For our first member spotlight of 2015, we chatted with Local 464-A member Rob Robertson. Rob has been a UFCW member for six years now, starting at Food Town and now working in the Food Service Department at Shoprite in Cliffwood, New Jersey.
Rob says he’s thankful to be a union member, because the benefits he receives at his UFCW shop enable him “to afford my own place and plan a future with my fiance.”
Those union benefits also helped him during a time when he was really in need. A while back, Rob was in a car accident, which left him with injuries, and his car totaled. But thanks to the medical insurance his UFCW job provided, 80% of his bills were covered, even as a part-time employee. Rob also notes that he wouldn’t be able to afford his two prescription medications at a non-union job.
Rob also says that he appreciates the stability and security that his union job provides him. “Food service is my career, and I’ve worked all over the place in the industry,” he says, “but at a restaurant or places like that, a manager can simply tell you to go home during your shift, and that’s that–you get no say or opinion in the matter. But when you have a union job, your manager or supervisor has to consider you, and treat you with respect. I wish that every business would treat the people who work for them with the respect that our union enables them.”
That respect doesn’t just come from management, Rob notes, but coworkers as well. He values the UFCW stewards in his workplace, who he says are there to answer questions and help fellow union members whenever they can.
For those considering working at a UFCW workplace, adds Rob, think about where you see yourself in a few years. “If you want to move up in your career, then join a union–they ensure you can do that,” concludes Rob.
If you want to share your UFCW story with us, visit https://www.ufcw.org/resources/members/share-your-story/
You can also send us a photo of yourself at work, wearing your UFCW gear, or just at home, with your name, store, local, and a quick quote about why you love being a UFCW member, to Submissions@www.ufcw.org and we may feature you on Instagram! Follow us at @ufcw_international to keep tabs on what else is happening around the union.