a 180 from the judges, but this was his way of telling his girlfriend he had a perfect score all along. He also had his bride-to-be’s Maid of Honor waiting in their BBQ trailer with a bouquet of parsley, a popular grilling herb.

Outside of working at Carhartt, these days you’ll find Rob cooking in the community, catering, or working festivals. His specialty is pulled pork ribs, chicken, and brisket, which he makes in one of his four jumbo BBQ kits. Where Rob is from, brisket is a bit of a rarity because it is more of a Texas-style meat, so he sells out quickly.

His biggest tip for others who want to master the grill, is all about “smoke management”.

“You need good airflow,” he says. “You’re looking for a faint blue smoke, not clouds of white smoke which is what you’ll see a lot of folks producing. It makes all the difference in the world.”

Rob also makes his own rubs, and says that whatever rub you use should be “real light.”

“Less is more – too much takes away from the meat’s natural flavors.”

Want to make the perfect ribs? Here’s Rob’s recommendation:

  • Smoke the ribs for 2 hours, until they are a mahogany color
  • Cover with tinfoil, turn them upside down, and put back in the smoker for another 2 hours, until the meat is pulling away, leaving an inch of bone sticking out
  • Sauce the ribs, and put them back on the smoker for five minutes. (this is called “setting the sauce”, which allows it to thicken)

Rob is thankful for a union job that gives him the flexibility and means to provide for his family and follow his dreams of taking over the BBQ world.

August 21, 2018

Safeway Stocker Reinstated with Back Pay After Wrongful Suspension

This post originally appeared on the UFCW Local 400 website:

“They threw me under the bus.”

Fortunately for Local 400 member Eric Jarrett, that wasn’t the end of the story.

Eric works as an overnight stocker at Safeway #1019 in Alexandria, Virginia. His store is one of the few locations that is supposed to be open 24 hours.

But one night, Eric was instructed to close the store when there was no cashier on duty. Even though he was following instructions, Eric’s manager suspended him and one of his coworkers.

“You have to have at least one checker in the store for it to stay open,” Eric said. “But the guy who normally does the job had hurt his shoulder and was home for two weeks. So the store had to be closed occasionally because we had no checker or because the floors had to be waxed. The store manager knew all about it. When customers started complaining, instead of accepting responsibility, they blamed it on another stocker and me. But I am in no position to close the store. I wasn’t the one who decided to do it.”

Eric didn’t take this sitting down. He worked with his union representative and immediately filed a grievance and pursued it aggressively.

“I was out of work for three and a half weeks,” Eric said. “Tom [Rogers, his Local 400 representative] spoke on my behalf and did a marvelous job of getting me reinstated as fast as he could. I was impatient and apprehensive, but Tom calmed me down. He knew what he was doing and reached a good settlement.”

Eric was reinstated and awarded full back pay for the time of his suspension and justice was served.

“I’m good where I’m at right now, but as far as I’m concerned, Safeway owes me [and my coworker] an apology for throwing us under the bus,” Eric said. “Safeway used to be a good company, but they don’t care about their employees, only the bottom line. They’re making lots of money in my store, but they keep cutting back hours and running on a skeleton crew. This company can’t run by itself — they need us. I’m just thankful our union’s got our backs.”

 

UFCW Local 400 member Eric Jarett holds up a check

August 16, 2018

Enter the $1000 LifeMart Sweepstakes

LifeMart, one of the UFCW’s discount programs, is holding a sweepstakes exclusively for UFCW members this August. If you are a UFCW member, you can win a $1000 gift card just for registering for UFCW LifeMart discounts, or by signing into an existing account.

Even if you don’t win, you’ll still have access to the amazing savings and discounts your UFCW membership gives you access to, including important life costs like education, child care, your cell phone bill and foreign language classes, as well as cosmetics, concert tickets, jewelry and movie tickets.

You can register for the UFCW LifeMart Sweepstakes here. You can get more information about all the ways you can take advantage of your UFCW value here.

August 13, 2018

To Protect America’s Food Supply and Families, UFCW Supports Better Meat Labeling

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), issued the following statement after submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in support of the pending Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and American Grassfed Association’s (AGA) Petition to Change the Food Safety and Inspection Services Standards and Labeling Policy Book on “Product of U.S.A.” FSIS-2018-0024.

“Allowing meat that comes from outside our country to be sold as a U.S. product is misleading, unsafe and wrong. American consumers deserve to know where their meat comes from. 

“Updating current labeling requirements will not only bring families more certainty about the meat they are serving or eating, it will create and protect sustainable jobs for hard-working communities across the country.  

“Our union family strongly supports this petition and encourages the USDA to do the same.”

BACKGROUND:

Currently, meat that is imported from other countries but further processed in the U.S. receives the “Product of U.S.A.” label. The pending OCM-AGA petition would revise “Product of the U.S.A.” label requirements so that it is limited only to domestically born, raised, slaughtered and processed meat.

UFCW supports the OCM-AGA petition because, like the now repealed Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL) law, it would provide a crucial premium for cattle ranchers that would help facilitate the rebuilding of the U.S. cattle herd and bolster additional good, family-sustaining jobs in meat processing.

The droughts of 2011 and 2012 forced American ranchers to liquidate the U.S. cattle herd to its lowest level since 1941[1]. In the wake of the droughts, ranchers were faced with burned-up pastures and high feed prices, which forced them to send their female heifers to slaughter rather than to retain them for breeding and herd rebuilding. Consequently, the U.S. cattle herd fell to its lowest level since 1941, causing nine beef processing plants to shut down[2] and the loss of thousands of good beef packing jobs[3].

Studies have shown that consumers will pay more to know where their food comes from.

The recent Brazilian meat inspection scandal makes OCM-AGA Petition especially timely.

In June 2017, the Trump administration imposed a ban on Brazilian beef imports after USDA border inspections revealed that the meat was rotten and contaminated. USDA inspectors also rejected 1.9 million pounds or about 11% of Brazilian beef imports in the wake of 20 Brazilian meat inspectors being arrested for taking bribes.

Independent auditors had already documented the shortcomings of this FSIS program prior to this scandal, but this Brazilian scandal provides even more evidence of the dramatic failure of the USDA’s FSIS foreign plant equivalency program to protect food safety.

The failed program also poses an unprecedented threat to the entire U.S. beef sector, which could be further decimated should contamination from comingled Brazilian beef cause a loss of consumer confidence in the U.S. beef supplies.

As it stands now, consumers have no way of differentiating U.S. from Brazilian beef. If the U.S. beef supply were to be contaminated with comingled Brazilian beef, many consumers may simply stop buying beef all together.  This could cause irreparable harm to the beef sector and could result in more plant shutdowns and the loss of even more good-paying, sustainable jobs.

The OCM-AGA petition would allow consumers to purchase domestic U.S. beef clearly labeled from a U.S. supply chain, thus inoculating U.S. domestic beef from a catastrophic loss in consumer confidence.

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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.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.


[1] NAFTA Negotiations and Its American Beef, R-CALF USA Website:  https://www.r-calfusa.com/nafta-negotiations-american-beef/

[2] Kay, S. (2015, October 5). Are packing plants on the endangered species list?  Beef Magazine. (Supplemented with additional UFCW research.) Available at:  http://www.beefmagazine.com/blog/are-packing-plants-endangered-species-list

[3] Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics. All employees, animal, except poultry, slaughtering, seasonally adjusted. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ces/