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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.

Support Bloomingfoods Workers

pro coopWorkers at Bloomingfoods Co-op in Bloomington, Indiana are organizing a union with UFCW Local 700 to win respect, better benefits, and a voice on the job. Here’s what they have to say:

“I love the people that I work with, the food and products that I sell and eat, and the customers and member-owners that I’m so lucky to interact with. [Organizing] has the potential to create better job security, due process, improved health benefits, strengthened voices and communication.” –-Abby Shifriss

“I love Bloomingfoods and I believe it can still be one of the great hopes for our community’s future. But I am tired of watching intelligent and kind-hearted employees leave due to neglect and mistreatment. …I support a union because I believe the workers deserve a voice within Bloomingfoods!”--Andy Marrs

Unionizing our co-op will bring a sense of camaraderie and give workers a voice in a safe and equitable workplace. Bloomingfoods is part of what I love most about Bloomington. …Pro co-op! Pro union!”--Casie Jetter

Unfortunately, instead of supporting workers in their efforts to create a better working environment, Bloomingfoods has taken a page from their corporate competitors’ playbook. The co-op has even hired a union-busting law firm to silence workers’ voices.

But Bloomingfoods workers won’t be silenced. They’ve launched a petition calling on the company to respect their right to organize. Will you sign and then share with your friends and coworkers?

Support Bloomingfoods workers

Join the Active Ballot Club; Enter to Win Colts Tickets

For every Colts home game, Local 700 is giving away 2 sets of 2 tickets to the winners of our ABC raffle.

To enter the contest, talk to your Union Rep about signing up for the Active Ballot Club.

Congratulations to all of our raffle winners!

Rachel Ikudabo_J425

Rachel Ikudabo, Kroger 425

 

tickets

Sam Fyffe, Kroger 998

 

Eleano Roacha_Tyson

Eleano Roacha, Tyson

 

EllenRocky_J972

Ellen Rocky, Kroger 972

 

Bargaining Starts with Kroger in Ft. Wayne

UFCW Local 700 began bargaining with Kroger today for about 2,500 members working in 24 Kroger stores around Ft. Wayne. Our goal is to reach a balanced agreement with guaranteed wage increases and language improvements.

Both sides offered proposals about non-economic language items; we spent most of our time today talking about these.

Our next bargaining session is scheduled for July 29.

For more information, please contact your Union Representative.

 

Make sure to keep up with the latest news on bargaining. Email bkelly@ufcw700.org with your name and store number to receive bargaining updates.

UFCW Local 700 Announces Scholarship Program

UFCW Local 700 is pleased to announce our Fall Scholarship Program. A total of $10,000 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
Twelve (12) awards at $500 each

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

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

Click here to download UFCW700 Scholarship App

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

Union Bargaining Committee Prepares for Ft. Wayne Kroger Negotiations

In just a few weeks, UFCW Local 700 will begin bargaining for about 2,500 members working in 24 Kroger stores around Ft. Wayne.  We’ve been preparing over the last few months and appreciate your participation in our bargaining and proposal survey; this input is very important to develop our priorities for negotiations.

Your UFCW Local 700 Union Bargaining Committee will meet on July 8.  Most of our negotiations will be regarding language and wages.  Members of UFCW Local 700 in Ft. Wayne are covered by the same health care plan as members in Indianapolis stores.  The Indianapolis contract ratified in June 2013.  Additionally, members of UFCW Local 700 are part of the UFCW Consolidated Pension Fund, which guarantees your benefits until 2021.

Our first bargaining session is scheduled for July 15.

For more information, please contact your Union Representative.

Make sure to keep up with the latest news on bargaining.  Email info@ufcw700.org with your name and store number to receive bargaining updates.