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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.”

July 5, 2016

MCAW Calls on Walmart to Withdraw Support of the 2016 Republican National Convention

Walmart Protest at Trump Tower

On June 23, Making Change at Walmart (MCAW), along with The Black Institute, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, and ColorOfChange.org, sent a letter to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon that calls on the retail giant to withdraw its sponsorship of the 2016 Republican National Convention due to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s history of racist, misogynistic, anti-veteran, and Islamophobic remarks. A full copy of the letter can be viewed here.

“Walmart cannot afford to stay silent when it comes to Donald Trump,” said Jess Levin, communications director at MCAW. “Throughout his presidential campaign, he has managed to offend men and women of all races and religions and across the political spectrum with his racist, misogynistic, anti-veteran and Islamophobic statements. These are Walmart customers and Walmart employees. Walmart needs to send a message that it will not support bigotry, and join the growing list of companies who are refusing to sponsor this year’s Republican National Convention.”

MCAW has launched an online petition where supporters can sign on to the letter. To date, over 10,000 supporters have signed the petition.

June 26, 2015

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.”

March 31, 2015

UFCW President Perrone in Response to Governor Pence: Fully Repeal Indiana’s Discriminatory Law

16770_752833021496094_6582326965493961549_nWASHINGTON, D.C.Marc Perrone, International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), called for a full repeal of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in response to Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s press conference where he offered to fix the law without providing specifics.

“This law is not about freedom, it purposely legislates discrimination and division. It is anti-American, anti-family, and anti-worker. It is a law that cruelly targets men and women, and their families, simply because of who they are. It is fundamentally wrong, it does not belong in Indiana or any state in America, and it must be repealed.

To be clear, as we decide where to take our future business—from annual conferences to the UFCW 2018 International Convention—we will not consider Indiana unless it fully repeals this discriminatory law. We urge every union, every American, and every business and employer, large and small, to join with the millions of Americans who have already spoken out against this needless and terrible law.

For the better America we all believe in, this law must be scrapped.”

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June 17, 2014

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Executive Order Protecting LGBT Workers from Discrimination

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C. — Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to reports that President Obama plans to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Denying someone a job or a promotion because of who they are runs counter to the American values of equality and opportunity. Yet in more than half of all states, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) workers can be targeted based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“An executive order banning federal contractors from this type of discrimination is a step in the right direction and could benefit as many as 16 million workers. But tens of millions of others still need the protections that can only come with adoption of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which passed the Senate on a strong bipartisan basis.

“At the UFCW, we have long been proud to have nondiscrimination language in our contracts. It is time for the law to catch up. The President is poised to act. The House should follow suit.”

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.

February 26, 2014

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Arizona Discrimination Bill

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement opposing Arizona Senate Bill 1062.

“I urge Governor Jan Brewer to veto SB 1062. It is nothing more than a hate bill passed under the guise of protecting religious freedom. The legislation was drafted so broadly as to allow discrimination against nearly any Arizonan on religious grounds. But make no mistake—its target is members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. At a time when LGBT equality is advancing on several fronts, the Arizona legislature is seeking to relegate some of its citizens to second-class status. This is both shameful and unconstitutional. There is significant and growing momentum for equality across America on everything from employment nondiscrimination to the freedom to marry. Those who want to stop this momentum and protect the status quo are desperately trying to fight back. That is what SB 1062 and similar efforts are all about. At the UFCW, we have always been on the side of equality, both in our contracts and the law. We stand with business, labor, Republicans, and Democrats in calling for SB 1062 to be vetoed.”

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.

November 7, 2013

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Senate Passage of ENDA

WASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement after the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

UFCWnews“I applaud the Senate on its bipartisan support for ENDA. No one should be fired just for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. It goes against everything we stand for as Americans. At the UFCW, we have been proud to win strong non-discrimination language in our contracts.  But in more than half of all states, a worker can be fired solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is wrong. Workers should be judged on their ability to do the job, not where they are from, what they look like, what language they speak, or who they love. Today the Senate has taken an important step toward protecting America’s workers from discrimination. I urge the House to do the same.”

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.

June 26, 2013

UFCW Statement on Defense of Marriage Act Decision

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“Today the Supreme Court put DOMA in the trash bin of history with separate but equal and other discriminatory laws. The Defense of Marriage Act actually defended nothing at all. Instead it was a direct assault on married same-sex couples who were denied more than 1,100 federal benefits and protections by the government’s refusal to recognize their relationship. The UFCW strongly supports full equality for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. That means equal rights in employment, immigration, and yes—marriage. The momentum for marriage equality is growing every day. The Supreme Court today restored it in California, Minnesota recently became the 12th state to recognize same-sex unions, and more are on the way. It is not a matter of if but when all Americans will have the freedom to marry. The UFCW looks forward to that day.”

pride

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.

May 8, 2013

UFCW, Food Manufacturers Form Alliance on Senate Immigration Bill

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, DC –The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and the Food Manufacturers Immigration Coalition (FMIC) yesterday announced their partnership on comprehensive immigration reform in a letter sent to the Senate “Gang of Eight,” praising them for their efforts on S. 744. The labor-business coalition is also seeking improvements to the Senate bill in the areas of visa allocation and employment verification.

“We write in support of the comprehensive immigration reform process and thank you for your critical and constructive efforts in support of this legislation,” says the letter signed by UFCW International President Joe Hansen and Barry Carpenter of FMIC.

The labor-business coalition said they support the Senate bill’s provisions to establish a roadmap to citizenship, protect family based immigration, promote smart, effective border enforcement, implement a workable, transparent employment verification system, and create an occupational visa for non-seasonal, permanent positions. However, Hansen and Carpenter are also calling for commonsense improvements to S. 744 in the areas of visa allocation and employment verification.

The labor-business coalition asked for more flexibility when it comes to employment verification. “Allowing employers to use Self-Check in a uniform, nondiscriminatory fashion will create greater transparency for new employees, and will enable employers to ensure that their new hires are not circumventing E-Verify,” the letter reads.

Moreover, the letter outlined: “If an employer takes the extra step of deterring identity theft through the uniform use of Self-Check, then the employer should be presumed to have acted in ‘good faith’ with respect to the E-Verify confirmations it receives.”

Finally, the labor-business coalition requested that Senators direct the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to create regulations that would provide specific rules of the road “describing a course of conduct…that satisfies employment verification requirements and concurrently avoids anti-discrimination liability.” “If an employer follows these regulations, then the employer is presumed to have complied with both the verification and anti-discrimination rules,” the letter reads.

The labor-business coalition said they look forward to working with the Senate to improve S.744 and seeing comprehensive immigration reform become the law of the land.

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May 10, 2012

FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS PRESIDENT SUPPORTS PRESIDENT OBAMA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement:

“I commend President Obama for his support of marriage equality, and I’m proud to support him as he takes this historic stand.

“Marriage equality is an economic justice issue, and a social justice issue – and that makes it a union issue. In the UFCW, we have a long, proud history of standing up for fair and equal treatment for all workers – regardless of what they look like, where they come from, what language they speak, or who they love. These values are heartfelt. We work every day to fight discrimination and unfair treatment against LGBT people on the job. That’s why our union is a strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would ensure justice in the workplace for LGBT workers. UFCW members have been negotiating equal health care coverage for same-sex couples into their union contracts all over the country for years. It’s the right thing to do, and the fair thing to do. I’m proud that the UFCW’s advocacy on behalf of families includes all families.”