• Microphone on stage

    Press Releases.

    For media inquiries, please contact Casey Hoag at press@ufcw.org, choag@ufcw.org or 202-721-8143.

September 15, 2016

UFCW, Plaintiff in Landmark Arizona Immigration Lawsuit, Lauds Settlement as Victory Against Racial Discrimination

Continued vigilance necessary to ensure Arizona provides respect and dignity to all

Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Secretary-Treasurer Esther López regarding the settlement in Valle del Sol vs. Whiting, the landmark case opposing S.B. 1070 in Arizona. The UFCW was a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

“This settlement reinforces the fact that law enforcement all across the United States must be blind to race or national origin. Hard-working people create great value and their rights and pursuit of a better life must be protected. While this legal battle may be over, our vigilance and our fight for equality and justice for all will never cease.”

BACKGROUND

  • This settlement, after six years of litigation, marks the end of the legal fight over S.B. 1070.
  • B. 1070 required Arizona police to determine the immigration status of someone arrested or detained if there was “reasonable suspicion” that they were not in the U.S. legally.
  • The UFCW was the first national member organization to join the lawsuit against S.B. 1070.
  • As a result of this lawsuit, every criminal provision of S.B. 1070 has been gutted. Law enforcement in Arizona cannot detain or arrest someone based on suspected immigration status alone. Where individuals are lawfully stopped or detained, law enforcement cannot prolong a criminal investigation in order to determine immigration status.

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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 www.ufcw.org

September 2, 2016

UFCW President’s Statement on Labor Day

“Unions help us all build a better life”

Washington, D.C. – Today Marc Perrone, the International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, the largest private sector union in the United States, released the following statement regarding Labor Day.

“Now is the time for every American to stop waiting for a political savior and take steps to save ourselves. It begins with us, the leaders and members of labor, and it depends upon our ability to reach workers who are tired of being left behind to struggle alone. To anyone who has doubts about whether or not a union can help, we have one request: Ask us.”

A report this week from the Economic Policy Institute found that lower union membership is costing nonunion private sector workers $133 billion annually in lost wages. The benefits of a union contract go beyond just wages. A union contract is often the only way to protect all workers from discrimination.

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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 www.ufcw.org

August 30, 2016

Workers Can Save Themselves from Wealth Inequality

Report by EPI shows that decline in union membership costs nonunion workers $133 billion annually in lost wages  

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, the largest private sector union in the United States, released the following statement regarding a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), titled “Union Decline Lowers Wages of Nonunion Workers.

“This report confirms that union membership is the one clear path to a better life,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Now more than ever, those of us in labor must discuss openly the incredible benefits that unions bring to all workers. The UFCW union family is committed to proving that we can bring better jobs and futures to every hard-working community.”

The benefits of a union contract go beyond just wages. A union contract is often the only way women can earn equal pay for equal work, and, in some states, it is the only line of defense for workers facing workplace discrimination.

Key findings from the latest EPI report:

  • One of the main reasons why hard-working Americans are struggling with stagnant wages and inequality is because private sector union membership fell from 34 percent in 1979 to just 10 percent in 2013.
  • If union density in 2013 was as high as it was in 1979, nonunion private sector men would have earned an extra $52 each week.
  • The declining rate of union density is costing nonunion private sector workers $133 billion annually in lost wages, which is greater than the economic hit U.S. workers take when we enter into unfair trade agreements with low-wage nations.

A recent report by Oxfam America titled No Relief: Denial of Bathroom Breaks in the Poultry Industry, documented the union difference when it comes to workplace rights and safety after finding that nonunion workers wore diapers when denied bathroom breaks by irresponsible employers.

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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 www.ufcw.org

August 3, 2016

Poultry Jobs Must Be Safe Jobs

UFCW Applauds OSHA for Helping Poultry Workers Stand Up for Safer Work Conditions

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the primary union for poultry workers, released the following statement in response to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) finding of nearly two dozen health and safety violations at Pilgrim’s Pride. This is the first time a poultry company has been cited for medical mismanagement of work-related injuries.

“We are disappointed to see yet another example of poultry workers being mistreated and forced to endure harsh working conditions,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Unions provide poultry workers with one of the best ways to improve their safety on the job because we create an environment where people know their rights and feel empowered to speak up. We make sure that workers can advocate for their well-being without the fear of being fired. As we strive to improve poultry industry jobs, we applaud OSHA for actively supporting the right of every worker to have a safe workplace.”

At Pilgrim’s Pride and JBS poultry plants where workers are represented by the UFCW, we have partnered with both companies to provide educational training on safety issues. The trainings are conducted by UFCW’s Occupational Safety and Health Office.

BACKGROUND

  • UFCW represents more than 70,000 poultry workers.
  • In 2015, Case Farms, a leading supplier of fast food and supermarket chicken, racked up nearly $1.9 million in proposed fines following inspections at multiple facilities.
  • A 2013 study of a poultry plant in South Carolina found that 57% of workers reported at least one musculoskeletal symptom.

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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.

 

July 26, 2016

“We’re With Her!”: New 2016 National Ad Campaign Launches During DNC

Real hard-working Americans highlight the issues that matter in this election, why they choose to stand with Secretary Clinton

Washington, D.C. – Today, a powerful new national television ad campaign highlights the concerns of hard-working families as well as the issues that will define this election. The ad, called “We’re With Her!,” features United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) members describing the topics that matter to them – good jobs, higher wages, affordable health care, the desire to earn a better life – and why they support Secretary Hillary Clinton in this election.

“The power of this ad comes from UFCW members talking to American families about real issues,” said UFCW Communications Director Erikka Knuti. “More than anything else, this election is about the incredible struggle it takes for hard-working people to get by and get ahead. Secretary Clinton understands that Americans can’t keep struggling like this, because all of us have worked hard and deserve a better life. We’re with her, because she’s with us.”

“We’re With Her!” will premiere on TV during coverage of the 2016 Democratic National Convention and will play on video monitors in Philadelphia’s taxi cabs while they take people to and from the DNC. 

The ad can be viewed here.

The script for the ad is below:

“We’re struggling

Our families deserve better

We need change.

Not cheap slogans.

Or hate.

We need a real leader…

…who will fight for us.

And good jobs

Better wages

More affordable healthcare.

Who will stand up for our union family…

…and all hard-working families.

Who is ready to lead…

Who will work to unite us, not divide us.

For our families

For a better America.

We’re with her.”

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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 www.ufcw.org

 

July 21, 2016

New 2016 Ad Campaign Launches During Trump’s Final Night of Republican Convention

Real Hard-Working Americans Highlight the Issues, Stark Choice in 2016 Election: Donald Trump or a Better America

Washington, D.C. – Today, a stirring national television ad that highlights the defining issues and striking choice that hard-working Americans face in this election was released by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International union. In the ad, members of the UFCW highlight the every-day issues that will define the 2016 election: good jobs, health care and the desire for a better life. The national ad campaign will premiere during coverage of the final night of Donald Trump’s convention, and will make clear the stark choice voters face as they think of the bread and butter issues that matter in this election.

“For hard-working families, this election is about real, every-day issues that matter in their lives – not just in politicians’ lives.  And our members, like millions of Americans, deserve and have earned a better life. The choice is a very clear one for our diverse union family: Trump or a better America. The answer is simple: hard-working families deserve a better America,” said UFCW Communications Director Erikka Knuti. “Whether you support Mr. Trump or Secretary Clinton, Republican or Democrat, all voters need to be aware of the real choices and issues that will define this election. Hearing this from other hard-working men and women is especially powerful.”

The first phase of this ad campaign, called “We Choose a Better America,” and featuring real UFCW members from all across the country discussing their concerns, will air on MSNBC beginning the evening of Thursday, July 21, and continue through Friday, July 22.

The ad can be viewed here.

The script for the ad is below:

“We need change…

the right change…

…for our families

for America.

A real leader…

Who will work to unite us, not divide us.

Who thinks…not just talks.

Who will work as hard as we do.

Someone who will fight for better wages

…good healthcare

…a better life for our families

Stands up for our union family.

So, we have a choice America:

Donald Trump

Or the better America we deserve.

We choose a better America.”

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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 www.ufcw.org

 

July 18, 2016

After Continued Violence, UFCW Calls for National Summit on Justice

Public Letter in New York Times Calls on Leaders to Convene, Media to Broadcast a National Conversation

Washington, D.C. – With acts of violence against police officers and African Americans shaking our nation, today the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union placed an open letter in the New York Times calling for a national and public summit on justice in America.

The UFCW letter was submitted before the deaths of three police officers in Baton Rouge Sunday morning. It pleads with our nation’s elected officials, civil rights leaders, police and justice officials to jointly address the division and violence we are witnessing. It also asks our nation’s broadcast and cable networks to air this discussion in prime time to help unite the country.

“Even before yesterday’s horrific killings, our hope was that this open letter would encourage Americans to come together and face what divides us,” said Marc Perrone, International President for the UFCW and co-chair of the AFL-CIO Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice. “For the sake of all our children, we must believe in a better America. We cannot continue to allow hate to determine who we are and who we can be.”

Excerpts from the letter are below:

“As a diverse union family with over 1.3 million members, such a national summit would give our members and all Americans the chance to hear directly from our national and state elected leaders, civil rights officials, Black Lives Matter movement leaders, local and state police officials, as well as representatives from labor, media, and corporate America.

“It would provide opportunity to listen to difficult truths, to hear the sincerity of fears and concerns so many feel, and to understand the changes that we must make.

“To help focus our nation’s awareness, we believe that all our nation’s major cable and broadcast channels should all agree to televise this national summit in prime time. By simulcasting this summit across all major networks, the call for change would echo across this nation like never before.”

Read the full letter here.

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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 www.ufcw.org

July 8, 2016

UFCW Calls on Leaders to Make Choice: Act Now or Continue to Allow More Senseless Violence

“Hate, indifference and injustice is dividing and taking the lives of Americans”

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union President  and co-chair of the AFL-CIO Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice Marc Perrone made the following statement on the horrific shootings this week in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas:

“We once again wake up to the realization that there is hate, indifference, and injustice dividing and taking the lives of Americans. The needless deaths of two fathers, one shot selling CDs, the other reaching for his wallet, are the latest tragic examples that African Americans face not only injustice, but death at the hands of those sworn to protect justice.

“The events in Dallas, and the murder of five police officers who were protecting the rights of all us to speak out against such injustice not only fills us with heartbreak, it leads us to question the very direction of this nation.

“All of us who lead, in labor and out, every elected and community leader, our presidential candidates, must now face a stark choice – we will either come together to solve these problems that have led to these senseless deaths, or we will see our great nation torn apart by those who hate and wish to divide us.

“We cannot accept the status quo. We must do better.

“Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the five officers in Dallas, are our most recent victims. We must act in their memory and the memories of the countless other victims before them who fell to similar tragedies. The time has come for more than moments of silence. The time has come for real action.

“Let us stop burying our fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, friends and neighbors, and begin to confront the problem we face head on. For the sake of the children and families who needlessly lost the ones they love, for the communities and the nation that has been scarred by these unspeakable acts of violence, the time is now for us to put our political divisions aside, and act.”

BACKGROUND

The AFL-CIO Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice comprises members of the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council. Its purpose is to facilitate a broad conversation among local labor leaders around racial and economic disparities and institutional biases, and identify ways to become more inclusive as the new entrants to the labor force diversify.

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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.

June 14, 2016

UFCW Member Explains Why Working Women Win With a Union

Story shared in front of 5,000 at White House United State of Women Summit 

 

Ariana with actress and activist Kerry Washington

Ariana with actress and activist Kerry Washington

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ariana Davis, a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) member from Local 21 in Seattle, Washington, shared the stage with President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Oprah at the White House United State of Women Summit.

“The power of a union is about much more than dollars and cents,” said Ariana Davis. “I am respected by workers and managers alike. I am a force in my community. And it’s because I don’t stand alone – I am in a movement with grocery workers and steelworkers and teachers. Together, we have a voice. Together, we can make change.”

The White House United State of Women Summit was put together to provide solutions to key gender equality issues. In 38% of households, women are the primary breadwinners. When women earn less than men for no reason, it negatively impacts families in every community. Working to solve gender equality questions will help hard-working people to live better lives.

BACKGROUND:

  • 8 million women in America belong to a union.
  • A union contract offers a way to give women both equal pay and an equal say in their workplace.
  • Union membership boosts wages for all workers—but women experience especially large advantages.
  • The wage gap among union members is less than half the size of the wage gap among non-union workers, and female union members typically earn $230 more per week than women who are not represented by unions—a larger wage premium than men receive.

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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 www.ufcw.org

May 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton Meets with Retail Workers at UFCW Conference

In sit down with Sec. Clinton, retail workers talk about organizing and their fight for fair work practices 

(LAS VEGAS, NV) Today, Secretary Hillary Clinton met with hard-working retail workers from across the industry to discuss the  issues impacting them, their families, and co-workers.  During the meeting, the workers talked about their day-to-day challenges, including workplace intimidation, scheduling and unpredictable hours. The emotional visit with Clinton included workers from Albertson’s, Macy’s, El Super and Stater Bros.

The meeting with Flora Castaneda and Yolanda Pivaral, both El Super workers, was especially powerful as they highlighted the company’s ongoing intimidation and failure to recognize their right to negotiate a better life and a contract providing better wages and benefits. They have both worked to organize their stores and join the UFCW.

Sherry Hamilton, who works as a union representative at Macy’s, discussed that while UFCW  provides people with higher wages and protection, the non-union retail industry is still defined by unpredictable scheduling that makes it impossible to go to school, spend time with family, or have control over one’s life.

“I wanted Secretary Clinton to know how important joining a union was for me and my family. It’s the opportunity for a better life,” said Flora Castaneda, a UFCW member and worker at El Super. “I wanted her to know that companies like El Super need to do what is right and recognize our right to higher wages and benefits.”

PSS_5392“I’m a working mom and I’m going to school,” said Yolanda Pivaral, a UFCW member and worker at El Super. “Without a predictable work schedule, it’s tough to coordinate child care and manage my classes. Secretary Clinton gets it. Workers in my store want a union contract so we can have the chance to shape our schedules. To have more control over my life would help me do my job better, manage my class work, and build a good life for my son.”

“Buying a wedding dress or a child’s first pair of shoes, these are big events and we work hard to make them special memories for customers,” said Sherry Hamilton, a Macy’s union representative. “I don’t think people realize how much havoc bad scheduling can have upon a worker’s life. By making work schedules in the retail industry more stable and reliable, we would be able to enjoy precious moments in our personal lives as well.”

Clinton also addressed the UFCW conference, and was introduced by International President Marc Perrone.

“Our members endorsed Hillary because she is the only candidate who truly cares about the issues that matter to them. Regardless of what job a person does, Secretary Clinton is committed to making sure that people who work hard get the brighter future they have earned and deserve,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “It speaks to Hillary’s character and her compassion that she doesn’t talk at our members, she listens to them.”

 

 

BACKGROUND

In January 2016, after surveying its membership across the country, UFCW endorsed Sec. Clinton. This is the second time Sec. Clinton has personally spoken with retail workers who are part of the UFCW.

PSS_5358The retail sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the economy, but 40 million retail workers face challenges from erratic schedules, split shifts and part-time hours that make it difficult to live a stable life, manage a second job, or coordinate care for their families. These are common concerns throughout the industry and are a major reason why more and more retail workers are considering the benefits of joining a union. Earlier this year, UFCW announced it already had 100 organizing wins in 100 days, reflecting workers desire to work together to secure their lives and futures.

BIOS

Yolanda Pivaral is 23, works at El Super Store #13 located in Los Angeles, CA and has been a cashier there for 3.5 years. She is a single mother to a six year old boy. She and her son live in Los Angeles. Yolanda is also furthering her education and is studying Communications at the California State University, Los Angeles. Yolanda has currently been getting more involved in her union. She has become trained and is now helping to do workshops to help make fellow union members US Citizens, through the Union Citizen Action Network.

Flora Castaneda 44, has worked as cashier at El Super Store #17 located in Los Angeles, CA for 12 years as a cashier. She is a single mother of three children. She and her children live in Los Angeles. Flora is a member of the bargaining team. She and her fellow co-workers have been fighting for over two years for adequate paid sick days, better wages, better benefits, more affordable health care, a fair seniority system, and respect.

Sherry Hamilton is 50, and was a sales associate at Macy’s in the Bronx for 17 years. After joining Local 1-S while working at Macy’s, she later joined the Local 1-S team where she now serves other Macy’s employees for the union.

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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.