UFCW Stewards


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.


# # #

 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.

Shop Stewards Say Kroger: “End Anti-Worker & Anti-Union Messages to New Marketplace Store Employees”

Via Local 400

On Tuesday May 13, 2014 Richmond/Tidewater Kroger Shop Stewards in Virginia held a seminar to learn more about strengthening the power of our union through new member sign up, engaging members in the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations this summer, and the importance of organizing the new employees at the Kroger Marketplace stores by taking direct action at a Richmond area Kroger Marketplace.

kroger strong“The power of the union is in you all, its members,” said Local 400 President Mark Federici. “The power only arrives when you all stick together and show the number one food retailer in the country that you deserve to share in their successes.”

Despite the afternoon’s steamy temperatures, two bus loads of Kroger shop stewards from both Local 400 and Local 23 in Pittsburgh, Penn., alongside faith leaders, community allies and other supporters headed to Kroger Marketplace store 519 in Henrico, Va. to show solidarity, talk with customers, and deliver a letter to management. The letter demanded an end to the anti-worker and anti-union messages the management is circulating on behalf of Kroger. It brought home the point that joining our union is a decision the employees should be allowed to make together in an influence-free and intimidation-free work environment.

The group of about 150 activists sporting “Solidarity with Virginia Kroger Workers” t-shirts and buttons, marched and chanted, “we are Kroger strong, we are union strong” and “we are the union, the mighty mighty union!” to the beat Local 23′s drum line in front of the store. Check out the photos here!  At the same time, a delegation of Local 400 President Mark Federici, Local 23 President Tony Helfer, Kroger stewards and Richmond area faith leaders went into the store to hand-deliver the letter and talk to employees. To see how management received the letter be sure to visit Local 400′s website here.