101-year-old UFCW Retiree Thanks Joe Hansen for Pension Increase

mary 100 cropMary Tomazi, a UFCW retiree and former employee of Local 655, recently sent a letter to UFCW International President Joe Hansen to thank him for the cost of living increase to her UFCW International Pension Plan.  Ms. Tomazi worked at the Health and Welfare Department at Local 655 for 18 years and retired in 1978.  She celebrated her 101st birthday in March and attends Local 655 meetings every month.  She has been an active member of the Local 655 Retirees’ Club since 1978.

The letter reads:

Dear Sir:

Thank you for my $5.00 raise as of July 1st, 2014.  I retired March 31, 1978 and I go to the Local 655 meeting every month since I retired.

The raises have been very much appreciated.

I was 101 years old March 16, 2014.

Thank you again.

Yours truly,

Mary Tomazi

National Hot Dog Day

ballparkYou might not know about it, but you definitely will love it – today’s National Hot Dog Day! Today people all over the nation are grilling up and chowing down on the all-American staple of summer.

Whether you’re celebrating Hot Dog Day today or sticking to your veggies, you’ll probably indulge in the franks quite often, be it at a baseball game or home with your family. At the UFCW, we think you should couple this American tradition with another one:  supporting American companies who treat their union workers right.

Next time you get a craving for hot dogs, buy American-made and buy union-made: Oscar Meyer, Hormel, Foster Farms, Nathan’s, for a start. Your hot dogs will taste ten times better served up with a side of justice for working people.

If you want to learn more about our members who make the hot dogs you love, go to our UFCW Fairness for Food Workers page.

Former Walmart Associates in Canada Win Justice

The former Walmart in  Jonquière, Quebec which abruptly closed in 2005 after associates unionized.

The former Walmart in Jonquière, Quebec which abruptly closed in 2005 after associates unionized.

Good news for former Walmart associates in Canada was announced last week, as the country’s Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that the company clearly broke Quebec labor laws when it closed a store location in Jonquière without notice, following the decision by the store’s workers to unionize with UFCW Canada.

The decision by the Canada’s highest court reaffirms that the 190 terminated workers deserve to be compensated. UFCW Canada has been working with these fired workers for fair compensation for almost a decade, after the Jonquièr store became the first unionized Walmart in North America back in 2004. During the collective bargaining process, Walmart abruptly announced it would be closing the store–a clear response to the workers who were standing together for a voice on the job.

Now, after several attempts to get justice, the workers have won their case in Canada’s supreme court. The ruling agreed that the law had been broken when the associates’ condition of employment had been changed by Walmart without consent, and that Walmart did not adequately prove the store had been under-performing financially like they had claimed.

Now, the workers will be receiving compensation.

This victory for the former associates reminds us all that no matter how large or successful an employer is, labor laws need to be upheld and when the workers stand up and collectively take action, their voices are heard.