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March 24, 2015

Young Workers From Across the Country Participate in the AFL-CIO Next Up Young Worker Summit

Last week, over 1,000 young workers and union activists headed to the AFL-CIO Next Up Young Worker Summit in Chicago, eager to share and learn more about how we can work together for economic and social justice.

Over 70 UFCW and RWDSU/UFCW members were in attendance, including many of the 2014 GOLD internship program participants.

UFCW member and former GOLD intern Erica Clemmons proudly introduced AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at the conference.

Erica joined the UFCW Local 1059 as a cashier at Kroger, and is now an organizer with Local 881. She also sits on the AFL-CIO’s Young Workers Advisory Council. Erica’s dedication to economic and racial equality has inspired many other young workers.

Erica was also one of the many UFCW and RWDSU/UFCW activists who led workshops at the conference. Workshops focused on issues such as empowering different minority groups, raising the minimum wage, and gender equality. There were also workshops dedicated to sharing skills and tips for things such as digital organizing and collective bargaining.

Attendees of the conference also participated in two local actions to show solidarity for workers fighting for justice. RWDSU/UFCW hosted an action in support of Guitar Center workers, who have been fighting for a voice on the job. The UFCW hosted another action which began at a local McDonalds, where workers have been calling for a living wage of $15 an hour, and then marched on to a Food 4 Less location. Employees at Food 4 Less have been standing together for better wages and benefits, respect on the job, and union representation. Kroger Company, which owns Food 4 Less, pays its other brand employees more than it does its Food 4 Less workers.  Many AFL-CIO affiliated unions joined these actions in solidarity with the workers, in addition to 18 UFCW locals unions.

Read more and watch a clip from the rally here.

Other highlights of the summit included speakers such as Labor ally Danny Glover, who spoke about the importance of activism, and Liz Shuler from the AFL-CIO, who emphasized why young workers are so important to the labor movement.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Danny Glover addresses the crowd

Danny Glover addresses the crowd

Former GOLD intern Tracy Officer supports Food 4 Less workers

Former GOLD intern Tracy Officer supports Food 4 Less workers

Next Up attendees and workers shut down McDonalds

Next Up attendees and workers shut down McDonalds

The rally reaches McDonalds

The rally at McDonalds

Former GOLD intern Miranda Tribble on her way to the Food 4 Less rally

Former GOLD intern Miranda Tribble on her way to the Food 4 Less rally

UFCW members and former GOLD interns Mike Roberts, Simplice Mabiala, and Josh Greenlee

UFCW members and former GOLD interns Mike Roberts, Simplice Mabiala, and Josh Greenlee

UFCW members and former GOLD interns Kira Johnson and Ariana Davis

UFCW members and former GOLD interns Kira Johnson and Ariana Davis

UFCW member and former GOLD intern Erica Clemmons introduces AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka

UFCW member and former GOLD intern Erica Clemmons introduces AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka

March 12, 2015

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Union Way!

Found-the-GoldEven if you’re not Irish, it’s always fun to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day by sporting some green, looking for lucky shamrocks, or just eating some great Irish food!

Union Plus gathered some great Irish recipes that you can make with UFCW-made ingredients! Scroll down to see a few!  The AFL-CIO has also compiled a great list of UFCW made whiskies you can toast with:

Whiskey

Baker’s

Basil Hayden’s

Blanton’s

Elijah Craig

Henry McKenna

Jim Beam

Knob Creek

Old Crow

Old Grand-Dad

 

Is beer more your thing? UFCW and our other union brothers and sisters from IAM, UAW, and the Teamsters make plenty:

Drink-ResponsiblyBeer

Budweiser

Budweiser American Ale

Bud Light

Hamm’s

Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve and Blue Board Pale Ale

Leinenkugel’s

Michelob

Miller Genuine Draft

Miller High Life

Miller Lite

Moosehead

Rolling Rock

Shock Top

Steelhead

 

Irish Eyes Cocktail Recipe via About.comIrish Eyes Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce whiskey
  • 1/4 ounce green crème de menthe
  • 2 ounce cream
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

Directions:

  • Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake well.
  • Strain into an old-fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with the maraschino cherry.

Make it union! Great whiskey’s like Jim Beam and Knob Creek are made possible by UFCW members.

 

Corned beef and Cabbage via AllRecipes.comMaking corned beef and cabbage? Use Saag's corned beef, and support the union members at UFCW!

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (3 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet, cut in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small head cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients into slow cooker, vegetables first. Brisket and cabbage are added last. Cook for 8 to 9 hours (remove bay leaf)
  • Make it union! Use Saag’s corned beef, and support the union members at UFCW.

Make it union! Use Saag’s corned beef, and support the union members at UFCW.

 

Irish Stew via AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish stout beer (e.g. Guinness®)
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 white onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss beef cubes with flour to coat, then fry in the hot oil until browned.
  • Place the carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic, meat, and vegetables in a large slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the vegetables.
  • Mix together the beef broth and tomato paste and pour into the slow cooker along with the beer.
  • Cook for 6-8 hours. During the last hour before serving,
  • To thicken the stew, dissolve cornstarch in cold water and stir into the broth.

Make it union! Beef made by Hormel and Always Tender is made by members of UFCW.

 

Shepherd’s Pie via KraftRecipes.comShepherd's Pie is an Irish classic recipe. To go union, use Tyson's ground beef, brought to you by UFCW members.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cups hot mashed potatoes
  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn and green beans), thawed
  • 1 cup beef gravy

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Brown meat in large skillet; drain.
  • Mix potatoes, cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded cheese and garlic until well blended.
  • Combine meat, vegetables and gravy; spoon into 9-inch square baking dish.
  • Cover with potato mixture and remaining shredded cheese. Bake 20 min. or until heated through.

Make it union! Use Tyson’s ground beef, brought to you by UFCW members. KRAFT also employs members of UFCW, IBT, IAMAW, and BCTGM members.

Kiss-Me-I'm-Union

February 23, 2015

UFCW International President Elected to AFL-CIO Executive Council, Executive Committee

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C.—Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council and Executive Committee. He released the following statement.

I am honored and humbled to represent the 1.3 million members of the UFCW on the Executive Council and Executive Committee of the AFL-CIO. As a labor movement, we have enormous challenges ahead of us. Workers are counting on us to organize more members, bargain good contracts, and defeat the corporations and politicians who are trying to silence their voice. I intend to play an active role in putting our movement in the best position to meet the needs of working families. We have to be more strategic. We have to communicate with our own members and non-union workers better. We have to become more diverse and immerse ourselves in the communities where our members live and work. Working with President Trumka and my colleagues from all of the AFL-CIO affiliates, I believe we can build a labor movement that is bigger, stronger, and more ready than ever to truly serve working men and women.

February 11, 2015

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre Honors the African-American Labor Leaders Who Have Inspired Him in His Work

Reposted from Huffington Post

By Tefere Gebre:

AFL-CIO Vice President Tefere Gebre stands with Walmart workers on Black Friday 2014

AFL-CIO Vice President Tefere Gebre stands with Walmart workers on Black Friday 2014

Every February, people across the country celebrate Black History Month. We honor the heritage and struggle of African-Americans in the United States while looking with hope towards the future. This year, I am honored to look back at organizers and activists who inspire me daily in my work as a leader in the labor movement. The history of the modern labor movement, which is positioned to speak, fight, and win on behalf of all workers, is filled with strong black figures who fought for civil and economic justice during a time when justice was not guaranteed for all.

When I arrived in the United States at the age of 15 as a refugee of war-torn Ethiopia, I struggled to take care of myself financially while also trying to focus on my academics. When I started college at Cal Poly Pomona on an athletic scholarship, I also got a job as a night shift loader for UPS as a member of Teamsters Local 396. UPS was my first union job and it opened my eyes to the world of labor and all of the trailblazing African-American organizers who had come before me.

People like Bayard Rustin who persevered in the face of threats and violence in his efforts to organize workers on behalf of the trade unionists. Despite enduring multiple arrests and beatings, Rustin continued in his work and went on to help organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom alongside A. Philip Randolph, another great African-American labor leader. The March on Washington was the largest demonstration the United States had ever seen, bringing together hundreds of people in the struggle for better jobs and better lives.

Thanks to the work of activists like Rustin and Randolph, all African-Americans have moved closer to achieving the goals of justice and equality set forth by the civil rights movement. Rustin and Randolph are important examples of the positive role unions and collective action play in the African-American struggle for economic justice. Today, African-American union members earn 28 percent more than our non-union peers and are far more likely to have good benefits that help us raise families. But there is still work to be done.

Now more than ever, the struggle for civil rights must include good jobs that raise wages and an economy that works for all. Without good jobs, there is no real freedom. While African-American union members are weathering the economic downturn with the aid of collective bargaining, our non-union brothers and sisters are suffering. Today African-Americans have a 10.4 percent rate of unemployment in the United States compared to a 4.8 percent rate for white Americans.

It’s time for the next generation of leaders to take up the torch and work on behalf of all workers. I am grateful for the inspiration that past African-American leaders have left behind for me. This proud legacy continues to motivate fellow activists who are fighting for justice today. Let’s get to work and make them proud.

February 9, 2015

UFCW Celebrates Black History Month: Bayard Rustin–An Overlooked Champion of Civil and Labor Rights

image via AFL-CIO

image via AFL-CIO

One of the greatest moments of the Civil Rights era was the March on Washington in 1963–one of the largest non-violent protests to ever occur in America. The March on Washington brought thousands of people of all races together, in the name of equal rights for everyone–whether they were black or white, rich or poor, Muslim or Christian. Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. made one of his most inspiring and famous speeches at the march, which culminated on the National mall.

But history has often overlooked the man who was the driving force behind this monumental event–a man named Bayard Rustin. Rustin was the one who organized the march, bringing methods used by Gandhi as well as the Quaker religion to Washington to ensure peace, but also impact. It was Rustin who helped shape Dr. King into the iconic symbol of peace he is remembered as.

As a young adult, Rustin worked with many kinds of people who influenced his activism, including ministers and labor organizers. During World War II, Rustin fought against racial discrimination in war-related hiring, and was later jailed for two years after refusing to enter the draft. Then, after protesting segregated transit systems, he was sentenced to work on a chain gang for several weeks.

Despite being punished for his beliefs, Rustin continued to work towards changing things for the better. In 1953, Bayard Rustin arrived in Montgomery, Alabama to partake in the famous bus boycott that kicked off after Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her seat on the bus for a white man. The boycott brought many civil rights leaders to the area, including a young Dr. Martin Luther King, who had not yet embraced non-violence. But Rustin taught many who were partaking in the boycott how Gandhi had used peaceful tactics to bring change in India, and people saw the importance of these tactics, and began to embrace them, focusing on direct protest.

Rustin was also a champion of workers rights. In 1965, Rustin and his mentor A. Philip Randolph co-founded the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a labor organization for African-American trade union members. Much of his work emphasized that labor rights were an integral part of the civil rights movement.

Although Bayard Rustin was a tireless activist, his life achievements are unknown to many, and he has even been called the “lost prophet” of the civil rights movement. This is largely because not only was Rustin silenced and threatened like many others were for being a black man speaking out for equal rights, but also because he was openly gay in a time when homophobia and bigotry was rampant. Rustin continued his life as an openly gay man, even after being incarcerated for it, and is seen as a champion of the LGBT movement still today. Despite being beaten, arrested, jailed, and fired from various leadership positions, Rustin overcame and made a huge impact on the civil and economic rights movements.

America has a long way to go before Rustin’s dreams of equal human rights for all are achieved, but without him, we perhaps would not be where we are today. Today, we have a black president, more women in leadership positions, and more of legislation in the states overturning old and outdated laws barring gay couples from marrying. These are just a few examples of the progress our country has made since Rustin’s time, and working people will continue to work so that ALL people have equal rights–at work and at home.

 

January 30, 2015

Make Your Super Bowl Celebration Union-Made!

Originally posted by the AFL-CIO

10475250_10153031362211153_8928912527762256460_nOn Super Bowl Sunday next week, some of our larger and faster union brothers—members of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA)—will be battling it out in Glendale, Ariz., at Super Bowl XLIX (49 for those of us who are shaky on Roman numerals).  While the Super Bowl carries a union label, from players to broadcast crews to stadium workers—your Super Bowl party spread can too, with union-made in America food and drinks.

Check out these union-made Super Bowl party products, compiled by our friends at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Food and drinks are brought to you by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), the UAW, Machinists (IAM), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Teamsters (IBT).

Beer
Beck’s, Budweiser, Busch. Goose Island, Hoegaarden, Land Shark Lager, Leffe Blond, Michelob, Natural, O’Doul’s (non alcoholic), Shock Top, Stella Artois, Iron City, Rolling Rock, Red Stripe, Kirin, Labatt Blue, Stegmaier, Lionshead, Steelhead, Butte Creek, Red Tail Ale, Blue Moon, Henry Weinhard’s, Killian’s, Mickey’s, Molson Canadian, Olde English 800,
Steel Reserve, Miller, Keystone Light, 1845 Pils, Bass Pale Ale, Moosehead, Schlitz, Pabst,
Sam Adams, Hamm’s and Kingfisher Premium Lager.

Meat
Alexander & Hornung, Always Tender, Ball Park, Banquet, Butterball, Dearborn Sausage Co., Farmer John, Farmland, Hebrew National, Hormel, Omaha Steaks, Oscar Meyer, Thumann’s and Tyson.

Snack Food
Act II Popcorn, Bagel Bites, Lay’s, Cheetos, Cheez-It, Chex Mix, Chips Ahoy, Doritos, Fig Newtons, Fritos, Rice Krispies Treats, Rold Gold Pretzels, Ruffle, Triscuit and Wheat Thins.

Chips and Salsa
Mission Chips, Old El Paso Chips, Dips and Salsa, Pace Salsa, Stacy’s Pita Chips, Sun Chips
Tostitos Chips and Salsa.

January 13, 2015

Bonnie Ladin Union Skills Training Program Provides Great Opportunity for Union Leaders and Staff, Community Activists

Adapted from the AFL-CIO

photo from AFL-CIO

photo from AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO Bonnie Ladin Union Skills Training Program (BLUS) 2015 classes are now open for registration.

The program is designed for union leaders, staff and community activists and offers intensive hands-on training around the areas of collective bargaining; organizing; arbitration and grievance handling; leadership for new union officers; strategic campaigns for contracts; teaching techniques; and best financial practices.

Taught by a group of experienced instructors, the BLUS program brings together rising union activists and community allies with the end goal of helping participants to better serve their unions and communities.

The classes cover many aspects of union training, such as writing contract language, arbitration, and organizing.

Most classes are held at the MITAGS training center in Linthicum, MD. MITAGS is close to BWI Airport, Amtrak, and I-95. Free shuttle service is offered to and from the airport and train station.

For more information, visit aflcio.org/union-skills.

This is a great opportunity for UFCW Locals and members to get more involved in their union, workplace, and community.

January 9, 2015

Inspiring Messages from Policymakers, Union Leaders, Workers at Summit on Raising Wages

B61sFoLIAAAMEaAThis past Wednesday, the AFL-CIO sponsored a national Summit on Raising Wages. The summit featured a wide range of speakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and actress Piper Perabo, and was attended by the UFCW and many others who expressed the importance of higher wages for working Americans.

Senator Elizabeth Warren was a commanding presence during the event, speaking about how raising the minimum wage is imperative to decreasing inequality. “Trickle-down economics was nothing more than helping the rich and powerful get more rich and powerful,” she said.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez echoed Warren’s statements, and talked about how working together will lead to success in creating a fair system for all: “You shouldn’t have to win the geographic lottery to get a good wage.”

OUR Walmart member Colby Harris was also among the panelists, and addressed the crowd about his first hand experience living on less than liveable wages at Walmart, as well as being retaliated against by his employers when advocating for better pay.

International AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka also spoke, urging that raising wages “is not a hobby. It’s our mission. It’s a beginning, not an ending.”

He also talked about the labor federation’s plans to immediately launch #RaiseTheWage campaigns and summits in additional cities. Part of these campaigns, he also added, is the fight for state and local paid sick days and equal pay for men and women, as well as people of all races.

You can watch the entire live-stream of the event here:

January 6, 2015

Wednesday: Watch Live Stream of National Summit on Wages

Reposted from the AFL-CIO
Watch Live Stream of National Summit on Wages

Be sure to tune in Wednesday on the AFL-CIO Now blog for the live stream of the first National Summit on Raising Wages. The summit, sponsored by the AFL-CIO, will examine concrete and progressive steps to raise wages for working people to help solve the dilemma of income inequality that plagues the United States.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will deliver the keynote address and the summit will feature a roundtable discussion by a diverse group including academics, business owners, prominent leaders—including Labor Secretary Thomas Perez—and everyday working people. Click here for the agenda.

December 4, 2014

This Holiday Season, Take Advantage of Union Plus Discounts!

up holiday cardAdapted post from the AFL-CIO

It’s easy to get into the better-to-give-than-receive generous holiday shopping spirit. But it doesn’t hurt to save a few bucks, too, and Union Plus can help you stretch your holiday budget with money-saving discounts and special deals exclusively for union families.

There are Union Plus discounts on laptops, wireless phones, union-made clothing, movies, car rentals and a lot more, including treats and toys for your favorite four-legged family member. But please, no reindeer antlers, let your fur kids have a little bit of dignity.

You can even let your fellow union members know about these great discounts for working people by sending them a free holiday e-card.

Click here to see all the gift possibilities from Union Plus.