Monday, April 29, 2013

Lobbying for Better NY Union Jobs!

Last week we hopped on the bus to Albany to lobby for better NY Union Jobs!  Check out all the pictures here!

via UFCW Action

UFCW members from local unions all across New York descended upon the Capitol in Albany today to lobby their elected officials about important bills pending in the Assembly and the Senate.
UFCW members lobbied in support of the New York DREAM Act, the Fair Elections Act, the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act, medical marijuana, and conveyed their strong opposition to the Walmart tax credit that was structured into the recently passed minimum wage deal.
For Isha Matko, a UFCW Local 1500 member who works at Gristedes in New York City, this was her first lobbying experience.
“We’re here to help bring a voice to more workers. This helps to ensure that Assemblymembers and Senators are seeing and hearing from real people. It’s a powerful experience being able to talk with people who have the ability to make a difference in all our lives.”
The real impact in lobbying comes from elected officials being able to attach a personal face to the bills that they vote on. Having a lobby day sends a strong reminder that they work for real people–not just the wealthy or big corporations. Juan Guardado, a UFCW Local 1500 member who works at Stop & Shop in West Islip, had a very personal reason for lobbying.
“I’m happy to be here because I really support the DREAM Act. I have a family member who is undocumented and despite getting straight A’s wasn’t eligible for any financial aid. He had to stop going to school because he couldn’t afford it. It’s important for working people to talk to their elected officials because they need to see firsthand that we care, we’re informed and we’re struggling.”
As the lobby day came to a close, UFCW Local One union representative Mark Manna of Buffalo hit on the true importance of the day.
“We’re working people. We don’t have $1,000 suits or a big checkbook, but we have a right to let our elected officials know what we’re concerned about. At the end of the day we keep score with votes, not with how much money is raised.”
Too often, when the word “lobby” is tossed around people immediately think “wealthy” and “special interest.” Yesterday in New York, UFCW members made sure their elected officials associated “lobby” with “workers.”

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Top 10 Stories This Week


Over 100 New York UFCW members traveled to Albany this week to lobby for better UFCW NY Jobs! Check out all the photos from our Lobby Day here.

1. UFCW Local 1500 members traveled up to Albany this week (picuted above) to lobby for better UFCW NY Jobs, and demand more from our elected officials.

2. Yet another factory in Bangladesh has taken the lives of workers due to horrendous workplace conditions.  This time a factory literally collapsed. 

3. The fast-food walkouts in NYC have spread to Chicago.  On Wednesday hundreds of underpaid and disrespected fast-food workers walked out.

4. Related to the new spark in labor, check out a great article, 'How Unions are Getting Their Groove Back'

5.  Getting paid less and working more- Guitar Center workers have launched a Union drive (via RWDSU), under Bain ownership (yes that Bain).

6.  Thousands of Americare workers from UFCW Local 348-S ratified a new contract last week.

7.  So what if they bribed their way into Mexico, had a hand in the Bangladesh fire that killed over 100 garment workers, and were accused of some awful things in Nicaragua, Walmart CEO Mike Duke still got a 14% raise, to almost $21 million...Priorities are in tact.

8.  Solidarity Works!  How Local Unions came together to demand and guarantee better jobs for a new Casino development in Baltimore, and won!

9.  Fruits, Vegetables and all that good stuff- except the benefits and rights for farm workers. Over 75% of farm workers have ZERO benefits. Check out the great reality check via In These Times.

10.  The New Organizing Frontier:  Can Co-ops Save Unions?

Like the top 10 list? We're always posting stories like these and more on our twitter and facebook feeds, so why not follow us!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Top 10 Industry Labor Stories From This Week

Our thoughts, prayers and love go to all affected in the ongoing Boston Marathon tragedy.  Our uttermost thanks go to Boston's first responders for their bravery.

1. Bangladesh Factory Fire Workers are battling Walmart for compensation.  They're not going to get it though, Walmart refused.  The factory fire killed over 112 workers at a garment factory tailoring clothing for Walmart.

2. Local unions throughout Boston are offered a $50k award for any tips that lead to arrest of the marathon bomber.

3. Stop & Shop makes a $500k donation to Boston Fund.

4. Walmart has made over $400,000 in political contributions to New York since 2010, a move that bought them a sweet heart provision in the new Minimum Wage reform.  The subsidy was never announced publicly and is expected to provide big retailers like Walmart millions of dollars each year. It would also give Walmart a tax-credit to replace their seasoned workforce with inexperienced teenagers at minimum wage.

5.  Must read by Josh Eidelson: 'I Jumped to Save My Body': Walmart Slammed over Nicaragua Stabbings & Bangladesh Fire killing over 100.  You should really check this story out,  it is an alarming reality of what it's like to make the clothes sold at thousands of Walmart stores across the globe.

6.  Fairway Stock Soars in their opening week as a public company.

7.  ShopRite is opening  at a former Delaware Pathmark site.

8.  A&P announces a closing of another Food Emporium in Manhattan.

9.  Cutting the Budget, Leaving Us Dry: Michelle Chen sums up wonderfully how the working poor aren't feeling positive effects from the economic "bounceback" and how Social Security cuts won't help.

10.  No NLRB, No Voice! Last week Congress essentially told working Americans to drop dead. House Republicans pushed through a dangerous bill that would paralyze the National Labor Relations Board, blocking the only path that workers have to workplace justice.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Attention Stop & Shop, King Kullen Members: Contract Proposal Meetings Announced

We're approaching the expiration of King Kullen and Stop & Shop Collective Bargaining Agreements fast!  

All Stop & Shop members and King Kullen members must attend contract proposal meetings to make their voice be heard and have an impact on our next contract.

RSVP by clicking the links below (Facebook) or for more info send us an email!

Where: Sheraton, Long Island Hotel: The Nassau/Smithtown Room110 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge, NY 11788
When: 7:00 PM
Our first contract proposal meeting has been scheduled! Come to the meeting and make your voice heard as we head into negotiating our next Collective Bargaining Agreement!

Where: Sheraton, Long Island Hotel: The Suffolk Room
110 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge, NY 11788
When: 7:00 PM
Our first contract proposal meeting has been scheduled! Come to the meeting and make your voice heard as we head into negotiating our next Collective Bargaining Agreement!

Where: Sheraton @ JFK
144-02 135th Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11436 
When: 7:00 PM
Our first contract proposal meeting has been scheduled! Come to the meeting and make your voice heard as we head into negotiating our next Collective Bargaining Agreement!

May 21, 2013: Stop & Shop Contract Proposal Meeting Mt. Kisco (Upstate/Westchester)

Where: Holiday Inn Mt. Kisco
One Holiday Inn Drive, Mt. Kisco NY 10549 
When: 7:00 PM
Our first contract proposal meeting has been scheduled! Come to the meeting and make your voice heard as we head into negotiating our next Collective Bargaining Agreement!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

UFCW Local 1500 Lobby Day!


Join UFCW Local 1500 members traveling up to Albany to discuss important political issues that affect your jobs! We will be discussing legislation with Senators and Assembly members throughout New York and in YOUR districts. 
Issues like: 
  • Fair Elections 
  • Speaking against the Walmart tax credit for employing teenage workers at minimum wage 
  • Farmworker Bill of Rights 
  • Holding corporations accountable to the public money they receive 
  • Much more!

Interested in any of these issues or finding out more information about lobby day? Contact Adam at

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013