In the News

RSS

UFCW Members Are Making the News

Article

UFCW members like Susan Richardson from UFCW Local 21, are making their voices heard on the opinion pages of newspapers across the country.

UFCW members are making their voices heard on the opinion pages of newspapers across the country. In the past few weeks, UFCW members have had op-eds and a letter to the editor published on topics ranging from Labor Day and the benefits of union membership to the recent Market Basket grocery boycott.

Susan Richardson, a grocery store worker and UFCW Local 21 executive board member, had an op-ed published in the Cascadia Weekly (scroll down to page 6) regarding Labor Day and her support of the Employee Empowerment Act, new legislation that would amend the National Labor Relations Act to give victims of labor discrimination the same protections available under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“Narrowing the gap between rich and poor is essential to rebuilding our economy, but that can’t happen if workers lack the power and protection to bargain for better wages and benefits.”

Michael Pajewski, a member of UFCW Local 23, had a letter to the editor published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regarding Labor Day and how all workers have benefited from unions.

“Whether you are a union worker or not, you have enjoyed the benefits of union negotiations: the 40-hour work week, holiday pay, vacation time, overtime pay and safety standards where you work.”

And Jeff Goldhaber, a Stop & Shop worker and UFCW Local 1445 shop steward, had an op-ed published in Labor Notes regarding Market Basket workers and the benefits of having a union voice on the job.

Customers boycotted Market Basket not because of loyalty to a CEO they’ve never met. They boycotted because they wanted to support the store workers they know and preserve the community that’s been built up around these stores. If we really want to save Market Basket, we need to address the workers’ concerns.

These are just a few examples of how UFCW members are making their voices heard in their local newspapers.  We look forward to highlighting additional op-eds and letters to the editor by UFCW members throughout the year.

Failure to Heed Concerns of Workers Playing Role in Walmart’s Poor Sales

10557532_857764227584809_361373269439561759_oRecently, some Wall Street analysts have predicted that big box stores like Walmart will meet their demise.

Why? Not only are customers turning increasingly to online retailers or smaller, more convenient stores—which cut into the market share of big box retailers—but also because business practices like those of Walmart continually disregard the well-being of their workers, which is also bad for business.

Walmart began seeing a real problem with keeping its shelves stocked last year, as they continued to cut more and more hours from their employees’ schedules. Not only does this mean that workers continue to struggle to get enough hours and pay to make ends meet, but also that customers get angry or frustrated and turn elsewhere—which many weren’t shy about expressing on social media with photos of empty shelves, or even expired food.

Walmart workers have been talking about this issue for quite some time now, but that has not stopped America’s largest retailer from continuing to try to put profits above the well-being of the hard-working people they employ.

But Walmart’s poor business practices are backfiring. The company’s same-store sales have gone down in 12 of the past 20 quarters in U.S. stores, which is a drastic difference from their heyday.

If Walmart wants to see better business and profits, it’s time for Walmart to really listen to its employees and provide good jobs that pay decent wages.

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Final USDA Poultry Modernization Rule

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement after the USDA published a final poultry modernization rule. 
“For more than two years, UFCW members have spoken out with a simple and compelling message: safe line speeds mean safe workers.
“With today’s publication of an improved poultry modernization rule, it is clear that the voices of UFCW members were heard loud and clear.
“I want to thank our coalition partners in labor, food safety, and the civil rights community for standing side by side with us throughout this process. I want to recognize the Department of Labor for raising important safety questions.  And I especially want to commend Secretary Vilsack for listening to our concerns and taking the necessary steps to fix this rule.
“Poultry processing remains a dangerous job; a recent study showed 42 percent of workers in this industry have evidence of carpal tunnel. With this rule behind us, I look forward to working with the Department of Labor and the USDA to make our poultry plants safer and ensure more workers can have a voice on the job.”
            ###
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.