Awards and Accolades
January 18, 2017
On Jan. 15, UFCW International President Marc Perrone was presented with an award at the AFL-CIO’s 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil and Human Rights Awards Luncheon and Community Service Weekend.
The theme of the awards this year was “The Struggle Is Free, But the Dream Must Be Televised” to represent the constant battle for civil rights and justice that continues in our country.
At the ceremony, President Perrone was awarded the “At the River I Stand” Award from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for his work towards advancing civil and labor rights, saying “we will tear our borders down brick by ignorant brick.”
The “At the River I Stand” award is the highest honor given by the AFL-CIO Civil and Human Rights Executive Council Committee. The name of the award comes from the historic words used to capture the spirit of the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers during their courageous struggle for workers’ and civil rights.
Alongside his fellow award recipient, USW Vice President Fred Redmond, President Perrone has served as a fearless leader of the Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice, taking action to serve the needs and concerns of their members, and shepherding the Labor Commission report to help union leaders have a better understanding of how racism and racial politics has impacted and continues to shape the labor movement.
Upon accepting his award, President Perrone addressed the attendees, emphasizing that “we must stand together stronger than ever” in our quest for justice.
January 3, 2017
What would you do if a coworker had a heart attack on the job?
That’s the situation Sandy Maynor, a UFCW Local 400 member and Giant employee in Washington, D.C., faced when her coworker suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Maynor sprang into action, administering CPR for 10 minutes in a heroic “act of love” until the paramedics arrived.
Check out the full story.
October 3, 2016
Adapted from UFCW Local 1428
Monica Jimenez, a pharmacy technician and Local 1428 union steward at Rite Aid, loves helping others. At her job she helps patients fill their prescriptions and in her spare time she runs races to fund research to cure diseases.
She began her career at a laboratory, but after three years she wanted a change and applied at Rite Aid.
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“What I like about Rite Aid is that the people in the store come together,” Jimenez said. “We treat each other like family, so going to work doesn’t feel like going to a workplace.”
Jimenez thought she had it all: a loving husband in Earl, two daughters, Vanessa and Emily, and a job she loved. But an earthquake in 2012 taught her she needed something more: to help the less fortunate.
“I felt like I needed to make each day count, so I signed up for a 5K race and then another one and then another one,” she said.
Her volunteering spirit quickly spread among her family and friends. Her daughters joined her in races and then her co-workers followed suit.
At work, Jimenez encouraged patients to donate to the Children’s Miracle Network, which benefits children’s hospitals.
“When customers check out at Rite Aid, they are occasionally asked to donate $1 so they can write their names on balloon cards that are displayed in our store,” Jimenez said. “Our store raised the most funds for the Children’s Miracle Network, so we were invited to an event to meet the kids our donations helped.”
Last year, Jimenez and her sister decided to grow their hair out and donate their ponytails to Locks of Love, an organization that creates wigs for people who lose their hair while having chemotherapy.
“People asked me why my hair and my sister’s hair was getting so long,” Jimenez said. “We told people it was for Locks of Love and we got so many people who wanted to help that I needed a place to host an event to cut people’s hair.”
UFCW Local 1428 stepped up and offered its auditorium. By the end of the night, Jimenez and her sister collected 85 ponytails for Locks of Love.
“That night was so special,” Jimenez said. “It takes six ponytails to create one wig, so we helped a lot of people that night.”
September 2, 2016
Every year the UFCW scholarship program offers scholarships to UFCW members or their immediate family members who want to further their education and demonstrate a commitment to their communities and to UFCW values. Since 1958, the fund has distributed more than $2 million in scholarships.*
Past winners have gone on to make significant contributions to society and to the UFCW – entering a range of fields including public service, medicine, law, business and teaching. Many have returned to the UFCW as staffers, organizers, and community activists who contribute to our mission.
*UFCW-employed officers and staff, and their immediate families are not eligible for this program.
Here are this year’s winners:
Local 152 – Ana Grace Fangayen
Ana is now attending New York University in Manhattan, New York and is studying Film and Television.
Local 23 – Katrina Good
Katrina is now attending Lock Haven University for a major in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology.
Local 880 – Jocelyn Bernstein
Jocelyn is now attending the University of Rochester.
Local 2005 – Hannah McDonald
Hannah is now attending Harding University in Arkansas for a Nursing degree, because she’s always liked helping and caring for others, and has always wanted to save a life.
Local 655 – Douglas Fritz
Douglas is attending Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO and studying biology, pre-med.
Local 7R – Karen Emanuelson
Karen currently attends the Keller Williams school for Real Estate in Colorado Springs. After she finishes her exams, she plans to study possibly German or History at Pikes Peak Community College or University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Local 99 – Tamana Hussaini
Tamana is now attending Mount Holyoke College for a Pre-med. degree, because it’s a great field that combines science and working with others.
Local 1288P – Sarah Gowlett
Sarah is now attending University of New Brunswick St. John for a Bachelor of Business Administration, because she’s always liked organization and numbers.
July 6, 2016
On June 29, the Executive Board of UFCW Local 1189 made history by electing Jennifer Christensen as president of Local 1189. She is the first woman to serve as president of Local 1189 and will serve out the remainder of retired President Seaquist’s term.
Other officers elected by the Executive Board were Jim Gleb, secretary treasurer, and Jeanine Owusu, recording secretary. Abraham Wangnoo, Local 1189’s director of organizing, administered the oath of office to the new officers, including Scottie Rotter, the newest vice president who was elected at the board’s May meeting.
Newly elected President Christensen spoke to a room filled to capacity in the Duluth Labor Temple.
“I would like to thank you – the members, for allowing me to work for you – this is the best job in the world,” she said. “I am honored and humbled by the women who blazed the trails before me and beside me – and for the men who opened doors and showed that there are no glass ceilings in this union.”
June 15, 2016
Ariana Davis, a UFCW Local 21 member who works at Safeway, spoke at the White House United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C. She shared the stage with President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, actress Kerry Washington and Oprah to discuss key gender equality issues.
Ariana presented with AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler about the best way to give working women equal pay and an equal say – a union. Equal pay, fair schedules, paid leave – the bottom line is that if we stand together and negotiate together, we win together.
In front of a crowd of 5,000 people, Ariana shared her experience with being a part of UFCW Local 21 in Seattle. “Being in a union has allowed me to negotiate for and win higher wages, good benefits and economic stability. But the truth is, the power of a union is about much more than dollars and cents. I’ve stood up for my friends at work who were being disrespected by management. And I helped them get justice on the job. That’s a powerful feeling. I am a force in my community.”
Evidence shows that union membership increases wages for all workers, but women experience especially large advantages. Women are the primary breadwinners in 38% of American households – paying them less for no reason puts millions of families and communities at a disadvantage.
Back in the other Washington, Ariana has been busy collecting thousands of signatures as the citizen petitioner behind Initiative 1433, a statewide ballot measure which will raise the minimum wage to $13.50 and provide workers with up to seven days of paid sick leave.
June 14, 2016
Story shared in front of 5,000 at White House United State of Women Summit
Washington, D.C. – Today, Ariana Davis, a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) member from Local 21 in Seattle, Washington, shared the stage with President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Oprah at the White House United State of Women Summit.
“The power of a union is about much more than dollars and cents,” said Ariana Davis. “I am respected by workers and managers alike. I am a force in my community. And it’s because I don’t stand alone – I am in a movement with grocery workers and steelworkers and teachers. Together, we have a voice. Together, we can make change.”
The White House United State of Women Summit was put together to provide solutions to key gender equality issues. In 38% of households, women are the primary breadwinners. When women earn less than men for no reason, it negatively impacts families in every community. Working to solve gender equality questions will help hard-working people to live better lives.
- 8 million women in America belong to a union.
- A union contract offers a way to give women both equal pay and an equal say in their workplace.
- Union membership boosts wages for all workers—but women experience especially large advantages.
- The wage gap among union members is less than half the size of the wage gap among non-union workers, and female union members typically earn $230 more per week than women who are not represented by unions—a larger wage premium than men receive.
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
January 21, 2016
The AFL-CIO held its annual Martin Luther King (MLK) Conference last week in Washington, D.C., where UFCW members from across the country attended and participated. The conference, titled “Change The Rules, Be The Power,” revolved around organizing, politics, and other issues, openly discussing race, and activism — including the in-the-neighborhoods activism by its 1,000 delegates. At least one speaker urged the federation to openly endorse and back the Black Lives Matter movement, which has pushed the discussion about racial justice to the forefront of U.S. consciousness. A special AFL-CIO race and justice commission, co-chaired by UFCW International President Marc Perrone, is holding a series of hearings nationwide to get that discussion going.
The MLK Conference also covered issues ranging from ending mass incarceration of minorities and immigrants, to the looming U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would make every state and local government a right-to-work fiefdom. One speaker noted that the right-to-work ruling would disproportionately harm minorities and women.
The conference’s big secondary theme was the need to greatly increase organizing, both by the labor movement and its allies (faith groups, community groups, women’s groups, civil rights groups, environmentalists and others) in order to increase membership and supporters and marshal resources and people to call out and fight against the issues that would harm hard-working men and women in the 2016 election and beyond.
The conference agenda was packed with incredible speakers from union presidents, to community activists, representatives from worker centers, young workers and more. UFCW Executive Vice President Esther Lopez was honored with the distinguished “At The River I Stand” Award at the Sunday night awards dinner. During the conference, UFCW activists participated in many dynamic plenaries, workshops sessions, awards, events and community service projects. Some of the community service projects included cleaning the homes of senior citizens and preparing meal kits and food bags at food pantries. The conference ended on Monday with conference participants joining community members from Ward 8 in Washington, D.C. for their MLK parade.
December 10, 2015
Last week, Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400, which has more than 3,000 members living in Washington, D.C., released the following statement in response to the introduction of the “Hours and Scheduling Stability Act.”
“If you ask anyone who works at a retail store in D.C. how to improve their job, the response is likely to include scheduling. Stable hours and predictable scheduling make it easier for people to plan their future and spend time with their families. Unfortunately, in the interest of maximizing their bottom lines, numerous retail stores in D.C. rely on erratic and last minute scheduling that forces people to work harder and longer and be unaware of their shift until the last moment.
“The Hours and Scheduling Stability Act would begin to curb these abusive scheduling practices by giving retail workers advance notice of their schedules, stopping on-call practices, and promoting full-time work opportunities by offering available hours to current employees before new ones are hired.
“The bottom line is that uncertain work schedules are too common in this city and they’re making it increasingly difficult for people who work at retail stores throughout D.C. to make ends meet.
“The legislation introduced today would go a long way towards ensuring retail workers in D.C. are given the consistent hours and schedules they need to create better lives for themselves and their families.
“We urge the D.C. Council to pass the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act as soon as possible.”
Summary of Bill’s Key Provisions:
Scheduling with advance notice so that people aren’t living day-to-day:
- Employers must post schedules 21 days in advance.
- If an employer initiates a schedule change thereafter, the employee will receive one hour of pay as compensation for the change.
- If the change occurs within 24 hours of a shift, the employee is awarded four hours of pay.
Promoting full-time work opportunities so that people have enough hours to make ends meet:
- Employers will offer available hours to qualified current employees before hiring new employees.
Stopping abusive “on-call” practices so families can plan their lives:
- If an employer cancels an employee’s shift or declines to call in an “on-call” employee with less than 24 hours’ notice, the employee will receive four hours of pay.
- The law already guarantees employees a minimum daily pay of four hours when they report to work – this provision would simply close the “on-call” shift loophole.
Ensuring equal treatment for hourly employees:
- An employer may not discriminate against employees of the same job qualification with regard to rate of pay, leave and promotion opportunities regardless of hours worked.
Who does this legislation apply to?
- Chain retail employers with at least five establishments nationwide; and chain fast-food and full-service restaurants with at least 20 establishments nationwide.
For more information, please visit the DC Just Hours website.
August 14, 2015
The UFCW’s immigration programs will be honored by the Center for Community Change at its annual “Change Champion Awards” ceremony on September 17 in Washington, D.C.
Under the leadership of UFCW International President Marc Perrone and UFCW Executive Vice President Esther López, the UFCW is proud to lead the fight for immigration reform through two signature immigration programs which reach all levels of the union and our nation.
The first, known as Union Citizenship Action Network (UCAN), provides members a platform to learn from seasoned immigrants’ rights advocates about the critical skills and tools needed to go through the naturalization process and become U.S. citizens. The second program is designed to help UFCW members get ready for Deferred Action for Parent Arrivals (DAPA).
Representing workers from all over the globe, the UFCW has seen the devastation caused by the broken immigration system in the United States. From ICE raids in meatpacking plants, to the endless threat of deportation, members and immigrant communities across the United States have been failed by the inaction of elected officials. Their deafening silence in the face of exploitative labor practices that have driven down wages, benefits, and the working conditions of all workers only serves to perpetuate a crisis that continues to grow.
Congress has yet to pass legislation, but the UFCW is not sitting back and waiting for politicians to act. Local unions are hosting workshops to help members determine whether they qualify, gather necessary documentation, prescreen their applications, and answer important legal questions. The UFCW is committed to ensuring that when a legal ruling on DAPA is finally rendered, UFCW members will either be ready to file for it or fight for it.
The UFCW is proud to accept this award and is committed to fighting for the rights of all hard-working men and women.