Friday, January 15, 2016

Top 12 Stories This Week: Walmart to Close, MLK, Gutting Unions

FEATURED
Cuomo to Create $15 Minimum Wage for New York State Workers - See more at: http://www.portside.org/2015-11-10/cuomo-create-15-minimum-wage-new-york-state-workers-2#sthash.mFP5LEwn.dpuf

Walmart to Close 269 Stores - Over 10,000 U.S. workers affected
154 stores will close in the United States, including their entire 102 Walmart Express small-format stores.
Read more here and more in depth at Supermarket News.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
WHAT'S NEWS THIS WEEK:
In court documents filed this week, A&P said Acme had offered $1.3 million for the leases of closed A&P stores located in Patterson, N.Y., and Boonton, N.J., as well as a wine and liquor store in Old Greenwich, Conn.
Welcome our newest brothers and sisters, @HuffPost, the largest digital media outlet to unionize. What's better? Management's response: "Assuming a majority, we will recognize the union," she continued. "We look forward to a great relationship with our union as we work together to take The Huffington Post to new heights across the world."

Scheduling has become the number 1 issue in our new economy.
The family-owned and operated chain of convenience stores and gas stations announced plans to devote upwards of $15 million to increase employee wages across the board. The company states in a press release that it’s doing so without cutting back on employee hours.
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/business/workplace/article47761650.html#storylink=cpy
“We believe that paying wages at the upper end of the retail scale is necessary to achieve that goal.”
This week President Perrone announced the UFCW's endorsement for President of the United States. “We announce this endorsement with the full belief that the frustrations felt by the American people are real, and that they deserve an America where better wages and better benefits are enjoyed by all who help make this nation great."
This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The case pits the right of public employees to band together and form effective unions to pursue the common interests of workers against the free speech rights of dissenting public employees to abstain from funding collective bargaining efforts with which they disagree.
This major case will change the landscape for unions in our country forever; all union members must pay close attention.
This month in 1914, Henry Ford doubled the wages of his production workers to  $5 a day.
Adjusted for inflation, that would come out to $118.67 in 2015 dollars, almost $15 an hour for an eight-hour day (in 1926, Ford Motor became one of the first major corporations to adopt a five-day, 40-hour workweek). This applied to male workers and was extended to women in 1916.
New calculations quantify how much the decline of unions contributes to economic inequality.
Three mergers between enormous grocery chains will change our entire industry. They've created three new super chains that now employ over 1 million people in America. Mergers and the emergence of technology are having a dramatic effect on workers lives.  President Both sums up how our union and industry needs to react.
Elsewhere & Out there:
Environment: If you haven't heard, Flint Michigan has an enormous water problem and now people are dying due to a 'cost-saving' measure. A federal probe has just been announced to investigate.
via Washington Post: The city of Flint, Mich., is in the midst of a water crisis several years in the making. The city opted out of Detroit's water supply and began drawing water from the Flint River in April 2014, part of a cost-saving move. Eighteen months later, in the fall of 2015, researchers discovered that the proportion of children with above-average lead levels in their blood had doubled.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Humans of New York's photo.
“Everyone has a hard on for the union. They think we’re lazy or this or that, or maybe that there’s mafia influence, but honestly I just think they don’t like the little man having a voice. More and more construction sites are non-union these days. Nobody wants to pay $30 an hour plus benefits if an immigrant will do the same job for $14 an hour. And if everything goes non-union, I might as well go work at McDonald’s because I’ll be making the same amount of money. If the union collapses, I’m going to lose my pension. The way pensions work-- each generation pays for the previous generation. So without a new generation of union workers, there’s not going to be any money left for me. And I’ll have to work until I die.”
Thank You:
It's often a thankless job, so we'd like to say, thank you. And thank you for being a subscriber. 
 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

UFCW Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Former President Clinton visited Pathmark in the 90's
Some breaking news from our International President Marc Perrone. As the early primary and caucus states are gearing up to vote in just three weeks, the UFCW is announcing its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

Please read the message from International President Perrone below:

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Since last year, we have actively engaged and reached out to our diverse 1.3 million members about the issues they care about and the positions they want the next President of the United States to fight for.  Based on this feedback, the UFCW is announcing today its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

We have been completely committed to pursuing a thorough presidential endorsement process. This effort included a series of nationwide meetings with current members and UFCW Local Union officers, internal polls of our union members, as well as focus groups with working and middle class non-union families from across the country who currently work or have worked in retail. By doing this, we were able to determine the issues that matter most to UFCW members and the workers we fight for every day.

Based on these results, as well as additional discussions with UFCW Local Union Presidents and the UFCW International Executive Board, the collective decision was that Hillary Clinton is indeed the best qualified and positioned candidate to win in 2016 and fight for the issues--such as job security, fair scheduling, paid leave, raising wages, immigration, and health care reform--that matter most to our diverse union family.

Hillary Clinton has also held consistent polling leads with women, African Americans and Hispanics.  The broad diversity of the people who support her, coupled with her robust stances on the most important issues, point to our members’ having a strong belief that Hillary Clinton is not just the strongest presidential candidate, but the right one.

Our incredible members, both retail and non-retail workers, who help feed and serve this nation, deserve a president like Hillary Clinton who will fight to make sure that paid leave, stable schedules, and higher wages become more than an election promise--they’ll become a reality.

In Solidarity,

Marc

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