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Southern California Locals Unite To Support Food 4 Less Grocery Workers

Workers at Southern California Food 4 Less locations from UFCW Locals 1428, 770, 135, 1167, 324, 1442, and 8GS all came together in a strong show of solidarity last week for a fair contract.

Customers standing in support of Food 4 Less workers at Local 770's action.

Kroger, the parent company of Food 4 Less and Ralph’s, has been treating its Food 4 Less employees worse than those at Ralph’s, and when they went into negotiations with workers on June 19th, they offered nothing but takeaways.

Not willing to stand for unfair treatment, on June 26th a majority of members from the local unions voted overwhelmingly to strike should one become necessary. But after returning to the bargaining table on July 2nd, Kroger’s offer was no better.

So this week, on Wednesday July 9th, members and workers from each of the Food 4 Less locals came out in full force to hold actions at dozens of Food 4 Less stores across southern California. There, they asked customers and community members to stand with them in their fight for a fair contract, and were met with an outpouring  of positive feedback.

UFCW members collected signatures from customers pledging their support for the workers, passed out information, and proudly wore their solidarity buttons at the actions.

At one of the actions attended by members of Local 1428, workers from non-unionized retailers like Big Lots and Lowry’s came out to support the workers, and talked about how they wished they had union representation at their workplaces.

The locals will return to the bargaining table again within the next few weeks, strong and united.

An assistant manager at Big Lots signs a petition in support of Food 4 Less workers at the Local 1428 action.

A Food 4 Less worker wears her "Hard Work Fair Pay" button.

Passing out info about a fair contract to customers and community members.

Port Truck Drivers Need Your Help!

Picket Power MemeToday, the nation’s port truck drivers are on strike, standing up and sticking together to put an end to sweatshop-like conditions and harassment at work.

These port truck drivers are bravely putting themselves out there to stop such treatment–happening right here in America. But they need our help.

Workers like Dennis Martinez and Byron Contreras, on strike at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long beach, are two of the many who handle more than 40% of the clothing, food, medicine, and other important goods that the U.S. imports from overseas, that comes in  through these ports.

The truckers on strike have vowed to continue striking until the abuses they suffer at work are stopped. They are no longer willing to stay silent while being stripped of basic civil rights at work, made possible due to an illegal misclassification scam that their employers and powerful big business interests have schemed up.

What exactly does that mean? Well, the drivers have to pay their employers to work. Trucking companies deduct all of their expenses from the truckers’ paychecks, including the cost of fuel, insurance, truck lease, and maintenance. The employers are even charging them to park their trucks at their own truck yard!

While all of this is going on, giant retailers like Walmart continue getting richer off of the hard work of these port truck drivers.  Without the drivers, big box stores and other retailers wouldn’t have any merchandise in their stores. So why are they being mistreated so badly?

Emboldened by their fellow workers at Walmart and Fast Food restaurants around the country who have stood up for their rights, the port truck drivers have joined the movement, even in the face of death threats and firings. Federal and state authorities have also called out the trucking companies, issuing formal complaints about wage theft and other mistreatment, but the companies continue to break the law.

This is in fact the fourth time in 11 months that the drivers have gone on strike. They continue to do so in order to give their families a better life, and improve the working environment for thousands of truckers across the United States, who keep our country and economy rolling.

These brave workers need financial support to make up for wages that they aren’t earning while on strike. They’re risking everything to make our country a more fair and just place and could use our help.

Please help your brothers and sisters by watching this video and contributing to the Justice for Port Drivers Hardship Fund. All donations will go to support port drivers like Byron and Denniswho are on the front lines of the strike.

Contributions can be made to Labor Community Services AFL-CIO, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) the port campaign has an agreement with to hold and properly distribute funds that is affiliated with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Contributions to the Port Drivers Hardship Fund can be made in one of two ways:

  • Contribute online via PayPal at www.laborcommunityservicesla.org, or
  • Mail a check made out to “Labor Community Services” and include “Justice for Port Drivers Hardship Fund” in the memo. Please mail checks to:

Labor Community Services AFL-CIO

2130 W. James M. Wood Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90006

ATTN: Justice for Port Drivers Hardship Fund

Local 400 Joins Community, Other Labor Groups at AFL-CIO Citizenship Clinic to Help Those with Greencards Become Citizens

Rosa, a Local 400 organizer, helps a green card holder apply for citizenship.

Rosa, a Local 400 organizer, helps a green card holder apply for citizenship.

On Saturday, June 28th, Local 400 joined other labor and immigration groups and community organizers such as DC Labor and Working America at the AFL-CIO’s international headquarters in Washington, D.C. to put on a workshop that assisted green card-holders in applying for citizenship.

The workshop was designed for workers who are legal permanent residents eligible for citizenship as well as young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as kids who want to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA.  Attendees were given information on how to apply and volunteers and lawyers assisted them as they filled out the correct paperwork.

The event was put on as part of an ongoing effort to move immigration reform forward–legislation for which has been stalled in the House ever since passing in the Senate over a year ago.

Some green card holders don’t apply for citizenship when they become eligible, and may eventually face deportation. But for many,  becoming a citizen means that they can more actively participate in their communities, their union, and their democracy. Citizenship enables immigrants to have a stronger voice, whether its through voting, speaking out for workplace rights, or being able to stand up for a living wage.

The AFL-CIO’s executive vice president Tefere Gebre, a naturalized citizen himself, said the group hopes to educate immigrants about the benefits of being citizens.