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SCOTUS Ruling on DACA and DAPA: Justice Delayed Once Again for Immigrant Workers

Court ruling on anti-immigrant lawsuit points to the need for comprehensive immigration reform, says Union President

ScotusDAPA_0122Washington, D.C. – As the Supreme Court suspends President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest private sector labor union, released the following statement:

“Immigrant workers are by far the most likely group to face gross exploitation on the job and we all know that when one worksite is dangerous, the standards for working people everywhere get worse,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Today’s decision means thousands of hard-working men and women will have to continue living inside a broken immigration system that forces them all towards an uncertain future.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling maintains the legal standoff that has kept the administration from implementing a deferred action program that would allow certain undocumented Americans to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation. These executive actions, however limited, would have provided immigration relief for over five million undocumented workers.

BACKGROUND:

  • Through the Union Citizenship Action Network (UCAN), the UFCW provides union members and staff the critical tools needed to go through the naturalization process and become U.S. citizens and to navigate deferred action immigration programs.
  • Over 630 UFCW members have become U.S. citizens, saving them over $1.3 million in fees related to the naturalization process.
  • Over 60 UFCW members have become DACA recipients and over 40 members have received other immigration assistance.
  • The UFCW has trained over 1,000 volunteers, including UFCW members, local union staff, community volunteers, school teachers, and members of other unions on the requirements for naturalization and deferred action immigration programs.

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UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW www.ufcw.org

As the Equal Pay Act Turns 53, More Needs to Be Done to Address the Gender Pay Gap

fb-2058-teal-textOn June 10, 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. “This act represents many years of effort by labor, management, and several private organizations not associated with labor or management, to call attention to the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job. This measure adds to our laws another structure basic to democracy. It will add protection at the working place to women, the same rights at the working place in a sense that they have enjoyed at the polling place,” President Kennedy said.

It’s been 53 years since the Equal Pay Act was signed and women are still waiting for the law to live up to its name. In the U.S., women are paid approximately 79 percent of what men are paid, and for women of color, the wage gap is even larger. According a recent report by the American Association of University Women, Hispanic and Latina women earned just 54 percent of what white men earned. African American women earned 63 percent and American Indian and Alaska Native women earned 59 percent. At its current rate of change, the gender pay gap will not close until 2059. Until that happens, a woman working a full-time, year-round job will earn $10,800 less per year than a man in the exact same role—adding up to nearly a half million dollars over a career.

Although President Obama’s Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 makes it easier for women to take legal action against employers for pay discrimination, the Paycheck Fairness Bill, which require employers to show that wage gaps between men and women are based on factors other than gender, has been stalled in Senate and House committees since last year.

Fortunately, there is a way for women to find a level playing field that doesn’t require an act of Congress – a union contract.

A union contract offers a way to give women both equal pay and an equal say in their workplace. Union membership boosts wages for all workers—but women experience especially large advantages. The wage gap among union members is less than half the size of the wage gap among nonunion workers, and female union members typically earn over $230 more per week than women who are not represented by unions—a larger wage premium than men receive.

We’re proud that UFCW members all across America are covered by negotiated contracts that guarantee hard-working women are provided with the equal pay that they have earned and deserve.

 

MCAW and UFCW OUTreach Respond to Walmart’s Silence on Bathroom Incident in Connecticut

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Last week, Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) and UFCW OUTreach issued the following statement in response to reports that a Connecticut woman, who had just donated her hair to a cancer charity, was harassed in a Walmart bathroom by someone who mistook her as transgender:

“Across the country, stores are proudly showing their support for the transgender community by either providing unisex bathrooms or by publicly announcing that transgender people are free to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Yet, Walmart has not followed suit. Their silence is not only callous, it is dangerous. It allows bigotry, like the incident in Connecticut, to get a free pass. As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart has a responsibility to make sure all customers and employees, no matter their race, sex, religion, sexuality, or gender identity, feel welcome and safe in their stores.”