First Recipients of United Latinos Scholarship Become Citizens

In 2014, the United Latinos of UFCW approved the creation of the United Latinos New American Citizen Scholarship Fund. The Fund was created to help UFCW United Latinos members offset their expenses of becoming a U.S. citizen. The first two (2) recipients of the scholarship are members from Local 431 in Beardstown, Illinois.

United Latinos is proud to support UFCW members through their journey towards citizenship and help realize their American Dream.

Pictured above from left to right:
Jerry Messer, President Local 431 with Josee Mulela and Emmanuel

A Message from UFCW United Latinos President Pete Maturino

On November 20, 2014 President Obama took a step forward in completing part of a promise to the Latino community and more importantly to the immigrant community all over this country. It is my belief that we should embrace this effort by the President to attempt to fix dysfunctional immigration system and begin the process of helping and or assisting the membership of this Union in completing the application and forms needed to receive the deferred action.

One of the most important things we as union officials, whether working through the local union or in partnership with community agency’s, is to get the word out to the immigrant community to be very careful of those individuals who’s only goal is to take your money and leave you with nothing done.

Along with this letter I am attaching information from the National Immigration Law Center on what is believed the law will do and what it means to millions of immigrants, as well as ways the immigrant community can prepare when the applications become available for processing, I hope this will help you in your efforts in helping members through this process.

The United Latinos with help of the International and Esther Lopez from the Civil Rights department will be able to assist the immigrant community within our Union not only in providing updated information on changes that may come up in the Presidents directive, but beginning in early December if anyone of you who has a group of members that you feel would benefit from a presentation from the Civil Rights Department on this deferred action, you can contact the United Latinos to make those arrangements.

At minimum if there is anything that you feel you need from the Civil Rights Department in order to assist you members on this deferred action please do not hesitate in contacting the United Latinos of the UFCW directly.

Si Se Puede!

Pete Maturino
President United Latinos

Executive Action on Immigration

 President Obama’s executive action to provide relief to immigrant workers, families, and communities is a victory for the UFCW, our members, and the entire nation.  While executive action is not a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, it is a step in the right direction and will directly impact tens of thousands of our members.
A UFCW working group made up of key staff from the Civil Rights and Community Action, Food Processing, Packing, and Manufacturing, Legislative and Political, Legal, and Communications Departments is developing a plan to work with you to help eligible members access these newly expanded programs. This will include a comprehensive checklist of what is needed, worksite flyers, and other important resources.

Attached is the fact sheet sheet for your local union officers and staff explaining what the President’s actions entail and their timeline for implementation.

Check our the video ‘Browning of America’

Check out NDLON’s newest video featuring Olmeca’s ‘Browning of America’. This song is a true display of pride and beauty. Many hope the video will be used for positive action. The video features beauty of people, their families and children and they/we are changing the reality of the U.S.. As the artist Olmeca stated, “The United States is becoming more brown. It is not a political statement, it’s not an ideology conjured up. It is simply the reality! There are 54 million Latin@s in the U.S. The demographics are changing, and with it, the culture of the U.S.”
Olmeca is rising hip-hop figure from Los Angeles with his own family story of migration. He’s been writing pro-migrant songs and performing them as part of the movement since he started. He was one of the first artists to support the movement in Arizona and currently travels around the country pairing his concerts with ‘Brown is Beautiful’ workshops about culture, community and organizing.
Please post the video on your social media channels and share with friend and family. Remember ‘Brown is Beautiful’.






18 Senate and Governor races Latinos could influence in 2014

Be sure to GOTV!  Latinos have a large influence on the outcome of many local, statewide and national races.  Latinos voter turnout has been increasing and doesn’t show signs of slowing down.  The rise in turnout is greatly attributed to the efforts of student, community and Latinos groups.  Check out this great article on Latinos electorate vote.   18 Senate and Governor Races Latinos Could Influence in 2014 

The 2014 election is now just 8 days away and almost all the attention on the Latino vote is in Colorado’s Senate race.  While other states with large Latino populations may not have competitive Senate races in 2014, the Latino population is not just a phenomenon in the Southwest. 14 years ago, the 2000 Census revealed quite clearly that the Latino population is spreading rapidly across the Southeast and Midwest.  Including Colorado, there are six states in which the Latino share of the eligible electorate is larger than the current polling margin between the two candidates.  Six States: Colorado, Kansas, Alaska, Georgia, North Carolina and Iowa. What’s more, many of these states are undergoing rapid population changes with Latino registered voters growing by 438% in Georgia and 575% in Kansas from the 2000 to 2012 presidential election, according to Census statistics. So these are states where we should continue to paying attention to the Latino vote in future statewide contests. We are not saying that Latinos will singly decide the 2014 Senate election across all six of these states, but rather that these states should be on your radar screen on November 4th. 2014influence_1 However voters are heading to the polls to elect more than U.S. Senators in 2014.  There is a long list of competitive gubernatorial elections that will decide control of the Governor’s mansion in about a dozen states and the Latino population is large and growing across these states as well.  Looking at competitive elections for Governor, there are 12 states where the share of Latino eligible voters is larger than the current polling margin between the two candidates.  Some of these competitive states like Arizona and Rhode Island are now moving more towards the “leaning” column, but still have very large Latino electorates.  But other states like Florida, Colorado, Connecticut and Illinois all have margins of 1% or less and Latino voting populations of 10% or more.  Other states like Georgia and Kansas which small but growing Latino populations have competitive races for both Senate and Governor that could all be decided by less than 1%.  Even the state of Wisconsin which is currently rated as a tie in the polls has a 3.3% Latino eligible electorate and has had 124% growth in Latino registered voters from 2000 to 2012. 2014influence_2       Read complete article: http://www.latinodecisions.com/blog/2014/10/27/18-senate-and-governor-races-latinos-could-influence-in-2014/

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Esther Lopez

As part of the our ongoing celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, we sat down with UFCW International Vice President and Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department Esther Lopez to talk about the important relationship of the Labor movement and the achievements and contributions made by Hispanics.

What does your Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

There are nearly 53 million Hispanics in America. It is an opportunity to acknowledge, affirm and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic communities across America. One of my favorite quotes is “diversity is a blessing not a burden,” and Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of diversity.

How and why did you become involved with the labor movement?

If you have a vision for a future of opportunity and hope, then you see a future where all workers can join a union. Unions are the difference between working families that thrive and working families that merely survive. Unions are especially critical to Hispanic workers – workers earn more, are more likely to have health insurance, and less likely to get injured on the job. Unions are essential to our future progress.

I connected with the labor movement as a volunteer in high school. We were working to register and move Hispanic voters to the polls. Because I was bilingual, I did phone banking. There was no turning back.

Immigration reform is an important issue for the Hispanic community. What is the Civil Rights and Community Action Department doing in terms of helping workers get started on the pathway to civic participation and citizenship in preparation for the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill?

Nearly 9 million individuals are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. The Union Citizen Action Network (UCAN) is a program to assist legal permanent residents to become U.S. citizens. We are training members, stewards, union staff, and community and faith allies to assist UFCW members to apply for naturalization. We are expanding access to affordable legal services by building strong partnerships with affordable legal providers.

Our goal is for UFCW members to see our union as the first place to get accurate and timely information about immigration issues. I believe the workplace is the space where immigrant and refugees become fully integrated into our overall community.

As one of the highest ranking Hispanic leaders at the UFCW, what suggestions do you have for other Hispanics who want to become more involved in the labor movement?

Hispanic workers are the fastest growing sector of the workforce, and Hispanic members are over 25% of our union. We have a very special responsibility to grow the labor movement and to grow our union. There is something profoundly powerful about workers coming together to make decisions about their workplace. In short, it means we become active members of our union.

How would you say union membership helps to narrow the income and equality gap—something that disproportionately affects Latinos and other minorities?

The evidence is indisputable. If you are a member of a union, you earn more, have better benefits and more job stability. Low-wage, non-union jobs are a sentence to poverty – and this is why we have to talk about the difference between union jobs and non-union jobs at our dinner tables and churches and to politicians and community leaders. More importantly, we have to organize workers.

Finally, why is Hispanic Heritage Month so important to you and do you have any favorite union-made Hispanic heritage family recipes that you would like to share?

Let’s celebrate diversity in the workplace. I invite UFCW members to use Hispanic Heritage Month to create opportunities to share our racial, ethnic and cultural richness with their coworkers. Organize an event where we can learn and share history and culture with each other. Invite coworkers to community events.

And all cultures have their version of “fried dough” – and let’s face it – it is delicious. So here goes mine. We call them “sopapillas” (so-pa-pi-yas).

Union Made Sopapillas

1 pkg Red Star dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

3/4 cup milk (plenty of union-made choices, like President Choice)

4 tbsp Domino sugar

1 tbsp Morton salt

2 tbsp Land O’Lakes butter

3 c Gold Medal flour

About 2 inches of any cooking oil, like La Preferida

Soften yeast – set it aside.

Combine milk, sugar and salt – bring to boil

Remove from heat – stir in butter – cool to lukewarm.

Stir in beaten egg, add yeast, gradually add flour,

Cover dough with cloth – allow to rise to about double in size – about an hour.

On floured board knead until dough is smooth,

Let rest for 15 minutes.

Roll to about nearly 1/2 inch and cut into 2 inch squares,

Heat oil to about 350 – make sure oil is nice and hot.

Cook sopapillas a few at a time – browning on one side and turning once. They will puff up.

Drain and serve with honey or powdered sugar. I like honey.

To share your own stories of Labor and Hispanic heritage, or your favorite union-made recipes, hit us up on facebook or tell us here: http://www.ufcw.org/resources/members/share-your-story/

Thank you to our Sponsors!

UL Board Members Elected to LCLAA Executive Board

Four UFCW leaders were recently elected to the Executive Board of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) at the 20th National Membership Convention.

  • Johnny Rodriguez
  • Rick Icaza
  • Esther Lopez
  • Michael Calderon

Johnny Rodriguez, President of UFCW Local 540, and Rick Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770, were elected as National Vice Presidents of the Executive Board.

Esther Lopez, UFCW International Vice President and Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department, and Michael Calderon, Assistant to the President of UFCW Local 919 were also elected to the Executive Board.

LCLAA is a national organization representing the interests of approximately 2 million Latino / trade unionist throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Pete Maturino, President of the United Latinos stated, “Congratulations to my sister and brothers of the United Latinos and the UFCW on their appointment to the national and executive board of LCLAA. It shows their commitment, not only to the labor movement but also to the advancement to latinos in general. I know that they will continue to do the excellent work they have always done not only for the UFCW, United Latinos, but also for LCLAA.”


Educational Conference Registration Continues

The UFCW United Latino Educational Conference has become the premier educational conference with its efforts on Empowerment and Building Latino Pride.  More than 165 have registered to attend the conference and we are still getting calls.

With the challenges facing the hard working latino men and women across the United States, it has never been more important to discuss strategies for the future. We are excited to see you in Las Vegas and look forward to share the vision of the UFCW United Latinos.

Unfortunately, the rates for the hotel have now changed, deadline for hotel was August 11th.

  • Friday and Saturday rates are now up to $159 & $179 plus taxes.
  • Thursday night will stay at $49 to $159 plus taxes, depending on room preference.


To register for the conference now, simply complete the form below.



Thank you!

UL Announces Comedian Felipe Esparza As Special Guest At Conference

The 2014 UFCW United Latinos Education Conference is fast approaching.  The Conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada beginning with registration and a welcome reception on Thursday, September 11, 2014.

On Friday evening, September 12, we will present Last Comic Standing winner, Felipe Esparza.  For more information on Felipe check out his website: http://www.felipesworld.com

Don’t forget to RSVP by August 15 for the early registration of $250.