Organizing

RSS

UFCW Region 1 Locals Come Together to Support Mrs. Green’s Workers

MrsGreens-2-300x225UFCW and UFCW/RWDSU Locals 338, 371, 464-A, 888, 919, 1245, 1360 participated in UFCW Local 1500’s day of action on July 22 to support eight Mrs. Green’s Natural Market workers who are returning to work after being unlawfully fired. The day of action commemorated the workers’ victory, fighting back against a multi-national employer.

The eight workers were leading union supporters in a closely contested election to join UFCW Local 1500 in May 2013.  After just barely losing the election, in June 2013 the NLRB charged Mrs. Green’s with violating federal labor laws and illegally interrogating and intimidating employees during the weeks leading up to the union election. In the meantime, employees began to meet with local elected politicians to discuss the difficulties were facing every day at their job and how having a union voice would make their jobs better. In November 2013, the federal charges were settled and Mrs. Green’s agreed under federal order to create an intimidation free environment for their workers, and post a notice in their store for 60-days. 

In January 2014 during the 60-day settlement period, Mrs. Green’s unlawfully fired eight workers who were vocal UFCW supporters.  The workers had over 60 years of combined experience and some of them worked at the store for over 13 years. UFCW Local 1500 filed charges to the NLRB that Mrs. Green’s unlawfully fired the eight workers for supporting a union. In May 2014, NLRB Regional Director files a complaint against Mrs. Green’s after finding merit in UFCW Local 1500′s charges that the employees were unlawfully fired. Days after complaint is filed, CEO Robin Michel is forced to step down.

Since the firings in January, workers had been on a picket line in front of the store for over six months until the company settled and agreed to return the workers with back pay, days before a federal hearing on July 24, 2014. The charges were settled after Mrs. Green’s agreed to create a safe, intimidation free atmosphere, and post a federally issued notice on workers’ right to organize.

“We’re happy to be returning to work and could not have done it without the support from the community. The last time we worked inside the store, Mrs. Green’s illegal treatment of us led to the most difficult times in our lives, so thank you all for your support!” said Yesica Mendez, one of the eight unlawfully fired workers who returned to work on July 22.

 

Macy’s Workers in Saugus, Mass., Finally Get a Voice on the Job with Local 1445

source: Associated Press

source: Associated Press

On July 31, cosmetics and fragrances workers at a Macy’s store in Saugus, Mass., finally got a union voice on the job with Local 1445 after the National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-1 ruling earlier in July that the group of 41 workers was large enough to unionize. The cosmetics and fragrances workers at Macy’s voted 23-18 to join Local 1445, and hope to sit down at the bargaining table to negotiate their first contract in the next few months. The Macy’s store in Saugus employs over 100 workers.

“These workers fought hard to have a voice on the job,” said Local 1445 President Richard Charette. “They know that when workers stick together as a union, they have bargaining power and a collective voice that they simply do not have when they are not unionized.”

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Executive Order Creating a Pro-Worker Procurement Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International PresideUFCWnewsnt of the UFCW, today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s executive order designed to ensure that the United States only does business with companies that respect workers’ rights.

“The President’s executive order makes clear that the U.S. will not do business with companies that violate our nation’s labor laws. Employers who cheat workers out of wages, fail to provide safe workplaces, and illegally retaliate against those who try to organize a union should never be considered for a government contract. On the other hand, companies that uphold our laws and treat their workers with dignity and respect should be given preference when it comes to federal procurement.

“Today’s announcement builds on years of work by UFCW members and our partner unions to create a system that is fairer for workers and encourages a race to the top when it comes to labor standards. These efforts included a 2013 resolution passed unanimously by delegates to the UFCW convention calling on the creation of a ‘High Road’ procurement process.

“In the last several years, the meat and poultry industries have received over 1 billion dollars from taxpayers. Many workers in these industries work full-time yet are not paid enough to support themselves or their families. They also must endure dangerous workplace conditions and chronic underreporting of injuries by their employers. This executive order sends a message that companies who engage in this type of anti-worker activity must change the way they do business or lose access to their government contracts.

“I want to thank President Obama, Secretary of Labor Perez, and all those involved in crafting this executive order. Today’s announcement is an important first step in ensuring our government is doing everything in its power to protect America’s workers.”

###

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.