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Get Involved: Minimum Wage Day of Action

5-Reasons

Department of Labor’s #5Reasons

Today is the Minimum Wage Day of Action. Advocates of an increased minimum wage can join the Department of Labor, workers, and allies such as the UFCW in promoting the importance of raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

Tweet the hashtags #1010now and #5Reasons, for the Department of Labor’s 5 reasons to raise the wage, to join us in utilizing the enormous power of social media to advance the cause of workers nationwide. The Department of Labor has also provided images you can copy and tweet in order to express your support in style.

The UFCW is an ardent supporter of the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2015 and index it to inflation for every year afterwards, to keep pace with the rising cost of living and ensure it never becomes as woefully out-of-date as it is today.

Here are 5 more reasons to support a raised minimum wage:

  1. If you work full-time for the minimum wage, you earn just $15,080 a year.
  2. A raise would provide $32 billion in new economic activity, including 140,000 new full-time jobs.
  3. A raise would mainly affect large companies, like McDonald’s and Walmart.
  4. 67% of Americans support a raise in minimum wage.
  5. If the minimum wage from 40 years ago was indexed with inflation, it would be $10.59 an hour today.

Join us in telling Congress that every American deserves fair pay for hard work! Tweet #1010now and #5Reasons to become a part of the Minimum Wage Day of Action, and together we can #RaiseTheWage!

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Schedules That Work Act

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International President of the UFCW, today released the following statement regarding introduction of the Schedules That Work Act.

“If you ask a worker in the retail industry what improvements can be made to their job, the response is likely to include scheduling. Fair, flexible, and reliable scheduling is a simple way to ensure workers are treated with dignity and respect. In a perfect world, employers would view workers as human beings with competing life demands rather than numbers on a balance sheet. But in reality, scheduling is more erratic than ever.

“The Schedules That Work Act would provide workers modest safeguards and begin to curb the most abusive scheduling practices. This includes a presumption that workers who need a schedule change due to child care, school, a second job, or medical needs will receive that change unless there is a bona fide business reason not to. The legislation also provides retail workers advance notice of their schedules and guarantees minimum pay when they are sent home from work before completing their entire shift.

“This legislation would ensure all workers have the rights fought for and won by UFCW members for decades.  Our contracts have long guaranteed predictable and adequate scheduling. The law of the land should do the same. I urge Congress to pass the Schedules That Work Act as soon as possible.”

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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

The BPA Act: Fighting Breast Cancer among Women in Manufacturing

BPA is a toxic chemical that has been linked to increased rates of breast cancer among women in many job sectors, including food packing. (Infographic by the BlueGreen Alliance)

BPA is a toxic chemical that has been linked to increased rates of breast cancer among women in many job sectors, including food packing. (Infographic by the BlueGreen Alliance & UFCW)

Even today, women who work in middle-class jobs across America face pronounced barriers and gender discrimination in the workplace, as exemplified by the recent Demos report on gender inequality in retail wages. However, workplace inequality can manifest in other, more subtle ways – such as the manufacture of products containing Bisphenol-A, or BPA.

BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical, which alters hormone production and behavior, disrupting the body’s normal functions. In a 2012 six-year study, BPA was found to have a pronounced effect on women who work in the automotive plastics and the food packaging industries.

These women are five times more likely to have breast cancer than women who work in other industries.

BPA, which is found in the epoxy lining of the metal food can and released into the air during the food canning process, was banned by the FDA in the manufacture of baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula packaging. Many private companies have taken further steps to remove BPA from products. However, BPA exposure is still a problem for thousands of manufacturing and packaging workers in America.

In order to address this problem, the UFCW has joined allies such as the Communications Workers of America, the United Steelworkers, and the United Automobile Workers in supporting the Ban Poisonous Additives Act, or the BPA Act.

The BPA Act would remove BPA from food packaging, encourage the development of safe alternatives, and ensure a thorough safety review of all currently used substances in food and beverage containers. It is currently in committee in the House, where it needs to be passed by the House and the Senate and approved by the President before it becomes a law.

This brochure, produced by the BlueGreen Alliance and UFCW, contains useful information about the growing problem of breast cancer among working women.