Economic Justice

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UFCW Local 23 Members and Other Supporters Join Walmart Workers In PA in #FightFor15 Action

10285696_10152804505069890_8959568085191309777_oYesterday, at a Walmart near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Walmart workers and supporters, many of whom were UFCW Local 23 members, held a protest as part of a growing movement of associates nationwide calling on the Waltons to publicly commit to pay a living wage of $15 an hour and give access to full-time hours for all.

The group turned out to get their message to the Waltons despite the rain, because the workers are tired of this retail giant setting low standards in the grocery and retail industry, and beyond. Some of the protesters also took advantage of the Halloween spirit by dressing up as the Waltons, as a way to portray their wealth.

In the next few weeks, Walmart workers will continue to call on America’s wealthiest family, who has a combined worth of more than 43% of Americans combined, to do the right thing.

To see all the action from the protest, check out Local 23’s facebook album:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152804504914890.1073741864.113818124889&type=1

UFCW Local 227 Members Get Out The Vote in Kentucky

Local 227 onpointMembers of UFCW Local 227 are knocking on doors, making phone calls, and visiting worksites in an effort to get out the vote in Kentucky.

The Bluegrass State is home to one of the most hotly contested Senate races in the country. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who introduced national right to work, is facing a fierce challenge from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes. Local 227 members Chuck Duckworth, Chawan Morgan, and Abigail Shake—all employees of Kroger—have been working hard to get Grimes across the finish line.

“McConnell has sucked the life out of Kentucky,” said Morgan. “We need a fresh face, some new ideas, and a different direction.”

“Alison Grimes understands our struggles,” Shake agreed. “She’s not Washington—she’s Kentucky.”

McConnell’s support for right to work and the close battle for control of Kentucky House of Representatives has brought the issue of workers’ rights front and center.

“We’re the only southern state that’s not right to work,” Duckworth said. “I think this election is very important to keep it that way.”

“I have job security, health insurance, annual raises, equal pay and so many other benefits,” Shake added. “Right to work would take that away.”

The Local 227 members all talked about the importance of reaching out to their coworkers. “For me to go to a door and see a single mom raising three kids on her own, working a job and doing everything she can to get by, for me to help educate her about how to make life a little easier, that’s what is important,” Shake said.

Or as Morgan put it: “It’s about solidarity—being united and strong.”

Flexon Workers in New Jersey Vote Union “Yes”, Join RWDSU

Flexon-RWDSU-300x186More than 120 workers at Flexon in Newark, New Jersey, overwhelmingly voted to join RWDSU Local 262. The workers – who manufacture lawn and garden hoses sold through retailers including Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Costco – won the union voice they sought in order to address a number of problems in their workplace.

“We were fed up and decided that we needed representation, a voice on the job and job security,” said day shift worker Heriberto Moran, who has worked at Flexon for 32 years.

Flexon employees wanted to create better jobs and reached out to RWDSU Local 262. Workers said they were tired of working for minimum wage with no annual wage increases. Workers said they would work 12 hour shifts – sometimes seven days a week – and had no benefits or healthcare plan.  The workers’ campaign flourished despite intimidation and harassment by management. Workers weren’t surprised, given the lack of respect from management that they had grown accustomed to.

Workers were bombarded by daily letters, captive audience meetings, faced numerous threats of plant closure, undocumented status threats, threats of deportation and strike threats throughout the campaign by numerous company representatives.