Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Union Files Final Board Charges against Target Corp. for Objections to Conduct of Union Election

Request for Re-run Election Proceeds
For more information email: info@ufcw1500.org

On Friday, June 24, 2011, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500 filed objections to Target Corporation's conduct during the course of the recent union election in Valley Stream, N.Y. The charges filed on Friday were in addition to numerous unfair labor practices previously filed against the Target Corporation during the weeks leading up to the Union election in Valley Stream.

Bruce Both, President of UFCW Local 1500 explained Target could have easily held a fair & democratic election, "Instead of playing by the rules, Target showed they were willing to do whatever it took to keep their workers from attaining a basic right: respect at work." "Eighty-Five (85) courageous workers from Valley Stream should be commended for withstanding the intimidation and scare tactics Target management suffocated them with every day leading to the June 17th election. What's troubling is that Target had an opportunity to become a corporate role model and do right by their employees. Instead of helping their employees attain the American dream, they've chosen to continue to focus on their profit growth, not their employees' growth," Both concluded.

UFCW Local 1500 pledged that the campaign to "change" Target has just begun, as they announced they are seeking a rerun election at Valley Stream Target. "In addition to the laundry list of unfair labor practices already filed against Target, filing of these objections to their [Target's] conduct during the election period, shows a blatant disregard for basic democratic practices," said Assistant to the President Pat Purcell. "We are confident Target's actions will result in a new election and hopefully an opportunity for all parties to sit down and discuss a process for a new election that will better represent the democratic principles Target's workers and consumers have come to expect in a free society."

Days after the June 17th election at Valley Stream Target, the National Labor Relations Board announced proposed changes to union election process. The rule addresses a key obstacle workers face when deciding to vote on whether to form a union. "The proposed NLRB rule reinforces our statement that the process is unbalanced. Target workers at Valley Stream didn't have a fair election process," said Purcell. "The rule change would eliminate excessive delays in the vote, delays which allow companies to further their anti-union propaganda in the stores to their employees, something we all saw as recent as last week in the Target election," said Purcell. "This rule change is a step in the right direction toward giving more workers respect, a voice on the job, and rebalancing our economy," Purcell concluded.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 represents over 22,000 supermarket workers across New York State. For more information on Target Change, head to Facebook.com/TargetChange Follow UFCW Local 1500 on Twitter @UFCW1500 and at Facebook.com/UFCW1500


Friday, June 24, 2011

Quick Friday Afternoon News Recaps

We've been tied up with the TargetChange campaign....But here's some ongoings in the NY Grocery Industry News:

AlterNet: "Anti-Union Life @Target." AlterNet looks deeper at what it's like to work at Target & other big box retail stores....
More BJ's Wholesale Club buyout rumors have surfaced, raising their stock prices.

Walmart gets a free pass from the Supreme Court over discrimination.

The Hunts Point Market is still opposed to Walmart opening in NYC.

Christine Quinn wants Walmart to buy local produce IF the chain opens in NYC.

They [Walmart] continue to donate and donate $$ into Washington DC and NYC, drawing criticisms of trying to "buy" their way into the city.

On July 20 a Pathmark in Cherry Hill, New Jersey will be up for auction.

Mrs.Green's officially confirms the purchase of A&P's Superfresh stores. More @ Gourmet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via WikipediaToday's proposed rule from the National Labor Relations Board comes down to basic fairness on the job. When workers choose to vote to form a union on the job, the vote shouldnt be plagued by delays, bureaucracy or obstacles. Working people are already struggling. And, they're waiting and wondering when the economy will recover to a point that therell be enough stable, middle class jobs in their communities. They shouldnt have to struggle to get a union voice on the job.

They shouldnt have to wait and wonder when theyll get justice on the job. Just ask the workers at the 2 Sisters Food Group plant in Riverside, California. When a majority decided they wanted a union voice in their workplace, their employer used the lengthy timeline of the NLRB election process to mount a vicious harassment and intimidation campaign. Instead of investing in their workforce, they hired anti-worker consultants. They distributed anti-union flyers. They forced attendance at daily anti-union meetings. They insisted on including leads who appeared to be supervisors in the unit, which workers agreed to, in order to avoid a lengthy pre-election litigation delay.

As Election Day neared, bosses escalated their campaign by hiring uniformed security guards to monitor the comings and goings of every worker. They illegally fired five workers for their union support-one just a week before the election. When the voting came, off-shift workers were forced to wait at a parking lot gate and then personally escorted one by one to the ballot box by the company CEO, then escorted off company grounds. The harassment, intimidation and illegal firings were too much. Workers feared for their livelihoods, and they narrowly lost their bid for a union.

Today's proposed rule is an acknowledgment that the pressure and bullying 2 Sisters workers encountered shouldnt happen in an American workplace or at an American ballot box. American workers have the right to vote on whether to form a union; and the election process should be straightforward and streamlined; it shouldnt involve long delays nor require workers to navigate a legal maze.

### 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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Important Update for all Local 1500 Pathmark Members

www.freshobsessed.com/entIdeas/pricelist2004Re...Image via Wikipedia
The UFCW A&P Negotiating Committee has released an update to all UFCW members working under the A&P banner.  You may download and view the update here: http://ufcw1500.org/files/shared/apBinder1.pdf 

(Note: Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view this update, download the Adobe Reader here)

Please contact your Union Representative or email us info@ufcw1500.org for any questions you may have.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Message to Local 1500 Members Working at Pathmark Supermarkets

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13:  A person walks in...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeDear Pathmark Member;

The A&P/Pathmark bankruptcy process continues to evolve. I realize the frustration you must all be feeling and I greatly appreciate your patience. I assure you the process is moving along.

The affected Unions and A&P are currently exchanging information. A&P’s financial data and business plan are continuously being reviewed. The Union negotiating team must have the most accurate and credible information to properly assess A&P’s current financial situation.

I can tell you that the company has given the UFCW Locals its initial proposal and it is being reviewed. I expect to make a summary of the company’s initial proposal available for your review within the next few days. I caution you that these are only the companies’ first set of proposals. As long time Union members, you understand that the first proposal will only be a starting point for negotiations and that we will only use it for purposes of negotiating a more reasonable settlement.

Our goal from day one of this process has been too work with the company to reach an agreement that allows them to recover and grow economically while protecting the rights and livelihoods of our members working in their stores. That goal has not and will not change.

While we must hope for and work towards the best possible solution, we must prepare for the worst possible result. Our staff has developed a comprehensive response should one become necessary.

Again, I thank you for your patience. I also want to thank you for the many words of support and encouragement I have heard over the last few weeks. As long as we continue our strong solidarity, we will survive these difficult and challenging times.

Remember: One Union, One Voice!!

Bruce W. Both

Friday, June 10, 2011

Southern California Contract Update

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via WikipediaJune 10, 2011 - The Orange County Register - Peggy Stowe

Union leaders are pessimistic that they will reach a contract deal with three Southern California supermarket chains and fear they are moving toward a strike. Other unions in Los Angeles and San Diego joined in solidarity with Local United Food & Commercial Workers this week. Negotiations with a federal mediator continue through this month.

No talks are schedule for July. Greg Conger; president of Local 324 in Buena Park, said the grocery chains refuse to compromise on health care proposals, so he is pessimistic that a deal will be reached. "We're getting closer to a strike," Conger said. "I'm concerned they're going to back us and themselves into a corner we can't back out of." A spokesman for the grocery chains said that any talk of strike is "unnecessary" and that there are still schedule days of negotiations. "The only place where we can reach an agreement is at the bargaining table, and we believe our focus should be there, reaching a fair and reasonable contract," said Daymond Rice, a Vons representative speaking for the tree chains.

Some 62,000 United Food and Commercial Workers voted April 21 to authorize a strike against Albertson's, owned by Supervalu Inc.; Ralphs, owned by Kroger Co.; and Safeway Inc., which owns Vons & Pavilions. The last contract expired in March. The last strike began in October 2003, with 70,000 grocer workers walking picket lines at 900 stores. When the strike ended in February 2004, grocers had lost an estimated $1.5 billion. The sticking point this time is health care benefits, with the companies insisting on increased deductibles, higher employee out-of-pocket expenses and other plan changes.

The proposals would push some $450 million back on employees, Conger said. The companies counter that the proposal is reasonable and will still provide employees with "quality, affordable health care," said Fred Muir, a spokesman for Albertson's. "Although the proposal makes some changes to the current health and welfare plan, employees would pay as little as $9 a week for coverage, receive coverage if they work 16 hours per week depending on their job, and have access to an excellent health care plan that allows them to receive comprehensive coverage for themselves and their families," Muir said.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor started a fund to support striking workers and other labor leaders promised to honor the picket lines at all the grocery stores. Asked if there is a strike deadline, Conger said leaders have discussed setting a date but haven't reached a consensus.

To support Southern California Grocery workers, head to UFCW's E-Activist page: https://secure3.convio.net/ufcw/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=219

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Afternoon News Recaps: 6/8/11

UFCW Contract Update: Southern California grocery struggle to preserve medical benefits.
 ....Authorizing strikes at major supermarket chains in San Diego.

UFCW urges shoppers to respect picket line in Southern California.

Congressional Republicans threatening to cut National Labor Relations Board.

Chronic unemployment
worse than Great Depression.

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has hammered out a new money-saving agreement with its wholsale supplier.

A&P makes deal with major supplier to cut costs.

Protests in 10 cities to support FLOC.

Wal-Mart works with unions abroad, not at home.

Valley Stream Target vote being watched closely by other big-box retailers.

Sparks start to fly in Target fight 

Local 324 members of Southern California struggle to preserve medical benefits in new collective bargaining agreement.

Chronic unemployment worse than Great Depression.

Local 135 of San Diego can effectively srtike major supermarket chains.

The British Embassay in Washington, D.C., and consulates in nine U.S. cities were picketed by Union activists.

Wal-Mart works with unions abroad, but not at home.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Message to Local 1500 Members Working at Pathmark/A&P

By: Bruce W. Both, President UFCW Local 1500 

A message to UFCW Members at A&P-owned supermarkets:
June 3, 2011

In recent weeks, your local union and the other UFCW local unions at A&P-owned stores have been meeting with A&P about the company’s bankruptcy proceedings. The goal of these meetings, and all our previous work on the bankruptcy committee, is for A&P to emerge from this process healthy enough that our members can continue to serve customers in as many communities as possible.

One of the requirements of our union’s participation in the bankruptcy process is to maintain strict confidentiality about financial, operational, and other information that is provided pursuant to a court-approved confidentiality agreement. That confidentiality also covers the Company’s review of such information at meetings. It’s difficult, mind you, to have a look behind the company’s curtain yet and not be able to communicate that information to our members. It’s very important that we honor the agreement lest we lose the opportunity to participate in the process and review that key information so that we can advocate for your job standards and your union contract. Ultimately we will be able to review the conclusions the unions reach after reviewing such information.

One thing is very clear - A&P would like to change everything in your union contract, under the cover of bankruptcy reorganization. In the information sharing process, the company has shown that it views all economic contract provisions as up for negotiation. Even worse, it views non-economic provisions, including those about transfers, schedules, hours, and classifications, as potential items to demand to negotiate away.

Our union will not let this happen. Our financial analysis clearly shows that there is no economic need for the type of wholesale change to the contracts sought by the company. While some changes to our contracts may happen, by standing strong together, we can keep any changes to the minimum of what’s actually necessary.

A&P needs to make changes to its corporate structure that put it back on a long-range path to success. Many of those changes will need to happen at the management level.

We are still early in this process, but it’s never too early to stick together. A&P workers are willing do to our part to get this company back on the right track and to make changes that will have a long-term positive impact on our company.

UFCW local unions will continue our coordinated work to protect UFCW members throughout the A&P chain. Shop stewards will continue to serve as key leaders in your store and we encourage you to talk with your steward about the bankruptcy process and what each of you can do to help secure a positive outcome for all A&P workers. As always, your union representative is also available to answer any questions.

In Solidarity,

Bruce W. Both
President, UFCW Local 1500