Community Partnerships


“Give Back Friday” is First in Series of Holiday Actions to Help Support Workers

Give Back FridayYesterday, the UFCW and Making Change at Walmart officially released a series of holiday actions against Walmart, beginning with a call to action during the week leading up to Black Friday called the “Give Back Friday” initiative.

Give Back Friday is all about helping the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Walmart employees who are paid so poorly that they must rely on assistance from food banks and use food stamps. During this entire Black Friday week, Making Change at Walmart, our progressive partners, and countless other organizations will be hosting food drives in cities across the country the week leading up to Black Friday with a goal to feed 100,000 Walmart workers and families though the holidays.

Locals Unions are asked to share and sign the pledge to donate to a food drive or a food bank in their area. By working together, we can help Walmart workers and their families.


Help us feed 100,000 Walmart workers and families and make sure to post about it using the hashtag #GiveBackFriday and #feedhungryworkers.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of over 100,000 families because no one in America, especially the men and women who work for one of the richest companies in the world, should have go to hungry this Thanksgiving and through the holidays.

UFCW Local 653 Ends Picket of Grocery Store with News of New Union Buyer

653 WomenUFCW Local 653’s picket line at the Glen Lake Market in Minnesota ended with the news that the store is being bought by union grocer Lunds & Byerlys. UFCW Local 653 has a long-standing good relationship with Lunds & Byerlys and workers at the store will have a union voice on the job.

The pickets first went up in June 2015 outside of the two grocery stores, Glen Lake Market and Victoria Market. Both sites formerly operated as Fresh Seasons Markets. When Fresh Seasons Markets in Victoria and Glen Lake, Minnesota, closed a year ago, owner Tom Wartman failed to pay his employees the vacation and personal-holiday pay they had earned. Now, the stores in Victoria and Glen Lake have reopened under slightly changed names and the former Fresh Seasons workers are still not getting paid what they’re owed. Wartman is still profiting from the buildings he owns.

While the picketing at the Glen Lake store has ended, the picket outside the Victoria Market store continues. Wartman still has yet to make good on the unpaid vacation and holiday pay and the the unfunded pension liability. “We will continue picketing at Victoria’s Market. This is good news, but it doesn’t make any of the rest go away,” said UFCW Local 653 President Matt Utecht.

Along with picket lines, workers from UFCW Local 653 took their fight online to tell the public their stories in an effort to convince Wartman and Fresh Seasons to do the right thing. They also launched a website and took out newspaper ads to encourage the community to support them.

Community Allies Across Several States Rally to “Change Price Rite for the Better”

Price Rite Group BannerOn October 15 and 16, UFCW, Jobs With Justice, and community partners from across Conn., N.Y., Mass., R.I., and Md., rallied to take aim at Wakefern Food Corporation’s Price Rite grocery store brand as part of the “Change Price Rite Supermarkets for the Better” campaign.

The Price Rite campaign is part of a national and regional effort of communities coming together and fighting to improve the lives of workers by highlighting irresponsible employers who must take action to change the lives of the hard-working employees for the better. The “Change Price Rite for the Better” campaign will continue Thursday with public actions across four states, and will involve hundreds of local community leaders and partners from the UFCW, Jobs With Justice, local clergy, and local retail workers.

“Companies like Price Rite are hurting hard-working families with low wages, a lack of benefits, and inadequate schedules that make it impossible for many employees to control their lives or take care of the ones they love. We have the power to change Price Rite into a better and more responsible employer. Our supporters, and Jobs With Justice, and other community leaders are speaking out and telling Price Rite and Wakefern that all hard-working men and women in communities across America deserve a better life,” said Tom Clarke, UFCW Region 1 Director.

Clergy deliver PR letterThe “Change Price Rite for the Better” campaign is continuing with a series of coordinated public actions, as well as a targeted social media effort, that will reach out to educate and mobilize communities to support Price Rite employees’ efforts to better their lives. During this week’s actions, the UFCW, Jobs With Justice, clergy, and other allies are holding rallies outside of Price Rite stores. A delegation made up of representatives from each group is coming together to sign and deliver a letter to Price Rite management, calling on the company to “do what is right” and provide better wages, better benefits, and better scheduling that Price Rite workers deserve.

At the Rhode Island rally on Friday the 16th, about 90 people showed up to support the workers, including AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Rhode Island Jobs with Justice Executive Director Jesse Strecker. The delegation of supporters carried their message into the store, where they were stopped by corporate management.

“Price Rite needs to become a better employer and do what is right for workers. I work hard every day to try to have a better life for me and my family. But with constant schedule changes and low wages, Price Rite makes it almost impossible. Together, we are asking Price Rite to do the right thing and provide the schedules and wages that we deserve,” said a current Price Rite worker.

Kennedy Chief of StaffPrice Rite runs 58 stores across eight states and employs thousands of hard-working men and women. Among the issues affecting many of the workers in the area are low wages, inconsistent scheduling, unpaid sick leave, and other poor employment practices proliferated by stores like Price Rite. These policies hurt employees, families and communities.

The campaign to “Change Price Rite for the Better” is part of regional and national effort to highlight the need for retail companies, like Price Rite, to pay their hard-working employees better wages, provide better benefits and offer consistent scheduling, and respect on the job.