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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.

UFCW Receives Champion in Labor Award

The United Latinos of UFCW would like to congratulate UFCW, President Marc Perrone and Executive Vice President Esther on Lopez on this bestowed recognition. See complete story below.
From: International President Marc Perrone
Greetings-

It is with great pride and excitement that I announce that the UFCW International Union (Union) is being awarded the 2015 Champion in Labor Partnership award from the Center for Community Change (CCC), recognizing the long-standing leadership role of our Union in the fight for humane and comprehensive immigration reform.

Executive Vice President Esther López and I will be present to accept the award at the Change Champion Awards event on Thursday, September 17, from 6-9 p.m., at the historic Howard Theater in Washington, D.C.

The UFCW’s strategic partnership with CCC spans well over a decade. We have had deep alignment—particularly around our united fight for comprehensive immigration reform and our joint work on strategic voter engagement efforts—as well as our broader shared agenda of fighting for workers’ rights and economic justice.  Esther represents our Union as an active member of CCC’s Board of Directors.

It is for these reasons that I enthusiastically encourage you to support CCC’s event.  We want to ensure UFCW is not only well represented, but that we show strong support for the continued good work of one of our key national partners.  Strategic partners like CCC deserve our support, and I ask that you make a contribution today.

Your contribution will leverage the financial support even further, CCC has a challenge grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies for their CCC Action political work.  If they raise $1.5 million in new support, the foundation will award them a $1.5 million unrestricted grant—funding that will go a long way, as we all enter into a particularly challenging electoral season.  All contributions will be doubled through this dollar-for-dollar match, and Esther and I would like to ensure that our Union makes a meaningful contribution.

The Change Champion Awards event was established in 2005 to celebrate the work that often goes unheralded, and the people and organizations that keep our vision for a just economy.  Too frequently, the movement focuses only on the final outcome of a campaign, instead of taking a moment to honor the unsung heroes behind the scenes.  We invite you to support the Change Champion Awards event to recognize the people and organizations whose work brings us closer to our shared goals around social justice.

Become a sponsor today, you can do so by completing the online sponsorship form at https://join.communitychange.org/page/contribute/sponsor-change-champions-2015.  Please make checks payable to the Center for Community Change Action.

Thanking you in advance for your support.

El Super grocery chain settles complaints it refused to bargain with union

Grocery chain El Super has settled with the National Labor Relations Board over allegations that it refused to bargain with union locals and mistreated unionized workers, a union representative said Monday.

The agreement reached Friday aims to remedy complaints filed last fall and winter, marking a victory for the 600 employees represented by United Food and Commercial Workers locals at seven El Super stores in greater Los Angeles. As a result, one worker fired for what he contended was retaliation for supporting the union got his job back along with seven months of back-pay.

“I am incredibly proud to return to my job of more than nine years, holding my head high,” said Fermin Rodriguez in a UFCW news release. He returned to his cashier job at El Super #13 in South Los Angeles on Sunday.

El Super, which employs 45,000 people at 50 markets across California, Arizona and Nevada, has voluntarily agreed to begin bargaining with the union locals.

Under the settlement, the chain must also post signs saying that it cannot refuse to negotiate. The notices should also remind workers that they have the right to band together and seek bargaining representation.

“El Super is pleased to resolve this matter, and looks forward to returning to the table where we hope to resolve the last of our outstanding issues with the union,” the company said in a statement.

The company had implemented a new labor contract in September, following a year of deadlocked negotiations, it said. The union responded by starting a boycott and filing complaints.

The call to boycott will continue, the union said, as the National Labor Relations Board reviews other complaints, including allegations that workers besides Rodriguez were fired in retaliation for supporting the union.

“We want to keep pressure on the company to do the right thing,” said UFCW organizer Rigo Valdez, adding that he was pleased to see three complaints addressed.

“It proved El Super’s systematic behavior in harassing and intimidating workers,” he said.

President Obama’s Immigration Announcement

On November 20, 2014, the president announced executive actions that his administration will be taking to help fix our dysfunctional immigration system.

 Here’s what we know about the new programs: 

A new Deferred Action for Parents (DAP) program will allow undocumented people who have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation, if the person has been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. An estimated 4.1 million people should qualify for this program.

The existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be expanded and now will cover people who entered the U.S. before their sixteenth birthday and have lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. People who were “aged out” of DACA by being older than age 31 on June 15, 2012, are now eligible to apply, regardless of how old they are now. Approximately 300,000 people will be benefit from these changes.

Certain spouses of lawful permanent residents may be able to get their lawful permanent resident (“green card”) status through a waiver process. Spouses of U.S. citizens are currently able to apply through this process.

Here’s what you can do: 

Even if you are eligible for these programs, you cannot apply for them yet! The government expects that it will start accepting applications within three months from now for those eligible for expanded DACA, and within six months from now for those eligible for DAP.

Do not take advice about your immigration case from a notary public or an immigration consultant. Contact only a qualified immigration lawyer or an accredited representative for legal advice about your case. If you encounter notario fraud, report it!

If you know someone who is in immigration detention and is eligible for one of these programs, advise them to identify themselves to their case officer, or the ICE Information Line at 888-351-4024, and explain that they are eligible for one of these new programs.

 If you believe you are eligible, begin preparing now by gathering documents that prove:

  •  that you were in the U.S. yesterday (on November 20, 2014),
  •  that you have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, and
  •  that you have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter.

(Read our Top Ten Ways You Can Prepare for Executive Action on Immigration.) 

Stay informed and sign up at www.nilc.org/relief.html to receive updates. As we find out about webinars, we’ll share them with you. We’ll also share materials and information about new developments. To receive these updates by email, subscribe to our Immigration Issues email list (http://tinyurl.com/mxbmyse).

To download, print and share this flyer check here.

Join the United Latinos!

Be a Part of the UFCW United Latinos

The United Latinos of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) is an organization of men and women who have joined together to promote the issues and pursue interests important to Latino workers.

latinos in action“Working Toward Latino Empowerment and Building Latino Pride!”

We have a simple but powerful purpose of empowering Latino men and women within the UFCW and within our communities. We are also building Latino pride which will help others better understand our cultural differences. Our diversity will help make our organization and our society stronger. The United Latinos will help teach others that through UFCW membership, there is a better way of life that includes wages, health benefits, pensions, job security and dignity.

 Join UFCW United Latinos Today!



Complete the Application Online then mail payment

Thank you for your Support of the UFCW United Latinos!

Your commitment to the labor movement is helping us increase the voices of Latino workers and families across the country and within the UFCW membership. We are seeing success stories every day across the United States thanks to efforts of dedicated people such as yourself. The United Latinos with your continued support can and will make a difference!

Si Se Puede!

Pete Maturino
President UFCW United Latinos

 

United Latinos Salinas California

 

 

UFCW, Food Manufacturers Form Alliance on Senate Immigration Bill

 

UFCW Immigration ReformMay 07, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the Food Manufacturers Immigration Coalition (FMIC) today announced their partnership on comprehensive immigration reform in a letter sent to the Senate “Gang of Eight,” praising them for their efforts on S. 744. The labor-business coalition is also seeking improvements to the Senate bill in the areas of visa allocation and employment verification.

“We write in support of the comprehensive immigration reform process and thank you for your critical andconstructive efforts in support of this legislation,” says the letter signed by UFCW International President Joe Hansen and Barry Carpenter of FMIC.

The labor-business coalition said they support the Senate bill’s provisions to establish a roadmap to citizenship, protect family based immigration, promote smart, effective border enforcement, implement a workable, transparent employment verification system, and create an occupational visa for non-seasonal, permanent positions. However, Hansen and Carpenter are also calling for commonsense improvements to S. 744 in the areas of visa allocation and employment verification.

The labor-business coalition asked for more flexibility when it comes to employment verification. “Allowing employers to use Self-Check in a uniform, nondiscriminatory fashion will create greater transparency for new employees, and will enable employers to ensure that their new hires are not circumventing E-Verify,”the letter reads.

Moreover, the letter outlined: “If an employer takes the extra step of deterring identity theft through the uniform use of Self-Check, then the employer should be presumed to have acted in ‘good faith’ with respect to the E-Verify confirmations it receives.”

Finally, the labor-business coalition requested that Senators direct the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to create regulations that would provide specific rules of the road “describing a course of conduct…that satisfies employment verification requirements and concurrently avoids anti-discrimination liability.” “If an employer follows these regulations, then the employer is presumed to have complied with both the verification and anti-discrimination rules,” the letter reads.

The labor-business coalition said they look forward to working with the Senate to improve S.744 and seeing comprehensive immigration reform become the law of the land.