• Microphone on stage

    Press Releases.

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

May 13, 2016

“Exceptions are primarily in plants that have unions…” 

Oxfam reports unionized poultry workers have better workplace protection; non-unionized poultry workers in Pampers

– Yesterday’s Washington Post Wonk Blog post “I had to wear Pampers’: The cruel reality the people who bring you cheap chicken allegedly endure,” highlighted inhuman working conditions within the poultry industry, as documented by a new Oxfam report.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), represents thousands of workers in the poultry industry. UFCWreleased the following statement today in response to the story and subsequent news coverage:

“The indignity with which poultry workers are being treated in America has to stop. Workers need to know they have a right to organize and that organized workers have more opportunities to protect themselves from this type of abuse.

“The headline is salacious, but the heart of the matter is that unionized workers can speak freely about dangerous working conditions without fear of retaliation. This leads to a healthier and more productive work environment and a safer product for consumers.”

BACKGROUND

From the Oxfam Report No Relief: Denial of Bathroom Breaks in the Poultry Industry (page 3):

In the course of hundreds of interviews, only a handful of work­ers reported that their bathroom needs are respected. These exceptions are primarily in plants that have unions, which offer important protections, inform workers of their rights, and en­sure they have a voice on the job. Unionized workers report that they feel comfortable leaving or stopping the line when their requests are denied for too long. Roughly a third of the poultry workforce is unionized, leaving most workers without these crucial protections.

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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.

 

April 27, 2016

What Work Does to a Person

Union President Statement for Workers Memorial Day

ufcw-300x143Washington, D.C. – Today Marc Perrone, International President of the UFCW released the following statement in advance of Workers Memorial Day – April 28th.

“Work can do amazing things for a person,” said UFCW President Marc Perrone. “But, we also know what work can do to a person physically. Each day millions of Americans do back-breaking jobs risking their health and lives to provide for their families and futures. U.S. workers are injured every day lifting heavy boxes, doing repetitive motions, not to mention by accidents and equipment malfunctions.

“Workers Memorial Day reminds us of those we’ve lost and who have physically sacrificed themselves at their jobs. As technology and industries change, UFCW will always push for safety standards that match the modern workplace.”

More than 4,800 workers in the U.S. were killed on the job in 2014, according to the AFL-CIO Death on the Job Report. Additionally, nearly three million workers suffered from injuries and illnesses at work.

Being killed on the job isn’t the only concern. Over the course of a career, it is common for retail, meat packing and food processing workers to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and sore joints. They gladly take on these risks so that they can provide for their families.

April 28th is Workers Memorial Day. On this day, the UFCW will join millions of Americans across the U.S., and around the world, to honor everyone who has lost their lives on the job, or suffered terrible injuries, sicknesses or diseases in their places of work.

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org.

UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing are 1.3 million professionals and their families in retail, food processing, grocery, meat packing and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states.

April 5, 2016

One Thousand March Through South Los Angeles in Support of Respect and a Fair Union Contract for El Super Grocery Workers

—March coincides with El Super’s parent company -Grupo Comercial Chedraui- Board of Directors meeting in Mexico—


Boycott El Super Los Angeles—
On Monday, April 4, El Super grocery workers represented by the UFCW marched together with more than 1,000 supporters -through the streets of South Los Angeles- to demand respect and a fair contract. The march coincided with El Super’s parent company – Grupo Comercial Chedraui’s – Annual Meeting of its Board of Directors in Xalapa, Mexico.

“We need a fair contract so we can take care of ourselves and our families,” said Lydia Flores, an El Super cashier. “Sometimes, my coworkers have to work two jobs to get by. I have a son who is ill. I can’t do that because I have to take care of him as well. We need fair pay and enough paid sick days so we can take care of our families” Flores said.

El Super union members have been fighting to win a fair contract since September 2013. El Super/ dba Bodega Latina is a Latino-focused grocery chain with 54 stores in the U.S. It is a subsidiary of Chedraui – Mexico’s third largest retailer.

“El Super needs to respect the will of its workers and negotiate a fair agreement that rewards our members for their hard work,” said Ricardo F. Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770.

In December of 2014 the unions commenced a national consumer boycott in protest of the Company’s unfair labor practices and treatment of its workers. The boycott has had a significant impact. It has reached over 2 million shoppers and contributed to negative same store sales at El Super markets during 2015 – its first annual negative same store sales since it began reporting financial results in 2010.

Huntington Park Mayor Graciela Ortiz voiced her support for El Super workers at a rally held outside an El Super store in Huntington Park. “Our community supported El Super workers when they called for a consumer boycott. Last April, the City of Huntington Park passed a resolution endorsing the El Super boycott. As residents and leaders in our community we will continue to hold companies responsible in providing adequate living wages to the workers that serve our community,” Mayor Graciela added.

El Super workers are asking to share in the company’s prosperity, which they helped create. Indeed, although Chedraui reported $4.5 billion in net sales in 2015, much of drawn from U.S. sales, it does not pay its workers a fair wage, offer affordable health insurance or provide sufficient hours to support a family.  The El Super workers and their union, the UFCW, are seeking just that – fair pay, adequate paid sick days, stronger seniority protections, and a 40-hour guarantee for full-time workers.UFCW members hold a "Respect is a Fair Contract" sign outside of El SuperCrowd carries "Boycott El Super" signs

February 12, 2016

“RIGHT TO WORK” FOR LESS LEGISLATION PASSES IN WEST VIRGINIA

Bill only serves to devastate West Virginia and hard-working families

One of the many Local 400 members who voiced why she opposed Right to Work legislation in West Virginia

One of the many Local 400 members who voiced why she opposed Right to Work legislation in West Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, made the following statement about the West Virginia Legislature overriding Governor Tomblin’s veto to pass a “right to work” law.

“The West Virginia State Legislators who supported passing this bill are telling West Virginians one thing – you have the “right to work for less.” Simply put, they should all be ashamed of themselves. Rather than helping the hard-working people of their state find good jobs that pay higher wages and provide better benefits, they have chosen to pursue a radical agenda that will devastate countless West Virginia workers and their families.

“Instead of helping raise wages, State Legislators have passed a bill that guarantees lower wages, fewer benefits and more dangerous workplaces. Make no mistake, this only serves to reward irresponsible companies who will do everything they can to pay their workers less. This is true in every state that has passed “right to work” and will sadly be true in West Virginia as well.

“Every American, regardless of the state they live in or their political beliefs, has earned the right to better wages, better benefits and a better life. This bill flies in the face of those rights. Everyone who voted to pass it will be remembered for turning their backs on working families.”

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org.

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

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational      @UFCW

February 5, 2016

Every Super Bowl Football Starts in UFCW Hands

UFCW members provide the leather to make every NFL game ball ever used

CHICAGO – Super Bowl Sunday is an American tradition and the American ideals of hard work, excellent performance and durability under the toughest conditions are exemplified on and off the field. Those same qualities are exemplified by the craftsmanship of the ball used on the field. Manufactured entirely in the United States, these balls are tough to the core and made to precise specifications, starting with the Horween leather crafted by dedicated UFCW 1546 members at the historic Horween Leather Company, Chicago’s last remaining tannery.

The 150 workers at Horween have been UFCW members since the 1960s, marking half a century of good-paying jobs in an atmosphere of mutual respect. The plant itself was founded in 1905 and has been producing top-quality football leather there for the last 60 years.

“I’ll be watching the Super Bowl knowing that we helped craft every football,” said Earl Ferguson, a machine operator and chief steward at the tannery. “Whether it’s Denver or Carolina, my union brothers at the National Football League Players Association will take the field knowing they’ve reached the pinnacle of their career. For us, we can take pride in that when that foot hits the leather that I made, it’s a sign that our union family is best at what we do.”

In addition to making the leather for every NFL football and NBA basketball, workers at Horween make some of the most sought-after leathers for shoes and clothing the world over, including genuine shell cordovan. The expertise and skill required to build this reputation can only happen with the highly-trained workers that value the stability provided by their union contract.

“I’ve been proud to be a union member at Horween for 26 years,” said Ferguson.  “We’re a family here. We take care of each other. The union, that’s just another part of that. Having the UFCW at my back means I have good wages and benefits to care for my loved ones. It means I feel a sense of ownership of my own job, which is important because I take pride in what I do.”

For more photos of the long-time tannery employees, check out Horween’s company blog.

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

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational     @UFCW

SuperBowl3

February 3, 2016

From Campaign Trail, Secretary Clinton Calls Into UFCW Event and Thanks Members


Clinton: “The issues your members fight for are my fights.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Secretary Hillary Clinton called into the 2016 meeting of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) International Executive Board and Advisory Council to thank its members for their efforts in Iowa and to highlight her commitment to hard-working families across the nation.

The UFCW, the largest private sector union in the nation with 1.3 million members, announced its endorsement of Clinton for President of the United States last month and was proud to be a key part of her victory in Iowa.

During her remarks, Secretary Clinton pointed to how UFCW members and their families were vital to her close victory in Iowa, and that she was determined to fight for the issues that matter to tens of millions of working and middle class people.

Specifically, Clinton emphasized her commitment to raising wages, guaranteeing equal pay, providing paid leave, and protecting the rights of hard-working families to negotiate better lives.

The following are excerpts from Clinton’s remarks to the UFCW Executive board and Advisory Council:

On Iowa:

“It’s just meant the world to me to have your support…And I want you to know that you made a difference for me in Iowa. This was a very tight race and your members were critical votes in several precincts across the state. That helped us end up on top. And I appreciated your work on the ground, knocking on doors, talking to voters, making phone calls. And here’s something I want you to know — exit polling shows that in Iowa, union household voters made up 21% of all caucus goers. So more than one fifth of everybody who turned out on Monday night was part of a union household and I was supported by a 9 point advantage among union household voters. You made that possible.”

On issues that matter to working families:

“The issues you and your members are fighting for are my fights too…I will be your partner in the fight to raise wages, provide opportunity for paid sick time, fair scheduling for workers. I will stand up and fight for the right to organize and bargain collectively, for good wages and good working conditions and benefits. And I have a plan to make college affordable, to fight for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.”

Clinton also took time to answer a question from the audience about what she will do to help workers balance work and family. She said:

“I’ve said before that we’ve got to do more to help families balance work and their families. That’s why I support twelve weeks of paid family leave, seven day of paid sick time…I am making the strength of our family, opportunities for our families, specifically those that working women have, the centerpiece of my campaign. And you’ll hear a lot about this in the months ahead.”

Clinton also took a question about whether she believes collective bargaining is a means to ending wage inequality. She said:

“I believe it. I think the evidence supports it. There’s no doubt in my mind that the labor movement and particularly collective bargaining led to the growth of the American middle class…Republicans and their special interest groups have tried to undermine organizing, undermine collective bargaining. There’s no doubt in my mind they try to diminish our standard of living and growth of the American middle class.”

Photos of UFCW members caucusing for Clinton in Iowa are attached.

iowa1 crowd2 Tish group crowd3 crowd 1 bill

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org.

 

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

 www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational    @UFCW

February 3, 2016

UFCW Names Esther López New International Secretary-Treasurer

UFCW President Perrone Highlights Historic Announcement as Part of UFCW’s Commitment to Building a Diverse and Strong Union Family

Ester2016-778x1024PHOENIX, AZ — Today, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Executive Board elected Esther López as the new International Secretary-Treasurer. The historic announcement reflects the commitment by the UFCW, as the largest private sector union with 1.3 million members, to building a diverse and strong union family.

Esther López is a leading champion of hard-working men and women, and has worked tirelessly for decades on behalf of immigrants and all families seeking a better life. López has helped lead the UFCW’s groundbreaking outreach effort to the Latino and immigrant communities, and is recognized as a national leader in the areas of immigration reform, as well as civil, human, and labor rights.

“To become a better and stronger union family, I have been absolutely committed to building a diverse and inclusive union. It is why I’m so proud to announce that the UFCW International Executive Board elected Esther López as our union family’s new International Secretary-Treasurer. Esther is a tireless advocate for the rights of all hard-working men and women. Esther believes, as I do, that our nation’s diversity is our strength, that we must grow our union family, and that by working together we will provide a better life to all our incredible members,” said Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union.

In accepting her position, López said:

“I am truly honored to be elected as the International Secretary-Treasurer. This union and our members are my family. Doing everything I can to improve the lives of hard-working families, and provide them with the better life they’ve earned, has been my life’s mission. It is why the UFCW’s commitment to building a stronger and more diverse union family is so important. It inspires me to never stop fighting to better the lives of our members, and those who deserve to be our members. Under Marc’s leadership, and as part of this incredible UFCW team, I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of our great union family.”

Throughout her career, López has been a champion of the rights of all workers – regardless of where they come from or where they were born. To help provide hope to immigrant workers, López launched a groundbreaking program to ensure eligible UFCW members were first in line to apply for citizenship. Prior to that, she spearheaded the Union Citizenship Action Network, also known as UCAN, to help UFCW members become naturalized and get on the path to citizenship. López was the lead staff person on the UFCW Commission on ICE Enforcement that highlighted civil rights abuses in the 2006 Swift raids. All along, López has never lost focus on the broader goal of giving aspiring Americans the chance to become citizens and ensuring all workers and their families are protected from exploitation.

López began with the UFCW in November 2006 when she was hired as Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department.  In that role, she has helped put the UFCW on the front lines of the most crucial civil rights battles of our time—fighting back against voter suppression, working to end exploitation of refugees from countries like Burma, Sudan and Somalia, creating more opportunities for women, and expanding LGBT equality.

Prior to her career at the UFCW, López played an active role in improving labor conditions within the state of Illinois, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Labor, as well as in the governor’s cabinet as Director of the Illinois Department of Labor.

 

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

www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational     @UFCW

January 28, 2016

El Super Grocery Workers and their Supporters Protest Recently Opened El Super Store in Pico Rivera

MEDIA 6– El Super operates 54 grocery stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, and is a subsidiary of Mexico retail giant Grupo Comercial Chedraui

Community members and El Super workers rallied outside the chain’s newly opened El Super store in Pico Rivera yesterday. El Super has been under consumer boycott since December 2014, and its unionized workers have struck the company twice in protest of unfair labor practices. Jobs at El Super are beneath grocery industry standards and the federal government has issued multiple complaints, and a temporary injunction, against the company for violating the rights of workers who speak out in favor of higher standards.

On January 22, a new El Super opened at 9320 Slauson Ave, Pico Rivera. This space was a Ralph’s store, before it closed last October.

This will be a non Union store where workers have fewer protections and no voice at work. Pico Rivera needs good, union jobs that uplift workers, their families and our community. We need grocery stores that preserve the quality job standards established at neighboring stores,” said Andrea Zinder, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) 324 Secretary Treasurer.

Ralph’s workers at this store had a good union contract that included guaranteed hours, family sustaining wages, adequate paid sick leave, and affordable family health care. The jobs at the Pico Rivera El Super are inferior in every way.

In 2014, Chedraui posted over $100 million (US) in profits, and El Super contributed more than a fifth of the company’s net revenues. Despite its success, unionized El Super workers at seven (7) California stores have been working without a fair union contract for over two years.

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January 12, 2016

UFCW Endorses Hillary Clinton For President

clintonUFCW HIGHLIGHTS LENGTHY MEMBER DRIVEN ENDORSEMENT PROCESS IN ORDER TO SELECT STRONGEST 2016 CANDIDATE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Since last year, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, has actively engaged and reached out to its 1.3 million diverse members about the issues they care about, and the positions they believe the next President of the United States should embody. Based on the collective opinion of our members, the UFCW is announcing today its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

Today’s announcement reflects a yearlong commitment made by the UFCW to pursue a thorough presidential endorsement process. As part of this effort, the UFCW conducted a series of nationwide meetings with current members and Local UFCW officers, internal polls of our union members, as well as focus groups with working and middle class non-union families from across the country who currently work or have worked in retail, to determine the issues that matter most to UFCW members and the workers the UFCW fights for every day.

Based on these results, as well as additional discussions with UFCW Local Presidents and the UFCW Executive Board, the collective decision was that Hillary Clinton is indeed the best qualified and positioned candidate to win in 2016 and fight for the issues – such as job security, fair scheduling, paid leave, raising wages, immigration and health care reform – that matter most to our diverse union family.

Marc Perrone, International President of the UFCW, released the following statement about the endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

“For our union family, the 2016 Presidential election is about electing someone who will fight every single day for the issues that matter most to our 1.3 million hard-working members and their families. And, as one of the most diverse unions in the nation, we believe it is critical to select a candidate who is not just ready to be President, but who best understands that the strength of this nation is our unity and diversity.

“It is our members’ strong belief that Hillary Clinton is not just the strongest presidential candidate, but the right one. By working together, we believe our incredible members can help Secretary Clinton create the better America that our union family and all middle- and working-class families have earned and deserve.

“We announce this endorsement with the full belief that the frustrations felt by the American people are real, and that they deserve an America where better wages and better benefits are enjoyed by all who help make this nation great.

“For us, these incredible retail and non-retail workers, who help feed and serve this nation, deserve a president like Hillary Clinton who will fight to make sure that paid leave, stable schedules, and higher wages become more than an election promise – they’ll become a reality.

“We would like to thank our members for their input, and are proud to have taken the time to make a thoughtful decision about this presidential endorsement. These decisions are always difficult, especially when we have good and committed candidates who have dedicated their lives to fighting for America’s families.

“To Sen. Sanders and Gov. O’Malley, we would like to thank them and acknowledge their passion and commitment to the better America we all believe in. Their voices have made a difference in this race, and we hope they will continue to speak out for the issues that Secretary Clinton and all our families care about.

“Looking ahead to the fall, we are dedicated to mobilizing all our 1.3 million members across every state to help make Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States.”

December 17, 2015

Dolores Huerta Joins Grocery Workers’ Unfair Labor Practices Strike at El Super

  • Workers at the Latino grocery chain strike in response to current violations of their rights under U.S. labor law.
  • Grocery employees are joined by human rights legend Dolores Huerta at an El Super Store in Los Angeles.
  • Today’s action comes one day after 19 members of Congress called on the Obama administration to uphold international labor standards at El Super.

DOLORES H STRIKE Los Angeles, December 16—With signs held high and chants ringing across store parking lots, El Super workers at seven locations in Southern California went on strike over recent unfair labor practices (ULPs). The strikers, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), are protesting violations of their rights and U.S. labor law requiring the company to bargain in good faith. They were joined by labor and human rights legend Dolores Huerta at a rally in front of the grocer’s location on E. Gage Ave. in Los Angeles.

“The fight El Super workers are engaged in is the same fight that the farm workers have historically fought for: the right to belong to a union, the right to bargain in good faith, and the right to industry labor standards, which means wages that can sustain their families. I stand with El Super workers and their campaign to win respect in the workplace and dignity for their families,” said Huerta, longtime champion for labor rights and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.

Yesterday’s strike, was launched to protest recent ULPs at the chain.  El Super’s conduct is the subject of charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board within the past week, including surface bargaining, repudiation of terms El Super unilaterally implemented nearly a year and half ago as part of it’s “last, best, and final” contract offer, and unreasonable delay in providing information crucial to effective negotiations.

El Super union members have been working without a contract since September 2013. In the face of court action and an NLRB trial, the company returned to union negotiations in August of this year, after over a year and half absence. They came back, however, to engage in bad faith bargaining in violation of federal law.

Flora Castaneda, an El Super cashier on strike to get the company to meet its legal obligations, said, “Reaching a union contract with the company is much more than a legal document to me, my family and my coworkers.  It is my hope that if the company bargains in good faith we can sign an agreement that would ultimately allow me a holiday season where I’m able to make dinner for my family and buy some little presents for my kids. I think if the Company bargains in good faith we can reach an agreement that will enable us to able to go to the doctor when we are sick, save for our children to go to college, and have enough money at the end of the month to afford food and rent.  It means we will have protection from the company’s retaliation against union supporters.”

“El Super’s disregard of workers’ rights and of labor law is shameful,” said UFCW Local 770 President Ricardo Icaza. “We will continue to stand together against this company’s lawless stonewalling of the bargaining process, and be with the workers until El Super comes to the table to negotiate in good faith for a contract where workers have the wages, benefits, guaranteed hours and respect that they have earned.”

In addition to the recent charges filed with the NLRB that prompted this strike, the NLRB recently issued a complaint against the company for additional unfair labor practices.

The UFCW and allies have also filed simultaneous complaints under the NAFTA labor agreement and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines to stop El Super and its parent company Grupo Chedraui’s attack on workers’ rights in the United States and Mexico. On Monday, 19 members of Congress representing districts with El Super store locations called on the Obama administration to expedite investigations into the complaints’ allegations.

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Sign Letter to El Super CEO: www.BoycottElSuper.org

Like: http://facebook.com/justiceforelsuperworkers