Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly News Bites: September 28, 2012

Suggested reading for week of September 23, 2012:

via Warehouse Workers United:
Walmart Warehouse workers are back on the job! After 15 days on strike all workers were back at work by 12:30 Friday morning, winning safety improvements and a response from Walmart! Congratulations!

Great Report: Strikes at Walmart Warehouses expose threats in supply chain via Labor Notes

In San Diego, Walmart is driving to plow through historic land to build a new store.

Analysts believe China's problems will hurt Walmart, McDonald's bottom line.

Analyst view: Walmart's high cost trip to India, may not pay off.

Companies are reexamining their Social Media policies after a NLRB judge ruling.

Fan outrage trumps owners' greed, ends NFL Referee lockout.

Trader Joe's announced they'll be only selling antibiotic-free meat.

Fairway Market is seeking a $3.7 million tax relief for a bakery facility in the Bronx.

Fresh Direct is expanding to Philly.

Whole Foods' stock hit a new high this week.

The AFL-CIO Blog outlines what's at stake this election for Latinos.

Bill Clinton asked Walmart CEO, Mike Duke, if they'd open a store in Libya.

ShopRite pioneer, Joseph Saker, passed away this week.

Excellent report from The Rolling Stone: The Presidential Race Should Have Never Been This Close.

And the Romney HQ is already conceding the first Presidential Debate, even though it's days away.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Register in September to Make November Count! 6 Weeks till Election Day!

Voter Registration 6/14/08 #2
Voter Registration 6/14/08 #2 (Photo credit: John of Lebanon)
Today marks six-weeks until election day.  Have you registered to vote yet?  If not, don't worry! Today is National Voter Registration Day!

There are tons of options on how to register to vote in NY, head here for some: http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/

Below is some details on who can register and how to register:

To register in New York you must:
  • Be a United States citizen; 
  • Be 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you file this form (note: you must be 18 years old by the date of the general, primary or other election in which you want to vote);
  • Live at your present address at least 30 days before an election;
  • Not be in jail or on parole for a felony conviction and;
  • Not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
     
To Register: You can register in person at your county board of elections or at any New York State Agency-Based voter registration center. 

You can call the 1-800-FOR-VOTE hotline to request a voter application.

You can download a PDF version of the New York State Voter Registration Form.

Print the form, complete and sign it, and mail it to your county board of elections.

Alternately, you can head to the NYS Board of Elections web site for other registration options and for registering online!

Already registered? Great! Want to volunteer on a local politician's campaign? Even better! UFCW Local 1500's Political Action Team is always looking for volunteers, activists and community members to volunteer, especially as election day is only 6-weeks away! To volunteer email us!

Let's make November count, register today!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Morning One-Liners

Trader Joe's recalls A LOT of peanut butter- FDA finds it was the cause of some major salmonella outbreaks throughout the nation.

Roughly 70% of the 1.2 million workers in agriculture are undocumented.  Farmers are calling for immigration reform, blaming laws on billion dollar losses.

Supermarket News has a few articles on food retailers and politics.  Watch out- The National Grocers Association has created a super PAC, backing retailer friendly candidates. 

News of Walmart being shut out in NYC has gotten to India, now they're wondering if they should roll out the red carpet for the small business killing retail giant.  Read more @ The Daily News.

Made in Canada Problem: Canadian laws present barriers to enforcing basic rights to decent work and allow temporary migrant workers to be exploited, says a new report published by the Metcalf Foundation

The women of Walmart (over 1 million who are attempting to sue the company for discrimination), have won the right to proceed with a discrimination suit.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday News Bites: Social Media Ruling by NLRB

“You don’t roll out the welcome mat for a company that kills more jobs than it creates,” he said. “Our first rule has to be do no harm, and that means safeguarding the jobs and small businesses that Walmart puts at risk.” - Bill de Blasio

The National Labor Relations Board has made their first firm ruling in an employer's Social Media Policy case, UFCW 371 vs. Costco.  The board found Costco's policy was overbroad, illegal.

Walmart to open first India store in 18 months.

Washington Post: How does Walmart work for America? Low prices at an enormous high cost, that will be around forever.

Unorganized Walmart Warehouse workers were forced to strike due to working conditions within the warehouse.Workers marched for 6-days to create awareness of their horrendous working conditions, the march ended a few days ago at LA City Hall.  Read the release here.

A cancer patient was fired by Walmart for using prescribed, medical marijuana.

Must Read: In These Times: Walmart Holds Secretive "Workerwashing" Meeting in DC w/ Labor Advocates.
Boykewich believes that the purpose of the DC event was to create the appearance of ethics without having to deal directly with supply-chain workers. “With this kind of event, [Wal-Mart executives] are trying to create this kind of halo of seriousness about ethical sourcing. They have done this again and again: They did this during the bribery scandal, they did this in the case of CJ's, and they are doing it with the striking [warehouse] workers now. There is nothing scarier to Wal-Mart than the prospect of actually having to negotiate directly with workers up and down the supply chain."
The Economist has a great read on taking unions, workers, for granted: Unions and the election: With friends like these...Republicans are getting tougher on unions. But so, too, are Democrats.

The Fresh Market is going to Southampton, while law makers mull their town's supermarket laws.

Stamps just aren't Fresh- Fresh Market won't be accepting Food Stamps.

Walmart won't be calling Brooklyn, home.
“This is a huge victory for the people—stopping a giant from coming in to exploit our workers and devastate our economy,” read the statement. “Going forward, East New York will now be respected and will get a retailer that respects its workers and our community’s economy. Stopping Walmart is not a loss of jobs. Instead, this shows that stopping Walmart can create a net gain of good jobs for workers.”
What are UFCW members doing to help working families win this election in November? Find out at UFCW's Blog.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday Morning One Liners: CWA & IBEW Win Battle vs Verizon

Found on Twitter: According to #Romney's logic, he could not win the vote of his Dad, who would be one of the 47% via @MoveOn #47percent ow.ly/dRfiW

High rents are hitting middle class New Yorkers harder than anywhere else in the country.
Middle-income renters, defined as those earning between $35,000 and $75,000 annually, face the most pressure in Manhattan, where 45% pay rent that is officially "unaffordable." But even those living in less expensive Staten Island and Queens aren't much better off. There, 44% of middle-class residents in both boroughs shoulder unaffordable housing costs.
According to the study, 30% of New Yorkers devote more than half their income to rent alone. The high cost of living here is threatening to drive the middle class out of the city, Mr. Liu said.
Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120919/ECONOMY/120919873#ixzz271FO9JNy
CWA& IBEW Win battle w/ Verizon after 13-month negotiation.  Read the statement from the CWA.

More @ Crain's NY: Verizon reaches a tentative contract

Good Read: WNYC looks at New York's 47%.

Elsewhere: Profiting from Climate Change: Oil companies rush to the arctic to drill as glaciers melt.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Morning News:

“Walmart’s withdrawal from Gateway II shows that when New Yorkers join arms, even the world’s richest retailer is no match for them,” said Stephanie Yazgi, spokeswoman for Walmart Free NYC, in a statement

New York Times: Walmart Opts Out of City Mall After Labor Opposition.

Gothamist: Walmart won't be opening in Brooklyn, admits defeat.

WSJ: Brooklyn Walmart Deal Falls Apart.

Walmart's warehouse workers went on strike last week in California.

Another food manufacturer is moving to the Bronx, with Fresh Direct.

Crain's NY Business has released an update on the potential suitors for Food Emporium, citing some familiar names as potential buyers.  Mentioned were Christian Haub (former CEO A&P), Castimatidis (Gristedes), Whole Foods & Trader Joe's.  

What's at stake? Over 1,000 union jobs.

John Durso, president of Local 338, which represents 14 of the Food Emporium stores: "It is disappointing that the company put up one of its best assets for sale, but we will work with the successful bidder as long as it respects our collective bargaining agreement."
We'll be constantly updating our blog and members on any breaking news or developments during the sale process of Food Emporium.

Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120916/RETAIL_APPAREL/309169978

Supermarket News also released an update on the sale, pricing the chain at anywhere from $100-150 million.

Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of retail leasing and sales for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York, described Food Emporium as having “exceptional” locations that could attract a range of uses. “This is Christmas come early for Trader Joe’s,” she said.

Read More: http://supermarketnews.com/aampp/ap-seeks-divest-nyc-chain-food-emporium#ixzz26jhamlpr

Food Emporium Sale Update

Crain's NY Business has released an update on the potential suitors for Food Emporium, citing some familiar names as potential buyers.  Mentioned were Christian Haub (former CEO A&P), Castimatidis (Gristedes), Whole Foods & Trader Joe's.   

What's at stake? Over 1,000 union jobs.
John Durso, president of Local 338, which represents 14 of the Food Emporium stores: "It is disappointing that the company put up one of its best assets for sale, but we will work with the successful bidder as long as it respects our collective bargaining agreement."
We'll be constantly updating our blog and members on any breaking news or developments during the sale process of Food Emporium.

Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120916/RETAIL_APPAREL/309169978

Supermarket News also released an update on the sale, pricing the chain at anywhere from $100-150 million.
Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of retail leasing and sales for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York, described Food Emporium as having “exceptional” locations that could attract a range of uses. “This is Christmas come early for Trader Joe’s,” she said.
Read More: http://supermarketnews.com/aampp/ap-seeks-divest-nyc-chain-food-emporium#ixzz26jhamlpr






Friday, September 14, 2012

Alert: Notice to all UFCW 1500 Members Working for A&P/Pathmark

United Food and Commercial Workers

From Local 1500 President Bruce Both:

Notice to UFCW members working A&P-owned Supermarkets: 
September 14, 2012 

The leaders of UFCW and RWDSU Local Unions representing members at A&P/Pathmark and all A&P-owned supermarkets became aware today of a possible layoff plan that could impact our members.

This announcement comes after we were given commitments and assurances by the operational people of A&P that based on our concessions there should not be any further store closings or layoffs.

We believe that the push for increased operational savings comes from the investment bankers seeking, in all likelihood, to speed up the rate at which the bankers would recoup their investments.

We believe further that the funds raised through the sale of Food Emporium would not be put back into operations, but rather, will go to the investment bankers to reduce the loans that were made to the company on their behalf.

All union members at A&P have already sacrificed for this company, through concessions and our hard work. And, together, we will stand strong to rebuild the company – even when that means mobilizing against any threats to our members’ livelihoods.

 We call upon you to join with your union brothers and sisters to stand together in solidarity.

Your input in your stores and with your union representatives is crucial. Your commitment sends a strong message to the company that we will not sit back and let them cut jobs or violate commitments to it workers.



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Local 1500 Update #3 from DNC by John Woods: A Stronger Middle Class is the Solution, Not the Problem

United Food and Commercial Workers

UFCW Local 1500 Assistant to the President Patrick Purcell, Union Representative Rob Ecker and Political Director John Woods, are representing our union at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Patrick, Rob & John will be guest blogging and providing social media updates (@UncleBuck9265) from the DNC 2012 all week.
By: John Woods; Political Director/Union Representative, Long Island

Greetings from the Democratic National Convention, Local 1500 members and friends! We're all so honored to be here, and I'm fired up to get back to New York soon to campaign for all the great folks we've been meeting with down here.

Christine Quinn speaking at the NYS Dems Breakfast
If you've been following the convention on TV,  I don't have to tell you how remarkable the speeches have been so far, there's been so many great quotes and I've learned so much  throughout this week, it's been hard to pick out what's the best one (although I'm linking one of my favorite speeches below, Kal Penn's). Tonight we're obviously all extremely eager and excited to hear from our President, Barack Obama.  There's just a buzz and excitement throughout the entire city that is electric.  I'm actually about to head down to the arena now (2:30 PM) to make sure we get into the speech! 

This morning we were invited to a breakfast by the NYS Dems hosted by our friend and state's Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli and our other friend New York City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn (photo).  At the breakfast we all discussed important issues that effect our state, individual liberties and civil rights like stop and frisk.  We then went to our daily UFCW "breakfast" meeting to discuss GOTV and winning key New York districts.   I've been with the UFCW doing Politics for a very long time and don't say this too often, this election year is as important as any other our State has ever faced.  We need to reclaim the State Senate.  That point is being drilled into all of our heads from New York.  Last night we caught an amazing speech by Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO President).  Trumka is a superb speaker on behalf of the working class.  This must have been my tenth time or so seeing him speak, and it never gets old.

After Trumka, Bob King, the head of the UAW came on and had a lot to talk about.  He thanked, and praised President Obama for saving the American auto industry.  And that's not an overstatement.  Barack Obama saved 1 million auto-industry jobs, a cornerstone of American history.

But the highlight, of course was seeing the man who people of all political parties love, Bill Clinton.  Clinton's speech was remarkable (if you didn't see it watch it here).  His delivery, stage presence and insight is unmatchable.  We're all eager to see if Obama will actually top Clinton's speech (I think he can and will).

We also heard from Massachusetts Senate candidate,  Elizabeth Warren and former Bain Capital workers who spoke about Mitt Romney killing jobs at expense of profit.  Those stories raised hairs on my arms.  In our great country, we need to unite for prosperity among all.  We can't continue to choose profits over people, look where that's gotten us.  We're constantly fighting, struggling to make ends meet.  Working more than one job is a norm here, that's because our jobs are being killed and outsourced for higher CEO profits.  Our country needs to continue to press forward, not go backwards into the same policies from eight-years ago that brought us here.

As Clinton emphasized last night, we can't expect Barack Obama to fix eight plus years of problems generated by the Republican plan of increasing taxes and weakening the middle class, while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and slashing public programs.  That just furthers the already enormous wage/class gap in our country.  These problems can't be fixed in a mere four-years, but I truly believe we're on the right road to fixing them (and that weakening the middle class isn't good for our country!).  We need prosperity for all, not just the 1% of our great nation. As Clinton said, "If you want a future of shared prosperity...you have to vote for Barack Obama." 

We'll be tweeting live from Obama's speech tonight (@UncleBuck9265). GOTV New York!

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Update #2 from the DNC: Zings for Romney

UFCW Local 1500 Assistant to the President Patrick Purcell, Union Representative Rob Ecker and Political Director John Woods, are representing our union at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Patrick, Rob & John will be guest blogging and providing social media updates (@UncleBuck9265) from the DNC 2012 all week. 

By: Rob Ecker
Union Representative, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greetings from the South y'all!  I first would like to say how honored I am to be down here at the Democratic National Convention representing our union, New York's best supermarket workers, UFCW Local 1500!

The trip has been amazing.  It's great to be surrounded by so many people who are working to improve our nations many problems.

Yesterday we attended the New York State Dems Breakfast where we heard from United States Senator Charles Schumer and Assemblyman & Speaker Sheldon Silver.  The message has been clear: Win back the U.S. House, keep he U.S. Senate Majority and win a majority in the NY Senate.

The speeches have been nothing short of amazing. Governor Deval Patrick from Massachusetts spoke fiercely and encouraging.  He rallied us all up and demanded the Democratic party to start fighting back against GOP lies, especially Mitt Romney.  He had a few memorable lines and statistics which were alarming that they haven't received much media attention:

"By the time Mitt Romney left office, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation…and household income in our state was declining. Today Massachusetts leads the nation in student achievement, health coverage and energy efficiency.
Today’s Republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions and wait, all will be well. Never mind that those are the very policies that got us into recession to begin with! Never mind that not one of the governors who preached that gospel in Tampa last week has the results to show for it. But we Democrats owe America more than a strong argument for what we are against. We need to be just as strong about what we are for."
After Governor Patrick spoke, former Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, followed up his speech with more emphasis on countering Romney's lies and ideologies.  He, like all the speakers down here had some great lines...Actually they were more like zings, the room filled with laughter and applause on the Santa Claus line here:
"Mitt Romney proudly wrote an op-ed entitled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." If he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation. Mitt Romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit from tearing it down. If Mitt was Santa Claus, he'd fire the reindeer and outsource the elves." 
“Mitt Romney, he lives by a different code. To him, American workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. ”

The keynote was by a rising star in the Democratic Party Mayor Julian Castro from San Antonio who reminded us all what we Democrats stand for: We stand for what is right.
"We know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance," he said. "And the thing is, Mitt Romney and the Republican party are perfectly comfortable with that America."
There was also a moving tribute to one of the best progressives in our history, Ted Kennedy.  Then, probably one of my favorite highlights from this week so far, hearing the First Lady, Michelle Obama speak.  What a great speaker and charismatic presence.  She reminded us why we voted for him four years ago and why we must again.  We need to continue to move America in the right direction.

Yesterday we also met with some local elected officials, NYC Council Members Viverito, James, Reyna, Mendez, Dromm and Ferrara.  They were more than happy to see us down there representing our union.

On a side note in closing, Hollywood was in force last night throughout and after the speeches.  We got some face time with activists John Leguzamo, Beau Bridges, Patricia Arquette who love unions, that was a unique and pretty cool twist.

Well, gotta run to the next UFCW meeting.  It's great seeing all the UFCW delegates from throughout the nation, I couldn't be happier and more proud to represent a great union of America's supermarket workers!  Talk to you soon!



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

UFCW Local 1500 Update from the Democratic National Convention

UFCW Local 1500 Assistant to the President, Patrick Purcell,  is representing our union at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  Patrick will be blogging and providing social media updates (@UncleBuck9265) from the DNC 2012 all week.

Hello folks!

Hope all is well.

I arrived Sunday and to call it organized chaos would be kind (lol).

We spent Sunday with the UFCW including International President Joe Hansen.  Speaking to him was great! The highlight of that night was Patrick Gaspard, Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee, who came by to greet us and talk about the re-election.  Patrick is a good friend to us and has been for quite a while.  The guest of the UFCW at the dinner was California Speaker of the House, John Perez, a long time UFCW member prior to entering politics. We talked about policies that affect larger states like California and New York.  It's refreshing and always an amazing feeling to meet former UFCW members who now represent the hard-working men and women of our country.  That's why we're always looking for any Local 1500 members who want to get involved in local politics back home.  It's a remarkable feeling to work for the betterment of your community and your neighbors, and there is no better representative of people than union members....Union members like John Perez who will always be a part of the UFCW family.  John is a great friend to us, labor, and a great representative for California, he's one of the politicians who really gets it. 

Many of the NY folks are at our hotel.  We keep running into many elected officials we know so well from back home, and our union brothers and sisters we work so hard with back in NY.  Among the many people we spoke with were, Congressman Serrano, Assemblyman Kellner, Council Member Debbi Rose, Suzy Ballantyne (Executive Assistant to the President at the New York State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations in Albany), Mario Cilento (President NYS-AFL-CIO) and Vinny Alverez (NY-CLC President).  It was a great opportunity to talk to a lot of folks in a relaxed setting, something that's very rare when meeting with politicians and their staff.

We attended the NYS Delegation Welcome Breakfast Monday morning and spoke to dozens of folks. It was a nice event and Mario Cilento got an award for being an outstanding progressive leader. After that we took the light rail down to the Convention Center to attend the first UFCW Breakfast. We will be doing that every morning to recap yesterday's events and discuss the days activities, plans and agenda.   That group was even smaller and you can tell the International is very glad we are there on behalf of our 23,000 members from New York.

We did three great things last night:

  1. First we attended an event where our close friend Jessica Lappin was one of several folks who were honored as up and coming Democrats on the rise. She personally invited us and it was really great. She is very appreciative of all we do to make New York better for working men and women.   We also spoke to Christine Quinn's campaign manager at the event about Paid Sick Days and we are setting up a meeting for when we all return to NY.
  2. We attended the NY State Dems "Salute To Labor" get-together downtown.  It was a great event where all the major NY political players were.  We met and spoke to all of them.  Like I mentioned earlier, these events are priceless, politicians and their staff's are in a relaxed atmosphere, making speaking to them much easier.
  3. We closed the night at a DCCC event where again we spoke to a bunch of people but my highlight was meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi who actually took a couple of minutes to speak to me while taking a pic with me.  In fact, she shared some UFCW gossip and jokes, that was funny. 

That concludes the first two days. Again, big thanks to our Political Director, John Woods, who has gotten us everything we need!  That's all for now and I will continue tweeting live w/ hashtag #DNC2012, until next time, stay tuned!

Patrick Purcell








There was an error in this gadget

Translate