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UFCW Members in Missouri Lobby Legislators in Jefferson City

Earlier this month, UFCW members from Locals 2, 88 and 655 went to the Capitol in Jefferson City to encourage legislators to stop paycheck deception and an unfair “right to work” law.

They were there at the right time, too. The paycheck deception bill was in the process of passing the Senate and being sent over to the House. It offered an excellent opportunity for UFCW members to speak with their legislators about why paycheck deception is an unnecessary burden that makes it more difficult for workers to have a voice in the political process.

Raylene Barton, a member of Local 655 who works at Dierbergs, had this to say about why she participated in lobby day.

“I’m lobbying to ensure fairness for working men and women,” said Barton. “If we don’t do it now, we’re going to have a bloodbath like we did in the 20s and 30s and it will hurt a lot of people. Being here is so important because politics is the new frontier for unions. If we can’t get worker friendly legislation on the books, then we’re going to be beat down even further.”

Raylene also discussed the upcoming presidential election.

“I’m scared to death of Donald Trump and will do my damndest to see that the Democratic nominee is elected,” she said. “Trump brings out the worst in the American people. He’s just a headline maker who has no experience with diplomacy, has no business being a world leader and would be no friend to my hard-working friends and family members.”

Unfortunately, the paycheck deception bill ended up passing both the House and Senate and will be sent to the governor’s desk, where it is expected to be vetoed. Members were optimistic that, thanks to their frank conversations with legislators, the governor’s veto would be upheld.

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“RIGHT TO WORK” FOR LESS LEGISLATION PASSES IN WEST VIRGINIA

Bill only serves to devastate West Virginia and hard-working families

One of the many Local 400 members who voiced why she opposed Right to Work legislation in West Virginia

One of the many Local 400 members who voiced why she opposed Right to Work legislation in West Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, made the following statement about the West Virginia Legislature overriding Governor Tomblin’s veto to pass a “right to work” law.

“The West Virginia State Legislators who supported passing this bill are telling West Virginians one thing – you have the “right to work for less.” Simply put, they should all be ashamed of themselves. Rather than helping the hard-working people of their state find good jobs that pay higher wages and provide better benefits, they have chosen to pursue a radical agenda that will devastate countless West Virginia workers and their families.

“Instead of helping raise wages, State Legislators have passed a bill that guarantees lower wages, fewer benefits and more dangerous workplaces. Make no mistake, this only serves to reward irresponsible companies who will do everything they can to pay their workers less. This is true in every state that has passed “right to work” and will sadly be true in West Virginia as well.

“Every American, regardless of the state they live in or their political beliefs, has earned the right to better wages, better benefits and a better life. This bill flies in the face of those rights. Everyone who voted to pass it will be remembered for turning their backs on working families.”

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org.

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UFCW Local 400 Decries Attack on Working Families in West Virginia

L400 RTW LettersLast week, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted 54-46 to approve the Workplace Freedom Act, commonly known as “right to work.”

Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400, issued the following statement in response to the vote:

“Today’s partisan vote by the West Virginia state legislature is a major step backward for working families in West Virginia.

“Our members spent weeks placing calls to delegates and lobbying legislators in both chambers to oppose the bill. We even delivered more than 500 handwritten letters to legislators gathered from members in Kroger stores across the state urging them to oppose ‘right to work.’

“But instead of listening to hard-working men and women that live, work, and vote in West Virginia, the legislature instead chose to bow to pressure from outside special interest groups backed by the infamous, billionaire Koch brothers.

“As a union with members in ‘right-to-work’ states, we know all too well the harm of this anti-worker legislation. Just over the mountains in Virginia, our members already suffer the everyday consequences of ‘right to work’ legislation.

“Our members in Virginia earn as much as $2 less per hour, pay up to five times more out-of-pocket for benefits, and earn up to one week less vacation each year than their brothers and sisters in West Virginia – even working for the same company, doing the same job, with the same experience. The difference? Virginia is a ‘right-to-work’ state.

“This bill has nothing to do with ‘workplace freedom’ and everything to do with diminishing the power of working people to negotiate for a better life. The bottom line is “right to work” will make it much more difficult for hard-working men and women to earn better wages, secure family-supporting benefits, or ensure proper safety in the workplace.

“We look forward to Governor Tomblin’s veto of this dangerous, deceptive legislation, and we will continue to hold our elected leaders accountable to voters and uphold the veto when the bill inevitably returns to the legislature.”