Workplace Safety & Health


Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike

via Union Plus

via Union Plus

This year, Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Delano Grape Strike, and provides us with an opportunity to pay tribute to two great labor leaders who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) and helped to organize one of the most successful strikes in labor history—Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.

On September 8, 1965, Filipino farm workers in Delano, Calif., who were members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), walked off the job at table grape farms in the area to protest the low pay and poor working conditions.  The leaders of AWOC knew that a successful strike had to include the many Latino farm workers in Delano, and they reached out to Chavez, Huerta and the NFWA to join them in their fight for dignity and respect on the job. Chavez insisted that the Filipino and Latino strikers work together and take a vow to remain nonviolent, and expanded the goals of the strikers to include the right to unionize and engage in collective bargaining.  Realizing their common goals, the NFWA and AWOC merged to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee in 1966.

In 1966, Chavez led a strike of California grape workers on a 300 mile march from Delano to Sacramento to raise awareness for their cause.  Soon, the strike spread to thousands of workers and the movement gained national attention and support from around the country, including the support of Robert F. Kennedy.  In 1967, Chavez shifted his focus and urged consumers and supermarket chains to boycott table grapes.  In response to the plight of the farm workers, Americans throughout the country refrained from buying table grapes in a show of support.  After five years of nonviolent strikes, boycotts, marches and fasts, the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee succeeded in reaching a collective bargaining agreement with table grape growers in California in 1970—resulting in better pay, benefits and workplace conditions for thousands of farm workers.

In 1972, the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee was accepted into the AFL-CIO and changed its name to the United Farmworkers Union. A year later in 1973, Chavez and Huerta led another successful consumer boycott against California grape growers that resulted in the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, which allowed farm workers to form unions and bargain for better wages and working conditions.


UFCW Local 23 Helps Pass Paid Sick Leave Law in Pittsburgh

L23 Pitt Paid Sick Leave PassesLast week, Pittsburgh passed a law that guarantees paid sick days for every worker in the city.

The victory was made possible by UFCW Local 23 members who spent weeks canvassing and building community support for the law.

Thanks to their hard work, more than 50,000 Pittsburgh workers will be eligible to earn paid time off so that they have the opportunity to stay home and get better when they become ill. L23 Pitt Paid Sick Leave Canvass

UFCW Local 23 is building on the momentum from this victory and pushing for a statewide paid sick leave law so that all workers in Pennsylvania can enjoy the same benefit.

Upgrading Malaysia’s Status: Bad for Human Rights and American Workers

“It’s a shame President Obama and his administration will go to such lengths to impose another free trade agreement on American workers.”

via The Diplomat

via The Diplomat

WASHINGTON, 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 Obama administration’s decision to upgrade Malaysia’s position in its annual Trafficking in Persons report.

“We are greatly disappointed by the State Department’s decision to upgrade Malaysia in its annual human trafficking report. Removing Malaysia from its tier 3 status is a clear and premeditated political decision by the Obama Administration to eliminate any possible stumbling block for the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement.

“At a time when American workers are grappling with increasing uncertainty, income inequality and stagnating wages, this administration and this Congress have shown they would rather protect corporate interests over the concerns of everyday American workers. Hard-working men and women will now lose their jobs or struggle to earn a good income because of a trade deal negotiated in secret by for-hire special interest henchmen.

“Labor and human rights cannot, and should not, be negotiated to appease the economic interests of a few. The workers of Malaysia and of America deserve better. Shame on you for prioritizing a trade agreement over the well-being of America’s hardworking families.”


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We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.     @UFCW