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UFCW Region 1 and Local 359 Stand in Solidarity with Citra Mina Seafood Workers

On July 8th, Region 1 & Local 359 members attended a solidarity action for 78 Citra Mina Workers who are seeking justice.

These seafood workers were fired from the General Santos plant in the Philippines, where the company is based, after they attempted to organize and form a union to demand better pay and working conditions.

They have now  been fighting for over six months to be reinstated and get the respect they deserve from their employer. They are staying strong for their families who so desperately need the income from these jobs.

Citra Mina is one of the world’s leading sellers of fresh, frozen, and value added tuna and other seafood products. The United States is one of the company’s largest customers, with much of its product coming into the country via Fulton’s Fish Market in New York, which is staffed by UFCW Local 359 members. Outraged when they heard the story of the Citra Mina workers, the workers at Fulton’s Fish market acted to show their support. Demanding the Citra Mina workers be allowed back to work and that their union be recognized, the union members signed and displayed a poster inside their market and pledged to undertake every possible solidarity action to press Citra Mina to respect their workers rights.

With the support of UFCW locals, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), and other labor groups, these workers have a chance at standing up to Citra Mina and showing them that together, they cannot be silenced.

 

Some of the 78 fired Citra Mina seafood workers, calling for a stop to their employer's union busting practices.

Some of the 78 fired Citra Mina seafood workers, calling for a stop to their employer’s union busting practices.

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Local 359 members at Fulton’s Fish Market showing support for the Citra Mina 78

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Schedules That Work Act

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International President of the UFCW, today released the following statement regarding introduction of the Schedules That Work Act.

“If you ask a worker in the retail industry what improvements can be made to their job, the response is likely to include scheduling. Fair, flexible, and reliable scheduling is a simple way to ensure workers are treated with dignity and respect. In a perfect world, employers would view workers as human beings with competing life demands rather than numbers on a balance sheet. But in reality, scheduling is more erratic than ever.

“The Schedules That Work Act would provide workers modest safeguards and begin to curb the most abusive scheduling practices. This includes a presumption that workers who need a schedule change due to child care, school, a second job, or medical needs will receive that change unless there is a bona fide business reason not to. The legislation also provides retail workers advance notice of their schedules and guarantees minimum pay when they are sent home from work before completing their entire shift.

“This legislation would ensure all workers have the rights fought for and won by UFCW members for decades.  Our contracts have long guaranteed predictable and adequate scheduling. The law of the land should do the same. I urge Congress to pass the Schedules That Work Act as soon as possible.”

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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

Sodexo Workers at Texas Christian University Ratify First Union Contract with Local 1000

sodexoOn July 15, over 150 Sodexo USA campus food workers at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas, voted unanimously to ratify their first union contract with UFCW Local 1000. The contract is a victory for the workers and guarantees new wage increases, job security, seniority rights, vacation and sick pay and other union protections, and also restores many of the benefits cut by the company last year. The workers approached UFCW Local 1000 earlier this year with complaints of severe cuts to their benefits, vacations, and hourly schedules, which prompted their desire to form a union.

“It was so inspiring to see these workers bargain their first contract,” UFCW Local 1000 Secretary-Treasurer Casey Williams said. “It was an honor to sit down next to them at the negotiating table and fight for their seniority, vacations, and raises.”

“The UFCW did a great job,” said Roy Papajohn, a Sodexo worker and UFCW negotiating committeeman. “The talks were civil and professional. It was a learning experience…both sides were tough in the bargaining, but we were able to find middle ground on areas of disagreement. I feel we reached a fair agreement and TCU workers are happy with the final outcome.”

Sodexo is a French food services and facilities management multinational corporation with U.S. headquarters in Maryland.