Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year News!

As Bloomberg News reported, Supermarket News now reports that more and more retailers are preparing for the Employee Free Choice Act.

Yesterday, the Buffalo News reported that Tops is prepared to make an offer for Penn Traffic.

The Times Union has more: Tops to top Price Chopper bid.

DC Bag Tax
The largest supermarket retailers in the nation’s capital are preparing to give away free reusable bags during the coming week as a new 5-cent tax on both paper and plastic grocery bags takes effect Jan. 1.

Union janitors staged rallies at a Safeway in California last week and at Lucky and Save Mart stores in this area to protest an ongoing contract dispute. 


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wild by Nature Spreads Holiday Cheer

Local 1500 Representative Bob Funck recently joined Wild by Nature Local 1500 members in their annual spread of Holiday cheer this month.  Great job by everyone at Wild by Nature!  If you took any photos at any store this Holiday season be sure to send them in!












 
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Tuesday Morning One Liners...

Target Corp. retooled a training video to warn workers against a bill that would make union organizing easier. Michaels Stores Inc. told investors “our businesses could be impacted” by the measure. Enrollment in Jackson Lewis LLP’s “How to Stay Union-Free” seminars tripled. -Bloomberg News: ‘Stay Union-Free’ Pushed by Target, Michaels as Obama Law Looms

You can now order alcohol online at SamsClub.com.

John Mackey is relinquishing his title as CEO of Whole Foods, a title he has held since 1978. Newswire release via WSJ.

U.S. retail sales were up 3.6% from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, compared with last year.

The Staten Island Advance looks at what effect the closing of King Kullen in the Castletown Corners will have residents.

Rallying against 'food deserts' in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn Paper spotlights 'The Union Market'

Fresh Direct donates 400 Holiday Turkeys.

'Union Free' Message gets a Huge Push in 2009.

Walmart settles an organizing case in Minnesota. During the union's organizing campaign last summer, Wal-Mart sent a team from its corporate offices to the five stores where workers were most active in trying to form a union, according to Doug Mork, Local 789's organizing director. The team held daily meetings and tried to persuade employees they don't need a union. "They beat the crap out of us," Mork said. Wal-Mart, he added, is "an awfully tough nut to crack."



Good Read: The New Yorker profiles John Mackey in  Food Fighter, Does Whole Foods' (former) CEO know What's best for you?




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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Morning One Liners...Walmart video tapes a restroom?

"I am absolutely and utterly incredulous that any company, especially a company of the size of Wal-Mart, would allow people to do this," McLain said today. "I can't believe that they had the audacity to do this."
-Erv McLain, Attorney representing current and former employees at a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart, alleging that Wal-Mart had authorized surveillance video-taping of an employee/customer uni-sex restroom.

The New Jersey Food Council here has announced opposition to a proposed $0.02 cents per gallon tax on all fluid milk sold in New Jersey. The tax was proposed last week as part of a plan to help the state's dairy farmers, who have struggled this year with a collapse in the wholesale price of milk.

A&P announced they will be offering coupons via www.coupons.com

A Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania secretly video taped employees and customers in the restroom. 

Is Walmart the future of Local Food?
One of the most important historic developments in the food economy is embodied in this statistic: in 1900, 40 percent of every dollar spent on food went to the farmer or rancher while the rest was split between inputs and distribution. Now? 7 cents on the dollar goes to the producer and 73 cents goes just to distribution. That’s worth keeping in mind when you read things like this:
... Wal-Mart, now the nation’s largest supermarket chain as well as retailer, has gotten into the local scene, embarking on an effort to procure more of its produce from local growers...

Read the article here.

Hannaford bought a former Stop & Shop in Maine.

progressivegrocer/photos/stylus/119224-pn-20090729173203-2jpg-0344ea4ed8100834-sm.jpgWine-vending Machines? Really?
Approximately 100 Pennsylvania grocery stores may soon be offering self-service wine-vending kiosks in a new program developed in partnership with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.(Image, Right, via ProgressiveGrocer.com)

You can watch Local 1500 President Bruce Both's speech at the Good Food Good Jobs coalition's celebration on FRESH here.

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. (A&P) has made a $20,000 donation to the “Table to Table” community-based food-rescue program to help feed the hungry during the holiday season.

Grand Junction Free Press in Colorado writes on some Safeway workers receiving a signing bonus for ratifying the company's 'final offer.'

NY Times: Former New York Times building to become mall, condos, hotel.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday Morning One Liners...

The Brooklyn Flea is saying goodbye to Dumbo this winter and hello to Fort Greene.

The deadline for bids to buy Penn Traffic's stores has been extended for six more weeks after lender GE Capital agreed to a request for additional time from Charles Schumer, a U.S. Senator from New York.

The Watertown Daily Times has more of an update.

Whole Foods is recalling bulk Hazelnuts.

A NY Times reporter gets initiated and works at Wal-Mart for a day.

"This legislation will strengthen our businesses, our neighborhoods and our families....It's good government to make sure public money isn't used to undercut private employers and lower wages."
Tony Helfer, Local 23 UFCW President, after the city of Pittsburgh passed a prevailing wage bill.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Morning One Liners...Penn Traffic has a new bid,

Tops Markets LLCImage via Wikipedia
Good Morning on Monday,

Walmart has appointed a new Latin America CEO.

Senator Chuck Schumer has asked GE Capital, one of the largest creditors of bankruptcy chain Penn Traffic here, to give the company more time to seek bids, according to a report Friday on Syracuse.com.

Meanwhile the Buffalo News is reporting that Tops Friendly Markets has bid over $90 Million for all of Penn Traffic's 79 stores. Syracuse.com also reported the offer...Price Chopper's latest bid was $54 Million for 22 stores.

Stop & Shop reported massive sales this weekend due to weather threats throughout the north-east, Supermarket News reported.

On Friday, the UFCW Local 1428 delivered whole frozen turkeys - with all the trimmings - to 40 severely low-income Kingsley Elementary School families as part of their Santa Day. 

The Brooklyn based, Union Market is set to open their third location today, in Cobble Hill


No more chocolate fountains, John Mackey announced he's returning to his 'health food roots'.


Governor David Patterson said NY is being "punished" with the new Health Care reform bill.




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Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Morning One Liners...Ahold buys a new chain,

""Farm workers are human beings. We're not farm animals. We have human rights. We should be treated like other workers in Ontario and be allowed to unionize," farm worker Mindy Leng said in a written release.

After Colorado's Safeway workers rejected their "last, best and final offer", they're now sitting in limbo after the vote to reject the proposal was nearly 63%.   Meanwhile a majority of King Soopers members 'OK'd' the deal.  The Colorado Gazette is reporting that five small bargaining units  rejected the King Soopers contract.

Union Market, a specialty grocer from Brooklyn has announced plans to open its third store, this one in Cobble Hill.

Pfizer plans 95 more layoffs in Pearl River, the announcement comes after Pfizer said two weeks ago that it would lay off 200 of 2,931 employees by March 12.... Layoffs include 49 union members on March 14, 46 non-union workers on March 26.

Sommerville workers OK a new contract after a five day strike.

Price Chopper Supermarkets, is offering $54 million in cash to acquire 22 of Penn Traffic's locations, according to a filing in bankruptcy court yesterday.  Penn Traffic employees met this week to discuss bankruptcy.

King Kullen has named a new Real Estate Director.

Supermarket News reported yesterday, Ukrop’s Super Markets, the family-owned chain that became a local institution and an industry icon, is being acquired by Ahold’s Giant-Carlisle division, the chains said today. Ahold said it would pay about $140 million for 25 stores and one new location.




Ahold has also announced that changes will be gradual...The Washington Post has more.
.
Pricerite will take over an old Pathmark in Connecticut

Ontario Farm Workers take their fight to supreme court. T"hese workers are looking to the Supreme Court to tell the [Ontario] government, once and for all, that agricultural workers in Ontario have the same human rights as every other Ontario worker — including their rights, guaranteed by the [Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms] to join a union and bargain collectively."  Wayne Hanley, UFCW Canada President,

Wal-Mart CEO aims to dominate Online Retail, Forbes.com

Walmart's battle to build in Dallas continues. 

Politics
NYC is asking consumers to grade eatery cleanliness.

AFL-CIO Blog: House passes Jobs Bill:
By a 217-212 vote, the House passed a package that would extend unemployment insurance, aid state governments and fund important infrastructure projects. Some of these initiatives are renewals of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which are set to expire at the end of the year.


Thompson leads Gillibrand 41-28 percent among Democrats, the Quinnipiac University survey found...Read more

NY Times: Jobless rate in NYC falls to 10%, 400,000 still need work.

MTA approves 2010 'doomsday' budget.

NY Times: Last month, 355,000 people in the city received welfare payments, a 4 percent increase over the year before, according to city officials, who predict that if the economy does not recover, the growth will continue for at least 18 months.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WakeUpWalmart.com Launches “Hope for the Holidays” Campaign


WakeupWalmart.com launched a new campaign today, Local 1500 Organizers along with other UFCW Locals hand-billed Walmart in White Plains, NY, below is the press release from WakeUpWalmart.com.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2009  




WakeUpWalmart.com Launches “Hope for the Holidays” Campaign to Highlight Walmart’s Track Record of Poor Product Safety


(Washington, DC) - The 490,000 members of WakeUpWalmart.com today launched a consumer education campaign to highlight Walmart’s track record of stocking dangerous and unsafe products. Activists and community leaders from across the country will come together to inform consumers about Walmart’s business model and how it encourages the production of dangerous products and puts profits above the safety of consumers. Supporters of WakeUpWalmart.com and the National Consumers League will also send Walmart CEO Mike Duke an open letter asking him to put consumer safety ahead of profit this holiday season.
Walmart has repeatedly carried products that have been identified as unsafe or dangerous by reputable consumer safety organizations. Right now, there are children’s holiday gifts offered for sale at stores and online with high levels of dangerous substances including lead, chlorine, arsenic, cadmium, and bromine according to HealthyStuff.org, a project of the Ecology Center and the Center for Environmental Health.


WakeUpWalmart.com and the National Consumers League are calling on Walmart to pull these dangerous products. These products include:
-     Zhu Zhu Pets
-     Mrs. Potato Head
-     Walmart brand black and yellow frog wallet
-     Disney Princesses pink belt
-     iCarly pink belt
-     10 Squirtin' Sea Buddies
-     A Touch & Feel Bedtime Book
-     Chux! Fling Shots
-     Our Good 5 Game Combo (Badminton, Volleyball, Shuttle Smash, Flying Disc, Jelly Ball)
-     The Original Little Red Wagon - Model #32
-     Small Bakugan Battle Brawlers Backpack
-     The Original - Butterfly Watch
-     Red Flame Watch
-     Green Giraffe Print Bag


 “As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart should be a leader in improving safety standards for the products it carries,” said Pat O’Neill, Executive Vice President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. “Unfortunately, right now Walmart is using its size to push suppliers to produce at a lower cost which could end up compromising product safety. Saving money and living better should not mean pushing suppliers to cut costs that may result in cutting corners. Our wish list for Walmart is that they ensure their products are safe, so families don’t have to worry. Walmart can certainly afford to take extra precautions to inform customers of potential safety concerns.”


In addition to educating consumers about Walmart’s unsafe business practices and dangerous products, WakeUpWalmart.com, the National Consumers League, and their supporters will sign an open letter to Mike Duke demanding that Walmart take responsibility for the products on its shelves. In it, consumers tell Duke that, “We know Walmart can afford to do right by America’s families and help make this holiday a safe one. As the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart has an obligation to pull products with toxic levels of chemicals from its shelves—and end the unsafe practice of pushing suppliers into cutting corners.”


For more information please visit http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/feature/holiday2009.


###


UFCW News Service
www.ufcw.org

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Tuesday Morning One Liners...

Super FreshImage via Wikipedia
It's time to cast your vote for JWJ's 'Scrooge of the Year'.

Another report on Tops' Market 'serious' interest in Penn Traffic stores.

UFCW Local 7's mail-in contract voting has ended, the ballot counting begins. The final offer included an annual wage increase of 25 to 30 cents an hour for journeymen workers, along with larger corporate contributions to pension funds and reductions in retirement benefits
The 52-month contract offer includes annual raises totaling $1.30 an hour for the highest-paid workers; signing bonuses of $150 to $1,000 in the form of gift cards paid upon ratification; $40 million in additional payments to an underfunded pension plan; reduced waiting periods to get medical benefits; and new preventive health care benefits. Negotiations began in April; workers from both chains as well as Albertsons, have been working without contracts for months.  [Colorado Gazette]


UFCW Members at the Angelic Textile Services company in Massachusetts are on their sixth day of a strike.  Read more at Boston.com.

South Jersey UFCW Local 152 will vote on a SuperFresh deal.

A Walmart employee was fired for not wearing a Santa hat, was rewarded her job back.

City, State, Elsewhere
New York City Council votes no on Kingsbridge Armory plan.

A Siena College poll on Monday found 61 percent of New Yorkers felt the state was on the wrong track. The last time more New Yorkers felt the state was on the right track than on the wrong track was January 2008.  The poll also found that New Yorkers have a bit more confidence in Governor Patterson.


And The New York Observer looks at a new Siena poll: Gillibrand loses to Bill Thompson, Guiliani.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Morning Quick Liners...

ALDIImage via Wikipedia

Aldi, has apparently put the brakes on opening their first NYC store for the time being, Supermarket News reports.

Fry's and Safeway workers ratify contract in Arizona.

Big Y Supermarkets has launched what it called a voluntary layoff program for full-time store employees in Massachusetts and Connecticut, reports said.

Meanwhile, the board of directors of Safeway (California) said Friday that it had authorized the company to repurchase another $1 billion worth of its stock.

King Soopers creates job posting for replacement workers.

Tops Markets has officially bid on a majority of Penn Traffic stores, some of them in Western New York, reliable sources said late Saturday.

More on Walmart's expansion in Upper Deerfield New Jersey.

State AFL-CIO leader Dennis Hughes calls out New York State Legislature.

The Journal News learned that Andrew Spano spent $2.5 Million on his losing campaign this past year.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Morning One Liners...FoodWorks NY is a hit,


“Unfortunately, while more and more chickens are cage free, many workers are still caged.”
Bruce Both, President, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1500 – at Monday's F.R.E.S.H. Celebration.

Supermarket News covers Christine's Quinn's  FoodWorks New York initiative, and F.R.E.S.H.. 
Monday's F.R.E.S.H. celebration event was picked up by ABC, The GothamistCrain's, NY1, & WNYC,

Kroger Co. stock took a beating Tuesday — falling nearly 12% to just over $20 — as the company reported a net loss of $874.9 million

Politico looks at UFCW's release of www.fixthebill.org, and attacks on the proposed Health Care bill's leniency towards Wal-Mart.


Stop and Shop is said to be looking at Wind Power.

Food Lion opened their 'greenest' store.


Ahold yesterday said said it has named Rick Herring division president of its Giant of Carlisle chain, based here. Herring is a 20-year veteran

Politics, City, Elsewhere

Yesterday, the NYC Council passed a watered down (weakened) initiative to reduce greenhouse gases throughout New York City.

Councilwoman Melinda Katz will join a law firm.

Patterson says former NY Governor Spitzer may work as Comptroller.


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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FoodWorks New York, and the Good Food, Good Jobs FRESH Celebration


On Monday, Local 1500 co-sponsored an event at the New School regarding the expected passage of F.R.E.S.H. (Food Retail Expansion to Support Health).  Local 1500 President Bruce Both spoke at the event, along with New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (you can read her speech here, or watch it here).
“Unfortunately, while more and more chickens are cage free, many workers are still caged.” Bruce Both, President, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1500 –
Bluntly opening her speech, Quinn noted some oversight by the council, "Suppose I told you that New York City had the opportunity to create thousands of new jobs – but we just weren’t doing it... Now suppose I went on to say that we’ve actually had that opportunity for years, we just weren’t paying close enough attention..." Her honest point came across clear,  New York City  (and NY State) has ignored the economic potential and the amount of impact a certain sector can have on one's health for what seems like forever.  The sector is of course New York City's Food System.  The facts are all there, as Peggy Shepard from WE ACT pointed out, "The recession leaves us unemployed, obese and diabetic, not only because of individual decisions, but because our environment works against our own being."  The abundance of fast-food stores throughout the Bronx and Harlem strikes anyone who walks through those neighborhoods.  KFC, Burger King, McDonalds, Popeyes and a bodgea, these are the options our youth is left with.   More than half of New York City adults are overweight, and 34% are obese, 58% are either obese or overweight.  In the past 10 years, the number of people with diabetes in NYC has more than doubled. An estimated 530,000 adult New Yorkers know they have diabetes. For every two people who have diabetes, there is another person who has it and doesn't yet know it, suggesting another 265,000 New Yorkers with diabetes. (NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene)

 "What they came up with was the first of its kind in the nation – the use of both zoning and tax incentives to bring more grocery stores to underserved communities. And we should all be incredibly proud and excited that the FRESH zoning initiatives are about to be passed by the full City Council this week."
- Christine Quinn
, Speaker, New York City Council.

In what seemed like a too good to be true event, Christine Quinn outlined a well informed five point plan called FoodWorks New York.  Covering everything from manufacturing and transportation to the health of our communities, the broad Good Food, Good Jobs coalition has clearly taken much into consideration regarding the potential of the Food System for New York City by Quinn's blunt admissions on prior oversights, "But the truth is, each step in the food cycle – from the farm all the way to the table – has a major impact on the lives of every New Yorker. And each step has the potential to create jobs, to improve public health, and to preserve our shared environment. Or – if we continue to ignore those opportunities – the potential to cost us jobs, increase obesity, and pollute our air."  

Quinn's FoodWorks NY:

1. Improving City's Food Infrastructure.  Saying, "Too much of that infrastructure is outdated and inefficient, which costs us jobs and damages our
environment. That’s why we need to begin making key, targeted investments – creating better links between the city and upstate producers, and supporting a smarter redevelopment of Hunts Point"

2. Creating new and better jobs in the food industry.  Stressed the need to create better jobs in the Food Industry, "We talk a lot about getting
people food, so they can feed their families. Now let’s use food to get people jobs, so they can afford to feed their families."

3. Keep local food dollars in the local economy -
Outlined that 2% of fruits and vegetables coming from Hunts Point come from New York State.

4. Reduce diet related illnesses like obesity, heart disease, diabetes.
Bring healthier food to low income areas who lack access.

5. Reduce environmental damage from the consumption, transport and production of food.
Stressed the need to cut out needless transportation of food from other states that is produced here in NY State.  Cut greenhouse gases by using more rail transportation rather than truck.


United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 has been on the forefront advocating for the development of a City-wide food policy. Working with the Mayor, Speaker and Department of City Planning, UFCW Local 1500 and a coalition of community groups have spent almost two years developing F.R.E.S.H and targeting the City’s food deserts for supermarket growth.

Through our innovative Building Blocks Project,  we believe that Good Food, Good Jobs and Good Health are the building blocks of all communities and that New York City's economy benefits when communities are built on this foundation.

FoodWorks New York has been covered by Supermarket News & The NY Times.



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Release: Campaign against Amish Market

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia

NEW YORK - (Business Wire)

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 is launching a city-wide, multi-media ad campaign urging New Yorkers to avoid shopping at Amish Market as a part of its ongoing effort to call attention to mistreatment of grocery workers.

The campaign – which includes outdoor, mail, online, and transit components – focuses on Amish Market’s theft of more than $1 million in wages from its employees, a transgression brought to the attention of state officials by UFCW Local 1500 in 2007.

“New Yorkers need to know that stores like Amish Market don’t deserve our support,” said Pat Purcell, Director of Special Projects at UFCW Local 1500. “If you want to do business in New York’s neighborhoods, you have to meet New York’s standards. Stealing more than a million dollars from working people doesn’t come close.”

The print components of the campaign are mirrored on major New York blogs (including Gothamist, CityRag, SeriousEats and MidtownLunch), where ads encourage readers to visit NothingFineAboutIt.org. The site documents a number of abuses committed by Amish Market; New Yorkers can also send a letter to the company announcing their intentions to shop elsewhere.

Campaign creatives can be viewed here:

http://www.ufcw.org/images/amishkioskscreen.jpg
http://www.ufcw.org/images/amishmailerscreen.jpg
http://www.ufcw.org/images/ufcw-pickp-vert-150x6002_120409_135744.gif

Press inquiries should be directed to Corey Owens, cowens@ufcw.org, 202-905-2179.

UFCW
Corey Owens, 202-905-2179
cowens@ufcw.org
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Morning One LIners...

"Thanks to a classic display of cowardice, lawmakers failed to deliver the most basic labor rights to this chronically exploited work force."

-Editorial, in Yesterday's Daily News on the failure of the Farmworkers Bill of Rights.

Industry
Penn Traffic has named Price Chopper as a potential buyer for a handful of its P&C grocery stores, but Price Chopper says that offer is not current.

More on Penn Traffic: Quality Markets gets Tops' attention.

They're also [Penn Traffic] looking for $36.5 Million in Assets, Supermarket News reports.


Another report on King Soopers looking for 'replacement workers'.  (King Soopers and UFCW Local 7 are currently negotiating"

Details on UFCW Local 99's negotiations with Fry's and Safeway.

Walgreens' stores are looking to offer beer and wine throughout Kentucky and Indiana.

Walmart proposes more expansion in New Jersey.

Employees at a Wal-Mart location in Jonquière, Quebec who complained their store was shuttered as part of a union-busting effort have had their appeal turned down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

A new study released by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) examines the Senate health care reform bill, and finds that a provision meant to hold corporations accountable actually encourages companies to duck their fair share of the costs of health care reform.  Read more at Fixthebill.org.




Politics

Same Sex Marriage fight heads to New Jersey. 

Yesterday the Senate Panel in Jersey approved Gay Marriage Bill.

Meanwhile: Joe Addabbo becomes number one target for Gay advocates, due to last weeks vote.

Robert Jackson's push to force a vote on the Small Business Survival Act has failed, the Observer says.

Other and Elsewhere
Martha Stewart will launch her own paint line at Home Depot.

The UFCW Blog highlights some UFCW made toys to give this holiday season.

Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water: "Those figures are particularly worrisome, say researchers, because the Safe Drinking Water Act’s limits on arsenic are so weak to begin with. A system could deliver tap water that puts residents at a 1-in-600 risk of developing bladder cancer from arsenic, and still comply with the law."
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Local 1500 Applauds New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn on Food Policy Announcement and Expected Passage of F.R.E.S.H. Initiative by the New York City Council



United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia


 Immediate Release: December 7th, 2009

New York State’s Largest Supermarket Union Applauds New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn on Food Policy Announcement and Expected Passage of F.R.E.S.H. Initiative by the New York City Council

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York State’s largest grocery workers union, commended New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s speech today on a city wide food policy and for her leadership on the expected passage of the F.R.E.S.H. (Food Retail Expansion to Support Health) initiative this coming Wednesday by the New York City Council. Speaker Quinn, at an event today co-sponsored by United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 and the Good Food, Good Jobs Coalition, announced a progressive and comprehensive city wide food policy aimed at the entire food system network. She also touted the expected passage of F.R.E.S.H., an initiative aimed to bring more supermarkets to NYC’s low-income communities.

“Speaker Quinn hit the equivalent of a policy grand slam today and UFCW Local 1500 and its 23,000 members could not be more supportive,” said Bruce W. Both, President of UFCW Local 1500. “Good Food, Good Jobs, and Good Health will be achieved through Good Policy throughout all segments of New York City’s food system is the message I received today from the Speaker. Through the soon to pass F.R.E.S.H initiative and Speaker Quinn’s stated vision for moving forward, I believe all invested partners including labor, community groups and food policy experts left today’s event feeling that their collective voices have been heard and that Speaker Christine Quinn will be the champion of this very important issue, “ Both concluded.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 has been on the forefront advocating for the development of a City-wide food policy. Working with the Mayor, Speaker and Department of City Planning, UFCW Local 1500 and a coalition of community groups have spent almost two years developing F.R.E.S.H and targeting the City’s food deserts for supermarket growth. Through its innovative Building Blocks Project, UFCW Local 1500 believes that Good Food, Good Jobs and Good Health are the building blocks’ of all communities and that New York City's economy benefits when communities are built on this foundation.

##

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Queens Village, represents over 23,000 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties and New Jersey. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, King Kullen, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, Fairway, D’agastinos, Key Food and Shop Rite.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Morning One Liners...King Soopers looks for replacement workers, Rite-Aid CEO gets a Raspberry

Rite Aid store located at the Vista Village in...

Rite-Aid workers give CEO Raspberry for union-busting.

Whole Foods drops new Hawaii store plan.

Shop Rite plans to close a store in Warminster, Pa., eliminating 50 jobs, according to a notice filed with the state.

Food Lion will double the number of its Bottom Dollar discount stores and push pricing at its flagship banner closer to that of Wal-Mart in 2010 as part of a "New Game Plan" announced Thursday by officials of its Belgium-based parent, Delhaize Group. Read more at Supermarket News.

In Denver, King Soopers is seeking replacement workers as a threat of a strike looms.

UFCW International union released a statement on White House Job Summit.

WakeupWalmart asks, "What happend to Walmart's sustainability index?"

Wal-Mart Stores Inc has agreed to pay $40 million to settle a 2001 class action lawsuit by current and former employees in the state of Massachusetts for wage and hour violations. More at the Boston Globe.

Utica news covers the meeting between workers from Penn Traffic and the union.

The UFCW is optimistic on finding a buyer for some of the Penn Traffic stores.

A new report finds a better outlook for NYC Economy.

Albany Times Union: New York's new public worker pension plan is being described as both landmark reform that will save taxpayers billions and the latest gift to powerful state employee unions.

The Senate voted yesterday to provide free mammograms to women, advisory panel says routine check-ups should begin at 40, rather than the proposed age of 50.


And apparently Montgoumery Burns (from the Simpsons) received 25 write in votes for NYC Mayor.

Local 1500's General Membership Meeting is Wednesday December 9, 2009, at the Inn at New Hyde Park.  For more information head here.  We're also holding a toy drive at the meeting, if you'd like to participate in the toy drive please bring an unwrapped toy to the meeting.

Local 1500 is also co-sponsoring the Good Food, Good Jobs coalition's celebration on FRESH, Monday, 7th, speakers will include New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, all are welcomed.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Morning One Liners...

"...We want more so that our people can actually earn a decent living because they contribute to the community. We’re trying to illustrate and highlight these issues, like healthcare, that are extremely important to people. Bad health or bad circumstances can bankrupt you, so it is important for all of us to have heath care, and that’s what we’re shooting for — livable wages and benefits for our members.”
-Pete Boehlen, President UFCW 1496, on the thought of Safeway reducing health care for employees, in The Homer Tribune, Alaska.

About 25,000 Fry's and Safeway grocery workers in Arizona are being asked to approve a new three-year contract that was hashed out at the eleventh hour last month to avert a pending strike. The AP has more.

Pathmark Supermarkets has entered a partnership with Municipal Credit Union (MCU) to place MCU ATMs in 16 Pathmark locations in the New York metropolitan area,

Yesterday, the Office of the United States Trustee appointed the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) to the Creditors Committee in the bankruptcy of Penn Traffic. 

Meanwhile the union members from Penn Traffic to be briefed on options & Penn Traffic may set an asking price for the chain. [Syracuse Post Standard]


Safeway eyes reducing health benefits. [Homer Tribune, Alaska]


Politics, City, Elsewhere

Robert Jackson's 'Small Business Survival Act' (a bill that would essentially regulate commercial rents for small-businesses) will be brought up for a vote before the NYC Council. [Observer]

NY Senate rejects same-sex marriage.

GE has sold NBC to Comcast for $30Billion.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday Morning One Liners...

Duane Reade Inc.Image via Wikipedia
WSJ: Working two jobs and Still Underemployed.

Workers at a Woodman’s Food Market in Wisconsin will vote next week on whether to recover the union representation it lost earlier this year.

Tom Souzzi conceded defeat on Tuesday in the race for the Nassau County executive, a harsh setback for Mr. Suozzi, the Democratic incumbent who was widely regarded as a potential candidate for higher office.

Tom Souzzi: "No one saw this coming."

Labor leaders are heading to a Job Summit at the White House tomorrow, held by President Obama.  The summit is gathering in order to address the urgent need to create jobs for the more than 26 million unemployed or underemployed workers looking for work in an economy in which there are more than six workers for every one job.

UFCW Local 1 began an organizing campaign at Weis Markets in Binghamton.

More on Local 1, who represents close to 3,800 employees of Penn Traffic, announced Tuesday they will be holding meetings about the company’s bankruptcy later in the week.

Fresh and Easy makes their California debut.

Blockbuster Express DVD rental kiosks are invading NYC, Gristedes and Duane Reade to put them up throughout stores.

7-Eleven announced plans for a Manhattan expansion.  The expansion calls for 100 stores ranging from 1,700-3,500 square feet.

A Denver News Blog asks if a mail-in vote increases chances for ratification for members of Colorado's Local 7.

National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians says its workers might boycott NBC's "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" special Wednesday.

Amazon dominates Cyber Monday.
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