Friday, June 26, 2015

President Perrone: Celebrating Marriage Equality and Continuing the Fight for Full LGBT Equality

“While we are celebrating today, it’s worth remembering that there is still a lot of work be done before LGBT people have full equality under the law.”


Washington, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“Today, marriage equality is finally the law of the land. This decision secures equality and dignity for every family in all fifty states. Our UFCW family strongly supports full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people - not just the right of all people to marry the person they love, but also equal rights when it comes to employment and immigration policies. It is a historic victory that was simply unimaginable just two decades ago.

While we are celebrating today, it’s worth remembering that there is still a lot of work be done before LGBT people have full equality under the law. In a majority of states, there is nothing to prevent a worker from being discriminated against or fired simply because of who they love, or because of their gender identity or expression. And LGBT workers’ partners and families can be unfairly excluded from workplace policies and benefits like health coverage or family leave.

A UFCW union contract is often the only protection LGBT workers and their families have from these indignities. The UFCW is proud to play a part in the growing momentum towards equality – from bargaining union contracts that recognize LGBT workers and their families, to fighting for change at the state level, to marching in solidarity at pride parades and celebrations in towns across America.”

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Join the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) online at www.ufcw.org We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Stopping Fast Track..

President Perrone: “The Best Way to Help the Jobless is to Stop Passing Trade Agreements like TPP that Kill Jobs.”

 “Our campaign for trade policy that is fair and just will continue full speed ahead.”


 Washington, D.C. — Today, Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, released the following statement in response to the U.S. House failing to advance fast track trade legislation.

 "This is a victory for hard-working men and women all across America. In the face of long odds, the American people sent a powerful message that their interests trump narrow political agendas and special interests.

“Today, we saw elected leaders stand up and make clear that the failed promises of global trade agreements, which only seem to serve irresponsible corporations, must come to an end. More importantly, we have seen what hard-working families can accomplish when we stand together and fight for what is right for both workers and this nation.

“With respect to TAA, we support a clean extension of the program, but the best way to help the jobless is to simply stop passing trade agreements like TPP that kill jobs. “While one vote does not end the fight, our campaign for a better America will continue full speed ahead until the threat of TPP and other unfair trade deals is gone for good.”

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

UFCW: New TPP Ad Released Urging a “No” Vote on Fast Track

This just in from our International:

Letter Sent to All Members of the House of Representatives Asking: “Will you do what is right for America’s hard-working men and women who you are sworn to serve?”


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Highlighting the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the reluctance of the Obama administration to release details, the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) today released a new ad urging members of the House of Representatives to vote no on fast track.

As part of its intense lobbying campaign, a letter was also sent to all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives where UFCW International President Marc Perrone made clear what is at stake. “Will you stand with the irresponsible corporations and special interests that are pushing fast track and the TPP?” he wrote. “Or will you do what is right for America’s hard-working men and women who you are sworn to serve?”

“America’s workers and hard-working families and their advocates have been completely shut out of the process,” Perrone added.

In the letter, Perrone decried President Obama’s strong-arm tactics on the trade deal and urged members of Congress to remember their obligation to their constituents.

“President Obama has regrettably made the vote about loyalty to him,” he wrote. “At the UFCW, our loyalty is to the 1.3 million hard-working men and women we represent and their families. Your loyalty should be to this country, to your constituents, and not President Obama, one party, or a secret trade deal.”

“The secrecy has gotten so egregious that when a group of concerned citizens went to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office last week, not only were they prevented from reviewing the agreement, USTR staff locked the door to the visitor’s entrance,” the letter reads. “It leaves you to wonder: what are they hiding?”

“Our elected leaders must acknowledge what the President refuses to—that unfair trade deals have been catastrophic for hard-working families, driving down wages and benefits, shipping jobs overseas, and exploding income inequality,” Perrone concluded.

This week the UFCW will engage in a major blitz, reaching out directly to undecided members of Congress who will determine the outcome of fast track. This includes the ads in Politico, which highlight a bipartisan concern over the issue of secrecy and the right of the American people to know what is in this deal. A print ad ran today and digital ads are scheduled to run throughout the week.

The full letter is linked here and copied below.

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Dear Representative:

On behalf of the 1.3 million hard-working members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), I am writing to strongly urge you, again, to oppose fast track legislation if and when it comes up for a vote.

Respectfully, you have a critical decision to make. Will you stand with the irresponsible corporations and special interests that are pushing fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? Or will you do what is right for America’s hard-working men and women who you are sworn to serve?

As you know, the TPP has been put together entirely in secret, with the advice and counsel of those who for decades have benefitted from bad trade deals. America’s workers and hard-working families and their advocates have been completely shut out of the process. The secrecy has gotten so egregious that when a group of concerned citizens went to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office last week, not only were they prevented from reviewing the agreement, USTR staff locked the door to the visitor’s entrance. It leaves you to wonder: what are they hiding?

The American people deserve to know what is in this deal. And those considering supporting it should ask themselves how they will justify voting for a secret deal that would harm their constituents and the American people.

As we now see, President Obama has regrettably made the vote about loyalty to him. At the UFCW, our loyalty is to the 1.3 million hard-working men and women we represent and their families. Your loyalty should be to this country, to your constituents, and not President Obama, one party, or a secret trade deal. So while the President pulls out all the stops to sway undecided Members of Congress, he and you should remember the people who elected you to office.

If there is any doubt where the American people stand, you need to look no further than a recent New York Times/CBS News poll where over 55 percent of Americans oppose fast track, including 61 percent of independents.

Finally, this is more than just a vote about a trade deal so bad that it is kept in secret. This is about whether you will stand with the very workers who have paid the price from other bad trade deals. Some may choose to ignore this reality, but our elected leaders must acknowledge what the President refuses to—that unfair trade deals have been catastrophic for hard-working families, driving down wages and benefits, shipping jobs overseas, and exploding income inequality.

Enough is enough.

We urge you to do the right thing and vote no on fast track.

Sincerely,

Marc Perrone
International President

Friday, June 5, 2015

Gawker Goes Union

Logo of website gawker.com, for use in article...
Logo of website gawker.com, for use in article Gawker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Few years back Gawker started writing more and more about labor issues. They were instrumental and THE driving force in reporting the nonsense Target workers were going through when attempting to unionize. They found a way to get their hands on Target's infamous anti-union video...twice. They posted real stories from real Target workers about their real experiences working at the company.

Without writers and reporters who have courage to call out enormous corporations, politicians, or people, our society would be even more screwed up than it already is. The writers at Gawker give workers, and just regular people, platforms to convey their real stories. This week those writers took an enormous step forward and voted to unionize. We hope you'll join us in giving them a HUGE ‪#‎congratulations‬!

You can read more here: http://gawker.com/gawker-media-votes-to-unionize-1708892974


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Help Stop Fast Track! Call Your Representative

As you know, after being stalled for weeks, Fast Track was approved by the Senate late Friday night. The bill now goes to the House, where the vote is expected to be tight – and we are preparing for a fight that may last through June.  I am asking that you participate in this National Call-In.  (See attached flier below)

Currently, eighteen Democrats support fast track with six to ten still undecided or undeclared.  This means our opponents can’t afford to lose more than about 55 Republicans.  By some estimates, there are at least 50 Republicans opposed with another 40 still undecided.  But holding most House Democrats and enlisting the number of Republicans we need to defeat Fast Track is far from certain. We fully expect our opponents to unleash a torrent of ads and ramp up an unprecedented grassroots and digital mobilization effort to ram Fast Track through when the House reconvenes the first week of June.

The House needs to hear the voices of working families as clearly and as loudly and as often as possible. Please join us and our trade allies for a national call-in day Wednesday, June 3. We are calling every House member – Democrat and Republican – with this simple message: The “Fast Track” trade bill in Congress will send jobs overseas and give more power to giant corporations. It continues the same failed trade policies that leave working people behind.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our Political Coordinator, Brendan Sexton: bsexton@ufcw1500.org and visit nofasttrack.com.

Thank you and in Solidarity,


Bruce Both
President

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