UFCW Members Get Out the Vote in Key Races

L75 ConwayUFCW members across the country have been busy phone calling and canvassing to help ensure our union family turns out to vote.

Despite being an “off-year” election, the 2015 ballot was filled with issues and races that matter to UFCW members and their families.

In Kentucky, a closely watched race for Governor between Attorney General Jack Conway and Matt Bevin could decide whether or not an anti-worker right to work law comes to the “Bluegrass State.” For months, UFCW members have been helping to mobilize support for Conway. If he becomes Kentucky’s Governor-elect on November 3rd, UFCW members from Locals 227 and 75 will be a big reason why.

In Ohio, UFCW Locals 75, 880, 1059, RWDSU, and ICWU are supporting Issue 3, a ballot question that will ensure the Buckeye State chooses smart regulation over failed prohibition when it comes to marijuana. If it passes, Issue 3 will create 3,000 new union jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax revenue to support Ohio communities without raising taxes on hard-working men and women.

For the first time in over 300 years, Pennsylvanians will be choosing three judges to sit on the state supreme court. UFCW members are working hard to ensure that all three openings are filled by qualified judges who will fight to stop gerrymandering and defend the rights of workers.

Numerous UFCW Locals have also played important roles this election season in helping to pass local laws that will raise the minimum wage and provide people with paid sick and family leave. Our election efforts help to ensure that UFCW members have both better laws and legislators.

Here’s what some UFCW members working to get out the vote this election season had to say about the importance of voting:

L23 election 2015“I vote for a better world for all of us. As a gentlemen told me in a grocery store today, we are all about supporting the troops but by not voting we are stepping on the rights they are fighting for on our behalf,” said Will Reynolds Young, UFCW Local 23.

“It’s important for people to vote because elections do affect our lives. The sad fact is that there are candidates who want to destroy our rights and reduce wages because they care more about corporations than the rest of us. If we don’t vote, we’ll lose,” said Abigail Shake, UFCW Local 227, Kroger.

“We have to vote this year because I want to maintain our voice in the workplace. If this election goes the wrong way, Kentucky could easily become a right to work state. If that happens, my family and my friends would all be hurt by it. Voting is our way to fight back to help make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Chawan Morgan, UFCW Local 227, Kroger.

“I’ve been doing everything I can since August to make sure working people vote. There are candidates running this year who are blatantly attacking us and our rights. People need to understand that we can make our lives better by voting and being involved,” said Shajuan Cook, UFCW Local 227, JBS Swift.

“We are stronger in numbers. If more of us vote and understand the issues then we’ll be able to have better lives. If you sit home and don’t vote, you don’t have a voice. It’s scary, but by not voting our wages, benefits, and health care can be put instantly at-risk,” said Sharon Bayens, UFCW Local 227, Kroger.

“I think we all have a stake in this year’s election. Health care, education, and wages in Kentucky are all at-risk if this election goes the wrong way. When I talk to people in the community, I try to make them understand that by working and standing up together we can earn better lives,” said Samantha Cole, UFCW Local 227, Kroger.


#OurWalmartVoices ad campaign to air during first Democratic presidential debate, features voices of real Walmart workers

isaiahWashington, DC — “Making Change at Walmart (MCAW),” the national campaign to change Walmart, announced a new ad campaign called #OurWalmartVoices that will begin airing this Tuesday during the first Democratic presidential debate on CNN.

In a direct effort to reach all the 2016 presidential candidates, the hard-hitting ad campaign will feature the difficult and troubling experiences of a diverse group of current and former Walmart workers. From poor wages and benefits, to decreasing hours and difficult scheduling, the ad campaign highlights the emotional impact that many workers, and their families, face at Walmart and all across the retail industry.

“This is the ad that Walmart doesn’t want you to see, but that the candidates running for president need to see,” said Jess Levin, communications director at MCAW. “These current and former Walmart workers represent the voice of America’s retail workers. They have endured years of low wages, decreased hours, and abuse on the job. We are going to make sure their voices – and the voices of retail workers all across the country – are heard in the 2016 presidential election.”

The first phase of the #OurWalmartVoices ad campaign will feature two 30-second commercials. The first, called “Replaceable,” will highlight the experiences of hard-working retail workers at Walmart. The second, called “Real Change,” specifically calls on the Democratic presidential candidates, as well as the Republican candidates, to stand with them, their families, and workers who are just like them in their effort to change retailers like Walmart for the better.

The ad campaign will first air nationally during the CNN debate and then continue a national run the following two days on CNN. Online, the ad will appear on Facebook and Twitter. In total, the ad will be seen more than 34 million times.

Today’s announcement of the #OurWalmartVoices ad campaign is part of a larger grassroots effort that will also include targeted social media and on-the-ground actions across multiple states, designed to reach Walmart and retail workers all across the country.

As part of this grassroots effort, MCAW will be mobilizing the 1.3 million members of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, as well as members of the OUR Walmart campaign, to help spread the word of this new grassroots initiative within Walmart stores and across communities in key battleground states. The goal of the campaign is to ensure that all candidates, Republican or Democrat, take notice of the struggles of retail workers, and to also highlight these real issues as part of the 2016 race for the White House.

Both ads can be viewed at the HelpChangeWalmart.com, as well as at UFCW.org.


The script for “Replaceable” reads:

(Text) These are the voices of America’s retail workers…

“The executives and management treat us like we’re disposable.”


“They think I’m worthless.”

“That we don’t matter.”

“They cut our benefits.”

“Cut our hours”

“And force us into part-time jobs.”

“And erratic schedules”

(Text) This is life for retail workers in America.

“They get big profits — we get left behind.”

“We get left behind.”

(Text) The time has come for real change.

(Text) HelpChangeWalmart.com

(Text) To be continued…

The script for “Real Change” reads:

“We’re struggling.”

“My schedule is erratic.”

“My hours cut”

“and so are my benefits.”

“We can’t survive on these wages.”

“We need change now!”

“Real change.”

“To improve the lives of millions of workers.”

“To rebuild the middle class”

“Because our families”

“deserve better.”

“So Hillary!”


“And Trump, and Republicans, you too.”

“Are you with us?”

“Are you?”

(Text) For retail workers everywhere, the time has come for real change.

(Text) Join the fight

(Text) HelpChangeWalmart.com








Join With Other Members and Ask the 2016 Presidential Candidates the Tough Questions – #AnswerMyQuestions2016

Dem Debate 2015 Selfie QuestionsIf we want to create a better life for all our members and hard-working families, we need to hold presidential candidates, from both parties, accountable. And, that starts with them answering your tough questions.

So we’re doing something a little different this presidential cycle, and it starts with new effort were calling #AnswerMyQuestion2016.

The goal is really simple.

We want all the 2016 presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican, to answer your questions and those of all of our hard-working members – and there is no better time to ask tough questions than a debate.

So, the first phase of our grassroots social media effort begins with the first Democratic Debate. As you know, this coming Tuesday, October 13th, at 9pm EST, CNN will televise this year’s first Democratic Debate from Las Vegas. The world will be watching to see what Presidential candidates Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee will have to say.

So, our goal, is to pressure the candidates to answer your questions and that is why we need your help. We all know how difficult it today for so many families, but do they have answers on how they will solve the problems that will create a better life for you and your family?

We all want to know, and we need your help to get answers.

Tell us what questions you have for the presidential candidates at this first Democratic debate. Take a video of you holding a sign with your question, or just your picture of your question. Either way, post your submissions at http://ufcw.tumblr.com/. We hope you encourage your friends and co-workers to do the same.

We’ll not only post these questions on our tumblr and ufcw.org, we’ll retweet, repost, and share what you’re saying across social media so we can let these candidates know that your questions matter.

To help spread the word, we hope you’ll post your question on your facebook page or tweet it out. And, if you do remember to use the hashtags #AnswerMyQuestion2016 or #DemDebate. Share it on Instagram too! And, make sure to tag us @ufcw_international)

So join with us. Let’s get our voices heard, and our 2016 questions answered. Because you and every hard-working family deserve to know how those running for President will build a better life for the people we all care about.