Social Justice

Equality and Non-Discrimination

At UFCW, we believe that discrimination on the job, be it for race, country of origin, gender, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation, is unacceptable.

To promote these values, we not only work directly with employers to agree on legally-binding nondiscrimination policies in the contracts we bargain, but we also fight to extend these protections to all workers through national legislation such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA ” S811/HR1397), to ensure LGBTQ  Ameri­cans do not have to live in fear of being looked over for a position, fired from a job or denied promotion because of their orientation or gender identity. Recently, President Joe Hansen released a statement in support of President Obama’s support for marriage equality. We’ve also been strong advocates for Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation. Also, the UFCW Women’s Network, the UFCW Minority Coalition, and the UFCW United Latinos promote diversity and inclusion within the labor movement and encourage women and minority leadership.

  • UFCW is a long-time supporter of legislation to eliminate gender-based pay discrimination (“Paycheck Fairness Act” S797/HR1519), and workplace discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community (“ENDA” S811/HR1397).

Right to Organize

When workers stick together as a union, they have bargaining power and a collective voice that they simply do not have when they are not unionized.  Being a member of a union not only gives you a better position to get better wages, benefits and working conditions, you also get job security.  Non-union workers have limited rights and can be fired “at-will”, for no reason.  Just because your boss is having a bad day and decides he/she doesn’t want you around anymore. Non-union workers also find that the rules can change at the whim of the employer.

  • Fought efforts to cut funding for the NLRB and to remove the board’s authority to enforce labor laws.

Immigration Reform

Employers who take advantage of immigrant workers drive down wages and benefits for all of us. It’s clear—our current immigration law is broken. Immigration reform is important to UFCW members, many of whom know from personal experience working with the wide range of cultures and backgrounds in places like our nation’s packing and processing plants that the role of immigration in our communities is very complex and comprehensive reform is going to take more than partisan, political mudslinging.

  • Fought efforts to lower wage standards for H-2B guest workers

Recent News

UFCW Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act

April 11, 2014

This week, President Obama paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act during a visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin and paved the way for the […]

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Senate Vote Blocking Paycheck Fairness Act

April 9, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would stiffen penalties for corporations that discriminate against women. “The average woman still makes only 77 cents for every dollar a man does. Over […]

This Equal Pay Day, We Still Strive for Equal Pay for Equal Work

April 8, 2014

Here’s a sad fact: the average working woman would have to keep working until today, almost two weeks into April, to make what a man doing the same job made in 2013. We call today Equal Pay Day, a day to remember that women still only get paid 77 cents for every dollar their male […]

Moms Take On Walmart, AND WIN!

April 8, 2014

Reposted from Making Change at Walmart Under pressure from mothers working in their stores and women’s groups, Walmart recently altered its policy around accommodating pregnant women. As reported last weekend in the Washington Post, Walmart reworked its policy so that women with pregnancy-related complications that could be considered “temporary disabled” and would be eligible for “reasonable […]

Walmart and the Food Stamp Economy

April 4, 2014

“Walmart takes in about 18 percent of U.S. food stamp dollars, a share that amounted to more than $13 billion last year.” However, with cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Walmart is seeing a huge portion of its customer base drop off, no longer able to afford to shop there. Instead, many are […]

Labor Unions Make a Difference in Working Lives of Black Women, New Report Finds

April 3, 2014

A new report released last week by Black Women’s Roundtable examines the state of black women across the country over the last six decades and shows that while significant progress has been made since Brown v. Board of Education, the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other key historic markers, there are many crucial social and […]

UFCW Members in Minnesota Lobby Their Legislators

April 1, 2014

Members from UFCW Locals 653 and 1189 talked with their Representatives at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. The members lobbied for increasing the minimum wage, for the passage of paid sick leave, and medical cannabis laws. UFCW Local 1189 member Dave Vasquez, who works on the kill floor at Dakota Premium, was happy […]

UFCW Celebrates Women’s History Month and the Future of the Labor Movement

March 31, 2014

Women’s History Month has provided us with an opportunity to highlight the lives of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, Frances Perkins, Dolores Huerta and Addie Wyatt—remarkable women who made significant contributions to the labor movement. These women’s lives have served as an inspiration to today’s female labor activists. From the brave women of OUR Walmart to […]

Remembering the legacy of César Chávez

March 28, 2014

Eighty seven years ago this Monday, César Chávez, a hero of the labor and civil rights movements, was born on a small ranch in Yuma, Arizona. Like thousands of others Chávez’s family lost its land in the Great Depression and headed to work in the fields of California’s central valley, where he would spend the […]

UFCW President Hansen Urges Support for Discharge Petition on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

March 26, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement supporting the discharge petition filed by House Democrats which seeks a vote on comprehensive immigration reform. “It has been 272 days since the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform on a bipartisan basis. For nearly 9 […]

Women’s History Month: UFCW Celebrates the Life of Dolores Huerta

March 20, 2014

“I think organized labor is a necessary part of democracy. Organized labor is the only way to have fair distribution of wealth.” (Dolores Huerta) Dolores Clara Fernandez, better known as Dolores Huerta, was born in 1930 in New Mexico, and grew up in the farming community of Stockton, California. She earned a teaching degree at […]

Women’s History Month: UFCW Celebrates the Life of Frances Perkins

March 19, 2014

“I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen.”  (Frances Perkins) Frances Perkins (1880-1965) graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1902 and earned a Master’s Degree in sociology from Columbia University in 1910.  After graduate school, she worked as a social worker and became involved in labor reform […]

Women’s History Month: UFCW Celebrates the Life of Mother Jones

March 17, 2014

The month of March marks Women’s History Month and provides us with an opportunity to honor the many women who have who have fought for social and economic justice in the workplace. Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (1837-1930) was a prominent labor activist and cofounder of the Industrial Workers of the World.  As a young woman, […]

UFCW Local 555 Member Shares Her Story, Makes a Difference for Grocery Workers

March 4, 2014

Last month, during UFCW Local 555’s Oregon Lobby Day, shop steward Sarah DeMerritt testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of legislation that would ease penalties for those who unknowingly or inadvertently sell alcohol to a minor for the first time. In June of 2013, while working as a checker at Safeway in Lake […]

Dream Defenders Draw on Peaceful Protest Methods of MLK to Create Social Change

February 25, 2014

There are only a few days left in Black History Month, but we continue to celebrate those who fight for civil rights throughout the year. The Dream Defenders, a group dedicated to  social change, does so by “training and organizing youth and students in nonviolent civil disobedience, civic engagement, and direct action while creating a […]

Executive Director at Color Of Change Fights for Civil Rights by Utilizing Pop Culture

February 20, 2014

Rashad Robertson, executive director of, is yet another great role model in the fight for civil rights today. For over a decade Robertson has been working to mobilize communities to make change through new avenues. Color of Change, which is said to be the nation’s largest online civil rights organization, is dedicated to strengthening […]

Robin Williams of the UFCW Is Elected to the National Board of the NAACP

February 19, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Robin Williams, the associate director of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union’s (UFCW) Civil Rights and Community Action Department, was elected to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) National Board of Directors on February 13.  Williams is a lifelong community activist, organizer and civil rights veteran […]

A Shining Light in the South: UFCW Organizer Rose Turner

February 19, 2014

In 1981, Rose Turner was a nursing home worker in the deep south. When workers decided to try and organize to join UFCW Local 1529 that year, Rose immediately got involved, hoping to change the working conditions: “At that time there was no family medical leave. Women–when they got pregnant, they went out and came […]