October 24, 2016

Local Labor and Community Leaders Stop Bob’s Tire Co. and BJ’s Temp Service from Intimidating Workers who Voted to Join Union Family

Washington, D.C. –Workers pushing for a first union contract at Bob’s Tire Co. and BJ’s Temp Service in New Bedford, Massachusetts, are set to return to the bargaining table on Tuesday after successfully stopping their employers from using government agencies to retaliate against them for voting to join a union.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, UFCW Local 328, and the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA) supported the workers in resisting the companies’ attempt to intimidate workers through the threat of deportation.

“The hard-working men and women of Bob’s Tire Co. and BJ’s Temp Service voted to join our union family for a better life, and it is irresponsible and wrong for any company to use threats and intimidation, or attempt to manipulate our government agencies to try and stop them,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “By standing together with our community partners, we have shown our commitment to providing the better life these hard-working employees have rightfully earned. We look forward to negotiating a good contract for these workers, and expect Bob’s Tire Co. and BJ’s Temp Service to respect the values of our community and their customers.”

“At a time when companies are increasingly using temp agencies like BJ’s as a way to source exploitable workers, this victory matters for every worker in the United States,” said Saket Soni, Executive Director of the NGA. “ICE did the right thing and refused to let the companies use it as a weapon against organizing. That’s a victory for immigrant workers who stand up to expose abuse and improve their workplaces—and for the tens of millions of U.S.-born workers who labor alongside them. All workers deserve protection from threats of deportation when they come forward to report abuse.”

BACKGROUND

In September of 2015, workers who are jointly employed by Bob’s Tire and BJ’s Temp Service voted overwhelmingly to join UFCW Local 328. Shortly after this happened, the employers began retaliating against the workers’ decision to unionize with intimidation, including threats of immigration enforcement.

On October 21, 2016, recognizing that workers at Bob’s Tire and BJ’s Temp Service were involved in a significant labor dispute, the government refused to be a weapon wielded against hard-working taxpayers trying to make a better life for themselves. The agency involved made clear its policy was to not interfere with labor disputes and they would not be used by the company to retaliate against their workers.

###

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.

The National Guestworker Alliance (NGA) is a national organization of low-wage and contingent workers across the United States. Founded ten years ago by workers in the U.S. Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, NGA represents contingent workers across many industries, including construction, service, hospitality, food manufacturing, and logistics.

Learn more about the NGA at www.guestworkeralliance.org.

 

 

Trabajadores locales y líderes de la comunidad evitan que Bob’s Tire Co. y BJ’s Temp Service intimiden a los trabajadores que votaron para unirse a la familia de la Unión

Washington, D.C. –Los trabajadores que presionan para tener el primer contrato de la unión en Bob’s Tire Co. y BJ’s Temp Service en New Bedford, Massachusetts, van a volver a la mesa de negociaciones el martes tras haber logrado detener a sus empleadores para que utilizaran agencias gubernamentales para aplicar represalias en su contra por votar a favor de afiliarse a una unión.

La Unión Internacional de Trabajadores de la Industria de Alimentos y del Comercio (UFCW), la Local 328 de la UFCW, y la National Guestworker Alliance (NGA) apoyaron a los trabajadores para detener el intento de las compañías de intimidar a los trabajadores por medio de la amenaza de la deportación.

“Los hombres y mujeres que trabajan arduamente en Bob’s Tire Co. y BJ’s Temp Service votaron para unirse a nuestra familia de la unión para tener una vida mejor, y es irresponsable e inadecuado que cualquier empresa utilice amenazas e intimidación, o intente manipular nuestras agencias gubernamentales, para tratar de detenerlos”, dijo Marc Perrone, Presidente Internacional de la UFCW. “Al permanecer juntos con nuestros colaboradores de la comunidad, hemos demostrado nuestro compromiso de ofrecer una mejor vida a estos empleados quienes trabajan de manera ardua y se la han ganado legítimamente. Esperamos negociar un buen contrato para estos trabajadores y esperamos que Bob’s Tire Co. y BJ’s Temp Service respeten los valores de nuestra comunidad y de sus clientes”.

“En un momento en que las empresas están utilizando cada vez más las agencias temporarias como BJ’s como una forma de contratar a trabajadores a quienes pueden explotar, esta victoria es importante para cada trabajador de los Estados Unidos”, dijo Saket Soni, Director Ejecutivo de la NGA. “ICE hizo lo correcto y se negó a permitir que las empresas lo utilizaran como un arma contra la organización. Es una victoria para los trabajadores inmigrantes que se levantan para exponer los abusos y mejorar sus lugares de trabajo, y para las decenas de millones de trabajadores nacidos en EE.UU. que están junto a ellos. Todos los trabajadores merecen protección frente a las amenazas de deportación cuando denuncian los abusos”.

CONTEXTO

En septiembre de 2015, los trabajadores que están contratados conjuntamente por Bob’s Tire y BJ’s Temp Service votaron abrumadoramente a favor de unirse a la Local 328 de la UFCW. Poco después de que esto sucedió, los empleadores comenzaron a tomar represalias contra la decisión de los trabajadores de afiliarse a la unión con intimidaciones, incluyendo amenazas de aplicación de las leyes de inmigración.

El 21 de octubre, reconociendo que los trabajadores de Bob’s Tire y BJ’s Temp Service estaban involucrados en un conflicto laboral significativo, el gobierno se negó a ser un arma utilizada contra los contribuyentes que trabajan duro para intentar tener una vida mejor para sí mismos. La agencia involucrada dejó claro que su política era no involucrarse en las disputas laborales y que no serían utilizados por la compañía para tomar represalias en contra de sus trabajadores.

###

La UFCW es la unión más grande del sector privado en los Estados Unidos, y representa a 1.3 millones de profesionales y sus familias en tiendas de comestibles, empaquetado de carnes, procesamiento de alimentos, tiendas minoristas y otras industrias. Nuestros miembros ayudan a poner la comida sobre la mesa de nuestro país y atienden a clientes en todos los 50 estados, Canadá y Puerto Rico.

Obtenga más información acerca de la UFCW en  www.ufcw.org.

La National Guestworker Alliance (NGA) es una organización nacional de trabajadores contingentes que ganan salarios bajos en los Estados Unidos. Fundada hace diez años por trabajadores en la Costa del Golfo de EE.UU. después del Huracán Katrina, la NGA representa a trabajadores contingentes en muchas industrias, incluyendo la construcción, servicios, hospitalidad, fabricación de alimentos y logística.

Obtenga más información acerca de la NGA en www.guestworkeralliance.org.

September 30, 2016

MCAW Responds to Walmart’s Quarterly Bonus Announcement

MCAW-Logo

On Sept. 21, Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) responded to Walmart’s announcement that it paid over $200 million in quarterly bonuses to over 900,000 of its hourly employees who work in stores that met the retail giant’s goals of cleanliness, faster checkout and better service. The average bonus per Walmart employee was around $200.

“Walmart is happy to boast when they decide to give workers a very small share of one of the world’s largest company’s earnings, but when it comes down to facts, Walmart continues to mislead,” said Jess Levin, communications director for MCAW.

“What Walmart doesn’t tell you is that in order to get this bonus, workers must complete a months-long training program that is often implemented with ‘buggy and outdated technology.’ In fact, in order to also receive the $10 an hour minimum wage that Walmart promotes, completion of this tedious program is required. We hear from Walmart workers every day that have been making less than $10 an hour for months. These workers will also be excluded from the quarterly bonus, and we believe they deserve better.”

September 27, 2016

UFCW Statement on First Presidential Debate

Washington, D.C. – Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, made the following statement regarding the first Presidential debate between Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
 
“Tonight’s debate showed what so many of our members already know: Secretary Clinton is the undisputed champion of fighting for the issues that truly matter to hard-working families. Frustrated Americans are facing serious challenges and deserve to see real plans for real change, not slogans or empty words. When it comes to building the better America our members care so passionately about, it is clear that Secretary Clinton has the right experience, knowledge, and vision to be the next President of the United States.”
 
###
 
UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families ingrocery 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 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.

###

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.

                                                                                                                               ###

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.

###

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.

###

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.”

###

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.”

###

 

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.

###

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