UFCW Stewards

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Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: UFCW Steward Idalid Guerrero

It’s now the third week of Hispanic Heritage Month, and we’re celebrating by showcasing the story of a UFCW steward named Idalid Guerrero. Read her story about making a difference in one’s union and community, below:

Idalid GuerreroUFCW stewards play a special role in their plants. They are leaders who protect their co-workers and ensure that our plants and workplaces are safe, everyone is treated with respect, and our jobs stay good jobs. Stewards are also not just leaders in our plants, though. Stewards also play important roles in our communities.

Many stewards take their leadership skills and apply them to fight for people and causes that extend outside the plants. As part of the UFCW union, stewards know workers have strength in numbers and a voice on the job. Because stewards and union workers are united and have a strong voice, they can take our numbers and voices beyond the plants to help fight for those who do not have one.

As a UFCW steward, you are part of a proud tradition of fighting for issues important to workers and working families. From fighting to raise the minimum wage, to combating right-to-work legislation, to pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, stewards use their union voices to fight for all working people.

“As stewards, we know that we are there to be leaders and to help solve problems for our co-workers in our plants. But there are also problems for those who work outside of our plants. They need help too,” said Idalid Guerrero, steward at the Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant in Lufkin Texas, and UFCW Local 540 member. “Getting involved in campaigns and actions outside of the plant gives us a chance to help other workers who might be afraid to speak up for change or might not have a voice on the job. With the support of our union, we can be their voice and bring attention to important issues for all workers.”

Last year, Guerrero joined other UFCW Pilgrim’s Pride workers from across the country in a national lobby day in Washington, D.C. Guerrero and her co-workers met with U.S. representatives and senators and asked them to raise the standards for workers in the poultry industry. “It was a great opportunity to meet other Pilgrim’s Pride workers and share our stories about the nature of our jobs, and how the industry impacts our families, and communities. It was an opportunity for us to come together as union workers and let our political leaders know we have a voice. We are fighting not just for Pilgrim’s Pride workers, but for poultry workers all across America,” Guerrero continued.

Guerrero also participated in a protest held outside of the U.S. Capitol in response to House Republican leaders failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. She and other UFCW stewards and activists joined thousands of people from across the country to march in Washington, D.C. She was just one of the many arrested in an action of civil disobedience to draw attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform. “I went to Washington as both a worker and a mother. We deserve reform that is humane and just and keeps families together. I was arrested in solidarity with all immigrants who are calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

UFCW stewards are leaders who stand together to protect workers in their plants and also across the country. To become involved in issues important to workers contact your local union representative or your legislative & political representative (LPR).

“Getting involved in campaigns and actions outside of the plant gives us a chance to help other workers who might be afraid to speak up for change or might not have a voice on the job. With the support of our union, we can be their voice and bring attention to important issues for all workers.”–Idalid Guerrero, UFCW Local 540 member and Pilgrim’s Pride plant steward, Lufkin Texas

Union Plus Job Loss Grant Helps UFCW Member Start Fresh

Former UFCW member Karyn Neeley

Former UFCW member Karyn Neeley

Losing a job can happen to the best of us. The challenge is to maintain your strength, your determination, your resiliency and of course your union values. Karyn Neeley of Rosamond, Calif., and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1036, is making it through a tough time with her head held high and her values intact—with help from a $300 Union Plus Job Loss Grant.

Karyn spent 11 good years in UFCW, working as a meat and seafood manager and even representing her local as a steward and a vice-president. In the time since then, she’s done other work, including in the banking industry. But she’s kept her union card, as well as her Union Plus Credit Card—and that was the key to receiving her Job Loss Grant.

The Union Plus Credit Card program is uniquely designed to meet the needs of hard-working union members and their families with competitive rates, U.S.-based customer service and more.

In addition, it’s the only credit card that offers exclusive assistance programs1 to help UFCW members and their families who are facing hardship. One of those assistance programs is the Job Loss Grants of $300 for those who have carried the card for three months or more and who meet the other eligibility requirements.

“I’ve carried a Union Plus Credit Card for many years,” Karyn says. “I was opening my bill one day and in the statement there was some information about Job Loss Grants. I thought, you know what, let me try it.”

Karyn completed and submitted the application along with the other documentation required to consider her grant request. Her application was approved and soon thereafter she received her $300 check. “It was wonderful getting the Union Plus Job Loss Grant when I needed it,” she says. “I used it to pay some bills.”

These days Karyn is ready to get back into the workforce. She’s considering a number of options, including putting her training as a licensed cosmetologist to work. But if she could find the right opportunity in a supermarket, she’d jump at the chance to be in a UFCW workplace once again.

“After all my years in UFCW I know what a difference having union pay and benefits can make,” she says, “including the opportunity to carry a Union Plus Credit Card.”

Do you carry a Union Plus Credit Card? It features Disability, Job Loss, Strike and Hospital Grants for eligible cardholders1. It also features a competitive rate and all customer service calls answered in the U.S. You can learn more by visiting UFCWcard.com.

At UnionPlus.org you can learn more about these programs, as well as special services that are available to all union members and retirees.

 

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 1Certain restrictions, limitations, and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at UnionPlus.org/Assistance.

 Credit approval required. Terms & Conditions apply. Union Plus Credit Cards issued by Capital One, N.A.

 

Tyson Poultry Plant Sanitation Workers Join the RWDSU

Sanitation workers at a Tyson poultry plant came together to join RWDSU Southeast Council to have a union voice like the RWDSU members who currently process poultry in the same plant.

Sanitation workers at a Tyson poultry plant came together to join RWDSU Southeast Council to have a union voice like the RWDSU members who currently process poultry in the same plant.

More than 30 QSI Contract Sanitation workers came together for a union voice on the job and voted to join the RWDSU Southeast Council. The workers in Buena Vista, Georgia, work sanitation inside a Tyson poultry plant. Workers at QSI Contract Sanitation say they needed a voice on the job to address the lack of a grievance procedure and improve their jobs at the plant.

“Every one of us voted to join the RWDSU. We are looking forward to seeing improved working conditions and higher wages in the near future,” said Leon Burke, a five-year employee at QSI.

The poultry processing workers at the Tyson plant are already members of the RWDSU and played a critical role in assisting QSI Contract Sanitation workers win a union voice. After speaking with their RWDSU co-workers, QSI workers realized the only way they could resolve the lack of a grievance procedure and improve their jobs was by joining a union and negotiating a union contract.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of the RWDSU Tyson steward leadership and members,” Burke continued.