After a long and divisive election, it is time for all of us to celebrate the spirit of a holiday season that brings us all together.
UFCW700 President Joe Chorpenning with members at ConAgra
As America’s food union, United Food and Commercial Workers members proudly prepare and make many of the foods that families all across the Hoosier state and this nation will see on their Thanksgiving table. At ConAgra, our members work hard to make the holidays happen by making and processing the food that so many all across our great community love, because they know how hard families work every single day.
Giving thanks to those who work hard and sacrifice on days like Thanksgiving and Christmas is not about being gracious, it is about whether we as a nation honor hard work with better wages and benefits. Because of good contracts negotiated with responsible union retailers like Kroger, our hard-working members are able to earn extra pay and other benefits when they work holidays. Smarter scheduling and a union contract also allow our members the opportunity to shape their schedules, such as deciding whether to work on holidays, without fear of losing their jobs.
These are good local jobs. Good American union jobs. Good union jobs that not only can’t be outsourced, but also provide real value to their employers, the community and the customers they serve.
Unfortunately, other hard-working retail workers, like those at Walmart or Marsh, are not as fortunate.
All across our community, men and women who work at these retailers will have little to no choice as to whether they work on holidays. Because they lack a contract that protects their rights, these retail workers have no real power to say “no” to working on a holiday, or any other day. Even worse, they must accept jobs that pay low wages with unpredictable schedules and little to no benefits or protection.
The truth is that America is better than this, and the power to change our community for the better is within all of us. Union workers’ wages are 27 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts, and union workers are more likely to have jobs that provide health insurance, paid vacation, fair scheduling, and holidays and sick leave. Every one of us can help send a message by choosing to value companies that value our families.
At UFCW Local 700, we sincerely believe that no one should have to struggle alone, whether it is on a holiday or any other day. And, by choosing to shop at responsible stores this holiday season, we as a community can help send a powerful message of thanks.
Thank employers who do what is right, and workers who work hard for us all.