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UFCW President Perrone Statement on the Equality Act

“No one should be fired or discriminated against because of who they are or love.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in pridesupport of the introduction of the Equality Act.

“Workers across America go to work every day in fear that they will be fired for simply being who they are. From state to state, LGBTQ workers do not have the adequate protections from being discriminated against or from losing their jobs because of who they love or because of their gender identity or expression.

“The Equality Act takes meaningful steps towards ensuring better protections for LGBTQ workers and families. The fact that so many workers continue to face discrimination at their workplace, often with little recourse, demonstrates that we must continue working towards building the better America each and every one of us deserves.

“Currently union contracts are often the only protection LGBTQ workers and their families have to combat discrimination. Our UFCW family strongly supports full equality for LGBTQ people both at home and on the job. We support the basic right for everyone to have employment opportunities and to keep their job regardless sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

“Our legislators should follow the path that labor has set for LGBTQ equality and protections. For the better America we all believe in, I urge Congress to pass the Equality Act.”

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UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Executive Vice President Esther López on “Fulfilling America’s Promise for Immigrants”

DSC_0116Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, an op-ed penned by UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Executive Vice President Esther López was published in The Hill. Titled “Fulfilling America’s Promise for Immigrants,” the piece talks about the urgent need to reform our broken immigration system. You can read the full text of the op-ed below:

“For most, the Fourth of July is about celebrating America. It’s a day to spend with family, enjoy great food and fireworks. For immigrant workers, their families and communities, the Fourth of July is about celebrating the promise of America. It is about a getting a fair shot and realizing the American dream, the same dream that has motivated so many to take unimaginable risks to become part of our great country.

From Albert Einstein to Mother Jones, immigrant workers from all over the world have contributed to the social fabric of America and made this country what it is. Yet the newest generation of immigrants continues to wait for our elected officials to wake up, do what’s right and provide the protection they desperately need to contribute their share. President Obama’s executive action on immigration was one small step forward, but it was only a minimal response to a real crisis that has only grown under his watch. Republican Congressional leaders have refused to hear the calls for change and remain fixated on broken policies and political rhetoric that only serve to perpetuate this crisis.

The fact is the American people, immigrants and their families deserve much better than the deafening silence of our elected officials or the feigns of exasperation that nothing more can be done.
Looking ahead, the 2016 presidential elections offer all of us a real opportunity to change the narrative and discourse of inaction surrounding immigration. It offers us a chance to question our leaders, especially those running for president, on where they stand. Do they truly believe granting hard-working aspiring Americans temporary relief is enough? What are their specific policies that will give real hope to millions of immigrant workers and their families? Will they publicly commit to solving this issue within their first hundred days or not? For the sake of millions of families, we must be willing to demand real and substantive answers to these questions now.

As potential presidential candidates continue to stake out their position on immigration and immigration reform, the stakes have never been higher for hard-working families to demand more from each of them — regardless of party. Millions of aspiring Americans remain in limbo and in danger of deportation because of our outdated immigration policies and the politicians that turn a blind eye to exploitative labor practices that drive down wages, benefits and working conditions for all workers.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) has seen firsthand the devastation caused by our broken immigration system. From Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in meatpacking plants to the endless threat of deportation, immigrant communities across the United States have suffered from an ideology of indifference that has pervaded our political system. This must change, and it must change now.

Working together to achieve real reform, we can empower all workers to chase the American dream; but we can’t do so if elected leaders continue to ignore this issue. Creating the better America we believe in demands that our leaders embrace the solemn responsibility they have to fulfill America’s amazing immigrant promise. Comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship is one bold step in making the American dream a reality and fulfilling America’s immigrant promise. This July 4, let us declare our independence from political indifference and demand our elected leaders, and especially those running for president, live up to a higher standard of leadership. Let us solve this problem now, not later. Because when we do, millions of families and this nation will be better because of it.”

UFCW Statement on Obergefell v. Hodges

Supreme Court Rainbow Pillar_FINALWASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“Today, marriage equality is finally the law of the land. This decision secures equality and dignity for every family in all fifty states. Our UFCW family strongly supports full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people – not just the right of all people to marry the person they love, but also equal rights when it comes to employment and immigration policies. It is a historic victory that was simply unimaginable just two decades ago.

While we are celebrating today, it’s worth remembering that there is still a lot of work to be done before LGBT people have full equality under the law. In a majority of states, there is nothing to prevent a worker from being discriminated against or fired simply because of who they love, or because of their gender identity or expression. And LGBT workers’ partners and families can be unfairly excluded from workplace policies and benefits like health coverage or family leave.

A UFCW union contract is often the only protection LGBT workers and their families have from these indignities. The UFCW is proud to play a part in the growing momentum towards equality – from bargaining union contracts that recognize LGBT workers and their families, to fighting for change at the state level, to marching in solidarity at pride parades and celebrations in towns across America.”