UFCW President Perrone Statement on TPP Negotiators Reaching a Final Agreement

TPP-Lost-Jobs-Lower-Wages-SGWashington, D.C. — Today, Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, released the following statement regarding news that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators had reached a final agreement.

“The only good thing about a TPP agreement being reached is that the American people will finally be able to read every line of this deal.

“Given what we already know from leaked drafts, we should prepare for the worst, and expect even worse than that.

“This deal will most likely fail to address currency manipulation, offer big pharmaceutical corporations unacceptable protections that will limit access to life-saving medicine, and threaten every hard-working American family with job losses and lower wages. How could this be good for America?

“Contrary to the rosy rhetoric and false promises, a long history of trade agreements proves that the TPP will have a devastating impact upon our families, our jobs, and this nation.

“In the coming months, hard-working men and women who are a part of the UFCW family will be pushing every member of Congress – Republican and Democrat – to see the harmful effects of this deal through the eyes of everyday American families.

“Make no mistake, this fight is not over.”


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President Perrone Statement on Extreme Poverty Increasing in America

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the largest private sector union in the nation, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), released the following statement in response to news that the number of people struggling to survive on just $2 per day has more than doubled since 1996, placing 1.5 million American households into extreme poverty.

 “The idea that there are 1.5 million families in America, the wealthiest nation on Earth, living on just $2 per day is beyond shocking and should be a wakeup call to all our political leaders – especially those running for President – that real change is needed now.

“This dire situation has only been worsened by irresponsible corporations like Walmart who rely on scheduling techniques that too often provide workers with unpredictable schedules and pay. These erratic scheduling practices make it clear that Walmart and many other bad employers are ok with making work hurt rather than pay.

“It is time for elected leaders, of both parties, to understand that a living wage, reliable work schedules, and the ability of all workers to organize and negotiate better lives, are keys to reducing poverty and strengthening our nation’s economic future.

“We can’t continue down a path where the jobs that are created only serve to perpetuate low wages, poverty and despair. We must do better, and our union family is committed to fighting these economic injustices in every way possible.”

The True Meaning of Labor Day

DSC_0180Today, The Hill published an Op-Ed by UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Executive Vice President Esther Lopez. In it, they remind us all that Labor Day isn’t just about celebrating the end of summer and cooking out. It’s a day to celebrate all hard-working men and women in America, including those who have been left out, thanks to our broken immigration system. Read the full op-ed below:

While many Americans look at Labor Day as the last weekend of summer and another opportunity to sit back and enjoy a barbeque with friends and family—the holiday was created to celebrate the accomplishments of hard-working men and women.

Labor Day is about celebrating the sacrifices working people have made to the shared prosperity of this country. It’s about valuing people, regardless of where they were born, for their work and the contributions they make to the economic well-being of our great country.

This Labor Day, we must challenge the political status quo that has left too many hard-working men and women to struggle alone in the shadows.

Nowhere has the failure of the status quo been more evident than in the struggle fix our country’s broken immigration system. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, over 8 million of which are active in the workforce. We’re talking about workers, parents, community leaders, friends and neighbors whose hard work and daily contributions to our economy merit full participation in our society.

While an overwhelming majority of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform, our national dialogue continues to be hijacked by endless fearmongering and the antics of presidential campaigns jockeying for 2016.

Case in point, Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s eccentric soundbites have not only dominated the conversation, they have further divided and obfuscated the serious debate over our country’s immigration crisis. Along with Mr. Trump’s unrealistic campaign promise to build a wall along our 2,000-mile long southern border, his calls for overturning the 14th amendment and constitutional right of birthright citizenship are radical and dangerous.

Immigration reform will clearly be a key issue as we head into the 2016 presidential elections. Both parties have a responsibility to engage in a substantive debate about how we can actually fix a broken immigration system that penalizes workers and families. Too much is at stake to let this important issue be driven by extreme proposals and divisive rhetoric.

All politicians, those in office and those running for office, need to understand that the inaction that has pervaded our political system is unacceptable. Inaction is not an option for millions of hard-working men and women who aspire to be Americans.

Above all, we as a country cannot afford to continue down a path that enables and permits employers to exploit all workers by cutting wages, lowering benefits, and punishing those who dare to speak out for a better life.

We would hope that every candidate acknowledges the fact that if you live and work hard in America, if you’re contributing to the prosperity of this nation, you should have the opportunity to become an American.

This Labor Day, let’s honor and respect the work of all hard-working people.

For the sake of a better America we all must believe in, let’s put divisive partisan politics aside and challenge our 2016 candidates to do what is right for the country, and not themselves.

Perrone is the president of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. López is executive vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.