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UFCW Members in Ohio Lobby Against Right to Work

Over 100 UFCW members traveled to Columbus to lobby their state legislators against possible right to work legislation.

Over 100 UFCW members traveled to Columbus to lobby their state legislators against possible right to work legislation.

More than 100 members from UFCW Locals 17A, 75, 1059, and RWDSU traveled to Columbus last Wednesday to lobby their state legislators against possible right to work legislation.

“I’m here because I’m afraid that they’re going to pass right to work and take so much away from working people,” said Anne Bauer, a seven-year UFCW member from Local 75 who works at the Anderson Township Kroger. “The lower wages, the lack of safety, having no voice on the job – it’s horrible. I have to be here to fight for my coworkers, my friends, and my family.”

Many members spoke about the importance of ensuring the people they elected followed through on campaign promises.

“We have to be here to hold politicians accountable,” said Terry Payne, a Local 1059 member who has been at Kroger for 10 years. “We elect them and by being here we’re able to ensure that they’re supporting us. The legislators I’ve talked with have been very receptive. I was encouraged.”

One of the most important reasons for members to lobby is to share their personal stories with legislators which always make a more lasting impact. Roberta Greaver, a UFCW Local 75 member who has worked at Kroger for 35 years, told the legislators she spoke with about her experience visiting one of the company’s stores in the right to work state of Tennessee.

“These legislators don’t fully understand right to work and I’m happy to be here explaining it to them. I’ve seen what this law has done in Tennessee – there is a tremendous difference between their stores and ours here in Ohio. Their benefits are about half and their pay scale is less. After visiting Tennessee, I was so happy to be in Ohio. The Ohio legislature has to understand how much right to work will hurt workers.”

David Becker, a UFCW Local 1059 member who has worked at Meijer in Toledo for five years, said the lobby day motivated him to become more involved in his union and politics.

“When it comes to right to work, everyone should be here. We’re squeezed enough trying to buy food and pay our rent – legislators have to understand that right to work will only make that more difficult. I plan on coming to lobby days as often as I can.”

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Senate Vote Blocking Paycheck Fairness Act

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C.Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would stiffen penalties for corporations that discriminate against women.

“The average woman still makes only 77 cents for every dollar a man does. Over the course of their working lives, this means women earn between $400,000 and $2 million less than if they received equal pay for equal work. This is not just a women’s issue–it’s a family issue. Women are now the primary or only breadwinner in 40 percent of households. When women bring home less money it makes it harder for families to afford groceries, rent, and other necessities. The UFCW has long had equal pay provisions in its contracts. But our members know that all workers deserve fair pay. Senate Republicans should stop blocking this common sense legislation.”

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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.

This Equal Pay Day, We Still Strive for Equal Pay for Equal Work

Equal-Pay-Day-AdHere’s a sad fact: the average working woman would have to keep working until today, almost two weeks into April, to make what a man doing the same job made in 2013. We call today Equal Pay Day, a day to remember that women still only get paid 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make and to demand equality in the workplace. Over the course of their working lives, women make between $400,000 and $2 million less than they would if they were paid fairly.

That’s why it’s so important that the Senate has decided to consider the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would stiffen penalties for corporations that discriminate against women.

It’s been nearly 50 years since President Kennedy signed legislation that first barred gender-based pay discrimination. But when Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, can get away with paying women $5,000 less than men a year, it’s clear we need stronger protections.

Equal pay isn’t just a woman’s issue – it’s a family issue. Families increasingly rely on women’s wages to make ends meet — women are now the primary or only breadwinner in 40 percent of households. When women bring home less money each day, it means they have less for groceries, rent, doctors’ visits, and their children’s education.

When workers form a union to bargain for wages and benefits, women are protected from pay discrimination. In fact, studies show that a union voice improves a women workers’ wages more than a year of college. But UFCW members know that all workers deserve fair pay.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is a huge win-win for women workers and their families. Now we need to speak up and let the Senate know that it’s time for paycheck fairness, and that we’re ready to hold them accountable if they don’t act.

Click here to write your Senator today!