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UFCW Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

DSC_0115September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month—a time for the UFCW to pay tribute to Hispanic Americans and their positive contributions to our communities and our country.

The origins of this celebration date back to President Lyndon Johnson, who first established Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968.  In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the celebration to cover a 30-day period from September 15 to October 15.  Hispanic Heritage Month was enacted into law in 1988, and the start date of September 15 was chosen for the celebration because it marks the anniversary of independence for a number of Latin American countries.

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, the UFCW will pay tribute to the culture and history of Hispanic Americans and their positive impact on the labor movement.

And we want to hear from you – what does being Hispanic or Latino mean to you as a worker and a union member? Share your stories with us on Facebook or at http://www.ufcw.org/resources/members/share-your-story/.

AFL-CIO Introduces The Koch Sisters Campaign

Koch-Sisters
Last week, the AFL-CIO introduced “The Koch Sisters”– a national project featuring two women, Karen and Joyce, who share the same last name, but not the same values as the Koch Brothers. The Koch Sisters will bring the issues most Americans care about – from fair wages to protecting Social Security – to the forefront of the political debate.

Like most Americans, Karen and Joyce have worked hard all of their lives and want to ensure their children and grandchildren have the same opportunities they did. They share a belief that working families of this country should have every opportunity to get ahead. In that regard, the Koch Sisters are an ideal, embodied in millions of Americans.

Through a multifaceted campaign beginning with national television advertising, America will get to know the virtues of these two hard-working women. Karen and Joyce Koch share the same last name as the notorious Koch Brothers, but that’s where the similarities end. While not biological siblings, they are sisters in spirit, and in their union bond.

Unlike the Koch Brothers, the Koch Sisters don’t have billions of dollars and they certainly aren’t trying to buy democracy. But they care about our country, and what money in politics is doing to it. And they believe that their voice and the voices of countless Americans are as important as the special interests that use their vast wealth to influence politics and policy.

While the Koch Brothers wield unprecedented and unrivaled money to pollute American politics, the labor movement has and will always support the strongest political force in America: working people.

Last week’s launch was just the beginning. Another ad is available featuring the Koch Sisters and their thoughts on the minimum wage.

Local unions are asked to join the campaign to share and promote the stories of these women and workers like them whose values stand in stark contrast to the right-wing corporate agenda.  Help today by doing the following:

  1. Provide a link the Koch Sisters website, www.kochsisters.org, on your website.
  2. Tweet the website and the new minimum wage ad and ask your followers to follow @kochsisters on Twitter and Instagram.
  3. Like the Koch Sisters on Facebook and invite your friends to do so as well –https://www.facebook.com/KochSisters
  4. Ask your members to stand with the Koch Sisters and share their personal stories on Facebook, Twitter, and www.kochsisters.org.
  5. Recruit five friends or colleagues to do steps 1-4.

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.