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UFCW Highlights Importance of Workers’ Rights, Living Wage at White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

September 29, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and other essential industries across North America, participated in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

UFCW International Vice President Ademola Oyefeso released the following statement regarding UFCW’s participation in the conference:

“Yesterday’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health shows President Biden’s commitment to improving the health and food security of communities across the country. As the labor union representing America’s food manufacturing and grocery workers, UFCW’s members are the essential workers that help keep America’s families fed, and it was an honor to be a part of the discussion at this conference.

“Ending hunger will require all of us. This means corporations must do more than donate to initiatives to fight hunger. They must listen to their workers who are demanding the higher wages and better benefits that will actually help solve the crisis of food insecurity.

“Empowering workers and unions is a critical, but far too often overlooked, aspect of confronting food insecurity and UFCW is thankful the Biden administration continues to prioritize workers’ right to collectively bargain and organize.”

At the White House Conference, UFCW Local 1428 President Mark Ramos participated in a panel discussion to highlight how empowering workers in their workplaces, providing a living wage, and ensuring affordable benefits can be a crucial part of tackling hunger in communities across the country. Living up to its motto, “Building Better Communities,” Local 1428 runs a food pantry out of its headquarters. It also organizes food giveaways at Thanksgiving and other holidays in partnership with Labor Community Services and other groups.

In addition, UFCW has been advocating, along with nearly 150 other groups, for a transformational approach to the Farm Bill, which is reauthorized every five years and impacts nearly every aspect of the country’s food system. UFCW was one of the signatories on a September 2022 letter to President Biden, which among other things, stated: “To reflect your values, the next Farm Bill must invest substantially in the people who plant, harvest, process, transport, sell, and serve our food and administer our food programs, ensuring safety and a living wage, along with access to health care, clean housing, and the right to organize and join a union.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.