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UFCW Intl President Marc Perrone on Safeway Albertsons Merger

UFCWnews(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to Safeway’s merger with Albertsons:

“More than 250,000 Safeway and Albertsons workers are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). UFCW members also work for several other Cerberus Capital Management-operated supermarkets across the country, including Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco and Shaw’s.

“UFCW members have a history of negotiating union contracts with Safeway, Albertsons and Cerberus Capital Management. Together in their union, these workers have been able to ensure that union grocery jobs are the best jobs in the industry with fair pay, decent benefits, and job security – all the while ensuring that their companies are able to be profitable and successful.

“UFCW members in California stores that were divested by Albertsons are pleased to learn that the grocery store chain Haggen will acquire many Albertsons stores in California. Haggen workers in the Pacific Northwest are also members of the UFCW. UFCW members across the country are looking forward to working with Safeway, Cerberus, and Haggen on issues that pertain to the members and industry. Our members plan to continue to serve their customers and their communities with pride.”

Richest One Percent Will Own More Than Half the World’s Wealth by 2016

Alice and Jim Walton

Alice and Jim Walton

A new report by Oxfam underscores the fact that income inequality is continuing to rise to dangerous levels. The report, titled Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More, estimates that the combined wealth of the richest one percent will exceed that of the 99 percent next year unless actions are taken to curb inequality.

According to the report, the wealthy few increased their global wealth from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014. Based on this trend, the combined wealth of the richest one percent is expected to be more than 50 percent in 2016. The report also notes that just 80 of the wealthiest people in the world possess a combined wealth of $1.9 trillion, which is nearly the same amount shared by 3.5 billion people, or the poorest 50 percent of the global population.

Thirty-five of the 80 richest people in the world are Americans, and the top 10 ten richest people in the world include Christy and Jim Walton, heirs to the Walmart empire.

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Final NLRB Rule to Modernize Union Elections

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) adopting a final rule to modernize union elections.

“When a majority of workers want to form a union, they should be able to do so in a fair and timely fashion. The rule adopted by the NLRB today is an important step in that direction. Too often, anti-worker employers use every trick in the book—including filing frivolous litigation—to delay union elections as they work behind the scenes to sabotage the outcome. This is simply wrong and by adopting this rule, the NLRB is taking a strong stand for workers’ rights. As the nation grapples with record income inequality, more workers need and deserve the protection of a collective bargaining agreement. This rule will help level the playing field and give workers who want to join together in a union a better opportunity to do so.”

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.