July, 2015

Bloomingfoods Workers Ratify Their First Union Contract

BfoodsWorkers at Bloomingfoods Co-op in Bloomington, Indiana have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first union contract as members of UFCW Local 700.

Bloomingfoods workers successfully negotiated a contract that ensures fair wage increases, a process for resolving workplace issues, and a voice for all workers in the cooperative.

Following an accelerated, fair election process marked by company neutrality and community involvement, Bloomingfoods workers voted last November to form a union. About 250 workers across five Bloomingfoods Co-op grocery stores and a commissary became UFCW Local 700 members.

“Bloomingfoods is part of what I love most about Bloomington,” said Casie Jetter, a Bloomingfoods commissary worker. “I want the co-op to remain strong and successful so that my daughter can some day shop at the same co-op that has remained a staple in our community. Bringing a union to Bloomingfoods will put our co-op one more step ahead of competition in an increasingly competitive market.”

Members of UFCW 700 played an important role in helping Bloomingfoods workers form their union and secure a fair contract. Together, we’re growing our union and building a better future for Indiana families.

UFCW700 Member Fall Scholarship Program

A total of $10,750 in scholarships will be awarded to UFCW Local 700 members or their dependents who have graduated, or will graduate, from high school, or are currently enrolled in college or trade school.

The scholarship awards will be as follows:
Four (4) awards at $1,000 each
One (1) award at $750 each
Twelve (12) awards at $500 each

Applicants must be members of UFCW Local 700 in good standing, or legal dependents of members in good standing.

Applicants must have completed the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) and been accepted to an accredited institution;
Met the requirements and enrolled into a 2-year Community College, Technical or Trade School.

Click here to download the scholarship application.

Complete the application forms, mail, or bring application to:

UFCW Local 700 Scholarship Fund
c/o UFCW Local 700
3950 Priority Way S Drive, Suite 100
Indianapolis, Indiana 46240

Applications must be postmarked by August 7, 2015.

Should you have questions, please contact your Union Representative or contact UFCW Local 700 at 800-334-3619.

Indianapolis Retail Workers, Allies, Mobilize for Bill of Rights

Lift-RetailOn June 17, members of the newly formed Lift Retail Jobs Campaign, held a press conference to highlight the economic plight of local retail workers and  unveiled a Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights. The Lift Retail Jobs Campaign is a coalition of retail workers, local businesses, and community groups who  have a vested interest in improving the quality of retail jobs in Indianapolis.

The newly launched campaign is challenging retailers in Indianapolis to be better corporate citizens and support a Bill of Rights for retail workers which  promotes workplace protections so that all workers in this growing industry have a pathway to the middle class. The workplace protections include full-time work and access to hours; fair scheduling practices; access to healthcare benefits; and paid sick leave for both full and part-time workers.

Debra Hill, a retail worker with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, addressed the media and the assembled crowd of nearly 100 workers  and community supporters.

“We’re finally seeing jobs being created in our city again, but they’re mostly in these low-wage industries, like fast food, retail, and service work,” Hill said. “Our city can’t recover while hardworking people are paid poverty wages.”

Hill presented members of the Indianapolis City-County Council, including Pamela Hickman, Monroe Gray, and Kip Tew, with a copy of the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights.

The retail industry in Indianapolis is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and a significant employer of women and people of color; but many of these jobs are low-wage, part-time positions with erratic hours that are preventing retail workers from climbing up the economic ladder. A recent study conducted by the research and policy center Demos and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) notes that, nationwide, people of color in the retail industry are often relegated to lower-paid positions and given fewer hours. Thirty percent of women in the retail industry live in poverty or near poverty.

Jessica Dixon has 16 years of retail experience in Indianapolis. “When you work in the retail industry, you sacrifice so much for so little. The pay is low, scheduling is unpredictable, we don’t share in the company’s success when they profit, and we’re treated like we’re disposable,” Dixon said.  “A Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights would protect our rights and make it possible for people like me to imagine a future in this industry.”

For more information about the Lift Retail Jobs Campaign and the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights, visitwww.LiftRetailJobs.org.