• Background Image

    UFCW Blog

    Community

April 14, 2017

UFCW Local 328 Shop Steward Al Garnett Named a National “Produce Manager Of The Year”

Reposted from UFCW Local 328.org

We would like to congratulate Al Garnett, produce manager at Stop & Shop in Harwich, Massachusetts, for winning the 2017 Retail Produce Manager Award from the United Fresh Produce Association! This prestigious award is granted each year to twenty-five of the industry’s top retail produce managers from across the country and Canada.

This program, which is co-sponsored by Dole Food Co. and is currently in its thirteenth year, recognizes top retail produce managers for their commitment to fresh produce, innovative merchandising, increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, community service and customer satisfaction.

Al talks about his career and why it pays to belong

A first for Stop & Shop

Each year, hundreds of nominations are submitted by supermarket chains and independent retailers from throughout the industry and this marks the first time a produce manager from Stop & Shop has been selected.


A lifelong advocate for his coworkers

Al began his career over twenty-five years ago and has been a UFCW Local 328 shop steward for most of that time. In Harwich, Al is a recognizable face and enjoys building lasting relationships with both customers and co-workers. As a shop steward, Al has been a strong advocate and has taken a proud role in educating his co-workers about the importance of the union and making sure that the contract is enforced.

April 13, 2017

Let’s top 2016’s world record for the “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive!

We know better than anyone how hard UFCW members work to put food on the table for America’s families – and our union family also believes that no hardworking man or woman should struggle alone. Which is why we work hard for those in need, supporting our brothers and sisters at the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the food drive, and we want to make this a year for the history books. We hope to top last year’s Guinness World Record—80 million pounds of food collected for the largest single day food drive in world history. Together, we know we can do it, one bag at a time.

Here’s how:

  1. FILL A BAG with non-perishable food items. (See list below.)
  2. TAKE A PIC AND POST IT! Please Tweet it or put it on Facebook with the hashtag #StampOutHunger – and please tag @UFCW and @NALC.
  3. PUT OUT YOUR BAG on May 13th before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. 

That’s it! It’s so easy – please help us Stamp Out Hunger and put food on shelves in our local food banks.

What to Put in Your Bag 

Fill your UFCW-provided Stamp Out Hunger paper bag with*:

  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Pasta or spaghetti sauce
  • Rice
  • Canned fruits and veggies
  • Canned meals (soup, chili, pasta)
  • 100% juice
  • Peanut butter
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Canned protein (chicken, tuna, turkey)
  • Beans
  • Oatmeal

*NOTE: DO NOT put in frozen food, homemade food, expired food, or home canned items – or anything in glass containers.

March 31, 2017

Women’s History Month: UFCW Women Can and Should Run for Office

“The best way to get policies that benefit working people and our communities is to run for office and serve.”

-Brigid Kelly, UFCW Local 700 representative and Ohio state representative

Brigid Kelly of UFCW Local 75 with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Our hard-working union family is home to many strong women who are active in their communities and leaders on the job.

We’re proud to highlight Brigid Kelly during Women’s History Month. Formerly a staff member at UFCW Local 75 and a city council member, Brigid is now a UFCW Local 700 representative as well as a Ohio state representative. Using the experience she’s gained from both her professional and personal life, Brigid strives to help improve the lives of everyday Ohioans.

For over a decade, Brigid has been fighting for members of the UFCW, their families, and their communities. She works every day for issues like good wages, affordable health care benefits, and safe places to work.

Brigid’s current role as state representative is focused on ensuring that our children are receiving the best education by making investments in local schools, holding corporations accountable for taxpayer investments, and pursuing policies important to families, such as paid sick and family leave.

“We need more union members and more women weighing in on important policies that impact our communities every day,” said Brigid.

Brigid is one of several women from the UFCW who have gone on to serve in public office and work directly on legislation that will provide a better life for hard-working men and women. Brigid believes that “the best way to get policies that benefit working people and our communities is to run for office and serve.”

March 8, 2017

International Women’s Day: UFCW Women Stewards and Role Models

Taralyn Pike (right) poses for a photo with fellow contract action team member, John Ruiz (left), after speaking at a Fight For $15 rally in Richmond in November.

This International Women’s Day, we’d like to recognize the contributions women throughout the UFCW’s history have made to bettering their workplaces and strengthening our union family. One of the many ways women of the UFCW have found a voice and an opportunity to lead is through becoming a steward.

Union stewards are members who make the choice to step up, either by election or appointment, to make sure the contract between the union and the company is followed and that their coworkers are being treated fairly and know their rights. Stewards accompany coworkers at disciplinary meetings and represent their coworkers’ issues as equals with management.

Taralyn Pike, a UFCW Local 400 member who works at Giant, made the decision to become a steward approximately five months ago. After five years at Giant, she’d started to notice “a great deal of unhappiness” at her store. Rather than shrug it off, Taralyn decided she would do something about it.

“I wanted to put myself in a position to bring some happiness into the workplace,” Taralyn said. “Who wants to work in a place where it seems everyone’s out to get you and you don’t feel secure? But now, I feel like my store is a place where we can be happy. The manager and I work together to make sure everyone is on the same page. My team members know they have a shoulder to lean on as well as to cry on.

“As a steward,” she added, “I now have a better understanding about employee rights and how things work. And I’m a better listener than I was before.”

She didn’t stop there. When negotiations over their contract heated up with her employer, she got to work mobilizing other Giant workers in the area and letting them know what was at stake. Now she is busy speaking out in favor of raising the minimum wage in Virginia.

A resident of Arlington and the mother of nine- and 12-year old boys, Taralyn said, “Being a union member means so much. It means we are not alone. There are always people to help you; always someone you can call. And there are ways to get involved outside the store. I can testify that stepping up is always worth it.”

Thank you to all our hardworking women who are out there moving and shaking and making life better for everyone. We hope more working men and women are inspired by your example to step up and make a difference.

March 3, 2017

“Put Your Best Fork Forward” This National Nutrition Month

Spring is just around and the corner, making March the perfect time of year to refocus on eating right, getting healthy, and chasing away those winter blues. We know how hard it can be to balance work with all the demands of your life and still stay focused on your nutrition, but eating healthier foods doesn’t have to be a chore. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing tips with you to make it easier to stay excited and engaged, and help get you on track to a better you and a better life.


Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Plan what you’re going to eat

Before you head for the grocery store, plan your meals and snacks for the week. Review recipes for what ingredients are needed. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list of what you need to buy. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, try checking what’s on sale in the produce and meat departments and look up recipes that feature those ingredients.

When you shop with a list, you will be less likely to buy extra items that are not on it.

Decide how much to make

Making a large batch by doubling a recipe is an easy way to save time in the kitchen and try to stretch your budget even further. Extra portions can be used for lunches or meals later in the week, or freeze leftovers in individual containers for future use on nights when you don’t have time to cook. Plus buying larger quantities of each ingredient can help you save money by taking advantage of cheaper bulk prices.

Shop for foods that are in season

Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to get and may be a lot less expensive. Just remember that some fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last long. Buy small amounts at a time to avoid having to throw away spoiled produce.

Try canned or frozen produce

At certain times of the year, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables may be less expensive than fresh. For canned items, choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label.

Focus on nutritious, low-cost foods

Certain foods tend to be less expensive, so you can make the most of your food dollars by finding recipes that use the following ingredients: beans, peas, and lentils; sweet or white potatoes; eggs; peanut butter; canned salmon, tuna or crabmeat; grains such as oats, brown rice, barley or quinoa; and frozen or canned fruits and vegetables.

Watch portion sizes

Eating too much of even lower cost foods and beverages can add up to extra dollars and calories. Use smaller plates, bowls and glasses to help keep portions under control. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and the other half with whole grains and lean meat, poultry, seafood or beans. This is an easy way to eat a balanced meal while controlling portions and cost. To complete the meal, add a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk or a serving of fat-free yogurt for dessert.

Make your own healthy snacks

Convenience costs money, so many snacks, even healthy ones, usually cost more when sold individually. Make your own snacks by purchasing large tubs of low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese and dividing them into one-cup containers. For trail mix, combine nuts, dried fruit and whole grain pretzels or cereal; store small portions in airtight containers. Air-popped popcorn and whole fresh fruits in season also tend to cost less compared to prepackaged items.

Cook more, eat out less

Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious. Also, convenience foods like frozen dinners, pre-cut vegetables and instant rice or oatmeal will cost you more than if you make them from scratch. Go back to basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your family enjoys.

January 18, 2017

UFCW International President Awarded Highest Honor from AFL-CIO Civil Rights Committee

On Jan. 15, UFCW International President Marc Perrone was presented with an award at the AFL-CIO’s 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil and Human Rights Awards Luncheon and Community Service Weekend.

The theme of the awards this year was “The Struggle Is Free, But the Dream Must Be Televised” to represent the constant battle for civil rights and justice that continues in our country.

At the ceremony, President Perrone was awarded the “At the River I Stand” Award from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for his work towards advancing civil and labor rights, saying “we will tear our borders down brick by ignorant brick.”

The “At the River I Stand” award is the highest honor given by the AFL-CIO Civil and Human Rights Executive Council Committee. The name of the award comes from the historic words used to capture the spirit of the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers during their courageous struggle for workers’ and civil rights.

Alongside his fellow award recipient, USW Vice President Fred Redmond, President Perrone has served as a fearless leader of the Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice, taking action to serve the needs and concerns of their members, and shepherding the Labor Commission report to help union leaders have a better understanding of how racism and racial politics has impacted and continues to shape the labor movement.

Upon accepting his award, President Perrone addressed the attendees, emphasizing that “we must stand together stronger than ever” in our quest for justice.

January 11, 2017

Protecting the rights of all workers

As a hard-working union family, it’s important now more than ever that all members are treated equally and justly, both on the job and in their communities. Formed three year ago, UFCW OUTreach, working with locals like 655, is taking measures to ensure just that, as they have been on the cutting edge safeguarding LGBTQ rights and fighting for workplace protections for transgender members.

Laura Kelley, co-chair of OUTreach and head of the education committee, said that it was thanks to the support of her UFCW Local 655 that they were able to create an important educational program that is now being offered to UFCW locals across the country, to talk about transgender rights and equality. The training has already been immensely helpful to people within our union family who feel they now have the right tools to respectfully talk to and understand workers who identify as transgender, and has given a voice to workers who say they otherwise may not have come out at work.

The training was first put on at The Transgender Spectrum Conference in St. Louis back in November.

“A lack of education isn’t an excuse for intolerance or bigotry,” said Kelley, underlining the need to create an inclusive atmosphere for all workers. “This training is to help us get educated.”

January 3, 2017

UFCW Member uses CPR to save a coworker’s life

What would you do if a coworker had a heart attack on the job?

That’s the situation Sandy Maynor, a UFCW Local 400 member and Giant employee in Washington, D.C., faced when her coworker suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Maynor sprang into action, administering CPR for 10 minutes in a heroic “act of love” until the paramedics arrived.

UFCW member saves coworkers life

Check out the full story.

December 6, 2016

UFCW Local 293 partners to donate $10,000

UFCW Local 293 was featured in The Grand Island Independent newspaper yesterday for their great work spreading holiday cheer and goodwill in the Grand Island area of Nebraska. Once again, our brothers and sisters at Local 293 are showing the rest of the country what partnership done right looks like:

Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 293 and the JBS beef packing plant presented a check for $10,000 Monday to six local programs that serve the Grand Island area during the holidays and year-round.

No one should go hungry during the holidays and every kid ought to have a toy. Terry Mostek, UFCW Local 293

The recipients were the Hero Flight program, Central Nebraska Humane Society, Christmas Cheer, the Salvation Army, Head Start Child and Family Development and Toys for Tots.

“No one should go hungry during the holidays and every kid ought to have a toy,” said Terry Mostek of UFCW Local 293.

Mostek, who has been coordinating the donations for 10 years, said this year they added the Hero Flight program, which give veterans an opportunity to visit memorials in Washington, D.C. They are currently raising funds for their next flight of Vietnam vets to the nation’s capitol, scheduled for the spring of 2017.

Don Shuda, Hall County veterans service officer and representing the Hero Flight program, said the donation will make it a reality for one Hall County Vietnam veteran to make the trip next year.

“Thank you,” Laurie Dethloff, CEO of the Central Nebraska Humane Society, said in response to the donation. “It makes a world of difference to us.”

Dethloff said the donation is especially needed this time of year for the many dogs and cats the society takes in during the holiday season. Dethloff said some people abandon their older pets, which puts additional pressure of the humane society resources.

Ammie Joyce, who represented Head Start at the ceremony, said the money it’s receiving will be used to fill food boxes for families during the holidays.

Major Chuck Yockey of the Salvation Army said its funds will be used to supply its food pantry for the holiday season.

Don Smith, representing the Christmas Cheer program, said the money will go to help feed needy families during the holiday season. Christmas Cheer helps families by giving out food vouchers at Christmas. In its 106th year, last year Christmas Cheer provided vouchers to 1,009 families and 3,479 individuals.

Heartland United Way operates the Toys for Tots program. Toys are given to kids age 12 and younger. The program serves about 2,000 kids each year.

To help the Heartland United Way with its programs or help organizations supported by the United Way, visit www.heartlandunitedway.org or call (308) 384-3178.

If you have stories of how UFCW members in your area are helping out in the community, email us at submissions@ufcw.org.

partnerships

November 3, 2016

Local 648 Sponsors Prop 47 Clinic

local-648-prop-47-event

On Oct. 22, UFCW Local 648, in partnership with Californians for Safety and Justice and the San Francisco Labor Council, hosted a Proposition 47 Live Scan, record change and job fair clinic in San Francisco to help people with prior nonviolent felonies to petition to get their records changed.

At the event, attorneys volunteered their time and met with each attendee, one on one. The San Francisco Labor Council, City College of San Francisco, Up Vote and the San Francisco Airport Office of Employment all had informational booths, as well. Union members that attended the Proposition 47 Live Scan event and attorney meetings said they were thankful for the opportunity to change their records and move forward with their lives.

In November 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, a measure that reduces certain low-level crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors. The savings from reduced incarceration costs are invested in drug and mental health treatment, programs for at-risk students in K-12 schools, and victim services. Over one million Californians quality for Proposition 47, but only about 250,000 people have petitioned to have their records changed. Proposition 47 was due to sunset in November 2017, but Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 2757 to extend the time to petition for another five years.

The UFCW has partnered with a number of local and national organizations in an effort to bring to light the issues that are plaguing our communities and transform the criminal justice system.

local-648-prop-47-event2UFCW International Vice President and Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department Robin Williams believes restorative rights are especially important for workers. “When you get out of jail, how do you take care of your family if you can’t get a job?” Williams said.

Together with our allies, the UFCW is dedicated to shifting the focus away from punishment and toward educational opportunities that help people change their lives and get back on track.