Friday, January 30, 2015

Top 10 Stories This Week You Missed: Park Slope Car Washers, Merging Chains, Income Inequality Grows

The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world's population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.

The charity's research shows that the share of the world's wealth owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% last year.
"Extreme inequality isn't just a moral wrong. It undermines economic growth and it threatens the private sector's bottom line.


Global Wealth

48%: owned by richest 1% in 2014
54%: owned by richest 1% by 2020
  • $1.9tn wealth of 80 top billionaires - equal to bottom 50% of rest of world
  • $600bn increase in wealth for 80 top billionaires in 4 years - or 50% rise
  • $750bn drop in wealth for the poorest 50% of the world in 4 years
That's what a Walmart manager said to an associate and his co-workers threatening them if they try to organizing.
The former candidate announced he will not be running for President in 2016.  Republican Senator Rand Paul called Romney, "yesterday's news".
If you read one story this week, this is it. A MUST READ: A powerful Op-Ed by a New York Times writer on how income inequality lead to the death of his childhood friend.
Dozens of House Democrats are expressing deep reservations about the White House’s trade agenda, putting themselves on a collision course with President Obama over concerns that the deals will benefit big business at the expense of U.S. workers.
Marks the 10th Car Wash unit to unionize.
10. Reporters at Politico to Organize Union
High turnover rates have pushed reporters at the popular news outlet to seek union representation.
11. Grocers Angry over Swipe-Fee Denial
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a petition by the Food Marketing Institute, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Retail Federation and other groups, which challenged the Federal Reserve’s rule on debit card swipe fees.
The White House has made plans to give workers more paid time off.
To say this year has been a rough year for McDonald's is an understatement.  Worker uprising, food questions, health concerns, all led to lower sales and the removal of their CEO this week.
Fixing income inequality one step at a time.
Scientists say the deadly virus is mutating, making it stronger.
Thank You:
It's often a thankless job, so we'd like to say, thank you.  Your work throughout this week has helped hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers prepare for adverse weather.  We know it wasn't easy dealing with the pre-storm chaos, and we'd like to sincerely recognize you for helping your communities. 
Shameless Plugs:
Union Blood Drive is coming up in March.  If you're interested in donating let us know!
Union Plus Benefits: You're eligible for discounts on cell phone bills, mortgages, gyms and more! Find out here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Working Through the Blizzard Update

As we all prepare for what could be the worst winter storm in New York history, here is some good information to know for all members, regardless of length of service.  We urge you to contact your Union Representative or Shop Steward for any specific questions.  All representatives will be available all day today and tomorrow.
State of Emergency and Going to Work:
If a State of Emergency is declared, that will supersede our collective bargaining agreement. Roads will be closed and it is very unlikely your store will be open if the State of Emergency is declared.   Call your store to verify if it is open.
If My Store is Open During State of Emergency:
First things first, take precautions.  Your safety is the number one concern. If your store is open and you can make it to work safely, go to work.
Union Reps & Office Availability:
If you have ANY questions (regardless of length of service) contact your Union Representative.  Our Union office will be closing early today and will be closed tomorrow.  However, all Union Representatives will still be available by phone and in the field as usual.  So please, we urge you to contact your Union Rep. for any specific questions or issues you may have in the next 48 hours.  
A quick update on King Kullen and Stop & Shop negotiations: Right now and for the duration of the day, Union and Company Trustees are meeting on Pension and Welfare benefits. The next Trustee meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, January 29th.
Thank You:
It's often a thankless job, so we'd like to say, thank you.  Your work today and this weekend has helped hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers prepare for the storm.  We know it wasn't easy dealing with the pre-storm chaos, and we'd like to sincerely recognize you for helping your communities.  
We'll be keeping you updated digitally through emails, our social networks and on our website
Thank you,
UFCW Local 1500
UFCW Local 1500

Friday, January 16, 2015

Top 10 Stories This Week: Paid Sick Leave, Target Canada Fail, Fairway Swagger

President Obama is directing federal agencies to give their employees up to six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, a benefit he wants to extend to all American workers.
He will also call on Congress to pass a bill that would allow workers across the United States to earn up to seven paid sick days a year and would create a $2 billion incentive fund to help states pay for family leave programs, officials said.
New CEO said the chain is launching a new marketing campaign geared to get Fairway's swag back.
Two longtime employees are retiring this month.
12,000 of Delta's roughly 20,000 flight attendants signed authorization cards
The California Supermarket is the first of its kind to take Apple-Pay
New York City employers use credit checks to screen applicants for all sorts of jobs, like dog-walking, and janitorial work.  Now a group of advocates are seeking to end that practice, claiming it hurts blacks and Hispanics without predicting job performance.
The retail sector is powered by consumer spending and the employer of millions of Americans and the source of stagnant wages.
This clip is 17 years old, and is sadly still ringing true today.  It is worth the watch!
8. Aetna CEO: Our Minimum Wage is Now $16 per hour.
The health insurance co. is increasing wages to reach and hold on to talented employees.
10. Target to Shut Down Canada
To say the chain has failed, would be a major understatement. Read more.
11. Deer are Invading Staten Island and NYC...
The past six years, Staten Island has seen a 3,304 percent (that's %!) increase in white-tailed deer.
In a groundbreaking analysis of data, a team of scientists have concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to oceans and animals, that we will not be able to recover from.
"If you cranked up the aquarium heater and dumped some acid in the water, your fish would not be very happy,” Dr. Pinsky said. “In effect, that’s what we’re doing to the oceans.”  Read more.
The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 1997.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

UFCW 1500 President Bruce Both Meets with VP Joe Biden

Last week UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both met with United States Vice President Joe Biden in Washington D.C..  The two spoke about policy, politics and the future of American labor.

"It's always a pleasure to meet with Vice President Biden," Both said, "He's down to earth and loves hearing about our members."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Top 11 Stories This Week, 40 Hour Work Week, Target's Dumb Memos

When Walmart opened this store in Sunrise Mall, Long Island, it was the first of it's kind...A Walmart inside a Shopping Mall.  Now the company announced it won't be renewing its lease for 130,000 square feet this March.
The House on Thursday in a 252-172 vote approved legislation that would waive fees on businesses that do not offer health insurance to employees working fewer than 40 hours per week.
The legislation – which has been at the center of a heavy corporate lobbying campaign – only received 12 Democratic votes. Eighteen Democrats backed the bill during a House vote on the same issue last spring. Read more at The Hill.
The House of Representatives today passed a bill to change the definition of a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act to one who works 40 hours per week, rather than 30 hours per week.
The bill passed by a vote of 252-172.
Retail monster Target has more than 360,000 employees. Some of them are oldies; some of them are Gen Xers; and some of them are the dreaded millennials. Fortunately, the company has a neatly stereotyped training guide for managers to navigate this generational minefield.
2015 could be the year Whole Foods buys up all their competition.
Stop & Shop has 13 LEED certified stores in the U.S.
“The spotlight is now on raising wages,” Trumka The Washington Post. “Raising wages is the key unifying progressive value that ties all the pieces of economic and social justice together. We think the president has a great opportunity to show that he is behind that agenda by increasing the overtime regulations to a minimum threshold of $51,168. That’s the marker.”
$60 billion dollar proposal will provide two free years of community college to all Americans. Your move, Congress.
Economy added 252,000 jobs, beating expectations
8. Zara is close to organizing in NYC,
Workers received wage increases in December after speaking out against stagnant benefits, now workers need a final push to organize the store.
Coverage is up on labor since the recession, but there are few labor reporters out there.
The Fresh Market announced it has partnered with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a Florida-based tomato workers’ rights organization, to purchase more tomatoes from participating growers.

Update on Current Contract Negotiations

Here's an update on all current union negotiations. 

King Kullen and Stop & Shop negotiating committees met with company officials last week.  Minor progress was made and there is more work to do with both collective bargaining agreements.

Union and Company Trustees also met last week to discuss Pension and Welfare benefits, and will meet again on Tuesday, January 13th. 

Stop & Shop's next negotiating session is scheduled for January 22nd.

King Kullen's next negotiating session is scheduled for January 20th.

We'll be keeping you updated digitally through emails, our social networks and on our website  So, if you know any coworkers that would like to be on our Contract Update list, please sign them up here, or tell them to send us an email.

Thank you, Happy New Year and in Solidarity,

Bruce Both
UFCW Local 1500

Tony Speelman
UFCW Local 1500

Please reply to this message with any questions, comments or suggestions.