WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million essential workers in cannabis, grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and other essential industries across North America, released the following statement in celebration of Labor Day.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“Today we honor and celebrate the millions of essential workers – union workers – who keep our country fed and cared for every day. While plenty of Americans are enjoying a much needed day off, many of our hard working members will still be clocking in, ensuring that food reaches kitchen tables and essential services are provided to communities nationwide. Working people are the backbone of America. They have sacrificed again and again, and those in power, from the boardroom to the halls of Congress, should realize that the time is long past to honor and reward their hard work.
“Now, more than ever, our nation’s workers – non-union and especially union – are realizing the power they have when they stand together. From grocery and retail stores, to the studios and auto plants, America’s union workers across every industry are critical to the future of this country. And as a recent Treasury Department report reinforced, it is unions who have proudly built and protected the middle class of this nation, which is a reality that cannot be ignored.
“For our UFCW members, our ongoing commitment to America’s workers and hard working families is the reason we have chosen to stand and fight against a megamerger between Kroger and Albertsons – a deal that will feed already historic food inflation, and hurt the livelihoods of millions of union and nonunion grocery workers across the country.
“This Labor Day, for the sake of all hard-working families, our union is committed to not only fighting this merger, but winning the fight to make sure every worker can achieve the better life they have earned and deserved.”
Background on Treasury Department Report
- Middle-class workers reap substantial benefits from unionization. Unions raise the wages of their members by 10 to 15 percent. Unions also improve fringe benefits and workplace procedures such as retirement plans, workplace grievance policies, and predictable scheduling.
- Unionization also has spillover effects that extend well beyond union workers. Competition means workers at nonunionized firms see increased wages too. Heightened workplace safety norms can pull up whole industries.
- Unions help create a fairer economy by benefiting all demographic groups. By encouraging egalitarian wage practices, unions serve to reduce race and gender wage gaps. And modern unions have broad representation across race and gender.
- Finally, in addition to supporting the middle class, unions contribute to economic growth and resilience. They do so in part simply by reducing overall inequality. Income inequality often feeds back into inequality of opportunity, which impedes growth if disadvantaged people cannot access the resources necessary to acquire job skills or start businesses.
The UFCW International is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million workers and their families in grocery, meatpacking, food processing, healthcare, cannabis, retail, and other essential industries. UFCW members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.