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UFCW Condemns White House Decision to End DACA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):

“President Trump’s decision to end DACA is cold-hearted, cruel, and a betrayal of what America stands for. 

“Hundreds of thousands of young, hard-working men and women who love America will now be needlessly punished for childhood circumstances. These young people have grown up in this country, passed background checks, pay taxes, go to school, and have worked hard to build a better America. They have earned and deserve fair treatment, but instead their lives are being thrown into chaos with this announcement. 

“President Trump’s decision will not make America great again; rather, it will tear families apart, damage communities, and further fuel a terrible divide that is already hurting the nation we all love. 

“On behalf of the 1.3 million members of our union family, we urge all Members of Congress to immediately do what is right and protect these Dreamers.” 

Background:
  • Terminating DACA needlessly removes 800,000 hard-working men and women from our workforce.
  • It will cost $433.4 billion in GDP loss over a decade.
  • It will cost employers $3.4 billion in unnecessary turnover costs.
  • Contributions to Medicare and Social Security will be cut by $24.6 billion over a decade.
  • Some 6% of DACA recipients have launched businesses that employ American citizens.
  • Almost 55% of DACA recipients have purchased a vehicle, and more than one in ten have purchased their first home.
  • Source: ILRC, The Economic Cost of Ending DACA

Holding the Line on Workplace Rights

Immigration

July 27, 2017

The labor movement strives to make every job in our country a good job. To do that, we must and we will stand with every worker in the fight for basic rights and dignity on the job. We will not allow union members or any workers to lose their rights and status. We will fight for and with them just as they have fought for and with all of us.

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Women marching against Trump:

Sisters and Brothers

Below is a brief translation of the Article that came out in the New York times (Spanish) after the march and below that is a link showing pictures of marchers that were featured in the Article and you might recognize one of our own Esther Lopez. I thought you might be interested. They all should be commended for participation.

 

Pete Maturino
President United Latinos
 ____________________________________________

Women marching against Trump: “Everything that I believe in is being attacked”

Washington- They started the march early Saturday until the evening hours. Hundreds of thousands of different ages, genders and creeds The women and the men that demonstrated here and other cities the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump for different motives but they were all united against in what to them represented the new president; the intolerance, the misogyny, the lack of appreciation of migrants and Muslims, the arrogance and intimidation.

The march of Women in Washington DC brought together different sectors that repudiated Trump – that responded accusing the media for ignoring his followers – but for many an opportunity to strengthen ties; to pay homage to their mothers, daughters and sisters; to affirm their identity and their values together with others. It was both a political manifestation and a way to ward off collective fear.

The amount of people that gathered was such that it was hard to march from one side to the other. Washington was converted in a city taken by dozens of marches, in an opportunity for the meeting. It was calculated that half a million people were out in the streets on Saturday in the capitol of the United States, a multitude three times as large then  the one that attended the take over of Trump on Friday.

 

The New York Times photographed and talked with different women throughout the day. Read some of their testimonies and their stories by click here on this link.

 

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.

The Union Difference for Latinas

Latinos represent an increasing share of the U.S.population, workforce, and voting bloc. This
diverse and growing community is changing the social fabric of the country. Latinos represent the ideals of hard work and perseverance to achieve the American Dream. While Latinos continue to contribute to the success of the U.S., they are confronting tremendous challenges in their workplace and community.They are America’s most vulnerable workers. Latinos are losing their jobs and homes, while facing discrimination that is threatening their living conditions and economic security. America’s increasing service sector and broken immigration system are forcing Latinos into underpaid, unsafe, and abusive working environments that place their
lives at risk. It is no secret that collective bargaining and unions

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America’s Changing Workforce and Union Growth

The United Latinos were invited to assist as presenters of several workshops titled “America’s Changing Workforce and Union Growth at the UFCW Local 75 Stewards Conference in Dayton Ohio.

Former President Johnny Rodriguez and President Pete Maturino were representing the United Latinos on the subject of the changing faces in our membership. They also addressed the different industries that we as UFCW represent throughout the Nation. The UFCW United Latinos shared the importance of embracing and understand the importance of immigration reform as a organizing tool and the importance of the involvement of the United Latinos. The UFCW United Latinos stressed the role that the organization plays as one that strives to be at the forefront of issues dealing with latinos in the workforce.

Daniel Costa, director of the Economic Policy Institute, also participated in the presentation. Daniel decimated information on the demographics with regard to latinos in the work force such numbers and/or percentages of documented and undocumented, percentages of latinos with the potential of becoming citizens and voting to create change not only in politics but also in growing our Union.

Pictured above: Johnny Rodriguez, Felipe Mendez and President Pete Maturino along with UFCW United Latinos officers, Executive board members and staff.