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UFCW President Perrone Statement on Adoption of Right to Work in Wisconsin

“By standing against hard-working families, Governor Walker should be ashamed, but we know he is not.”

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C.Marc Perrone, International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the adoption of right to work in Wisconsin.

“Every elected leader has a sacred responsibility to stand up for America’s hard-working families and to help them achieve a better life. Higher wages, better benefits, equal pay for equal work, protection from discrimination and exploitation; those are the rights that unions offer and which we fight for every single day. These are the true rights that Governor Scott Walker wants to take away from the union men and women who work hard, sacrifice, and help make Wisconsin and America a better place.

The truth is by standing against hard-working families, Governor Scott Walker should be ashamed, but we know he is not. He has chosen to pursue a radical agenda that willingly ignores that this law will devastate countless workers and their families. Make no mistake, this law gives irresponsible corporations, let alone politicians, the right to exploit and mistreat countless men and women all across Wisconsin.

Let me be clear, this fight is not over. We will stand up and fight for the right to protect our hard-working union family and the rights of countless families in Wisconsin and all across America who earn and deserve a better life.”wisconsin

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Key Facts: Value of Union Membership for Hard-Working Men and Women

  • Union workers vs non-union workers earn higher wages, receive better benefits, and have more job security than non-union workers. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Union Members – 2014”, January 2015, Table 2. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm
  • Women are more likely to get equal pay for equal work by being a union member. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Union Members – 2014”, January 2015, Table 2. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm
  • LGBT workers are less likely to be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity as a union member.  Source: Frank, Miriam. “Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America”, Temple University Press, 2014.

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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.

Musician and “Workingman’s Warrior” Steve Earle Releases New Album

image via the Sun Times

image via the Sun Times

Back in 2011, when the collective bargaining rights of public sector union members in Wisconsin were being threatened by union-busting Governor Scott Walker, legendary Steve Earle released two songs–‘Harlan Man’ and ‘The Mountain’–with all proceeds going the Labor Unity Fund. The songs were glimpses into the life of a union member. Just like the hundreds of other angry union members that showed up at the capital building in Madison to defend their rights, Earle was adamant that letting collective bargaining be taken away would be detrimental to our system of democracy.

Fast forward four years and we are back in the same situation: despite the objections and testimonials from countless working men and women, Wisconsin lawmakers are again attacking our rights. The state senate passed Right to Work legislation last week, which, if passed in the Assembly this week as it’s expected to be, will make Wisconsin the 25th Right to Work (for less) state in the country. No matter what happens, the labor movement and its supporters will always stand together and speak out about defending our rights.

Earle, whose support of union members in 2011 made him a beloved “workingman’s warrior” has now released a collection of blues songs. Read more about his new album–called Terraplane–at Rolling Stone. If you’d like to support Earle the way he has supported labor while simultaneously enjoying some great tunes, you can purchase the album here.

 

UFCW and OUR Walmart Members Help Calif. Pass Paid Sick Day Legislation

OUR-Walmart-CA-Lobby-Day-297x300After intense lobbying from UFCW members and members of OUR Walmart, both houses of the California legislature have passed a bill guaranteeing workers up to three paid sick days a year.

The legislation includes part-time and temporary workers, making it one of the strongest in the nation. Home health care workers are exempted. Governor Jerry Brown has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

About 40 percent of California’s workforce is currently not eligible for paid sick days. Across the state, retail workers successfully made the case that no one should be forced to risk their job and their livelihood just because they get sick.

The United States is the only developed country that does not guarantee paid sick leave to workers. Late last year, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the FAMILY Act, a bill to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program. House Republicans have refused to bring it up for a vote.

In the meantime, UFCW members, OUR Walmart, and their allies will continue to push for action at the state and local levels.