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UFCW Local 700 Leader to Serve Community as Poll Worker on Election Day

Vern Sowers

UFCW Local 700 Executive Board Member Vern Sowers is serving as a poll worker for the first time this November. A 17-year union leader and member, Vern decided to spend his time working the polls because, “This is a very important election. It’s our civic responsibility to make sure there are as many polling locations open as possible.” Vern will receive training from his local Board of Elections and encourages other union members to consider serving on Election Day.

We must keep in mind who is going to do the best for workers once they are elected. The people we elect have a huge impact on our daily lives, including what we can achieve at the bargaining table. Vern says if the officials we elect undermine our collective power and the rights of hardworking people, that we could lose many of the important things we’ve long fought for.

As Vern says, the biggest most important thing to remember is that, “If you care about the future of this country, you need to get out and vote.”

Kroger Workers to Receive Additional Pay

Grocery workers have continued to serve our communities throughout this pandemic – ensuring that people and families have the food and supplies they need. UFCW Local 700 has continued to advocate for additional pay for our members to recognize the sacrifices and risk you take by continuing to do your jobs.

Hourly Kroger workers active as of August 15, 2020 will receive a $100 Thank You Credit on your loyalty card. (This credit is not taxable.) In addition, you will receive 1,000 fuel points. Both of these will be applied on September 1. If you do not have a loyalty card, you will receive a $100 gift card that will not be taxed.

Kroger workers who were on Leave of Absence (LOA) as of Aug 15 are not eligible, with the exception of those on Emergency LOA.

The $100 store credit will be issued for each qualifying hourly associate. For example, if a parent and child are both qualifying hourly workers and share a loyalty card, they will receive a credit of $200, or $100 per worker. In the same way, 1,000 bonus fuel points will be issued for each qualifying Kroger worker. (Members of the household must have their loyalty cards linked in ExpressHR for these offers to automatically load.)

We will keep advocating for additional pay and resources for you. We believe this additional pay should continue, as the COVID-19 crisis is, too.

Thank you for all of the ways you serve our community. Should you have questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact your Union Representative.

Joe Biden Stands with UFCW Members Across the Country

Joe Biden will continue stand up with and for hardworking people – including members of UFCW who have been working tirelessly to feed our nation throughout a global pandemic. In a recent letter to UFCW members, Biden says:
“While industries and entire sectors of our economy have gone remote, we’re reminded daily of the essential nature of the jobs done by UFCW workers. Even in good times, UFCW workers are critical to keeping our families well-fed and well-supplied. And amid a global pandemic that has taken the lives of so many, your duty remains the same while the conditions worsen, and the danger grows. We owe it to you to ensure that you receive the benefits and protections you need, now and after this crisis ends.”

UFCW700 Endorses Myers-Lawson for Governor and Lt. Gov

Indiana families need leaders with the expertise to lead us through a public health crisis and the courage to stand up for
workers. Dr. Woody Myers and Linda Lawson are the team we need to build a better future for middle class families in our state.

UFCW Local 700 is proud to join working families from across the state in endorsing Dr. Woody Myers and Ms. Linda Lawson for Governor and Lt. Governor of Indiana.

See our letter here.

UFCW Local 700 Calls on Maple Leaf to Continue Hazard Pay

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to present unprecedented challenges for our nation’s food supply and workers in the food processing and meatpacking industries.

We can continue to protect our food supply by protecting our food workers. Protecting food workers also helps to protect all aspects of our food supply – from ranchers to production and from processing to our local supermarkets.

Maple Leaf Farms should continue to compensate its workers for the additional risk they take simply by walking in the door to work. This crisis has not ended, and neither should their additional pay.

Check out the letter we sent to Maple Leaf here.

UFCW Local 700 Announces Union Scholarship Program

UFCW Local 700 is proud to award $22,000 per year in scholarships to members or dependents.

Applicants must be UFCW Local 700 members in good standing, or their legal dependents; have graduated or will graduate from high school or are currently enrolled in college or trade school; must have completed the SAT or ACT; and must be accepted to an accredited institution OR met the requirements and enrolled in a two-year community college, technical, or trade school.

Twice a year, we award $11,000 in scholarships: Five at $1,000 each and twelve at $500 each.

Click here for more information.

Applications available:

Applications must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2020 EXTENDED TO AUGUST 21!

 

UFCW Presidents Denounce Kroger Decision to Stop Hero Pay

We’re fighting for the job protections and resources you need. UFCW Presidents in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky sent a letter to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, denouncing the company’s decision to stop Hero Pay and issue Thank You bonuses. Some may say we are returning to normal, but we know that’s simply not true. You’ve been on the frontlines throughout this crisis. You’re the ones making sure that people in our communities have the food and supplies they need:

“Our members did not come to Kroger for a job to become frontline workers facing sickness and death every day. They came for good jobs, so that they can raise their families and serve their communities. These grocery professionals do hard jobs on a “regular” day – now, these jobs have become especially dangerous.

The hardworking men and women who make Kroger successful deserve more pay for facing that danger. Do the right thing and restore Hero Pay until they can toss the masks and ditch the thermometers – and until they do not feel scared to go to work anymore.

We urge you to continue Hero Pay – our members, your workforce, have earned it and they deserve it.”

See the letter to Kroger CEO from UFCW Region 4 Presidents.

UFCW Wins Additional Pay for Members at Kroger

Members of UFCW Local 700 are essential to ensuring that every American continues to have access to the food they need to feed their families, and you must be provided with necessary job protections and resources. We’ve been fighting for you – and will keep fighting for you.

We’re proud to announce that we’ve won additional pay for our members at Kroger. This “Thank You” pay is for people who are active on or before May 23. Eligible full-time workers will receive $200 on May 28 and $200 on June 18; eligible part-time workers will receive $100 on May 28 and $100 on June 18.

We fought to extend COVID-19 Emergency Leave guidelines, which will continue, so that workers who are directly affected by the virus or experiencing related symptoms will still have access to additional paid time off.

 

UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning issued the following statement responding to Kroger’s decision to end “Hero Pay” and instead give out a bonus:

“We are not back to normal. Kroger is thriving in a pandemic because of the work of our members. It’s our members on the frontlines. It’s our members who continue to serve the public at great risk to themselves and their families. They’ve earned more and they deserve more.”

 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement:

“We are extremely disappointed, and we know that our members are, by Kroger’s decision to end Hero Pay.

At the beginning of this crisis, Kroger first called these workers heroes and now they have decided that they’ve stopped being heroes.

The simple fact is that the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Social distancing continues. Kroger workers are still required to wear masks. There is no vaccine.

This decision is even more inexplicable given that sales are up and profits are up.

The reality is that Kroger is choosing to ignore this pandemic. This is not how we treat heroes in America.”