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Nursing Assistants Unionize at Allegro Nursing Home

Vote Overwhelmingly to Join UFCW Local 1625

10982598_10150710991049945_4629064203368727338_oSt. Petersburg, Fla. — Last night, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) at the Allegro Nursing Home in St. Petersburg, Fla., voted ‘Union Yes’ to join the 7,000 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1625. Thirty Certified Nursing Assistants on staff came together to form a union in order to improve working conditions at Allegro.

“I am so proud of my team today. We stood up to management’s efforts to intimidate and divide us, and together, we won,” said Eleanor Mitchell, CNA, who has worked for Allegro for 25 years. “With a union, we now have the power to shape a better future at Allegro.”

An election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board showed strong support for a union, with more than 90 percent of votes returned in favor of the union.

“The courage shown by these workers is extraordinary. These Certified Nursing Assistants are standing up for the dignity of all workers in the caretaking professions,” said Ed Chambers, President of UFCW Local 1625 headquartered in Lakeland, Florida.

The thirty Certified Nursing Assistants were able to form a unit made up of a single job classification following a 2011 decision by the National Labor Relations Board in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation of Mobile. This decision permitted Certified Nursing Assistants to form union bargaining units by ruling that CNAs as “readily identifiable as a group” and as sharing a “community of interest.”

The workers will now begin negotiating with Allegro for their first union contract and seek to establish a more fair and transparent schedule for raises and better working conditions.

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

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Massachusetts, Vermont and New York Co-op Workers Gather for First Ever Co-op Worker Summit

Workers meet to discuss future of co-ops and the food industry

DSC_0029Charlemont, Mass. – Dozens of co-op workers from three states and representing six both worker- and member-owned co-ops met Saturday at the first-ever regional co-op workers summit. The event, hosted by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1459, was the first of its kind.

“Co-ops have a unique place in our economy,” said Dan Clifford, President of Local 1459. “They are businesses that have the higher purpose of serving the communities in which they operate. As the co-op movement grows, sometimes the voice of co-op workers get lost. This summit was an important step to ensure those voices are heard and that co-ops live up to their highest aspirations.”

Workers from co-ops in Western Massachusetts, New York and Vermont gathered for panels on the future of the co-op movement and their role in improving their workplaces, their communities and the food we all eat. They also heard from Frances Moore Lappé, best-selling author of Diet for a Small Planet, who spoke about the important role that co-ops and co-op workers can have in building a more sustainable global economy.

“It’s critically important that the co-op movement doesn’t leave the workers’ voice behind,” said John Cevasco, a grocery worker from Greenfield’s Market in Greenfield, Mass. and a UFCW Local 1459 member. “We found our voice at Greenfield’s by forming a union, and I know our co-op is stronger because of it.”

“Our communities need high quality, local food and good family-supporting jobs,” said Russell Ziemba, a worker from the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany, N.Y. “Co-ops can play a critical role in meeting those needs if they listen to the voice of their workers. That’s why I’m glad I had the opportunity to be here and learn from other co-op workers in my region.”

The co-op workers also issued a series of collective recommendations to the regional and state food system plans, re-envisioning how the food system could serve the needs of citizens even better. They hope by injecting the voice of ground level workers and co-ops into the plan that they can make the plans both more ecologically and economically more sustainable.

 

 

Healthcare Workers Vote “Union Yes!” to Join UFCW Local 1189

uph_0Healthcare workers at United Pioneer Home in Luck, Wis., voted “Union Yes” in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. Workers showed their strong support for having a union voice and joined UFCW Local 1189. Dignity, respect, and a voice on the job were among the reasons the workers felt they needed to belong to a union.

United Pioneer Home workers Rachael Schmid and Heidi Swanson said, “We’re excited to have a voice. When we tried to speak up to make our workplace better, our voices would go unheard and the home’s board of directors would speak for us. This was a problem because they wouldn’t listen to us and they didn’t understand the changes we needed.”

“I’m looking forward to having respect and dignity on the job,” said Sam Everson, who also works at United Pioneer Home.

United Pioneer Home is a retirement home that provides long-term care and housing to senior citizens in the Luck, Wis., community.