March 7, 2019

UFCW Calls for Congressional Action to Solve Multiemployer Pension Crisis

Time is Now: Ahead of Congressional Hearing, UFCW Urges Action to Protect Retirement Savings for Millions of Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today’s House Education & Labor Committee hearing on the solvency of multiemployer pensions highlights the growing pressure for Congress to address this crisis. As one of the leading national voices, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s promise has always been that anyone who works hard can build a better life for themselves and their family. When the retirement savings of millions of Americans is in jeopardy after they’ve worked hard their entire lives, that promise is being broken,” UFCW President Marc Perrone said. “Keeping that promise starts with protecting the pensions of today’s workers and retirees and making the strong investments needed to ensure the retirement security of generations to come. The time is now for Congress to pass the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act to protect these pensions before the crisis becomes even more costly and widespread. The retirement security for millions of workers and their families is on the line. We can’t wait any longer.”

UFCW Call for Action on Multiemployer Pensions

UFCW has been a strong national advocate for pensions reform and is calling for Congress to pass H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act. Last year, UFCW sent a letter to Congress urging action on legislation to provide low-cost loans to eligible multiemployer pension plans to enable them to continue to pay earned pensions to retirees and fund their long-term pension commitments. Today, Congressional leaders echoed this call for action:

“The American workers in these failing multiemployer pension plans did everything right.  They planned for their retirement, year after year choosing to contribute to their pensions instead of taking a wage increase. But now, after working for decades, their planned retirements may be taken away from them,” House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said. “And taken away at a time when they’re no longer able to prepare for retirement because they’re now in retirement. There’s no time to waste in addressing this crisis.”

“More than 60,000 Ohioans and 1.3 million workers and retirees nationwide face a looming pension crisis that threatens their financial well-being and their ability to care for their loved ones. What Washington doesn’t understand is that these workers gave up money at the bargaining table and sacrificed raises for these pensions,” U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said. “These workers aren’t asking for a bailout, they’re asking for what they earned. Ohio workers, retirees, businesses and taxpayers are counting on Congress to solve this crisis, and the cost of inaction is too high. It’s time for Congress to step up, do the right thing, and solve this crisis now to give workers and their families the peace of mind they deserve.”

Why Congress Must Pass the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act:

The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act is a common-sense way to shore up the multiemployer plans while protecting the earned pensions of retirees and active workers.

  • An estimated 10 million workers and retirees are in about 1,400 multiemployer pension plans. (PBGC)
  • The failure of pension plans would hurt not only individual retirees, but also their local communities, the plans’ contributing employers and the future of the multiemployer retirement system overall.

The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act provides a path forward to address the country’s growing pension crisis by providing the financial support the plans need to avoid insolvency.

  • If nothing is done, some troubled plans will fail and retirees will face massive cuts to the benefits they earned over decades of work.
  • If the plans are allowed to fail, not only will they no longer be able to pay promised benefits, but taxpayers would be at risk of having to pay billions to cover the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) shortfall.

The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act would create a Pension Rehabilitation Administration, within the Treasury Department, to provide low-cost loans to qualified underfunded multiemployer pension plans.

  • Plans would have up to 30 years to pay earned retiree benefits, prudently invest the loan proceeds and employer contributions, and re-pay the loan.
  • During the loan period, employers may not reduce contributions and the plan may not increase promised benefits.
  • The plan must demonstrate that receipt of the loan will enable the plan to avoid insolvency, pay benefits and loan interest, and accumulate sufficient funds to repay the loan principal when due.

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March 6, 2019

UFCW Statement on Whole Foods Cutting Worker Hours

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to news that Whole Foods cut worker hours after its parent company, Amazon, enacted a wage increase for employees, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“The reports of Amazon’s Whole Foods cutting worker hours is the worst case of bait and switch I’ve ever seen. Just months ago, they told the American people and their workers that they were raising their minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. But now it appears that this was all a public relations stunt as they are now cutting worker hours – which is a cruel pay cut, plain and simple.

“More than ever, it is clear Jeff Bezos’s retail vision is focused on driving up profits at any cost by cutting hours and replacing good jobs and skilled hard-working employees with automation. It is time for the American people to wake up to the fact that Amazon’s vision, left unchecked, will cost us millions of good retail jobs. The men and women of Whole Foods have earned the right to a better life, and they deserve so much better than the treatment they are receiving from Amazon.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. 

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

 

March 1, 2019

UFCW Statement on Amazon Plan to Open New Grocer Chain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone released the following statement in response to news that Amazon will be launching a new grocery chain.

“Make no mistake, Amazon’s new and ruthless supermarket strategy is its latest salvo bent on destroying good American jobs to enrich one billionaire – Jeff Bezos.

“Amazon isn’t about providing better food or customer service, and it certainly is not about fair competition. Launching this grocery chain is an aggressive expansion of Amazon’s market power as it seeks to fundamentally change our country’s food retail and service economy while eliminating as many retail workers as possible.

“It is time that Republicans and Democrats realize that Amazon’s predatory business model is wrong for this nation and will needlessly destroy millions of jobs in every state in this country. Our leaders need to stop fawning over Jeff Bezos’ wealth and wake up to the serious threat Amazon’s business model poses to consumers, the economy, and our society.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. 

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

 

February 25, 2019

UFCW Statement on DACA Case at DC Circuit Court of Appeals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently heard oral arguments on the lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is one of the leading organizations bringing the suit. Following oral arguments, UFCW President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Protecting young people who make our country better every day, and who earned the right to live here, is what DACA is and must be about. The victory in the District Court was a victory for the better and more just America that all of us, regardless of party or politics, must believe in. It is absolutely critical that the D.C. Circuit Court do the right, legally and morally, and uphold this decision.

“Even as the legal battle to fix our broken immigration system continues, we urge our elected leaders to find a bipartisan solution and end the nightmare of uncertainty for DACA recipients and TPS holders.” 

The UFCW, which represents 1.3 million workers in many industries impacted by DACA, joined the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) as co-plaintiffs on the suit led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and brought against President Donald Trump, the U.S. Attorney General, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security in September 2017.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector unions in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. 

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

February 14, 2019

UFCW Statement on Amazon Canceling NYC Location

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone released the following statement in response to Amazon’s decision to withdraw their plan to establish a new campus in New York City:

“Amazon showed its true colors today and every American should be outraged. Jeff Bezos had the opportunity to listen to the voices of working families and support the good-paying jobs New Yorkers deserve.

“But now we can see this is all about blind greed and Jeff Bezos’ belief that everyday taxpayers should foot the bill for their new headquarters even as the company actively works to eliminate millions of American retail jobs.

“No company that refuses to invest in hardworking men and women should be allowed to stuff their pockets with taxpayer-funded subsidies. Make no mistake, this fight has only begun.”


The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. 

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

February 8, 2019

UFCW Statement on Amazon Reconsidering NYC Location

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone released the following statement in response to a new report that Amazon is reconsidering its plan to establish a new campus in New York City.

“It is outrageous that Amazon is now essentially threatening New York City taxpayers to pay for its new headquarters or else it will leave town. Multibillion-dollar corporations and billionaires like Jeff Bezos should not be threatening New Yorkers or expect any American taxpayers to foot the bill for opening a new headquarters – whether it’s in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, or anywhere else. Why should we subsidize the creation of 25,000 Amazon jobs when Amazon’s entire business model seeks to eliminate millions of retail jobs? The last thing we, as taxpayers, should ever be asked to pay for is the destruction of our own jobs.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

January 18, 2019

UFCW: Shutdown Threatens America’s 16 Million Retail Workers and Our Nation’s Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone, issued the following statement regarding the 28-day government shutdown and its impact on America’s 16 million retail workers and the broader economy.

“Every day the government shutdown drags on, 800,000 federal workers continue to be locked out of their job or forced to work without pay. But this wasteful shutdown is also threatening the 16 million American workers who help power our country’s $2.6 trillion retail sector and the broader economy.

“When Republicans shut down the government in 2013, retail sales from furloughed workers dropped seven percent and the economy lost $2 billion in productivity. About 1 in 10 Americans are employed in the retail industry and the longer the current shutdown continues, the harder hit these workers and our economy will be.

“It’s high time for President Trump and Congress to stop playing politics with our economy and American workers and finally end this reckless government shutdown.”

Background: The last extended federal government shutdown in 2013 had a significant impact on the U.S. economy:

  • Annualized GDP growth for the quarter fell by 0.25 percent.
  • Private sector jobs decreased by 120,000.
  • Shopping by some 800,000 furloughed federal employees fell by 7 percent.
  • As income of furloughed workers shifted to later in the month, consumption habits shifted as well – including on gasoline – and bill payments were delayed.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

December 12, 2018

UFCW Statement on Bipartisan Farm Bill Passage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. House of Representatives passing the 2018 Farm Bill conference report.

“Today’s passage of the bipartisan farm bill is a victory for hardworking families. Earlier versions were deeply partisan and proposed substantial cuts to SNAP, a vital program that not only helps millions in need put food on the table every day but creates sustainable jobs in food processing plants, distribution centers, and grocery stores across the country.

Thanks to the leadership of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, Congress has rightly rejected the cuts that would have threatened our economy and good jobs across America.

As the voice of workers who help put food on America’s tables, we are proud to be a partner in this legislation that puts people first by protecting access to food for families in need and making the strong investments in our workers and communities that we deserve.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

December 4, 2018

UFCW Statement on Amazon Expansion of Cashierless Technology to Whole Foods

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), issued the following statement regarding a report by the Wall Street Journal that Amazon is testing its Amazon Go technology in bigger stores with the possibility of introducing it into Whole Foods stores across the United States, potentially impacting thousands of workers.

“Amazon’s new push to aggressively expand their cashierless technology, likely to Whole Foods stores across the country, poses an existential threat to thousands of American jobs and our economy.

“Grocery stores already face pressure to use cashierless technology to stay competitive. Amazon ramping up their push to expand this technology and bring it to Whole Foods stores around the country would likely lead to smaller grocery chains being squeezed out of business, increased prices for consumers with fewer options, lower wages for workers, and potentially millions of lost jobs as stores are forced to further reduce costs.

“Our nation’s leaders must realize now that Amazon’s ruthless business model will lead to massive job losses that could cripple our entire economy. We must stand up and fight for the good-paying jobs our families and communities count on, before it’s too late.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

October 4, 2018

UFCW Statement on Amazon Warehouse Workers Losing Bonuses and Stock Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), issued the following statement regarding news that Amazon warehouse workers will no longer be eligible to receive monthly bonuses and stock awards after the company increases their minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“Rather than receiving the raise they deserve, many Amazon warehouse workers will now see lower pay. That’s not just disappointing, it’s wrong.

“And hiding among all of this news about a minimum wage increase is the fact that Amazon’s rapid pursuit of automation will likely result in millions of lost jobs.

“For the economic health of our country, more must be done by both political parties to confront Amazon’s growing influence and impact.” 

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.