UFCW Press Releases

UFCW Statement: VICE News Exposes Shocking Depths of Amazon’s & Jeff Bezos’ Disregard for Workers & the American People During Coronavirus Outbreak   

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Demands Amazon Fire Senior Leadership Responsible for Shameful Conduct

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents 1.3 million workers in food and retail, responded to a shocking Vice News story that documents both the ruthless smear campaign against Christian Smalls, the Amazon warehouse worker who organized this week’s safety strike, as well as the high level discussions between Amazon executives on how to best utilize surgical masks for public relations value.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“In the middle of a global pandemic with thousands of Americans sick and dying, today we learned that Amazon’s senior leaders – including CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon SVP of Global Affairs Jay Carney, and Amazon General Counsel David Zapolsky – were more focused on attacking one of their own workers than actually keeping their employees safe.

“Even worse, these same senior Amazon leaders weighed ‘different and bold’ ways to gain a public relations ‘win’ from their stockpile of surgical masks – masks that are desperately needed by frontline workers and first responders who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day during this unprecedented public health crisis.

“Every American should be outraged by this conduct. Not only should Amazon’s senior leadership be  investigated by law enforcement and federal regulators for these shameful actions, every Amazon executive responsible for this stunning conduct, beginning with Mr. Zaplosky, should be immediately fired.”

Background:

UFCW has been a leading national voice calling for greater accountability of Amazon and its worker mistreatment. In December 2018, the retail branch of UFCW launched acampaign to unionize Amazon warehouse workers at the same Staten Island fulfillment center where this week’s strike took place.

In February 2020, UFCW called Amazon’s new cashierless grocery store “a clear and present danger to millions of good jobs.” In July 2019, UFCW announced its opposition to a $700 million effort by Amazon to push its own workers out of jobs as it relentlessly automates its warehouse operations. And in May 2019, UFCW called out Amazon for using robots to replace thousands of its workers across the country.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW’s work during COVID-19 at ufcw.org/coronavirus

 

As Coronavirus Outbreak Increases Demands on Meatpacking Workers, Court Advances Lawsuit to Stop Dangerous USDA Rule that Threatens Food Safety

America’s Largest Meatpacking Union and Public Citizen Continue Effort to Halt USDA’s Dangerous New Pork Plant Line Speed Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union and Public Citizen announced that their federal lawsuit to stop the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new swine slaughter modernization rule has been cleared to move forward following a ruling by the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

The lawsuit filed by UFCW International and UFCW Locals 663, 440 and 2, seeks to halt a USDA rule which eliminates the line speed limits in pork slaughter plants and turns inspection of our food over to the companies that produce it.

“America’s pork workers won an important victory with this ruling as our lawsuit moves forward to stop the USDA’s dangerous line speed rule. As we confront the coronavirus outbreak, these workers are more important than ever to protecting our food supply chain,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Stopping the USDA’s reckless pork lobby giveaway is essential to the safety of our country’s food and the hardworking men and women who produce it. We are proud to continue this fight to ensure food safety never takes a backseat to corporate profits.”

The nation’s union for meatpacking and food processing workers is challenging the rule as unsafe for workers. The court largely denied USDA’s efforts to dismiss claims brought by the unions.

The ruling, by Judge Joan Ericksen of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, held that the unions adequately alleged that the USDA’s explanations for disregarding the impact on worker safety when issuing its rule were not rational. Read more about the case.

Background:

In 2019, the USDA published a new rule for pork meat inspections which removes limits on line speeds in swine slaughter plants and turns over major meat inspection tasks from federal inspectors to meat companies.

  • The UFCW represents about 250,000 workers in the meatpacking and food processing industries and 30,000 workers in pork plants. UFCW members handle 71 percent of all hogs slaughtered and processed in the United States.
  • In May 2018, more than 6,500 UFCW members who work in pork plants submitted comments to the USDA in opposition to the proposed rule that would increase the line speeds where they work, threatening both them and the consumers they serve.
  • All the UFCW locals who are parties in the lawsuit represent pork slaughter workers. UFCW Local 663 is based in Brooklyn Center, Minn.; UFCW Local 440 is based in Denison, Iowa; and UFCW Local 2 is based in Bel Aire, Kan. 

The Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection rule will hurt workers across the country.

Hazards of Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection Rule: 

  • The Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection rule removes all limitations on line speeds in hog slaughter plants which will endanger the health and safety of tens of thousands of workers in the hog slaughter industry.
  • Even at current line speeds, swine slaughter and processing workers face many job risks that can lead to severe injury, illness and death.
  • There is no evidence that line speed increases can be done in a manner that ensures food and worker safety.
  • In 1997, the USDA created a pilot program called the HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) which allowed five hog slaughter plants to test a new food safety program.  The hog slaughter pilot program revealed serious safety issues including a Clemens food plant in Pennsylvania which reported injuries severe enough that two workers were hospitalized, and one suffered an amputation.
  • The Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection rule includes no requirement or funding to train plant employees on inspection techniques that were previously performed by USDA inspectors and are now their responsibility.
  • Increased line speeds will disproportionately hurt women and people of color. 

Key Facts About Pork Workers: 

  • Meatpacking workers in hog slaughter plants work in cold, wet, noisy, and slippery conditions making tens of thousands of forceful repetitive motions on each shift.
  • Research shows that the fast pace in pork plants, coupled with the forceful and repetitive nature of most of the jobs, leads to high rates of injuries and health issues.
  • Meatpacking workers are injured at 2.4 times the rate of other industries. These injuries result in lost time or restrictions at three times the rate of other industries and they face illness rates at 17 times the rate of other industries.
  • The previous maximum line speed for swine was 1,106 hogs per hour.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org

Kroger, UFCW Announce Increased Pay, Benefits for Grocery Workers on Front Lines of Coronavirus Outbreak

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union and America’s Largest Supermarket Chain Recognize Incredible Service of More Than 460,000 Kroger Employees and UFCW Members

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Kroger Co. and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union announced a new increase to the pay and benefits for the company’s more than 460,000 workers across the country. UFCW represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, and welcomed the increase as an essential investment in grocery workers who are on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Following talks between UFCW, America’s largest food and retail union, and Kroger, UFCW is proud to join the company today in announcing a $2 per hour wage increase, additional emergency paid leave, new workplace safety measures, and other critical worker protections.

“Working together, UFCW and Kroger have listened to workers and customers across the country to identify the most urgent needs and determine the best way to support these hardworking men and women on the front lines who are serving our communities every day throughout this national crisis.

“Today’s increase in pay and benefits is a good first step in our ongoing conversations with Kroger to keep customers and workers safe in stores during this crisis. We look forward to continuing to work with Kroger to strengthen support and protections for these essential workers on the front lines of this outbreak as they continue to serve families across the country.”

Background:

UFCW and Kroger have been working closely to ensure that these grocery workers are able to continue to provide the necessary food and supplies to their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. UFCW and Kroger announced the following increases to pay, benefits, and protections for frontline associates across the country:

  • $2 Per Hour Pay Increase which will be paid to hourly frontline associates in retail stores, manufacturing plants, distribution centers, central fills, pharmacies and contact call centers for the next three weeks at which point UFCW and Kroger will revisit discussions.
  • Providing Emergency Paid Leave: This ensures that any associates who are affected by COVID-19 – whether experiencing symptoms and self-isolating, diagnosed or placed in quarantine – can recover with the financial support they need.
  • Additional Cleaning and Sanitizing protocols which include allowing associates to wash their hands and sanitize their registers every 30 minutes.
  • Shortened Store Operating Hours to provide ample time to allow restocking, cleaning, and to provide appropriate rest and relief for associates.
  • Installing plexiglass partitions at check lanes, pharmacy and Starbucks registers across each store.
  • Adding floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.

Additional Associate Support and Resources

In addition to the $2 per hour pay increase, UFCW and Kroger have worked together to take several additional actions to support associates, including:

  • Earlier Access to Pay: Beginning next week, the Kroger Family of Companies is adding ExpressPay – a new benefit that allows most hourly associates to access some of their pay faster, putting money in their pockets sooner than usual.
  • Financial Assistance for Childcare and Other Needs: Kroger will make $5 million available for those facing hardship, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered high-risk, due to COVID-19 through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund.
  • Employee Hotline: Kroger will offer an associate hotline to answer benefit questions quickly.
  • Expanded Health Care Services: Kroger will provide access to mental health services and other benefits to support associates’ mental and physical well-being during this stressful time.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org

UFCW: Amazon, Instacart, and Whole Foods Must Do More to Protect Workers on Front Lines of Coronavirus Outbreak

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Calls on Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods to Immediately Increase Pay, Paid Leave, Safety Gear for Workers

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, announced its strong support forAmazon warehouse workers in Staten Island as well as Instacart workers and Whole Foods workers nationwide who are walking off the job this week to protest the failure of these companies to strengthen emergency pay and protections for essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Amazon, Instacart, and Whole Foods workers are sending a powerful message that it’s time to stop putting corporate profits ahead of the health and safety of the men and women who are critical to our food supply, and are on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.  It is shameful that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta, and Whole Foods CEO John Mackey are ignoring not only the concerns of workers, but the potential threat to public safety.

“For the sake of public health and worker safety, every non-union grocery worker must speak out. If Amazon, Instacart, and Whole Foods are unwilling to do what is right to protect their workers and our communities, the UFCW is ready to listen and do all we can to help protect these brave workers from irresponsible employers who are ignoring the serious threat posed by the rapidly growing coronavirus outbreak.”

Background:

 In February 2020, Instacart workers in the Chicago area joined UFCW Local 1546, making history as the first workers with the company to join a union. As a result of the majority of Instacart’s 175,000 workers are misclassified as independent contractors, they are not eligible to join a union and today’s strike is a way for them to demand the emergency pay increase, paid leave, and protective gear that they have earned and deserve.

 In December 2018, the retail branch of UFCW launched a campaign to unionize Amazon warehouse workers in New York. UFCW has been a vocal critic of both Amazon and Whole Foods for the treatment of their workers.  

On March 13, UFCW called out Amazon and Whole Foods for failing to provide their workers with paid sick leave until after testing positive for COVID-19. With testing incredibly scarce, this policy has left thousands of workers across the country in limbo, putting their safety and the safety of customers at risk during the outbreak. In September 2019, UFCW condemned the move by Amazon to cut healthcare coverage for part-time Whole Foods workers across the country.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org. 

UFCW Announces Increased Pay, Benefits for Meatpacking and Food Processing Workers on Front Lines of Outbreak  

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Secures Higher Pay, Essential Benefits for Over 40,000 Workers Across the Country Protecting U.S. Food Supply Chain 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents more than 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers, announced agreements the union reached to increase pay and benefits for workers with Cargill, Hormel, JBS, National Beef, Pepsi, Kraft Heinz, Campbell’s Soup, Danone, and Maple Leaf Foods. The boost to pay and benefits will be received by more than 40,000 workers and represent a strong investment in the men and women who are essential to protecting the U.S. food supply chain during the coronavirus outbreak.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“After talks between America’s leading food companies and UFCW, the union representing more than 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers, we are proud to support additional and critical pay and benefit increases for these workers who are essential to America’s food supply. These wage and benefit increases will not only protect the health and welfare of these hard-working men and women, they will help ensure all of America’s families have the food they need to overcome the public health crisis our nation faces.

“What these companies did shows real leadership. They worked together with our union family and they recognized the incredible hard work and sacrifices that our members and all meatpacking and food processing workers are making every single day.

“At a time of such national crisis, where food is so vital, we hope that this sends a message to every company in these industries – union and non-union – that it is time for every employer to do more to protect our food supply and the hardworking men and women keeping our communities stable and families fed.”

Background:

UFCW reached the following agreements to support meatpacking and food processing workers across the country:

  • Cargill: Employees will receive a $2 per hour pay increase in effect between March 23 and May 5. Cargill will also strengthen worker safeguards with increased spacing in factory floor work areas, waive co-pays for coronavirus testing and treatment, and the ability to take time off for any coronavirus-related absences.
  • Danone North America: Employees will receive a 15 percent pay increase and 80 hours of additional paid leave for coronavirus-related absences.
  • Kraft Heinz: Employees who are required to quarantine will receive short-term disability benefits with waived waiting periods, waiver of co-pays for coronavirus medical care, and $100 weekly childcare subsidy for workers in districts where schools have closed.
  • Pepsi: Employees will receive an additional 2 weeks paid leave for coronavirus-related absences and childcare assistance equal to at least two-thirds of their pay for up to 12 weeks or a $100 daily reimbursement if they have children enrolled in closed schools.
  • Hormel: Employees are receiving a $300 bonus for working during this time frame.
  • JBS: Employees who are UFCW members will receive a $600 bonus on May 15th.
  • Maple Leaf Foods: Employees will receive additional $80 per week in premium pay.
  • Campbell’s Soup: Employees will receive a $2 per hour pay increase during the outbreak.
  • National Beef: Employees are receiving a $2 per hour pay increase between March 16 through May 10, 2 weeks paid leave if they are required to quarantine, waiver of co-pays for coronavirus medical care, and the ability to take time off for any coronavirus-related absences.

 

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org

 

UFCW: Amazon CEO Sells $3.4 Billion in Stock Before Market Collapse While Failing to Protect Workers from Coronavirus  

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Condemns Jeff Bezos for Putting His Own Profits Before Worker Health and Safety During Outbreak 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, condemned Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for failing to protect the company’s workers during the coronavirus outbreak even as the Wall Street Journal reported that he protected his own wealth by selling $3.4 billion in stock in the first week of February, before the market collapsed.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“As the Wall Street Journal reported, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has now been exposed for putting his wealth first on the eve of the coronavirus outbreak, even while the company refuses to do enough to protect Whole Foods employees and other Amazon workers from this pandemic.

“It was already outrageous that Amazon refuses to provide any paid sick leave until after they test positive for the virus. That may now be explained by the fact that Bezos is apparently more concerned with adding to his personal wealth than protecting the health and welfare of his workers, their families, or the public.

“Make no mistake, union and non-union grocery workers are literally on the front lines of this national coronavirus outbreak. They are putting themselves at risk every day to help feed America’s families. Is it really so much to ask that billionaires and non-union employers, like Amazon and Whole Foods, do more to protect their workers and the public?

“The America people, our elected leaders, and especially Whole Foods and Amazon customers, have the right to demand to know why Bezos sold this stock when he did, and more importantly, why he isn’t doing more to protect workers and this nation from this terrible pandemic that has impacted every single American.”

Background:

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold $3.4 billion in Amazon shares in the first week of February, shortly before the stock market peaked, allowing him to avoid losses of roughly $317 million if he had held the stock through March 20. Bezos sold almost as much stock during the first week in February as he sold during the previous 12 months.

Earlier this month, UFCW called out Amazon and Whole Foods for failing to provide any paid sick leave to employees until after they tested positive for COVID-19 and suggesting that employees “donate” their paid time off (PTO) to coworkers facing medical emergencies during the coronavirus outbreak. With coronavirus testing incredibly scarce, this leaves Whole Foods employees – and all Amazon employees covered by the policy – at great risk before they are able to get tested.

UFCW has been a vocal critic of Amazon’s aggressive move to devalue and degrade grocery jobs at Whole Foods. In September 2019, UFCW slammed the company for cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-time workers. In March 2019, UFCW condemned actions by Whole Foods to reduce employee hours just months after Amazon announced a wage increase that was supposed to be an investment in Whole Foods workers.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

 

UFCW and Stop & Shop Announce Ten Percent Pay Raise for Grocery Workers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Over 70,000 Workers Across New England, New York, and New Jersey to Receive Raise, Additional Two Weeks Paid Sick Leave

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, applauded Stop & Shop for giving all union Stop & Shop and Peapod employees represented by the UFCW a ten percent increase in pay during the coronavirus outbreak. Workers will also receive two additional weeks of paid leave if they become sick.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“After discussions between Stop & Shop and the UFCW, Stop & Shop is announcing a 10 percent raise and additional sick leave for grocery workers during the coronavirus pandemic. This essential pay and benefit increase will not only protect these hard-working men and women, it will help protect the food supply throughout our communities.

“As we know, grocery workers like Stop & Shop employees have been on the front lines of this crisis, serving the needs of millions of families in the northeast. Protecting them is absolutely essential to our communities and food supply now more than ever.

“Every supermarket, grocery store, and food retail employer – union and non-union – in the Northeast and across America must follow the example that Stop & Shop has set and follow their lead.”

Background:

UFCW International and UFCW Locals have been negotiating with employers across the country to recognize how hard grocery workers are working to provide necessary food and supplies to their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • UFCW and Safeway announced that Safeway would provide a two-dollar-per-hour increase in pay for its grocery workers across the country during the outbreak.
  • In California, UFCW Locals applauded Stater Bros. Markets for implementing a $2.00-per-hour pay raise to its workers. The raise will apply to all hourly employees over the course of four weeks beginning March 23.
  • In Missouri, UFCW Local Union 655 secured a deal for grocery workers at Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Straubs to waive all co-pays for coronavirus testing, maintain pay for those who become sick, and expand access to telemedicine with zero out-of-pocket costs.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

 

 

UFCW & Safeway Coronavirus Talks Lead to Grocery Worker Pay Raise for Employees Across the Country

America’s Largest Grocery Worker Union & Safeway Announce $2 an Hour Pay Increase for Safeway Employees on the Front Lines of the Outbreak

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other industries, applauded the move by Safeway to provide a two-dollar-per-hour increase in pay for its grocery workers across the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“After close talks between Safeway and UFCW, the union representing over 1.3 million grocery store and food processing workers, we are proud to support the significant wage increase adopted by Safeway, one of America’s largest supermarket companies.  “Safeway and the UFCW both recognize that grocery store workers are on the frontlines of this crisis. They are vital to our food supply, and serving the needs of millions of American families.  “What Safeway did today shows real leadership. They worked with our union family and they recognized the incredible hard work and sacrifices that our members and all grocery workers are making every single day across this nation. This pay increase will not only help protect these workers and support their families, it will also ensure they are able to continue to perform an absolutely vital role in our communities.  “We hope that this sends a message to every supermarket, grocery store, and food retail employer – union and non-union – across this country that it is time for every company to recognize the sacrifice America’s food workers are making – sacrifices that Safeway has rightfully recognized and which other companies must also recognize.  “At a time of such national crisis, where food is so vital, it is critical that every employer do more to protect our food supply and grocery stores by protecting the hardworking men and women who work there and keep them open.”

Background:

Earlier this week, UFCW Local Unions 21, 367, and 1439 in Washington State announced a deal with Safeway as well as Albertsons and Fred Meyer/QFC grocery stores to provide two weeks of paid leave for these workers, strengthen childcare access, and protect healthcare coverage for any workers who become sick.

In Missouri, UFCW Local Union 655 also secured a deal for local grocery workers to waive all co-pays for coronavirus testing, maintain pay for those who become sick, and expand access to telemedicine with zero out-of-pocket costs.

UFCW also recognized Michigan, Minnesota, and Vermont this week for designating their states’ grocery workers as front line responders, expanding access to free childcare as these employees continue to help local families during this crisis.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

UFCW Applauds States for Offering Emergency Protections to Grocery Workers on Front Lines of Coronavirus

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Praises Leadership in Michigan, Minnesota, and Vermont to Provide Childcare for At-Risk Workers 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the largest U.S. private sector union which represents grocery workers across the country, praised leaders in Minnesota, Michigan, and Vermont for recognizing the critical work being done by grocery workers in their states. All have indicated that grocery workers, similar to health care workers and other essential personnel, will be provided with childcare.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“UFCW members in grocery and retail stores across the country are working around the clock to make sure that families have the food and supplies they need. We applaud Minnesota, Michigan, and Vermont for recognizing that these workers are on the front lines, providing an essential service to their communities.

“As our country confronts this outbreak and its devastating impact on our economy, there has never been a more important time for strong leadership. Congress must follow the lead of these states and provide paid leave and other essential protections needed to support the brave grocery and retail workers keeping our communities strong.”

Background:

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued a directive as part of an order for “Care for Children of Families of Emergency Workers,” which instructs closed schools to continue to provide care for children of emergency personnel who are “critical to the response of COVID-19.” Under the order, grocery workers are considered “essential tier 2 workers” and would be covered. Minnesota officials stated that “districts should make every effort to provide care for school-age children” of these workers.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order to expand the capacity for childcare services for health care workers, first responders, and other members of the essential workforce providing critical infrastructure to Michiganders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This expands the essential workforce to include grocery workers who are helping to provide essential supplies and goods during the outbreak.

Vermont is developing a plan to reimburse private childcare centers for providing care to essential workers. Public safety commissioner Michael Schirling announced that his office would add grocery store workers to the list of essential employees who would receive services like childcare.

Last week, as part of UFCW’s advocacy for grocery workers on the front lines, the union sent a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders outlining the union’s top policy priorities for economic relief legislation.

In the letter, UFCW called for action by Congress and the White House to provide the aid needed for the nearly 80 million hourly workers – representing about 60 percent of the U.S. workforce – who are most at risk. Top UFCW priorities for worker relief in the letter include:

  • At least two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for workers temporarily laid off or whose work hours have been disrupted
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for those suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

UFCW: Congress is Failing American Workers with Coronavirus Relief Bill that Puts Corporations First

Ahead of Senate Vote, Largest U.S. Private Sector Union Calls for Congress to Immediately Strengthen Worker Aid in Coronavirus Relief Bill  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the largest U.S. private sector union, condemned Congress for passing a coronavirus relief bill that fails to provide real relief to millions of American workers in the grocery, retail, and food processing industries.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“We are in the middle of a national crisis, and America’s grocery, retail, and food processing workers are on the front lines. These workers must be protected. It is unacceptable that Congress is proposing a bill that fails to cover 80 percent of the workforce. Even worse, the bill’s paid leave protections were gutted as a result of pressure from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents giant corporations like Amazon and Walmart.

“Our country’s grocery, retail, and food processing workers are working tirelessly during this outbreak to help keep calm and ensure families get the food and supplies they need. We need these workers to stay healthy more than ever before, but this flawed legislation will force them to choose between their health and work. In the middle of a pandemic, such poor policy making is unacceptable and outrageous. Both parties must put people and public health first.

“We are urging Republicans and Democrats to work together to fix this broken bill and pass real protections, including two week paid sick leave, immediately.”

Background:

Last week, UFCW sent a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders outlining the union’s top policy priorities for economic relief legislation.

In the letter, UFCW called for action by Congress and the White House to provide the aid needed for the nearly 80 million hourly workers – representing about 60 percent of the U.S. workforce – who are most at risk. Top UFCW priorities for worker relief in the letter include:

  • At least two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers;
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for workers temporarily laid off or whose work hours have been disrupted;
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for those suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

UFCW: Congress Must Act Now to Help American Workers and Families at Risk in Coronavirus Outbreak

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls for Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act to Help Workers Across the Country 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is calling on members of Congress to swiftly pass H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to ensure that American workers and families hurt by the coronavirus outbreak receive the economic assistance they need. UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s grocery and retail workers are working tirelessly during this outbreak to help families in their communities get the food and supplies they need. Our country’s 80 million hourly workers are the ones most at risk and they need action from Congress now.

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a strong step to help American workers by expanding access to free coronavirus testing, providing assistance for displaced workers, strengthening food initiatives for families in need, and ensuring that no one in this country has to choose between their health and a paycheck.

“With our economy spiraling, American workers cannot afford any delays by Congress. UFCW is calling on our country’s leaders – both Republicans and Democrats – to come together now to pass this bill and provide the relief workers need.”

BACKGROUND:

Earlier this week, UFCW sent a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders outlining the union’s top policy priorities for economic relief legislation.

In the letter, UFCW called for action by Congress and the White House to provide the aid needed for the nearly 80 million hourly workers – representing about 60 percent of the U.S. workforce – who are most at risk.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act addresses many of the priorities in the UFCW letter and provides additional economic relief for workers in need, including:

  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone, including the uninsured
  • Paid leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and family and medical leave for workers affected by virus
  • Unemployment payments for displaced workers
  • Food security initiatives supporting student meals as well as SNAP, seniors’ meals and food banks
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for workers with potential exposure

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

UFCW: Amazon and Whole Foods Shamelessly Exploit Workers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

America’s Largest Grocery Union Condemns Move by Amazon-Owned Company to Deny Paid Leave, Ask “Healthy” Workers to Donate Paid Time Off

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the largest grocery union in the country, condemned Whole Foods for refusing to provide paid leave to their employees until after testing positive for coronavirus. Instead, the Amazon-owned company suggested its employees should “donate” their paid time to co-workers facing medical emergencies. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Whole Foods CEO John Mackey should be ashamed of themselves for refusing to offer paid leave to employees until after they test positive for coronavirus. I’m not sure if these two CEOs know this, but testing is incredibly scarce in this country at the moment. Equally outrageous is the suggestion that Whole Foods workers donate their paid leave to workers who may become ill with the coronavirus. 

“With our economy spiraling and millions of workers struggling, the last thing Whole Foods workers need is to be told by a CEO worth millions that they have to choose between their health and their paycheck.

“In the face of a growing national and global coronavirus pandemic, it is time for Amazon and Whole Foods to start caring more about its workers and our communities than its profits.”   

Background: 

As reported by VICE News, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sent an email to the company’s grocery store employees this week suggesting that employees “donate” their paid time off (PTO) to coworkers facing medical emergencies during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Whole Foods will only offer paid time off to employees after they test positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. With coronavirus testing incredibly scarce, this leaves Whole Foods employees – and all Amazon employees covered by the policy – at great risk before they are able to get tested. 

UFCW has been a vocal critic of Amazon’s aggressive move to devalue and degrade grocery jobs at Whole Foods. In September 2019, slammed the company for cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-time workers. In March 2019, UFCW condemned actions by Whole Foods to reduce employee hours just months after Amazon announced a wage increase that was supposed to be an investment in Whole Foods workers.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

UFCW: Pork Industry Exploits Coronavirus to Destroy American Jobs, Fatten Profits

Union Representing 30,000 Pork Workers Slams Pork Industry Effort to Manipulate Outbreak, Push Americans Out of Jobs, and Further Weaken Economy 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union condemned a new effort by the National Pork Producers Council to exploit the coronavirus outbreak to cut jobs for American workers through a needless expansion of the U.S. guest worker program. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement: 

“Exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to destroy American jobs and further weaken our economy is a national disgrace. This shameless move to manipulate our country’s guest worker program – all to replace American workers and fatten corporate profits – deserves the strongest oversight by Congress and federal regulators. 

“At a time when our economy is spiraling, the last thing Americans need is giant corporations watering down safeguards that protect American workers and our country’s food safety. American jobs in the pork industry are good jobs that have strengthened communities for generations. Our country’s leaders – both Republicans and Democrats – must reject this move and stand up for American workers.” 

Background: 

The National Pork Producers Council sent a letter to members of Congress and other U.S. Government officials with exaggerated claims about the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the U.S. labor supply for pork plants.  

America’s pork workers help to put food on the table for millions of families across the country. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents 30,000 workers in the pork slaughter industry. 

UFCW members handle 71 percent of all hogs slaughtered and processed in the United States. These UFCW members are highly skilled professionals who produce the safe, high-quality food Americans count on.

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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

UFCW: Health and Economic Well-Being of American Workers Must be Protected Amidst Coronavirus

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls on White House and Congress for Immediate Action to Protect Workers and Address Economic Impact of Coronavirus 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), is calling for immediate action by our nation’s elected leaders to develop and implement policies to ensure that workers – salaried and hourly – do not have to choose between their health and making ends meet. In a letter to elected leaders UFCW President Marc Perrone said the following:

“Nearly 80 million American workers – or 59 percent of the entire U.S. workforce – are hourly employees who only get paid for the hours they work. As the financial impact of the coronavirus is felt across every community, these hard-working men and women are on the front lines.

“I am urging each of our nation’s elected leaders to develop immediate policies that ensure that workers – salaried and hourly – do not have to choose between work and their health. These policies should not only protect workers against financial loss (from loss of hours or job loss), but should further ensure that workers seek out immediate medical attention if they feel sick or believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

“Now, more than ever, it is time that we all focus on what matters most – protecting our families, our communities, and this nation.”

BACKGROUND:

Top policy priorities UFCW is calling on elected leaders to consider as part of any package to address the economic impact of the coronavirus include:

  • At least two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers;
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for workers temporarily laid off or whose work hours have been disrupted;
  • Payroll tax cuts for all lower- and middle-income workers; and
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for those suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

UFCW Statement on Amazon Cashierless Tech Expansion

America’s Largest Retail Union Calls Amazon Platform Threat to 16 Million Jobs, Trojan Horse to Access Customer Data of Competitors 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union announced its opposition to Amazon expanding its cashierless technology to other retailers, the latest move by the company to force this platform on more consumers and companies. UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement:

“Let there be no doubt that Amazon represents a direct threat to 16 million American retail jobs and is part of a ruthless strategy to eliminate as many good jobs as possible.

“This so-called cashierless technology is nothing but a trojan horse that will let Amazon control and monopolize competing retailers and give Jeff Bezos direct access to their customer data. It is time for regulators and our elected leaders to act before Amazon does lasting damage to our already-fragile economy.

“Every politician running in 2020 needs to tell voters whose side they are on. Will you roll over for billionaire CEOs like Jeff Bezos or will you stand up and fight for good American jobs?”

Background: 

As reported today by Reuters, Amazon will sell the technology behind its cashier-less stores to other retailers. In Amazon Go stores, this technology faced a national backlash from customers and lawmakers for discriminating against low-income shoppers and threatening good jobs.

Amazon expanding its cashierless technology to other retailers would likely:

  • Discriminate against over 24 million U.S. households are underbanked
  • Threaten the jobs of America’s 16 million retail workers
  • Grow the cashierless retail tech market to $50 billion and force widespread adoption
  • Give Amazon unfair access to its competitors’ customer data, raising privacy concerns

This comes less than two weeks after Amazon opened its first full-size cashierless grocery store in Seattle, the company’s biggest move yet in a ruthless strategy to take over America’s $800 billion grocery industry.

Together, these recent moves are part of a broader and aggressive campaign by Amazon to further dominate the U.S. retail industry and force its competitors to rely on Amazon technology to stay in business.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

Unions Representing Health Care Professionals Call on CDC to Reconsider Protections During Coronavirus Outbreak

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union joined the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of Teachers in calling on the Centers for Disease Control to strengthen protections for first responders fighting the coronavirus outbreak. These unions represent thousands of these health care workers in Washington who are on the front lines of COVID-19 response.

“Health care workers represented by UFCW are bravely stepping up to help so many communities confronting the coronavirus,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “Keeping our patients and families safe starts with strong leadership. UFCW’s 1.3 million members and workers across the country are calling on the CDC and both parties – Republicans and Democrats – to work together to take the bold steps needed to strengthen the government’s response to this crisis, before it’s too late.”

“Our members are displaying extraordinary courage and dedication at the front lines of this outbreak in Washington State, and both the safety of our community and the integrity of our health care system depends on their ability to do their work safely,” said UFCW Local 21 President Faye Guenther in Seattle. “By caring for patients with COVID-19 health care workers are putting themselves at higher risk, and they deserve the highest level of protection.”

“The Trump administration has left healthcare workers in the dark by spreading misinformation, delaying the release of guidelines and best practices developed by public health experts, and is putting the health of the stock market above the health of people,” said Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry. “Nurses, lab techs, environmental service workers, dietary aides, caregivers and doctors in our hospitals, nursing homes and communities are in direct contact with patients, meaning these workers are at high risk of contracting or spreading illnesses. In the face of a health emergency, it is more important than ever to ensure these workers are prepared with the right equipment and ready to take action—not left wondering how to keep themselves, their patients and their families healthy.

“Furthermore, everyone on the frontlines of care—from hospital workers to home care workers—must have affordable healthcare and paid sick time they can count on. No one should have to go to work sick because they are worried about being penalized or missing a day’s pay; and no one should have to postpone or forgo treatment because they can’t afford the bill,” SEIU’s Henry added. “The Trump administration, the CDC and OSHA must put worker and patient safety—not cost reduction —first. As the largest union of healthcare workers, SEIU will continue to push the Trump administration to improve its response. This situation shows the power that working people have when we join together in unions, and it is a good example of why every worker should have the opportunity to join a union—no matter where they work.”

“Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and the other workers supporting patient care are at ground zero of this public health crisis, and their voices must be a key part of developing a national plan. Failing to provide adequate protection to healthcare workers increases the risk that those workers themselves will spread the infection and failing to protect them weakens our response,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Unfortunately, both the CDC and OSHA have done little thus far to engage with workers, and to make sure they’re clear on the protocols for respiratory protection and exposure to infectious disease. That, coupled with these rollbacks, is a troubling sign of our government’s ability to manage this threat this our communities.”

“As frontline caregivers, we are the experts in keeping our patients safe. Not providing adequate protections for healthcare workers not only puts caregivers at risk but puts patients at risk as well,” said SEIU 1199 Executive Vice President Jane Hopkins, RN. “We are calling on the CDC to make the safety of healthcare workers, and thus our patients, the first priority.”

“Nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers stand ready to respond to this crisis, but they should not have to sacrifice their own health, or risk infecting their loved ones.  The CDC has not heard from these frontline workers who will carry out the work, who need assurance from the federal government that they’ll be protected. We are calling on the CDC to rationally target the supply of respirators and use other controls to reduce the risk of infection in healthcare workers, knowing that our professionals are at the highest risk of infection,” said Washington State Nurses Association Executive Director Sally Watkins. 

“The federal government should do all in its power to increase the supply of N95 respirators., which includes releasing the national stockpile and targeting that stockpile to areas where the outbreak has already occurred; incentivizing US-based companies to produce more N95s; and promoting the use of powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) in healthcare settings. Healthcare professionals also need training in real time on how to properly use the respirators, with opportunities to ask questions and practice,” WSNA’s Watkins added. “The CDC should also do more to promote other key controls, such as isolation protocols, adequate nurse staffing, delaying unnecessary procedures, telemedicine, and improved air ventilation to reduce the presence of viral particles in the air. This crisis requires vigilance from all of us.”

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UFCW Applauds Congressional Action to Protect Good Jobs in U.S. Food Industry  

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Praises Effort to Prioritize Good Pay, Workplace Safety for $1.1 Billion in Federal Government Contracts  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union announced its support of the Food Worker Pay Standards Act which was introduced by U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02). The bill would ensure that the federal government only purchases food produced by workers who earn fair pay and benefits.

“The Food Worker Pay Standards Act is a strong investment in American workers in our country’s meatpacking and food processing industries,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “By setting high standards for companies that receive billions of taxpayer dollars in federal contracts, Congress is sending a powerful message that these jobs need to be good jobs that put food safety and workers first. As the largest union representing America’s food workers, UFCW is proud to support this legislation. We urge Congress to stand up for good jobs in this industry by passing this bill and sending it to the president’s desk for his signature.”

“The federal government should not be in the business of rewarding companies with taxpayer-funded contracts if they don’t pay or protect their workers adequately,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “Workers in the food processing industry are disproportionately workers of color, and the time is long overdue to protect their dangerous jobs with federal guardrails. This bill will signal to food processing companies nationwide that the federal government is only willing to work with businesses that put workers first. Anything less will not be funded by the American people.”

BACKGROUND:

Through contracts, grants, loans, loan guarantees, and tax breaks the federal government funds work performed by millions of people.

  • About 40 percent of the government’s discretionary spending goes to contracts for goods and services covering everything from school lunches to military equipment.
  • In fiscal year 2018, the federal government spent more than $550 billion on these contracts and $1.1 billion of those tax dollars went to purchase meat, poultry, and fish.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) supports using federal purchasing power to guarantee the federal government only does business with high-road companies that respect workers’ rights, pay living wages, provide a safe workplace, and treat their workers with dignity.

The Food Worker Pay Standards Act will:

  • Ensure that workers who process meat, poultry, or processed food purchased by the federal government are compensated at or above the prevailing rate for such workers in their locality and
  • Ensure that the prevailing wage rate for meat, poultry, and processed foods workers is not less than the wages and benefits agreed to in collective bargaining agreements in those industries.

Tens of millions of Americans—around 22 percent of the workforce—are employed by companies that have at least one federal contract. It is essential to ensure that the men and women who work for federal contractors receive fair wages and work in safe and healthy environments.

Federal, state, and local governments contract for billions of dollars in food services each year. In FY 2018, the federal government spent $1.1 billion dollars on meat, poultry, and fish.

Food processing is a high hazard industry and workplace safety is a key concern.  Meat and poultry slaughter and processing workers face many job risks that can lead to severe injury, illness, and death.

  • Poultry workers are at twice the risk of being injured on the job, suffer illnesses at a rate that is seven times as high, and have among the highest number of amputations compared to other workers.
  • Meatpacking workers are injured at 2.4 times the rate of other industries.
  • These injuries result in lost time or restrictions at three times the rate of other industries and they face illness rates at 17 times the rate of other industries.

The Food Worker Pay Standards Act will make our food safer. Unionized food processing plants are more likely to have robust health and safety programs which help reduce workplace injuries and illnesses and empower workers to report food safety issues. The UFCW and Tyson’s Foods have negotiated an industry-leading food safety program.

In addition to support from UFCW, this legislation is also endorsed by the AFL-CIO as well as the Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers (BCTGM) union.

This legislation is co-sponsored by Anthony Brown (D-MD), André Carson (D-IN), Danny Davis (D-IL), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Jesus “Chuy” García (D-IL), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Norma Torres (D-CA), Lori Trahan (D-MA), David Trone (D-MD), Maxine Waters (D-CA).

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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.

UFCW Statement on Amazon Cashierless Grocery Store Opening

America’s Largest Grocery Union Slams Cashierless Model that Discriminates Against Low-Income Shoppers, Hurts Customer Service, and Threatens Good Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) announced its strong opposition to Amazon’s opening of a new cashierless grocery store in Seattle. UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement:

“Amazon represents a clear and present danger to millions of good jobs. The brutal truth is that Amazon is focused on one thing – eliminating as many jobs as possible to enrich one multi-billionaire, Jeff Bezos. Despite the failure of their Amazon Go stores, it is clear that Bezos is determined to pursue a ruthless strategy that is designed to destroy millions of grocery worker jobs.

“At a time when millions of Americans are already struggling, when most Americans are one paycheck away from disaster, what does it say that Bezos wants to create stores that serve food and groceries and eliminate the jobs real people need. Now, more than ever, it is time for our nation’s leaders – Democrats and Republicans – to wake up and act before Amazon and Jeff Bezos do permanent damage to America’s economy and the future of work.”

“Make no mistake, the UFCW will make sure that Amazon’s ruthless business model is a 2020 election issue. Every voter – and every candidate running for office – will be made aware that they have a choice to make: support good jobs or support Amazon’s destruction of jobs.”

Background:

As reported by CNBC, Amazon is continuing its ruthless strategy to take over America’s $800 billion grocery industry. Today, less than three years after purchasing Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Amazon is opening its first, full-size, cashierless grocery store. It uses the same technology from the Amazon Go stores that have faced a national backlash from customers and lawmakers who say it discriminates against low-income shoppers and threatens good jobs.

Amazon Go stores have failed to meet lofty predictions and are unlikely to deliver the $639 million in 2020 sales the company promised. Additional reports show Amazon Go stores’ operating losses are still ballooning. And since purchasing Whole Foods, the grocery chain was the only Amazon division to report a sales slowdown during the fourth quarter.

Amazon could also be looking to scale its cashier-free technology to other retailers and chains such as movie theaters and airports, threatening many of the jobs in these industries as well.

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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.

 

UFCW: Amazon’s Nearly $1 Billion in Unpaid Taxes is Funding Technology Threatening Millions of American Jobs

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls Out Jeff Bezos for Misleading Tax Claims As Amazon Pushes to Eliminate Jobs Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) condemned the failure of Amazon to pay more than $800 million in federal income taxes owed, which was reported this week. UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Tens of millions of Americans pay their taxes, but not Amazon. Amazon uses tax loopholes to avoid paying billions in taxes – even as they pocket billions more in tax breaks from struggling cities and race to replace millions of jobs with automation.

“The fact is that Jeff Bezos and Amazon have one agenda – driving up profits at any cost by replacing talented employees with machines; regardless of whether it’s at Whole Foods, Amazon warehouses, or competing retail and grocery stores.

“Make no mistake, Amazon represents a clear and present danger to working- and middle-class Americans. It is time to realize that Amazon’s ruthless business model will lead to massive job losses that could cripple our entire economy.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org 

 

 

 

UFCW Applauds House Passage of The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls Bill Passage Major Step to Put Power Back in the Hands of Workers Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) applauded the passage of H.R. 2474, the “The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act” by the U.S. House of Representatives. UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Today’s passage of the PRO Act sends a powerful message that members of Congress are standing with American workers and supporting their right to make their voices heard.

“The PRO Act would put into action the strongest labor reforms in 80 years. This bill will restore protections that enable workers to join a union and empower them to negotiate for the higher wages, better benefits, more secure retirement and safer workplace they have earned. And thanks to strong enforcement measures, the PRO Act will hold corporations accountable for any violations of workers’ rights.

“American workers need to know their rights are protected and that Congress has their back. UFCW is proud to support the PRO Act and urges the Senate to quickly pass this bill and send it to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

Background:

  • Attacks on unions and workers’ rights to form a union have led to an overall decline in the rights of workers and the deterioration of the prosperity of America’s working families.
  • From 1983 to 2016, the household wealth of the median American household decreased by 3% while the wealth of the top .1% increased by 133%.
  • In response, the “The Protecting the Right to Organize Act” or PRO Act would help to reverse the dangerous economic decline of the American worker and protecting America’s workers’ rights.
  • H.R. 2474, the PRO Act, passed the House on February 6, 2020 with bipartisan support.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org 

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