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Perrone: House GOP Budget Would Make Life Harder for Tens of Millions of Hard-Working American Families

WASHINGTON, D.C.Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to passage of the House Republican budget.

“Budgets are more than just numbers; they are a statement of values. House Republicans talk a lot about family values, but this budget cruelly and needlessly hurts families and children. It will make life harder for tens of millions of hard-working American families all to serve an ideological agenda. At a time of stagnant wages and rising income inequality, the House Republican budget is more of the same—cutting nutrition assistance, health care, job training, and college aid—all while giving another tax break to the wealthiest few. Instead of further dividing this country, Republican leaders and Congress must go back to the drawing board and pass a budget that invests in the future of working and middle class families. Make no mistake, we strongly oppose this proposal and urge the President to make clear he will veto it and any other extreme budget that hurts America’s families.”Marc-Perrone-2008

UFCW President Perrone Statement on Adoption of Right to Work in Wisconsin

“By standing against hard-working families, Governor Walker should be ashamed, but we know he is not.”

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C.Marc Perrone, International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the adoption of right to work in Wisconsin.

“Every elected leader has a sacred responsibility to stand up for America’s hard-working families and to help them achieve a better life. Higher wages, better benefits, equal pay for equal work, protection from discrimination and exploitation; those are the rights that unions offer and which we fight for every single day. These are the true rights that Governor Scott Walker wants to take away from the union men and women who work hard, sacrifice, and help make Wisconsin and America a better place.

The truth is by standing against hard-working families, Governor Scott Walker should be ashamed, but we know he is not. He has chosen to pursue a radical agenda that willingly ignores that this law will devastate countless workers and their families. Make no mistake, this law gives irresponsible corporations, let alone politicians, the right to exploit and mistreat countless men and women all across Wisconsin.

Let me be clear, this fight is not over. We will stand up and fight for the right to protect our hard-working union family and the rights of countless families in Wisconsin and all across America who earn and deserve a better life.”wisconsin

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Key Facts: Value of Union Membership for Hard-Working Men and Women

  • Union workers vs non-union workers earn higher wages, receive better benefits, and have more job security than non-union workers. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Union Members – 2014”, January 2015, Table 2. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm
  • Women are more likely to get equal pay for equal work by being a union member. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Union Members – 2014”, January 2015, Table 2. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm
  • LGBT workers are less likely to be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity as a union member.  Source: Frank, Miriam. “Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America”, Temple University Press, 2014.

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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.

Women’s History Month: International Women’s Day Highlights Female Activists and Women’s Issues Across the Globe

International-Womens-DayThis Sunday on International Women’s Day, women all over the world celebrated those who have made a difference in the lives of women everywhere, and called attention to issues like gender equality.

Actress and U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson took advantage of this world holiday by hosting a Facebook conversation as part of her HeForShe campaign, which focuses on getting more men involved in women’s issues.  According to Watson, men need to be involved in the campaign because gender equality isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights one.

The UFCW and our allies agree that until there is no discrimination against any group of people–in the workplace, in schools, in the government, or anywhere else, our work is not done.

As part of Watson’s HeForShe Facebook conversation, she clarified what she believes “feminism” to actually mean: “equality politically, culturally, socially, economically.” She continued that if you agree with such equality, then you are a feminist, and the term need not be so controversial.

Elsewhere, leading up to International Women’s Day, Germany passed a groundbreaking law on Friday that will require companies to give 30 percent of supervisory board positions to women. According to Think Progress, “the quota will apply to the country’s 100 biggest companies by next year, where women currently hold just 18.6 percent of board director seats. Another 3,500 have until September 30 to submit their plans for increasing the share of women on their boards.”

This move by Germany means that the country is now catching up to a number of other European countries, who enacted similar quotas as early as 2008. In the United States however, progress has been even slower.

Think Progress notes that “women make up less than 20 percent of board positions at S&P 500 companies. A different measure, of companies in the Fortune 500, found in 2013 that women made up less than 17 percent of seats and hadn’t made inroads in eight straight years.”

A recent study showing that there are more men named John, Robert, James and William on American boards than all women combined shocked many, but for others it was just a reminder about how much more work needs to be done to achieve gender equality in the corporate world, let alone on other fronts.

But progressive groups are working harder than ever to provide education about such issues, and are fighting for meaningful change.

UNI Global Union has a campaign dedicated to equal pay. Entitled UNI Equal Pay Campaign, its website provides answers to frequently asked questions about the gender wage gap and job segregation, provides tools and downloadable materials to help those trying to tackle the pay gap, and even offers legal documents and a list of good practices to help combat these issues. Be sure to check out their site to learn more about how getting equal pay will improve the lives of so many women.

Stay tuned all this month for more Women’s History Month discussions and stories.