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Union Workers Call for Boycott of El Super

El-Super-Rally-3-300x200Union members, clergy and more than 100 community groups gathered for an Ash Wednesday rally in support of UFCW members who are fighting for a fair contract at El Super grocery stores in southern California. Six hundred UFCW members have been working without a contract since September, 2013. In response to the company’s steadfast refusal to provide their employees with a fair contract, union El Super workers have called for a consumer boycott of the grocery chain.

El Super is a 49-store grocery chain in the American Southwest, owned by Grupo Comercial Chedraui, Mexico’s third largest retailer. Seven stores in southern California currently are union, represented by UFCW Locals 324, 770, 1428 and 1167. The employees are working together to achieve adequate paid sick leave, seniority rights, guaranteed 40-hour work weeks for full-time employees and a fair wage in a new contract.

Unfortunately, rather than working cooperatively to meet their employees’ needs, El Super focused its efforts on persuading union members to vote out their union. The company held captive audience meetings conducted by El Super CEO Carlos A. Smith, pushing a decertification vote. The workers were not fooled. On December 12, 2014 they voted – by a more than 3-1 majority – in favor of their union.

After the recertification vote, the workers promptly asked the company to return to the bargaining table. El Super ignored, and then rejected that request. El Super’s actions, and its steadfast refusal to address the workers’ priorities, led to the call for a consumer boycott of all El Super markets on December 20, 2014.

The boycott will continue until El Super workers achieve their core goal of winning respect and a fair contract.

To show your support for a fair contract for El Super workers, please visit www.boycottelsuper.org.

UFCW and OUR Walmart Members Help Calif. Pass Paid Sick Day Legislation

OUR-Walmart-CA-Lobby-Day-297x300After intense lobbying from UFCW members and members of OUR Walmart, both houses of the California legislature have passed a bill guaranteeing workers up to three paid sick days a year.

The legislation includes part-time and temporary workers, making it one of the strongest in the nation. Home health care workers are exempted. Governor Jerry Brown has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

About 40 percent of California’s workforce is currently not eligible for paid sick days. Across the state, retail workers successfully made the case that no one should be forced to risk their job and their livelihood just because they get sick.

The United States is the only developed country that does not guarantee paid sick leave to workers. Late last year, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the FAMILY Act, a bill to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program. House Republicans have refused to bring it up for a vote.

In the meantime, UFCW members, OUR Walmart, and their allies will continue to push for action at the state and local levels.

 

Members Called on to Help UFCW Stop Reckless USDA Poultry Rule

UFCW members can contact their Congressional representative and ask them to not support funding for the poultry rule that will increase line speeds and could harm workers and consumers.

UFCW members can contact their Congressional representative and ask them to not support funding for the poultry rule that will increase line speeds and could harm workers and consumers.

The USDA is set to publish a rule that would put workers in poultry plants at further risk of injury while slashing oversight and exposing consumers to harmful contaminants.

The poultry industry wants to double the speed at which birds are processed, despite a recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health showing that 42 percent of workers have evidence of carpal tunnel syndrome at current line speeds. And it’s not just poultry workers who will be hurt by this industry-backed measure.

Under the new rule, poultry companies will be largely responsible for their own inspections, a change food safety advocates say would unnecessarily endanger consumers.

But Congress still has time to act. UFCW members are urged to contact their representatives and tell them to stop the implementation of this reckless rule.

If implemented, the poultry rule would sacrifice the safety of workers and consumers for the sake of the poultry industry’s profits. That is why members need to support Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro’s amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that would prevent funds being used for this purpose.

Working conditions in poultry plants are already dangerous, and speeding up lines without proper staffing levels would make matters worse.

Members can visit http://bit.ly/poultryrule to send a message to their representatives telling them to support DeLauro’s Amendment and halt this dangerous rule.