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UFCW Local 700 Makes Statement on Marsh Bankruptcy Filing

Today, UFCW Local 700, who represents more than 13,000 grocery and packing-processing workers in Indiana, released the following statement in response to reports that Marsh Supermarkets has filed for bankruptcy, affecting thousands of employees.

“The decision to file bankruptcy leaves thousands of workers at Marsh Supermarkets uncertain about their futures and how they will provide for their families. Marsh must do right by them and publicly promise that they will get severance if the stores close. These hard-working men and women have provided an invaluable service to our community for decades and deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.”

UFCW700 Adds New Staff Position to Better Enforce Contracts

Jason Morey has joined the staff of UFCW Local 700.

UFCW Local 700 members work together to build a better life for our members and all middle class families. Members recently approved a dues restructure to build a bigger, stronger union, and to give us more resources and power at the bargaining table, in organizing new members, and in strengthening our communities.

This week, Jason Morey joined the UFCW Local 700 team. A member of UFCW for eleven years, Jason worked at Kroger, served as a Union Steward, and worked on special projects with the Indiana AFL-CIO. Jason’s job will be to lead audits to ensure that members are being paid appropriately by the company, monitor full-time and part-time positions, update classification and contact information, and other projects. The information provided by the internal audits will be invaluable for grievance management, bargaining, and communication.

Jason has hit the ground running and Is looking forward to his role to better enforce our contract language and ensuring the most accurate and up-to-date information for our members.

Sec.-Treas. Mike Merrell and Jason Morey review a membership audit.

Members of UFCW Local 700 Vote to Build a Bigger, Stronger Union

UFCW Local 700 proudly represents over 13,500 members in grocery stores, and packing and processing plants in Indiana. We work together to build a better life for our members and all middle class families. This week, members voted to build a bigger, stronger union and approved the proposed $1 per week dues increase restructure. The increase restructure will give us more resources and more power at the bargaining table, in organizing new members, and in strengthening our communities. 

Over the last decade, we’ve stuck together through challenging times, but together, we’ve won some of the strongest contracts in our industry, lifted starting wages in many of our work locations, expanded members-only programs and benefits (including free college!), added Stewards to enforce our contracts in the workplace every day, and built our union through organizing new members.

We want to protect the gains we’ve made and provide more opportunity for our members to create better lives for you and your family. With a restructure, we will:

  • Better enforce our contracts by reducing the territory size of our Union Representatives and hiring more staff
  • Increase our ability to organize new members through a bigger organizing department
  • Offer more training for Union Stewards
  • Provide more members-only programs and benefits
  • Continue to negotiate strong contracts with better wages and affordable, quality health care.

The dues restructure increase is effective April 1, 2017.

Should you have any questions or desire further information, please contact your Union Representative.

UFCW President Perrone Makes Statement on Amazon Go

Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, made the following statement about Amazon Go:

“Amazon believes that America’s hard-working men and women are irrelevant to customers – they couldn’t be more wrong. The amazing people who work inside grocery stores are more than neighbors and friends, they provide an invaluable and vital service.

“Those who work in our local grocery stores do a lot more than just ring people up at the register. They are professionals who advise customers about the right cut of meat, help them find the products they need, create expertly prepared meals and most importantly, can be trusted to ensure that everything bought in their stores is safe to consume.

“Amazon is masking its blind greed as progress. This is not about improving customer experience: It is about destroying good jobs, with no regard to the families and communities impacted. This is not the America that hard-working families want and deserve.”

The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

Labor Day: Celebrating Hardworking Men and Women in Our Community

While most Americans view Labor Day as the last long weekend of the summer and another day off work, this is one day we should all stop for a minute and recognize the countless number of Hoosiers who make our community work. From workers at Kroger to ConAgra, these amazing people are dedicated and passionate, sacrifice for the good of others, and are committed to creating a better life for themselves and their families. 

While their stories may not be new, they are rarely given the media attention that a vacuous celebrity, lying athlete, or misbegotten politician can attract with a single tweet. While that may speak to a failure in our culture, we have opportunity on Labor Day to remember and acknowledge what this day is truly about. It’s about workers. It’s about real people. In fact, the the history behind this misunderstood holiday was actually a result of one of the most intense and violent struggles for workers’ rights.

In 1894, during a time of severe economic and social unrest, thousands of workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest the way George Pullman, founder and president of the company, treated his workers. To put down the strike, Pullman gained the support of President Grover Cleveland, who ordered federal troops to intervene—leading to a bloody confrontation and the deaths of more than 30 Pullman workers. Soon afterwards and amid growing criticism of the brutal response to the striking workers, President Cleveland established Labor Day as a national holiday in an effort to appease organized labor.

It’s been 122 years since the Pullman Strike, and our country is still grappling with economic divisions and social unrest.

Today, millions of hard-working Americans are struggling like never before in low-paying jobs with erratic schedules and little to no benefits. There are too many people forced to juggle multiple jobs, make impossible choices about whether to go to work sick or sacrifice a day’s pay, or fear telling their supervisor about a workplace injury.

It is the sad reality that, in addition to stagnant wages and incomes, too many of America’s workers face dangerous workplaces, exploitation, and mistreatment every single day. Many are also too afraid to reach for a better life because of threats from an irresponsible employer or they are conditioned to believe that they have not earned the opportunity for something more.

Here in our community, hard-working men and women who choose to become part of a union family soon realize they need not struggle alone. UFCW Local 700 represents workers mostly in grocery stores and packing and processing plants. Our members have a pathway to better lives through guaranteed wages and benefits, a secure retirement, stable schedules, and established work rules.

Whether someone is a union member or not, the fact is that no one in America should have to struggle alone. Every hard-working person deserves a better life because they’ve earned it.

This Labor Day and in the days leading up to Election Day, we have a responsibility to speak out for each other and our communities. We can start by honoring the sacrifices of working people here have made to shared prosperity in our state and our country.

Yet, if we are really going to change this nation for the better, it must begin with all of us realizing that Labor Day is not about one last summery day. Rather, it’s about the day where we all realize the power we have to come together and define a better future for all hard-working families.

 

Labor Day Art Contest Opens!

Every year, we celebrate Labor Day to honor working people and all their contributions to our country and its middle class. The UFCW is made up of hard-working men and women who serve in our communities at retail and grocery stores, meatpacking and processing plants, and countless other facilities across multiple industries.

This year, the UFCW International is hosting its first ever Labor Day art contest, to celebrate working people with something made by working people!

UFCW members and their children are eligible to enter an original work of art to be in the running for a $500 Visa gift card AND have their artwork framed and displayed at the DC labor Fest in the fall! The winning piece will also be available for all UFCW locals and members at our online UFCW Store. Two runners up will receive $50 Visa gift cards, as well.

To enter, send us a high resolution photo image of your art at www.ufcw.org/contest. Your submission must have a Labor Day theme.

The deadline to submit is August 25th, and winners will be notified by August 29th.

This is your chance to showcase what you think Labor Day is all about while showing off your creative skills—we can’t wait to see what you can do!

Providing a Better Life for Our Veterans

 

Veterans Day is a time to pay tribute to the service and sacrifices of all U.S. military veterans. But acknowledging what these amazing men and women have done for our country is not enough. We must do more.

To truly honor our veterans, Veterans Day must be a time to strengthen our commitment to providing our veterans with “good jobs” with better wages and benefits that can support a family and provide a pathway to the middle class.

The harsh reality today is that too many workers – including too many of our veterans in Indiana – are a facing serious obstacles to finding these good jobs. Unlike their parents and grandparents who served in the military and returned home to a time of shared prosperity, today’s veterans are returning to a country that is grappling with a wealth gap not seen since the “Roaring Twenties,” where good manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, wages are stagnant, and the middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate. More troubling, irresponsible companies like Walmart talk proudly about their programs for veterans, but fail to provide wages or opportunities necessary to build a better life.

The simple truth is this: We can and must do better, and our union family is committed to standing up for our veterans and their families.

In Indiana, UFCW Local 700 represents over 13,000 hard-working men and women and some of our members are veterans. Whether it is the veteran at Kroger or Tyson, we work hard to provide the better wages and benefits that all hard-working men and women have earned and deserve.

Nationally, for example, being a member of our union family provides veterans and non-veterans 27 percent more in pay than non-union workers. They are more likely to have paid sick leave and a pension plan, which means they have more control over their lives today and in the future. And, we stand and fight against discrimination and unsafe workplace conditions veterans and others face that are often ignored by non-union companies.

Despite their dedication, experience and skills, too many of our country’s veterans are paying the price as companies continue to cut wages, hours and benefits, and punish those who speak out and try to better their lives. This should not be the reality for any worker, but it especially should not be the reality for our veterans.

So our challenge to employers all across Indiana is this: Stand up with us and do more for our veterans. Commit to not only hiring more veterans, but provide them and all retail workers with better wages and benefits.

The best way to honor our veterans on this solemn day is to provide them with an opportunity to earn a better life. That is the least our Indiana employers can do.