Friday, May 27, 2011

Week's End One Liners: Changing Target...

Just a few news stories focusing on the campaign to Change Target....

We've filed charges against Target for allegedly creating an 'unfair and intimidating' atmosphere for workers at Target who are voting for UFCW representation on June 17. [Crain's]

News outlets across North America are now questioning if Target is no better than Walmart.

In Canada, where Target just unveiled their new stores, the Montreal Gazette has a close eye on what's going on in Valley Stream.

The New York Times' Steven Greenhouse writes about the workers at Valley Stream Target and their campaign to change the culture at Target.

After the NYT story, Gawker posted a commentary, which resulted in current and former Target workers sending in their experiences from working at Target, the result? They say they NEED to Unionize.

We created a digital advertisement that was to run in New York City, highlighting Target's working conditions and overall culture...CBS decided to balk at the ad after accepting it and reaching out to us initially.

the American Dream Movement: Struggle to Unionize Intensifies for Target Workers at Valley Stream....

Last month, Local 1500 went to Washington to ask for help in the Pathmark crisis.

A&P announced the completion of auctioning off of 25 Superfresh stores.

Mrs.Green's is taking over SuperFresh in New Brunswick.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Employees and Union Slam CBS over “Targeted” Rejection of Times Square Super Screen Advertisement

“Employees and Grocery Workers Union Slam CBS over “Targeted” Rejection of Times Square Super Screen Advertisement, Questions Raised over Possible Connection to Union Election” 

Employees from a Target Store located in Valley Stream, New York and the State’s largest Union representing grocery workers are slamming CBS for its rejection of a paid advertisement questioning Target's work place practices. The rejection of the advertisement is especially questionable since it was a representative of CBS that initially contacted with the Union and suggested using the CBS “Super Screen” located in Times Square. The rejected ad can be seen in its entirety at

"Get Change"
Tashawna Green, a Valley Stream employee, was shocked that CBS, the network that has employed such First Amendment defenders such as Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather, would reject the employees' message. “All we want to do is get our message out to the public that Target Stores does not treat us right and we would like to see change come to our workplace. They let politicians run ads trashing each other all the time, but when the average citizen needs a public forum, they shut us down. I guess Target's money is more important to CBS that letting the voice of their loyal viewers be heard,” Green concluded. Patrick Purcell, a spokesperson for United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, was shocked by the sudden turnaround by CBS. “They contacted us, not vice versa. They did so after seeing the press reports about Target workers participating in the first federally monitored Union election at a Target store.

Our message content was made clear from day one. It is outrageous and immoral for them to now reject the advertisement,” Purcell stated. “The aisles at Target and the halls of CBS both stink tonight with the smell of censorship.” Purcell suggested this action is in line with Target's campaign at the store to minimize voter education and deny equal access to information. “This action by CBS produces the same result indirectly that Target Stores directly seeks as workers from around the New York area mobilize for change: silence the workers' voice,” Purcell said. “Their campaign has been one of denying workers equal access to information, forced employee captive audience meetings and threats of job loss. These actions, by both CBS and Target, crystallize why Americans are disgusted by irresponsible corporations that pray at the altar of profits. This matter is far from over,” Purcell promised.


Follow the campaign to change Target on Twitter @TargetChange and at
Send the workers from Target in Valley Stream a letter of support by emailing


Friday, May 20, 2011

Local 1500 Heads to Washington for Support w/ Pathmark Crisis

Earlier this May, UFCW Local 1500 Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Speelman, Political Director John Woods and Assistant to the President Patrick Purcell Jr. traveled to Washington D.C. to enlist the help of the New York area Congressional delegation in our fight to save Pathmark.

Local 1500 representatives briefed several members of Congress as well as our two U.S. Senators about the Pathmark crisis. The Union officials asked for specific help depending on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations. “Every single person we spoke to pledged their support and agreed that we must all work to come to a fair agreement and not let A&P/Pathmark continue to run this once proud company into the ground any further. Our membership should know that our elected officials have our backs and are prepared to roll up their sleeves and stand with us as this crisis grows more serious every day,” Secretary-Treasurer Tony Speelman explained.

Pledging support were:
U.S. Representative for New York's 7th District, Democrat Joseph Crowley

U.S. Senator,  New York, Democrat Chuck Schumer
U.S. Representative for New York's 11th District, Democrat Yvette Clarke
U.S. Representative for New York's 9th District, Democrat Anthony Weiner

U.S. Representative for New York's 4th District, Democrat Carolyn McCarthy

U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand & UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce Both

Though not pictured from the recent trip, United States Senator, Kristen Gillibrand, a longtime friend of UFCW Local 1500 also pledged her support.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pathmark/A&P Update from Local 1500 President Bruce Both

PathmarkImage via Wikipedia
A Message from UFCW Local 1500 President, Bruce Both:

On May 5, 2011, a meeting was held between A&P and all the UFCW Local Unions that represent the companies under the A&P banner. The representatives of the various unions present, including Local 1500, were required to sign confidentiality agreements. Because of these confidentiality agreements the details of what was discussed at the meeting cannot be shared at this time.

The company has requested that the current collective bargaining agreements be changed or modified. These requests are currently under review by each Local Union, the International Union and Legal Counsel. These company requests are subject to negotiation.

At some time in the near future, the changes to your collective bargaining agreement will be presented. It should be noted that if the Unions cannot reach an agreement the Bankruptcy Judge, under Section 1113, could have the Unions’ collective bargaining agreements voided or modified.

The members of Pathmark will be receiving two mailings sent to their home. 

  • You should receive a document “Notice of Meeting of Creditors” on May 31, 2011. In Chapter 11 cases, companies are required to schedule a meeting which any creditor, including employees, may attend where a representative of the company gives a short presentation with public information on the status of the bankruptcy and may answer some questions.
  • There is no requirement or need for you to attend this meeting, and the notice can be ignored. 
  • The second notice you will receive is from the Court regarding a “Bar Date” for the filing of any personal claims against the Company outside the collective bargaining agreement. Only those members with a personal claim need to take any action.

Please email us or contact us for any questions you may have at 1-800-522-0456.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

NY Industry News Briefs: 5/7-5/10

A protest in Utah against Wal-MartImage via Wikipedia

Stop & Shop's personnel is moving back to their new million dollar offices in Mass.

The Patriot News wonders if Rite-Aid can recover.

A recently closed Pathmark will remain a supermarket.

UFCW Local 1189 has held up a scheduled May 15th vote on a new grocery industry contract while the international union reviews the proposal.

A 70,000 sqft ShopRite is proposed in New Millford, NJ.

Whole Foods sets a new goal: 1,000 stores.  Currently they operate 304.

The Supreme Court in Canada, upholds the ban on Ontario Farm Unions.

South Africa, Walmart's next ambition, is arguing that Walmart's entry into the country must be met with strong conditions or rejected.

 Forbes Blog: Why Walmart is Bad for Africa. Wal-Mart’s global sourcing model will definitely force African suppliers to match the prices of companies from countries like China which thrive on cheap, low standard labor. The domino effect of this is far reaching.

A new report surfaced concluding that a Walmart in South Africa will cost and cut 4,000 SA jobs.

A former Walmart boss was grilled in a South African Tribunal about Walmart's stance on labor and unions.

Check out recent bargaining news @AFL-CIO's blog.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday's News Briefs: Job Reports & Layoffs

 The hearing on the expansion of a NJ Walmart will be June 2nd.

Local 1500 represented King Kullen in St.James is seeking expansion.

U.S. Economy Added 244,000 Jobs in April; Unemployment Rate Rises to 9.0%...Check out 5 questions about these numbers via NY Times.

Mayor Bloomberg's new budget will layoff thousands of teachers.

UFCW and Smithfield are continuing their Hunger Tour, donating 228,000 servings of protein to the Alabama tornado victims.

In Ohio, Local 880 Rite-Aid workers have been on strike looking for a new contract from the company.

BJ's Wholesale Club saw an increase in sales in April.  Target saw double-digit increases in sales but were disappointed.

Message for UFCW Members @ A&P-owned Supermarkets

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia
A message from the UFCW International
The following is a statement from the UFCW International:

Yesterday 13 UFCW local unions met with A&P management in initial contract negotiations. The meeting marked the beginning of the bargaining process with the company that seeks to find solutions to the problems the company is facing.

Our goal is for A&P to emerge from bankruptcy healthy enough to serve customers and support good jobs in as many communities as possible. Yesterday’s meeting was a very initial exchange of information.

UFCW members are the backbone of this company and we are very proud to see union members standing together throughout this process. Together, we are stronger.

If you have any questions about the negotiations or bankruptcy process and how it might affect you and your coworkers please attend your local union’s next general membership meeting (June 8th @ 7:30) or ask your union representative.

Again, please email us: or contact your Union Representative for any questions.  Additionally you may also use the Pathmark Update Hotline: 800-522-0456 ext.1355.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday Afternoon News Recaps: 5/1-5/5

500 Rite-Aid workers
reached a tentative contract after a five-year-anti-union campaign by Rite Aid.

Acme cuts 900 Part-Time workers to reflect loss of sales volume at struggling stores.

Walmart i
s trying their version of Fresh Direct, "Web Grocery".

They're also investing $756 million into Brazil.

AlterNet looks at Walmart's literal impact on hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.

As they [Walmart] remain atop the Fortune 500, another study proves it: Walmart Destroys Small Business. More @ Portfolio.

Walmart's NYC plans were on Community Board 3's agenda Tuesday.

In Southern California, a Federal Mediator has been called in to assist in talks between seven UFCW Locals representing over 60,000 grocery workers and Southern California grocers...A media blackout has also been agreed upon.

UFCW 152, along with small business owners, is fighting Walmart's expansion in New Jersey.

Last week a judge approved A&P's plan to sell 22 SuperFresh stores in Maryland.

A&P executives also won their outrageous bonuses, amidst severe objections.

Stop & Shop re-started their 'gas rewards' program @ Shell gas stations.

Target is continuing their grocery expansion, by end of 2011 they'll be revamping 850 stores.

Grocery is not the only thing Target's expanding on, CEO Gregg Steinhafel's salary increased 83% last year, yeah that's not a typo, eighty-three percent.

Target withstood Walmart's aggressive message/campaign of "price matching" last month, now Walmart is pondering new ideas how to beat Target. Read it @ DrugStoreNews.

Whole Foods saw their best Q2 results in 5 years....They're also opening their first Chicago store.


In Canada, farm workers can't organize.

via AFL-CIO Blog: Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, who signed into law a bill to kill collective bargaining rights for public employees, now has issued proclamations making this week “Public Service Appreciation Week” and “Teacher Appreciation Week.”

Brooklyn leads the living wage battle w/ our brothers and sisters @ RWDSU.


Check out the only known video/audio of Mother Jones, yes you read that right @ 100 years old, it's a must watch for anyone in the labor movement.

Remember to support flower workers this Mother's Day.

NYC is number 1 again for business.

College Grads will see the worst job market since the Great Depression.

A complete list of all our Area meetings is available here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Statement from UFCW International President Joe Hansen on Workers' Memorial Day


Today, on Workers’ Memorial Day, the UFCW will join workers in the U.S. and around the world to honor the thousands of workers who have been killed on the job and the millions of workers who have suffered from injuries, sickness or diseases in their places of work. This year’s memorial day marks the 40th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the right of workers to a safe workplace, as well as the 100th anniversary of one of the worst workplace disasters to take place in our country.

One hundred years ago, on March 25, 1911, a fire spread through the cramped floors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City. When the workers—mostly young female immigrants—tried to escape, they encountered locked doors and broken fire escapes. Rather than be burned alive, the workers began jumping out of windows and fell to their deaths on the street below as bystanders watched in horror. That terrible tragedy, which took the lives of 146 workers, served as a catalyst for major labor reforms and changed the way we work and live.

A century later, the fight to protect workers continues amid anti-union legislation that is sweeping though the country. Just three years ago, managers at the Imperial Sugar Company in Port Wentworth, Georgia—one of the few non-union plants in the industry—tolerated dirty and dangerous worksite conditions, and 15 workers without a collective voice died in a massive fire and explosion. Twenty years ago, 25 poultry workers at the Imperial Foods plant in Hamlet, North Carolina, were locked inside by their bosses and died in a horrible fire. Like the Triangle workers, they had no other voice to demand safety. Indeed, we just saw the worst mining disaster in 40 years, as the executives at the Massey coal mine in Montcoal, West Virginia, told their subordinates to put production first before any other job duties. Surviving workers testified to the rampant fear that effectively suppressed complaints in a company that had viciously opposed unions for decades.

The right to a safe workplace was won after decades of struggle by workers and their unions. On Workers’ Memorial Day, we honor and pay tribute to the men and women who died at Imperial Sugar, Imperial Foods, Massey Energy and all the other dangerous workplaces. In their memory, we renew our commitment to preventing such tragedies by supporting workers who are struggling to protect their basic rights--including safe jobs, workplace fairness, collective bargaining, freedom from discrimination and favoritism.

### The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream.