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Sodexo Workers at Texas Christian University Ratify First Union Contract with Local 1000

sodexoOn July 15, over 150 Sodexo USA campus food workers at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas, voted unanimously to ratify their first union contract with UFCW Local 1000. The contract is a victory for the workers and guarantees new wage increases, job security, seniority rights, vacation and sick pay and other union protections, and also restores many of the benefits cut by the company last year. The workers approached UFCW Local 1000 earlier this year with complaints of severe cuts to their benefits, vacations, and hourly schedules, which prompted their desire to form a union.

“It was so inspiring to see these workers bargain their first contract,” UFCW Local 1000 Secretary-Treasurer Casey Williams said. “It was an honor to sit down next to them at the negotiating table and fight for their seniority, vacations, and raises.”

“The UFCW did a great job,” said Roy Papajohn, a Sodexo worker and UFCW negotiating committeeman. “The talks were civil and professional. It was a learning experience…both sides were tough in the bargaining, but we were able to find middle ground on areas of disagreement. I feel we reached a fair agreement and TCU workers are happy with the final outcome.”

Sodexo is a French food services and facilities management multinational corporation with U.S. headquarters in Maryland.

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.

Increase in Poverty in the U.S. Needs to be Addressed

image via tavistalks.com

image via tavistalks.com

One in four people in the U.S. live in areas with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report. The report, titled Changes in Areas With Concentrated Poverty: 2000 to 2010, reveals that the number of people living in poverty areas increased from 49.5 million (18.0 percent) in 2000 to 77.4 million (25.7 percent) in 2008 to 2012. Although minorities and households headed by single mothers were at the greatest risk of living in poverty, this report shows that the entire country was affected by the spike in poverty, regardless of race.

Clearly, more needs to be done to help the many Americans living in poverty and raising the minimum wage from the current federal rate of $7.25 to the proposed $10.10 per hour is a good place to start.  A few months ago, Senate Republicans turned their backs on American workers everywhere by failing to advance legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and index it to inflation.  This is simply wrong, and 18 states from California to New Jersey have refused to sit by, raising their own minimum wage to levels higher than the federal rate.  But that’s not enough.  All Americans deserve a living wage, and this problem calls for a federal solution.  This is an election year, and the UFCW urges Senate Republicans to think about the many voters in their districts who are living in poverty and raise the minimum wage.