Monday, September 30, 2013

Top 15 things that happened last week:

1.  Victory for Change Walmart: Some Walmart workers are getting a Christmas gift...Full-Time jobs this holiday season.

2.  Wegmans clears up that they love their employees, even though their contract negotiations with the Teamsters haven't shown much love.

3.  Despite DC Mayor's veto of the living wage bill, polls show an overwhelming majority of public support of the bill.

4.  Walgreens is shifting health coverage for 160,000 workers due to Obamacare.

5.  Whole Foods is launching a butcher training program.

6.  Staples workers made history last week, becoming the first to win a contract in North America (Canada).

7. Amazon warehouse workers are suing the company for some outrageous security precautions.

8. 30,000 grocery workers may be going on strike in Washington.

9.  Ahold has made some changes to their supervisory board.

10.  47 million people rely on SNAP, cutting it is putting us on a dangerous road. Check out why at HungerCliff  add your voice on ThunderClap

11. Tweet of the Week: @ASPEEL1500: "So proud of @UFCW1500 shop steward Debbie Gernand, receiving @ufcw Region 1's outstanding member award!"

12. Check out Rep. Joe Crowley in a creative speak out against SNAP Cuts.

13. Typical American Family Makes Less Than it Did in 1989. Census buearu report unvieled this alarming data this week.

14. T-Mobile's CEO tried his hardest to intimidate workers from voting in the CWA...Too bad for him his workers were educated, organized and prepared for scare tactics and they voted 7-1 for the union.  Yes, read that again, the CEO of T-Mobile traveled to an 8 person union election.  Seems small but David beat Goliath.  

15.  We've signed a contract extension with Stop & Shop and King Kullen; extending our CBA until midnight, October 12th.

Did we miss something? Let us know, reply to this message!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Contract Extension Signed With King Kullen and Stop & Shop

United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1500, New York State's largest grocery workers Union, and representatives of Stop and Shop and King Kullen Supermarkets have agreed to extend negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement beyond the September 28th, 2013 contract expiration date.

Due to the challenges the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has presented during the ongoing discussions, both parties have agreed to extend the term of the existing contract until October 12th, 2013. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a new Federal statute signed into law on March 23, 2010 and represents the most significant overhaul of the country's healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

President Bruce W. Both released the following statement: "This contract extension accomplishes two objectives. It allows Union and management representatives to continue to meet and negotiate over the legally required changes to our Health and Welfare Plan required under the Affordable Care Act and guarantees that over 10,000 of our members will continue to keep working under the protection of their Union contract."

"This 22,000 page federal healthcare mandate comes with serious cost increases to health care plans and it is the Unions priority to ensure that our members continue to receive the most comprehensive and affordable health care available.

Unlike companies such as Trader Joe's and Walgreens, who are simply sending thousands of low wage workers to new state health care exchanges without understanding the cost implications to their employees, UFCW Local 1500 negotiators are determined to minimize the financial impact of the ACA on our membership and negotiate new collective bargaining agreements that also address important issues such as wages and pensions.  We will not allow the ACA to be used to undermine the excellent Union contracts our members have fought for and earned over many years. We believe this extension will assist us achieve that goal."  

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 represents grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, King Kullen, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, Fairway, D'Agastinos, Key Food and Shop Rite.
Stay up to date on all news from UFCW Local 1500 on twitter @ufcw1500 and on and at

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Top Stories This Week:


1. Typical American Family Makes Less Than it Did in 1989. Census buearu report unvieled this alarming data this week.

2.  We released a new update on contract negotiations with Stop & Shop and King Kullen.  Supermarket News also wrote up on it.

3.  Despite DC Mayor's veto of the living wage bill, polls show an overwhelming majority of public support of the bill.

4.  Walgreens is shifting health coverage for 160,000 workers due to Obamacare.

5.  Whole Foods is launching a butcher training program.

6.  Staples workers made history this week, becoming the first to win a contract in North America (Canada).

7. Amazon warehouse workers are suing the company for some outrageous security precautions.

8. The House passed a bill that will cut SNAP (food stamps).

9.  Rob Shaich, Panera CEO, is attempting to live on $4.25 a day joining the SNAP challenge.

10.  47 million people rely on SNAP, cutting it is putting us on a dangerous road. Check out why at HungerCliff  add your voice on ThunderClap

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Walter's Corner: This Can't Be Right...What Happened to Labor Day

By: Fred Walter
Executive VP, UFCW Local 1500

Can this be right? 4 out of 5 American adults need some kind of government help!  This is just wrong! This great country has no jobs where hard working people can make a living and raise their families on.  I'd like to know why there are no full-time jobs for blue collar workers in our country.  Why there are no manufacturing jobs and no full-time retail jobs.  Everything has been outsourced (including produce) so companies like Walmart can get the goods they sell for close to nothing by using the world's cheapest labor.

But earlier this month Walmart's CEO, Bill Simon, hosts a summit.  In a push to create US manufacturing jobs he organized a two day conference that drew almost 1,500 government officials and business leaders to discuss the importance of increasing manufacturing jobs in the U.S..  This is great, right?! Well, Republican governors at the event said that survival of the US manufacturing industry hinged on keeping labor costs low.  They also suggested speeding up the permitting process and offering special tax breaks and incentives as ways of encouraging companies to relocate to the US.

It's the same old story: Help the companies and *** the workers .  There was a time when manufacturing jobs were full-time union jobs.  Workers were paid a fair wage with benefits.

Bill Simon said at his event in Orlando, Florida, "We can't become solely a service economy.  We need to make things in America." Really?!?  Is Walmart the company that built factories in China and other third world countries to find the cheapest labor? I believe so!  This will be great, companies will be opening factories paying minimum wage and no benefits...This will definitely make things right for workers in our country.

What's happened?  We import steel from China when we need a bridge built. Why? There was a time when the world purchased steel from the US, made in a city called Pittsburgh.  There was a time when this country worked! Everything was made here.  Detroit built cars and sold them here.  Factories all across this country made everything: clothes, suits, tvs, appliances and furniture.  Blue collar union jobs made the middle class.  Those jobs could support a family.

Economic justice. What is economic justice?  What are the goals of a good economic system? What is the reality of wealth, poverty and class distinction in this country?  How does 98% of the world's wealth belong to 2% of the population?  98% of the population gets to have 2% of the world's wealth.  Sound fair? No.

No matter what your job is, how do you evaluate working hard?  Does the CEO of a company, doctor, lawyer, congressman, senator news anchor, sports athlete, work hard?  Yes.  Are they paid well? Yes.  Not everyone is qualified for the above jobs, but men and women who have blue collar, retail and service jobs work hard every day as well.  Do they deserve fair pay?  Yes.

During the Regan administration the rich became richer and the poor became poorer.  During the Bush administration there were tax breaks for the rich.  There were two wars not paid for and not necessary. Weapons of mass destruction were never found.  Bush's friends got rich, Chenney's friends got richer.  Questions loomed if Bush was really elected, and the electoral process in Florida was heavily scrutinized.  I asked after the election if our government really worked.  The majority of voters elected a president based on what he promised, stands for and the change he wants to make to improve our nation.

Congress, the Senate and the White House fail the majority who elected the president because of party politics.  It doesn't matter what's good for the country or the majority, political parties cannot agree and cannot progress our nation.  The only thing that seems to matter is what's good for lobbyists and what cost you're willing to pay.  This week in our nation's capital, DC, this theory was sadly once again proved true.  The Mayor of DC (Grey, Democrat) vetoed legislation that would require large, wealthy employers to pay their employees a minimum wage of no less than $12.50 an hour in combined wages and benefits.  Subsequently raising full-time employee salaries from $17,000 to $26,000 at stores like Walmart.

Politics divide our country.  Once we stop voting and acting on political party lines, and start acting for the benefit of the majority of our struggling country, then, maybe we'll have real progress.

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Fred Walter has been a part of the UFCW Local 1500 staff for over 20-years. Currently, as Executive Vice President, he serves on the Local 1500 Executive Board and is also a Trustee of the Pension & Welfare Funds. In the past, Mr. Walter has been an integral asset during contract negotiations, bargaining and advancing the membership of Local 1500.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Local 1500 Members Endorse Bill de Blasio for Mayor of NYC

Bill de Blasio after speaking and meeting with UFCW Local 1500 Shop Stewards (2012)

We're pleased to announce Local 1500 members have of overwhelmingly endorsed Bill de Blasio for Mayor of NYC.  The decision was announced tonight at our General Membership Meeting.   We couldn't be more excited to paint the NYC streets with UFCW Gold to get out the vote for Bill de Blasio in the coming weeks!

Read the full release here:

NEW YORK CITY (09/11/2013)(readMedia)--
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 (UFCW), representing over 23,000 grocery workers, today announced its endorsement of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio to be the next Mayor of New York City. The Union cited de Blasio's commitment to helping working families and addressing the crisis of income inequality that is leaving a majority of New Yorkers behind.

"Over the last few months, Bill de Blasio has articulated a progressive vision for New York City that the members of our Union fully support," said Bruce W. Both, President of UFCW Local 1500. "Over the years Bill has always been there to support our members as they have fought to improve their wages, benefits and quality of life. He understands that when responsible employers can operate in a free and fair market our City's economy thrives. Bill de Blasio recognizes the negative impact companies like Walmart can have on our communities with their low wage, no benefit, predatory pricing policies. Bill de Blasio will make sure that those living on Main Street are not left behind at the expense of those prospering on Wall Street," Both concluded. 
UFCW Local 1500 represents 23,000 members and promotes progressive policies such as demanding Wal-Mart be held accountable for it's unethical business practices, supporting the expansion of supermarkets into under served communities and creating good food, good jobs and good health for all New Yorkers. 
Other issues of importance to Local 1500 members include aggressive wage theft prosecution and demanding labor standards be attached to corporate subsidies. UFCW Local 1500 also has an active "Women's Network Program," which addresses issues particular to women such as domestic violence and breast cancer. Over half of UFCW Local 1500's members are women. 
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 represents grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, King Kullen, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, Fairway, D'agastinos, Key Food and Shop Rite. 
UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both, Bill de Blasio, Secretary-Treasurer Tony Speelman

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Get out the Vote Today!

It's Election Day today.  Get out and vote!

Step 1: Find your polling site here.
If you're in NYC, find your polling site here.

Step 2: Vote for Union endorsed candidates!

If you'd like to volunteer at a campaign office in New York today call Adam Obernauer at 5162141341 or email!

Have a great election day, and make your voice heard as we re-shape New York!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Top 13 Things that Happened Last Week

1. #WalmartStrikers Nationwide Action

ON Thursday Walmart workers took action around the nation in support of 

We supported workers at an action in Valley Stream....Actions were held nationwide, like this flash mob in North Carolina a flash mob....Three protesters were arrested in NYC. You can head here to sign the petition to support the workers.

2.  "Cancer Isn't An Excuse" was told to a retail worker, check out how the mistreated workers got revenge on their boss.

3.  On Labor Day, too many workers are left in the shadows.

4.  Volkswagen won't fight off a unionization of a plant in Tennessee, and will instead work w/ the union to make a better workplace for employees... 

5.  Costco sales are up 6%....Surpassing $100 billion. (yeah, that's not a typo).

6.  Eataly, the italian specialty store in Chelsea NYC, is having a food-festival, and announced they're expanding to Chicago.

7.  Pathmark closed 3 stores today in New Jersey.  Watch how some workers and customers sadly said goodbye.

8. Price Chopper unvieled a new 'Bistro' concept.

9.  Report: Transgender? Likely your rights will be violated at your workplace.

10. Paul Krugman writes in the NYTimes:  Last five-years have been a tragic waste...Before our last financial crisis 63% of adults were employed in the US, after that, it hasn't gone above 59% to date.

11.  On surveillance and online privacy: "The NSA laughs at your encryption efforts"- NY Times.

12.  Stop & Shop is offering Flu shots.

13.  Ignore the headlines, this new jobs report was very bad, according the the Washington Post. (US added 169,000 jobs, unemployment fell a notch down)

Elsewhere Bonus
14.  How a Boston University hired Jackson Lewis to prevent Professors from organizing a union.


Did we miss something? Let us know! Reply to this message or tweet at us @ufcw1500!

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Walmart Workers and Supporters Plan for Largest Mobilization Since Black Friday

As calls to rebuild the economy with better jobs reverberate across the country, Walmart workers and their supporters announced the largest mobilization since Black Friday, set for Thursday, September 5.

The announcement comes as Walmart has failed to meet a Labor Day deadline to reinstate illegally fired and disciplined workers and publicly commit to improve wages and jobs. Thousands of workers and their supporters plan to protest on Thursday in over a dozen cities across the country.

Since June, Walmart has illegally disciplined nearly 80 workers, including fi ring 20 worker-leaders. More than 100 Unfair Labor Practice charges have been fi led with the NLRB against Walmart.

“Walmart, we cannot wait any longer for you to do the right thing for American workers. Our jobs should not be at risk when we speak out about improvements that would help our families and Walmart customers,” said a Cindy Murray a Walmart worker who was recently arrested for protesting at Walmart’s Washington, D.C. offices. 

“Walmart cannot silence our concerns,” said Brandon Garrett a former Walmart worker who was illegally fi red after going to Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting. “Our fight to get Walmart to publicly commit to providing better jobs is not just about improving the lives of our families. It’s about improving jobs for all American workers and for strengthening the economy for all of us.”

There are several ways to help support Walmart workers as they take action on September 5.

• Share the petition: Share and sign the petiton located at

• Sign up for Thunderclap: Thunderclap is like a social media bomb, where members can donate their Facebook of Twitter account for one post or tweet to Thunderclap by giving the app access to their account for a small window of time and encourage other supporters to do the same. It will send out one tweet or post at the same time from everyone’s accounts in a compressed amount of time to be most-effective. Members can sign up for Thunderclap at

• Spread the word on social media: Share any of the images located at or the video posted at on Facebook.   Go to Twitter to show their support. Sample Tweet: #WalmartStrikers are drawing a line. Stand with them for a real wage & workers’ rights on Sept. 5th @ChangeWalmart

• Actions: OUR Walmart is having actions on the ground across the country. All of those events are posted at the Action Network website at

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