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Sign the Petition to Support Bloomingfoods Workers and Their Right to Organize!

Sign the Petition Here to Take Action!

Bloomingfoods Shift Supervisor Natascha Buehnerkemper via https://www.facebook.com/unite.bloomingfoods

Bloomingfoods Shift Supervisor Natascha Buehnerkemper via https://www.facebook.com/unite.bloomingfoods

Workers at Bloomingfoods Market & Deli co-op grocery store in Indiana have been standing together, calling for a recognition and neutrality agreement while they exercise their right to organize, as well as for their employer to stop consulting with anti-union law firms in order to interfere with the workers’ basic rights.

The right of workers to engage in concerted activities in order to try to improve working conditions is a keystone of labor relations, and is guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act.

The workers at Bloomingfoods are aiming to ensure that their basic worker rights are protected and upheld, so that Bloomingfoods can remain an important part of the community, and reflects the residents’ values of commitment to social justice, equal rights, and sustainability.

One worker at Bloomingfoods has said that she supports the union movement at her workplace because she wants Bloomingfoods to return to its mission of valuing workers–which means fair wages, improved access to benefits, safer working conditions, and “a bit of security in an incredibly insecure environment.”
Jordan, another employee at Bloomingfoods, has been working there for four years. “In my job,” he says, “I see a lot of people working very hard with pride in the things that they do. Many people with families to support. I feel as though a lot of these people are unrecognized throughout the company. After my years spent with this company, I finally feel as though a union is necessary. I have personal reasons, as well as reasons that other people have confided in me, that have led me to believe that this cannot be done alone. These reasons have been confided to me, and not put out in the open, because job security is not something that can be promised without a union backing us up. It is our legal right to unionize, so that should be reason enough to support employees making this decision. But more than that, now is YOUR chance to speak up. My coworkers and I need the community’s support now more than ever. It cannot be done alone, and it cannot be done in silence.”

You can help them by signing a petition, started by a concerned customer, here.

Some of the many people who have signed have expressed why they feel it was important to do so. One signer said:

“Bloomingfoods believes that it has an obligation to ‘educate the community to the economic, social and other beneficial values inherent in organizing community services…’ In that spirit, it would be counter to their mission to obstruct union organization efforts in any way.”

Another agreed that, “Employees anywhere should be able to exercise their right to organize without opposition.”

You can find more information about the Bloomingfoods workers standing up for a voice on the job by checking out their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unite.bloomingfoods

Community supporters have voiced their concerns on the facebook page as well, noting that they are willing to take their business elsewhere if they employees are not respected. Other co-op workers who have fought to unionize their workplaces have shown support too.

According to an article in the Indiana Daily Student, “Solidarity Forever!” has become the unofficial motto of the workers of Bloomingfoods. It is only through solidarity that the employees and community members that support them can ensure they have a protected voice on the job. 

In an expression of this solidarity, workers of Bloomingfoods have hosted rallies to garner more community awareness and support, with great turnout. We support the employees of Bloomingfoods as they stand together to can make a difference in their workplace!

 


				

UFCW Local 400 Kroger Members Working at Kroger Ratify A New Contract

kroger for blogMembers of UFCW Local 400 voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new, four-year contract with Kroger in the Richmond and Tidewater areas of Virginia. The contract preserves their health and retirement security and increases their wages. The collective bargaining agreement is retroactive to August 3, 2014. It expires on August 4, 2018, and covers 3,500 workers.

The bargaining was difficult and lengthy, but after a sustained campaign of member activism, both on a regional and national level, UFCW Local 400 members were able to win a strong contract. Notably, this contract implements raises based on seniority, abolishing the old system that left raises up to the discretion of store managers. It also includes health care “Maintenance of Benefits,” meaning that Kroger will contribute whatever is necessary to the health care fund to pay all benefits.

“It is the activism of our members, and the solidarity shown throughout the country, that enabled us to achieve these gains,” Federici said. “Their dedication, strength, and willingness to turn up the heat on Kroger at the store level when it was necessary, is the reason why we have this solid contract today—a contract that they not only deserve, but rightfully earned.”

Locally, Kroger members and their allies in the community leafleted stores, gathering thousands of shoppers’ pledges to stand with them through contract negotiations. They also rallied their coworkers at Kroger stores nationwide to wear buttons reading, “Solidarity with Virginia Kroger Workers,” on their aprons and shirts while at work to not only show management they were standing together in the fight for a fair contract, but also showing support for workers at the new Kroger Marketplace stores in Richmond and Virginia Beach.

The fight for fairness and respect at the Marketplace stores is just beginning. Kroger’s new Marketplace stores sell not just groceries but clothing and jewelry. In these new stores, Kroger is not giving employees the opportunity to have a voice at work free from intimidation and coercion. Instead, they are promising higher wages in exchange for a signature on a piece of paper saying they won’t join the union. UFCW Local 400 leadership, Kroger members, and community activists hand delivered a letter the Richmond Marketplace store manager in May demanding an end to these anti-worker tactics.

“It was a long challenging ride to reach this good contract we ratified today,” said Peggy Billie, a Bargaining Committee member who works at Kroger #500 in Richmond. “And we aren’t done. We are going to keep the pressure up on Kroger until our fellow workers at the Marketplace stores have the same rights and protections on the job as we do in other stores in the region and across the country.”

“From what we started with, when the company proposed taking away part-time and spousal health care, we’ve come a long way and on top of that we got some extra money in our pockets,” said Joseph Vaughn, a Bargaining Committee Member who works at Kroger #537 in Virginia Beach. “We have demonstrated that by standing together we are strong!”

“It took us working past the original expiration date, but I’m proud of my coworkers, fellow bargaining committee members, and the leadership of our union, we fought hard and are proud of the agreement we have reached,” said Michael Holcomb, a committee member from Kroger #511 in Richmond.

“Management wanted to take everything away from us,” said Laverne Wrenn, a member of the Bargaining Advisory Committee who works at Kroger #538. “But we showed the company we are strong. We told them we are ready to fight. And that is what made the difference.”

“This contract will enable Kroger to maintain their dominance as the number one grocery retailer, while doing right by the workers whose productivity and customer service have lifted them to the top,” Federici said. “We look forward to implementing it and helping these chains expand their market share.”

It’s Officially Fall! Jump on the Pumpkin-Flavored Bandwagon with Union-Made products!

Although grocery stores have been trying to convince us it’s been fall for weeks now, today marks the official start of fall, or the Autumnal Equinox.

You may have noticed that there’s been a craze for Pumpkin Spice this, and pumpkin-flavored that in stores everywhere–with new pumpkin and fall-flavored or scented products popping up left and right.

Why not embrace the trend by finding union-made stuff? Below, we’ve provided a fun fall list of ideas to help satisfy your pumpkin product cravings:

 

-Stop in you local Safeway and purchase a Pumpkin Spice Latte from the UFCW Safeway Starbucks baristas! Safeway-Starbucks-2

 

-Pick up some union made beer, like Mendocino Pumpkin Ale or Michelob Pumpkin Spice Ale

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-Indulge in some seasonal union-made chocolate, like Ghirardelli Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares, or Hershey’s Candy Corn or Pumpkin Spice kisses

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-Use Food Club canned pumpkin (UFCW product) or buy Kroger brand pumpkin puree from PB010413 UFCW members at Kroger for all your fall baking needs!

 

-Relax with some UFCW-made Gonesh Fragrances incense sticks in seasonal scents, like “Spirit of Autumn” or “Halloween” halloween

 

-Bake a union-made pumpkin recipe, like Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake!

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of Horizon or President Choice cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of Domino Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kroger or other union lable vanilla extract
  • 2 union-label eggs, like Horizon
  • 9 in. prepared graham cracker crust from union-label grocery store
  • 1/2 cup Kroger brand pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Giant brand or other union-label frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

1) In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.

2) Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

3) Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.