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 President Hansen Statement in Response to Grand Jury Decision in the Death of Michael Brown

November 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the decision by a grand jury not to indict the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. “Today, first and foremost, we mourn for our sister Lesley McSpadden, a member […]

UFCW OUTreach Hear from LGBT Leaders During Executive Board Meeting

November 24, 2014

UFCW’s LGBT constituency group OUTreach held their executive board meeting on November 12-13. During the meetings, executive board members heard from numerous leaders in the LGBT community. Speakers included Mara Keisling, Executive Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, Jerame Davis, Executive Director for the AFL-CIO’s Pride at Work, Daniel Pino from the National Gay […]

Rep. Gutierrez Joins Farm Workers behind the Thanksgiving Meal to Hold Holiday Feast in front of White House

November 19, 2014

Farm & Food Processing Workers Deliver Letters Calling for Executive Action See here for archived footage and other important information from today’s event. Washington, DC—Today, on the cusp of one of America’s most celebrated holidays, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) alongside immigrant farm, food and commercial workers from across the country gathered in front of the […]

UFCW Executive Vice President Pat O’Neill Honored for Efforts to Help Walmart Workers

October 29, 2014

Last week, UFCW Executive Vice President Pat O’Neill was honored by the UMass Dartmouth Arnold M. Dubin Labor Education Center during their annual awards banquet. For 35 years, the center has served “as a bridge between working people, their communities, organizations, and UMass Dartmouth.” Their awards and dinner banquet are one of the largest gatherings of labor leaders […]

Member Spotlight: Towanda Carter

October 7, 2014

Towanda Carter was recently recognized by UFCW Region 1 for her outstanding service as a union member and for helping her fellow workers, both at her own workplace and elsewhere. After noticing unfair treatment of workers at her job working at Catholic Charities Brooklyn & Queens Inc. in 2005, Towanda and her coworkers filed to unionize […]

Hispanic Heritage Month: Honoring Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta

October 6, 2014

Hispanic Heritage Month provides us with an opportunity to pay tribute Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, two great labor leaders who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) and helped to organize the Delano Grape Strike—one of the most successful strikes in labor history. On September 8, 1965, Filipino farm workers in Delano, Calif., who […]

Sign the Petition to Support Bloomingfoods Workers and Their Right to Organize!

October 2, 2014

Sign the Petition Here to Take Action! Workers at Bloomingfoods Market & Deli co-op grocery store in Indiana have been standing together, calling for a recognition and neutrality agreement while they exercise their right to organize, as well as for their employer to stop consulting with anti-union law firms in order to interfere with the workers’ […]

2014 Voter Information Hub

September 30, 2014

The general election is less than two months away, and the stakes for UFCW members and working families couldn’t be higher. UFCW’s new voter information hub allows members to register to vote and make a pledge that they will go the polls on Election Day. The site also provides important election information for all 50 states. Find […]

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: UFCW Steward Idalid Guerrero

September 29, 2014

It’s now the third week of Hispanic Heritage Month, and we’re celebrating by showcasing the story of a UFCW steward named Idalid Guerrero. Read her story about making a difference in one’s union and community, below: UFCW stewards play a special role in their plants. They are leaders who protect their co-workers and ensure that our plants […]

Call Walmart Now and Tell the Company Women Shouldn’t Be Fired Just for Being Pregnant

September 25, 2014

This article was originally posted by Jobs with Justice. It’s been more than six months since Walmart, which was under pressure from associates and women’s organizations, agreed to change its pregnancy policy to provide basic accommodations for employees experiencing complications with their pregnancies. But a Walmart store in Chicago reveals the company has fallen far short of truly […]

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Walter Garron

September 24, 2014

As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–October 15) we wanted to share the story of UFCW Local 1473 Member and Staff Walter Garron. Walter became a member of Local 1473 when he started working in the maintenance department at Strauss Brands in Franklin, Wisconsin. When his employer started giving his fellow coworkers […]

UFCW Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2014

September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month—a time for the UFCW to pay tribute to Hispanic Americans and their positive contributions to our communities and our country. The origins of this celebration date back to President Lyndon Johnson, who first established Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968.  In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the […]

AFL-CIO Introduces The Koch Sisters Campaign

September 11, 2014

Last week, the AFL-CIO introduced “The Koch Sisters”– a national project featuring two women, Karen and Joyce, who share the same last name, but not the same values as the Koch Brothers. The Koch Sisters will bring the issues most Americans care about – from fair wages to protecting Social Security – to the forefront […]

UFCW and OUR Walmart Members Help Calif. Pass Paid Sick Day Legislation

September 9, 2014

After intense lobbying from UFCW members and members of OUR Walmart, both houses of the California legislature have passed a bill guaranteeing workers up to three paid sick days a year. The legislation includes part-time and temporary workers, making it one of the strongest in the nation. Home health care workers are exempted. Governor Jerry Brown […]