K Martinez

What’s up next for the Americas?

Join us for a dynamic and interactive discussion taking place just two days after the U.S. presidential election.

 

Advocates, experts and activists from across the U.S., Mexico and Central America will join Alianza leaders to debate the question:

What do U.S. elections mean for the Americas?

An exciting line-up of speakers will bring perspectives from Latino communities, youth, black immigrants, Arab and Muslim communities, and advocates for vulnerable migrants in countries of origin and transit.

Speakers include:

  • Rashida Tlaib National Network of Arab American Communities (former Michigan State legislator)
  • Esther Lopez International Secretary-Treasurer, United Food & Commercial Workers International (UFCW)
  • Marybeth Onyeukwu Member, Black Immigration Network Greisa Martinez Advocacy Director, United We Dream (UWD)
  • Maureen Meyer Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

 

Register Now

 

Click here for more information.

Your Vote. Your Voice.

This election will determine who will be our President for the next four years – but there’s so much more on the line. From local, statewide and national elections, the Latino vote can determine our country’s future.   Latinos taking action at the polls can influence outcomes. The candidates we elect, will affect our communities – we need to make sure our voices are heard!

The Latino population has grown into the largest minority group in the United States, a transformation that makes this voting block increasingly influential in this November’s presidential election.

Register to vote November 8th.  Don’t miss out!  Make your voice heard.  Remember your vote is your voice.  Click here to register to vote online.

Find out when your voter registration deadline is: Get Your Election Info

Free Citizenship Workshops: UFCW Union Citizenship Action Network (UCAN)

In the face of inaction on comprehensive immigration reform by Congress, the UFCW launched the UCAN program to be a resource for workers looking to apply for citizenship. UCAN helps provide the proper documents, legal counsel, and other assistance necessary to get the process started. The program also positions the UFCW to be able to help many more workers once comprehensive immigration reform becomes law.

Many UFCW members are eligible to become U.S. citizens or qualify for deferred action. Through the UFCW Union Citizenship Action Network (UCAN), the UFCW will be with you from start to finish throughout the entire application process for citizenship or deferred action.

Many UFCW Locals and United Latino members have helped coordinate workshops across the country. On Saturday, May 14th, UFCW 770 held a workshop for UFCW members focused on on legal services, the process to become a citizen, and other immigration and citizenship issues.  Dozens of members attended the workshop and received assistance filling out their naturalization applications. This will start them on the path to becoming U.S. citizens.  Additional workshops are scheduled for June 9 & 14.

Click here for more information.

http://www.ufcw770.org/immigration-assistance

One Thousand March in Support of El Super Workers

One Thousand March Through South LA in Support of Respect and a Fair Union Contract for El Super Grocery Workers

—March coincides with El Super’s parent company -Grupo Comercial Chedraui- Board of Directors meeting in Mexico—

 

Los Angeles— On Monday, April 4, El Super grocery workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union marched together with more than 1,000 supporters -through the streets of South Los Angeles- to demand Respect and a Fair Contract. The march coincided with El Super’s parent company – Grupo Comercial Chedraui’s – Annual Meeting of its Board of Directors in Xalapa, Mexico.

 

“We need a fair contract so we can take care of our selves and our families,” said Lydia Flores, an El Super cashier. “Sometimes, my coworkers have to work two jobs to get by. I have a son who is ill. I can’t do that because I have to take care of him as well. We need fair pay and enough paid sick days so we can take care of our families,” Flores said.

 

El Super union members have been fighting to win a fair contract since September 2013. El Super/ dba Bodega Latina is a Latino-focused grocery chain with 54 stores in the U.S. It is a subsidiary of Chedraui – Mexico’s third largest retailer.

 

“El Super needs to respect the will of its workers and negotiate a fair agreement that rewards our members for their hard work,” said Ricardo F. Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770.

 

In December of 2014 the unions commenced a national consumer boycott in protest of the Company’s unfair labor practices and treatment of its workers. The boycott has had a significant impact. It has reached over 2 million shoppers and contributed to negative same store sales at El Super markets during 2015 – its first annual negative same store sales since it began reporting financial results in 2010.

 

Huntington Park Mayor Graciela Ortiz voiced her support for El Super workers at a rally held outside an El Super store in Huntington Park. “Our community supported El Super workers when they called for a consumer boycott. Last April, the City of Huntington Park passed a resolution endorsing the El Super boycott. As residents and leaders in our community we will continue to hold companies responsible in providing adequate living wages to the workers that serve our community,” Mayor Graciela added.

 

El Super workers are asking to share in the company’s prosperity, which they helped create. Indeed, although Chedraui reported $4.5 billion in net sales in 2015, much of drawn from US sales, it does not pay its workers a fair wage, offer affordable health insurance or provide sufficient hours to support a family.  The El Super workers and their union the UFCW are seeking just that – fair pay, adequate paid sick days, stronger seniority protections, and a 40-hour guarantee for full-time workers.

 

The UFCW is connecting with all workers

During Wednesday night’s Democratic debate on Univision, UFCW launched 2 Spanish-language ads featuring UFCW members.  The ads focus on immigration, encouragement for naturalized members to become U.S. Citizens, registering to vote and turning out to vote in elections.

The two ads are part of a larger campaign effort, both through social media and on the ground, to reach immigrant workers. Approximately, 8.8 million legal permanent residents, currently in the U.S., can become U.S. citizens, and UFCW aims to connect with them. The UFCW has had an initiative program titled the “Union Citizenship Action Network” (UCAN) that has provided immigrant members with resources for the naturalization and citizenship process.

“Our union is positioned to transform the lives of our members and all workers that deserve to be our members. Because if you live and work in America, if you’re contributing to the prosperity of this nation, you should have the opportunity to become an American that’s a fundamental principle of our participatory democracy,” said UFCW International Secretary-Treasurer Esther López.

UFCW Names Esther López New International Secretary-Treasurer


PHOENIX, AZ — Today, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Executive Board elected Esther López as the new International Secretary-Treasurer. The historic announcement reflects the commitment by the UFCW, as the largest private sector union with 1.3 million members, to building a diverse and strong union family.

Esther López is a leading champion of hard-working men and women, and has worked tirelessly for decades on behalf of immigrants and all families seeking a better life. López has helped lead the UFCW’s groundbreaking outreach effort to the Latino and immigrant communities, and is recognized as a national leader in the areas of immigration reform, as well as civil, human, and labor rights.

“To become a better and stronger union family, I have been absolutely committed to building a diverse and inclusive union. It is why I’m so proud to announce that the UFCW International Executive Board elected Esther López as our union family’s new International Secretary-Treasurer. Esther is a tireless advocate for the rights of all hard-working men and women. Esther believes, as I do, that our nation’s diversity is our strength, that we must grow our union family, and that by working together we will provide a better life to all our incredible members,” said Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union.

In accepting her position, López said:

“I am truly honored to be elected as the International Secretary-Treasurer. This union and our members are my family. Doing everything I can to improve the lives of hard-working families, and provide them with the better life they’ve earned, has been my life’s mission. It is why the UFCW’s commitment to building a stronger and more diverse union family is so important. It inspires me to never stop fighting to better the lives of our members, and those who deserve to be our members. Under Marc’s leadership, and as part of this incredible UFCW team, I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of our great union family.”

Throughout her career, López has been a champion of the rights of all workers – regardless of where they come from or where they were born. To help provide hope to immigrant workers, López launched a groundbreaking program to ensure eligible UFCW members were first in line to apply for citizenship. Prior to that, she spearheaded the Union Citizenship Action Network, also known as UCAN, to help UFCW members become naturalized and get on the path to citizenship. López was the lead staff person on the UFCW Commission on ICE Enforcement that highlighted civil rights abuses in the 2006 Swift raids. All along, López has never lost focus on the broader goal of giving aspiring Americans the chance to become citizens and ensuring all workers and their families are protected from exploitation.

López began with the UFCW in November 2006 when she was hired as Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department.  In that role, she has helped put the UFCW on the front lines of the most crucial civil rights battles of our time—fighting back against voter suppression, working to end exploitation of refugees from countries like Burma, Sudan and Somalia, creating more opportunities for women, and expanding LGBT equality.

Prior to her career at the UFCW, López played an active role in improving labor conditions within the state of Illinois, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Labor, as well as in the governor’s cabinet as Director of the Illinois Department of Labor.

United Latinos Continue Success of New American Fund

The New American Citizenship Fund is made possible by UFCW Local Union support to the United Latinos of UFCW.  The scholarships are for members who have applied for U.S. citizenship and have demonstrated a strong commitment to building a stronger voice for workers in their Union and in their community through active engagement in advancing social and economic justice.
There have been many UFCW members across the country that have taken advantage of this scholarship and are now proud U.S. citizens. If you are interested in applying, download the application for additional information, scholarship qualifications and selection process.
For more information, contact your UFCW Local president or contact the United Latinos

 

Actor Edward Olmos stands with strikers at El Super in Los Angeles

México, DF. La empresa Chedrahui enfrenta desde este miércoles una huelga en sus tiendas El Super, que opera en Estados Unidos, por parte de trabajadores que desde hace más de dos años la han denunciado por cometer diversas violaciones laborales, entre ellas no contar con un contrato colectivo

Los trabajadores pugnan porque se les otorguen 40 horas garantizadas de labores a los empleados de tiempo completo, suficientes días por enfermedad pagados, protecciones por antigüedad, salarios justos, beneficios de seguro médico accesible, el derecho a organizarnos sin represalias y respeto en los lugares de trabajo, informó el Sindicato de Trabajadores Unidos de la Industria de Alimentos y el Comercio (UFCW, por sus siglas en inglés), al que están afiliados los empleados inconformes y el cual ha logrado extender las protestas contra Chedrahui hasta México a través de la organización Poder.

“Chedraui obtuvo ganancias por más de 100 millones de dólares el año pasado, pero en Estados Unidos mantiene condiciones laborales injustas. Los trabajadores piden mejora de salarios, días de enfermedad pagados y servicios médicos, entre otros”, abundó.

Hace una semana doce personas fueron arrestadas durante una acción de desobediencia civil pacífica frente a una sucursal de Chedrahui, en Los Angeles, y la huelga estalló esta madrugada, un día antes de que se celebre el Día de Acción de Gracias en Estados Unidos, en siete sucursales de El Super, donde además los trabajadores solicitan a los consumidores que realicen sus compras en otros establecimientos.

La UFCW precisó, a través de un comunicado, que desde septiembre de 2013 los trabajadores han laborado sin contar con un nuevo contrato, pese a que la Corte y una resolución de la Junta Laboral de los Estados Unidos ordenó desde agosto pasado a los directivos de la empresa que regresen a la mesa de acuerdos. Llevan más de año y medio de ausencia de la mesa, a la que asistieron  “pero para entablar una negociación de mala fe, ya que se han negado a dar información crucial para que se lleven a cabo las pláticas”, denunció la organización.

Apuntó que después de los arrestos de la semana pasada, Chedraui reanudó las negociaciones con el sindicato durante dos días pero sin proporcionar a los trabajadores información clave para avanzar en las negociaciones. y que resulta necesaria para hacer efectivos beneficios que son un estándar en la industria, como suficientes días por enfermedad pagados y servicios médicos.

Ricardo Icaza, presidente del Local 770 del sindicato UFCW, señaló que Grupo Comercial Chedraui obtuvo ganancias de más de $100 millones de dólares, el año pasado, y consideró que ”los miembros de nuestro sindicato contribuyeron grandemente al éxito de la compañía, por lo que autorizamos esta huelga por prácticas laborales injustas, porque ya es tiempo de que El Super deje de emplear sus tácticas ilegales de estancamiento y se siente a negociar de buena fe, un contrato que compense a nuestros miembros por su duro trabajo”.

President Perrone shares El Super worker Fermin Rodriguez’s story

by President Marc Perrone

Today, millions of hard-working families find themselves struggling to make ends meet. More and more Americans find themselves living just above or below the poverty line. The unfortunate reality of today’s America is that hard-working men and women are grappling with increasing uncertainty like never before.

At a time when income inequality has soared to historic levels, the reality for today’s worker is one of erratic scheduling, and low-paying full-time or part-time jobs that offer poor benefits and little job security. If we wish to create a better America, we must create jobs with better wages and benefits that offer a better future.

Instead, far too many workers are holding down two or three jobs without benefits just to support their families. In comparison, corporations that are reaping billions of dollars in profits continue to ignore their responsibility to improve the lives of their employees.

Take Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, where tens of thousands workers rely on taxpayer-funded programs like food stamps just to survive.

We must not expect better from companies like Walmart; we must demand it.

Already we’ve seen workers from across the country join together to fight and take back control of their lives. Low-wage, part-time workers across the retail and the service industries are standing up for their right to higher wages, better benefits, and a voice on the job.

The simple fact is that incredibly dedicated workers, like Fermín Rodriguez of Los Angeles, California, have been at the forefront of the fight for better wages and working conditions.

Rodriguez works at the El Super grocery chain that has chosen to follow Walmart’s poor wage business model.

Instead of acknowledging their responsibility to workers like Rodriguez, El Super went as far as to illegally fire him for speaking out for workplace changes that would improve the lives of his family and coworkers. Even in 2015, it took a rare court order demanding the company immediately remedy their unlawful treatment to get his job back.

The case of Rodriguez is sadly not new or unique.

Yesterday, at the White House’s Summit on Worker Voice, the struggles of Rodriguez and many other hard-working men and women were heard by the administration, employers, and advocates. It’s time America heard the real life struggles of those across the retail and other industries.

But talk will not be enough. We must take action.

Action must be taken to stop irresponsible employers that cut wages and benefits, misclassify workers as independent contractors or hire temporary workers to avoid responsibilities as an employer, and punish those who speak out and try to better their lives. Action must be taken to help countless men and women who don’t have the adequate protections from being discriminated against or from losing their jobs because of who they love or because of their gender identity or expression. Moreover, let’s finally take action so no company or employer can exploit an outdated and broken immigration system that leaves millions in the shadows.

If we are to change America for the better, let’s not just talk about our problems, let’s commit to taking action.

Perrone is president of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

United Latinos Show Solidarity at UFCW Fall Retail Conference

The United Latinos officers and board members had a strong showing at the 2016 UFCW Fall Retail Conference. The conference took place in Atlanta from Monday, October 19 through Wednesday, October 21.
The conferenced featured plenary presentations, workshops, regional and company breakouts. The conference focused on issues such as organizing, health & safety, scheduling, bargaining and communications.