Friday, August 30, 2013

Top 12 Stories from This Week! Labor Day, Fast Food and Civil Rights!

1. On Thursday, Fast-Food workers throughout the nation went on strike.    In the new wave of walkouts, workers have gained serious momentum. Check out the photos on tumblr.
Favorite Tweet:
NC NAACP president "you can't separate workers rights from civil rights" #829strike

2.  Secretary of Labor Tom Perez wrote a message to all UFCW Members this Labor Day! 

3.  Happy Labor Day, Need a brief history of it

4.  Make sure you make your Labor Day UNION-MADE!  Here are some easy ways to make your weekend #unionmade.

5.  Here are 14 Labor struggles you should pay attention to this Labor Day.

6.  Senator Warren asks a tough question to colleagues: Why isn't the minimum wage $22 per hour?  Good Question, check this video out!

7.  Last night was our Labor Day celebration, Local 1500 Night w/ the Brooklyn Cyclones, check out the pics here!

8.  Local 400 ratifies a contract with Kroger.

9.  Last one on low wages, here's a statistic that will seriously irritate you.

10. Another Pathmark is closing in New Jersey.

11.  What has Labor done to make your day possible right now? Check this awesome site by AFSCME.

12.  We've added our voice to call on Walmart to pay a REAL wage to their employees and to re-instate their illegally fired strikers!  Add your voice to this Labor Day message!

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A Labor Day Message From for UFCW Members from Secretary of Labor Tom Perez

Brother and Sisters –
From the U.S. Department of Labor, where I proudly work in a building named for my great predecessor Frances Perkins, let me wish all of my friends in the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and your families – wherever you are – a safe, happy and healthy Labor Day. This Labor Day feels special in many ways: we’re celebrating 100 years of the Labor Department’s tireless efforts on behalf of American workers, and last week we celebrated the March on Washington 50 years ago – a transformational moment in our history that was just as much about labor rights as it was about civil rights. Today, let’s remember that these two movements remain inextricably intertwined, their interests converging time and time again, their goals essentially the same.
It’s also my first Labor Day as Secretary of Labor, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about me. I grew up in Buffalo, New York as the youngest of five children in an immigrant family. Buffalo was and still is a whole lot more gritty than glamorous. It’s a place that exemplifies the values we all care about, the ones we want to hand down to our children.
My father was a physician in the local VA hospital. He died very suddenly when I was 12, and my best friend’s father became like a surrogate dad to me. He was a union man, and I remember the struggles he and his family went through when he lost his job. And that was the first time I saw how the labor movement served as a lifeline and a support network for people when the going got tough.
The principles that took hold within me then have deepened throughout my time in public service. They are the same principles that stirred 250,000 Americans to converge on the National Mall 50 years ago to demand justice from their government. They are the principles that UFCW members so bravely and selflessly march to defend every day in the streets, keeping alive the spirit of that August day in 1963. And when you boil those principles down to their essence, they are all about one thing: protecting and promoting opportunity for American workers.
This expanded opportunity can only happen when workers have a voice at work. The labor movement is one of the greatest forces for economic security the United States of America has ever known. Standing together, speaking with one voice, you built America’s middle class, lifting standards for all workers—union members and non-union members alike.
You know how important the work that lies ahead for us truly is – we are turning the corner on the most crippling recession in 80 years, but we have not yet restored the opportunities that so many Americans have earned. The workers of the UFCW, most visibly the retail workers and the grocery, retail and meat packing workers who have spoken out to demand a fair wage that allows you to raise your kids, pay the bills, and live a good life, are out there every day in the trenches fighting for an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. You are powerful advocates for President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage, which will benefit 15 million people who lay awake at night sick with worry about how they’re going to pay the utility bill, what they’ll do if the car breaks down, or whether they can put dinner on the table the next day.  You also stand with the President in your faith that a better bargain for the middle class rests on the everlasting promise of opportunity: good jobs, ladders to the middle class through skills training and education, strong safety and health protections, and the ability to retire with dignity and peace of mind.
People like A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin and Walter Reuther – who helped lead the March on Washington – were leading the fight for workers’ rights as well. All of you who continue to stand up for economic justice carry a part of that legacy into the everyday struggles that remain. I can promise that as long as I am Secretary of Labor, the department will stand with you… it will be a bulwark against those who want to undermine the rights of our workers…those who want to dismantle the system of collective bargaining that has served workers and employers so well…those who want to leave hard-working Americans with no leverage to secure better wages, benefits and working conditions.
TEP_LaborDayThank you. I hope you will take this day to recharge, spend time with your families, enjoy the benefits of your hard work, and gather your strength for the work ahead.
Thomas E. Perez
U.S. Secretary of Labor
- See more at:

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Top 12 Stories This Week

The higher the dot, the more income inequality: 

1.  New Study (Even though we all know this): The United States has the WORST income inequality in the developed world!  Thanks to Wall Street- Check out the study.

2.   Walmart's poor earnings caused Wall Street to slip.

3.  UFCW on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington  “The need to mobilize for freedom, jobs and equality has never been stronger, and the UFCW is honored to continue the work of the 1963 activists by fighting for social and economic justice in the workplace and in our communities.”

4.  Know Robert Reich? After you see his new movie on the middle class, you'll want to.  (Watch this, worth it)

5.  The new model for American Liberalism may be in tact in California...Check out what the L.A. Alliance for a New Economy is doing.

6.  Check out what Cobert had to say about raising the minimum wage, and how it might help America's poverty problems.

7.  Stop & Frisk, a controversial police tactic here in NYC, was ruled federally unconstitutional this week...Mayor Bloomberg wasn't happy.

8.  The Asian specialty grocer, H Mart, is opening a new location in Bayside.

9.  Walmart is opening college campus stores, again.

10.  North Carolina has some new voting restrictions, and they pretty much suppress elderly, minorities, students and anyone with low-income. 

11.  An audit found the NSA violated Surveillance Rules a couple of times.

12.  Fast-Food Strikes: "To Grow Much Bigger Than You'd Expect"- Union Leader.

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Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during...
Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during the 1963 March on Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Martin Luther King, Jr.
 Martin Luther King, Jr.
Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement issued by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) regarding the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington:

 “The UFCW is proud to stand with our brothers and sisters from across the country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Fifty years ago on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his inspirational “I Have a Dream” speech to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Organized largely by A. Philip Randolph and black labor to promote freedom, economic equality and jobs, the March on Washington was a defining moment for the civil rights movement—spurring the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 “In spite of the advances we have made since the March on Washington 50 years ago—including the election of our first African American president—the dream of freedom, economic equality and jobs has not been realized. The Great Recession has widened the gap between the rich and poor, and African American and Latino communities, in particular, have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn. These and other communities have also been the targets of voter suppression, and the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down key parts of the Voting Rights Act will undermine voting rights in future elections.

 “The need to mobilize for freedom, jobs and equality has never been stronger, and the UFCW is honored to continue the work of the 1963 activists by fighting for social and economic justice in the workplace and in our communities.”


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Both Re-Elected As International VP

UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce Both
We're pleased to announce Local 1500 President, Bruce W. Both, was unanimously re-elected as International Vice President of the UFCW International Union. The election took place yesterday at UFCW's Convention in Chicago.  

Bruce has held the position of International Vice President since January of 2007.  This is a great day for our union, especially as 30 of our contracts are set to expire in the next 12-months.  The re-election will continue to give our union a strong voice and influence on all national UFCW affairs, and reaffirms Local 1500 as one of the most powerful Local Unions within the UFCW.

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Top 13 Stories This Week:

1. UFCW rejoins the AFL-CIO. 
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “A stronger, more unified grassroots movement of working men and women is exactly what’s needed to raise wages for workers and rebuild an American middle class. Together we are stronger—it’s as simple as that. Together working people have a stronger voice and the power to defend their rights on the job. Together we have a stronger voice in the global economy—the power to counter the excesses of CEOs and the ravages of inequality.”

2.  Check out this story about the Fight for $15...Workers who are fighting, are heroes.  Related: I work for Burger King for $7.15 per hour, here's what it's like.

3. Wish it was unbelievable: Twinkies CEO admits taking worker pensions for more executive pay.

4.  36 Senators just introduced a bill that prohibits any new law for workers' rights. Yea, read that again.

5.  Stop & Shop is cutting 670 jobs and closing ALL of their New Hampshire stores. More @ Supermarket News.

6.  Walmart is paying $190,000 after repeated serious health and safety violations throughout stores.  They're 'vowing' to improve safety issues in over 2,800 stores nationwide.

7. Tesco may close their US stores (Fresh & Easy)

8. Study confirms, consumers are paying more for mislabeled seafood.

9.  After going public, Fairway had a poor first quarter.

10.  Back to school time? Get your union-made school supplies.

11.  A bill was introduced last week that defines full-time work as 40-hours.

12.  via our friends at the NYC Central Labor Council: This Saturday Supermarket  Boycott Resumes: Golden Farm Supermarket on Church Ave.
13. Finally, a Walmart is doing good for the community- Well it's acutally an abandoned Walmart in Texas was transformed into a library.  Wonder what this country would be like if we had more libraries instead of Big-Box stores. 

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Thursday, August 8, 2013


AFL–CIO (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chicago, Illinois – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) affiliated with the AFL-CIO in a bold move toward a stronger, more unified labor movement. UFCW President Joe Hansen, supported by a vote of the UFCW Executive Board, decided to add the 1.3 million private sector members to the AFL-CIO federation in order to build a stronger, more unified voice for the rights of workers. UFCW International President Joe Hansen today released the following statement:

 “We join the AFL-CIO because it is the right thing to do for UFCW members, giving them more power and influence. This is not about which building in Washington D.C. we call home — it is about fostering more opportunities for workers to have a true voice on the job. It is about joining forces to build a more united labor movement that can fight back against the corporate and political onslaught facing our members each and every day.

 “Our affiliation with the Change to Win Federation (CTW) has been a rewarding one. The CTW’s Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) is leading some of the best campaigns to give workers rights and dignity. While no longer an affiliate of CTW, we continue our strong relationships with the Teamsters, SEIU and the Farmworkers. We will remain active in the SOC and bring our AFL-CIO partners into collaboration with private-sector unions in an effort to build more power for workers. “The need for unity became paramount after the 2010 elections. The attacks on workers brought the UFCW into direct strategic partnership with the AFL-CIO and the entire labor movement. Our shared campaign revealed a dynamic and revitalized AFL-CIO and made it clear that it was time for the UFCW to redouble our efforts to build a more robust and unified labor movement.

 “I respect Rich Trumka’s bold leadership of the AFL-CIO and his strategic advocacy on key issues like the urgent need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, fix the Affordable Care Act so workers in multiemployer plans can keep the health care they currently have, and ensure the National Labor Relations Board protects workers’ rights. The UFCW is proud to affiliate with a transparent, strategic and innovative AFL-CIO – an AFL-CIO committed to bringing a union voice on the job to millions of workers from coast to coast.”

Today’s announcement comes as the UFCW Executive Board meets in preparation for its 7th Regular Convention which calls to order Monday, August 12 in Chicago, Illinois. UFCW delegates representing local unions in the U.S. and Canada will chart a course for the next five years and beyond that aims to raise standards and build power for workers in the grocery, retail and food manufacturing industries.

 Inspired by the theme, “Blue. Gold. Bold. Powerful Together,” UFCW delegates will deliberate on taking steps to strengthen the UFCW’s strong base of member activists who are the backbone of creative organizing campaigns, engaged bargaining programs and political activism.


 Convention details can be found at Media Guest Registration will take place in Room W474B on the 4th floor of McCormick Place West beginning Saturday, August 10. For admittance to the Convention Floor, please present a media credential or business card. - See more at:
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Friday, August 2, 2013

Top 13 News stories this week

1.  If you haven't heard, Fast-Food workers have been on  massive strikes throughout the nation.  Time magazine even wrote up on the workers discovering collective power. Sign the petition and stand with them.  And if you're up for a laugh, see how The Daily Show reacted to the media coverage of the Fast-Food strike.

2.  Ask Working America: What gives Management and Directors a right to threaten workers?

3.  Nevada became the 11th state to enact password protection laws to protect workers, but how much protection do these laws really provide?  Considerations for similar laws are ongoing in 20 states.

4.  Labor Notes: Obamacare opens for business...Shuts Out Labor

5.  Washington Post notices that Unions are getting creative to cure the decline in membership.

6.  Fresh Grocer chain of 8 supermarkets is joining Shop Rite's Wakefern supplier.

7. Aldi opened a new store in Brooklyn at a former Pathmark site.

8. The New York City Council passed a bill that would that makes it illegal to purchase any bulk amount of collected recyclable cans.

9.  Up in Buffalo, Local 36G Cohen's Bakery is on strike.

10.  In a coordinated attack, Walmart has finally retaliated against over 60 employees who participated in strikes this year.

11.  Walmart actually took out an Op-Ed in a college paper to defend themselves against a college Junior who wrote they should pay higher wages.  Classic.

12.  A&P updated Supermarket News on the possible sale.

13.  South Jersey UFCW Local 152 ratified a new contract with Shop Rite.

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