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UFCW Statement on Black Lives Matter National Day of Action

UFCW Press Releases -

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest food and retail union, stood with the 1.3 million workers it represents in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and many other essential industries for a Black Lives Matter national day of action to demand racial and economic justice in the workplace and the communities we serve.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“As America’s largest food and retail union, representing workers of color across the country on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, UFCW is proud to stand with its members and millions more in a national day of action to say with one united voice that Black Lives Matter.”

“Our country’s elected leaders and giant corporations have stood by for too long as racial injustice has plagued our communities and hurt so many hardworking families who are the backbone of our economy. UFCW members work at some of the biggest companies in the country and live in every Congressional district. Nationwide our members will be making their voices heard as we stand with SEIU and all labor unions to say the time for action is now.”

Background:

UFCW is joined in the Black Lives Matter national day of action by a wide range of labor and advocacy organizations. Participants in today’s action include the Service Employees International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, American Federation of Teachers, Jobs with Justice, Working Families Party, Greenpeace USA, Sunrise Movement, Indivisible, MoveOn, Sierra Club, MomsRising, and Demand Justice . Click here to view the full list.

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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

CAUT welcomes federal “restart” plan for recovery, but education left out

CAUT -

(Ottawa – July 20, 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) says the recent federal announcement of $19 billion for provinces and territories for a “safe economic restart” is a welcome beginning. The priority areas identified in the agreement, such as paid sick leave, child care and long-term care, are insufficiently funded, and it leaves other vital public services out all together.   

“The new agreement is a promising start but it leaves out the post-secondary education sector,” says CAUT Executive Director, David Robinson. “Universities and colleges are key partners through research and education in solving the current health and economic crisis, but are facing tremendous financial pressures as a result of the pandemic.”

“Our universities and colleges have been working hard to protect the health and safety, livelihoods and educations of millions of Canadians, but without assistance they will be forced to make more difficult choices. Already we have seen institutions forced to cut programs or raise tuition fees, just when Canadians can least afford it. Without greater federal investment in post-secondary education, we will see less educational opportunities and less research, compromising Canada’s recovery.”

CAUT represents 72,000 academic staff working at universities and colleges across the country. CAUT called in April for emergency operating funding to continue to deliver the high-quality, affordable and accessible education that underpins Canada’s prosperity.

Black PSAC union leader & activists call for PSAC National to re-invite Nora Loreto to anti-racism workshop

Rank and File - latest news -

By Jeremy Appel  Black labour leader and activist Nicholas Thompson hosted a Facebook livestream Thursday night responding to the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s (PSAC) decision to disinvite journalist and activist Nora Loreto from an upcoming anti-racism workshop.  PSAC is the country’s largest federal sector union, representing 200,000 members. Thompson invited fellow PSAC leader and Continue readingBlack PSAC union leader & activists call for PSAC National to re-invite Nora Loreto to anti-racism workshop

Senators Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren Call on Top 15 Grocery CEOs to Extend COVID-19 Hazard Pay for All Frontline Workers

UFCW Press Releases -

On National Press Call, UFCW Announces New Numbers: 93 Grocery Worker Deaths, 12,405 Grocery Workers Infected or Exposed as COVID Cases Spike 

Senators & UFCW Demand Top Companies Provide Hazard Pay, Establish Mask Mandates to Protect All Shoppers and Workers  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest food and retail union with 1.3 million workers, held a national press conference with U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), calling on top grocery and retail companies to reinstate hazard pay for frontline workers as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country. On the press call, UFCW announced there have now been 93 grocery worker deaths and 12,405 grocery workers infected or exposed among the union’s members. Click here for the full video recording of the press conference. 

Senators Brown and Warren highlighted a new letter they led with Senate Democrats, calling on major grocery store CEOs to restore pandemic pay and implement CDC recommendations for workplace safety for the duration of the pandemic. In addition to Sens. Brown and Warren, the letter to the top 15 grocery chain CEOs was signed by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (C-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ). A full list of companies receiving the letter is below. 

During the call, UFCW also released the results of a new national poll of 4,000 grocery workers, highlighting the challenges these workers face on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • Nearly 1 in 2 workers are more concerned about COVID-19 now than 2 weeks ago
  • Customers not wearing masks and companies less concerned about employees
  • Over half of workers worry about bringing COVID-19 home and getting their family sick
  • Nearly 7 out of 10 workers say their employer is not enforcing mask mandates
  • More than 7 in 10 workers want COVID-19 hazard pay, given the risks they face
  • 75 percent of workers say an even worse second wave of COVID-19 cases is coming  

The following are statements from Senators Brown, Warren, and UFCW President Marc Perrone: 

“Grocery store workers and thousands of others are on the front lines of this pandemic. UFCW members are risking their lives so that Americans can keep food on their table. They’re keeping our society going – and their paychecks should reflect that,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio). “My fellow Democratic Senators and I wrote this letter to 15 major grocery store chains with a clear message: the pandemic is not over, and grocery store CEOs need to extend their pay increases and bonuses to frontline workers. If workers deserved hazard pay in April, they certainly deserve it now.” 

“Grocery workers’ lives are at increased risk every day as they do critical work to keep America functioning – and they deserve robust hazard pay to account for that risk. I’m in this fight with the UFCW and Senator Brown to demand grocery chains extend hazard pay for their essential workers,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts). “The next coronavirus relief package must include my Essential Workers Bill of Rights to guarantee this and a whole suite of benefits and protections like enforceable health and safety protections, universal paid sick leave and family leave, and child care.” 

“America’s grocery workers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, bravely putting themselves in harm’s way every day as millions of Americans work from home. Since the beginning of the pandemic, UFCW has called for hazard pay, increased access to COVID testing and PPE, and the enforcement of mask mandates in stores to keep workers and shoppers safe,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone. “It is outrageous that top grocery chains across the country have cut hazard pay for these essential workers, even as they rake in billions in profits and the danger of COVID-19 continues to grow.

“As of today, nearly 100 grocery workers represented by UFCW have died and over 12,000 grocery workers have been infected or exposed. Leaders from the White House to countless retail boardrooms have simply failed to do their jobs to protect the American people and these companies still refuse to tell the truth about how many of their workers are getting sick or dying,” Perrone added. “These CEOs have a responsibility to fight this virus and provide a safe place to shop and work. The time has come to establish not just a national mask mandate, but to guarantee hazard pay for all American frontline workers.” 

Click below for copies of the Letters to the 15 Major Grocery Store Chain CEOs:

 

  1. Ahold Delhaize
  2. Albertsons
  3. Aldi
  4. Costco
  5. Dierbergs
  6. Kroger
  7. Mejier
  8. Publix
  9. Schnucks
  10. Smart & Final
  11. Sprouts
  12. Trader Joes
  13. Walmart
  14. Wegmans
  15. Whole Foods

   

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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

 

BDM Scholarship helps UFCW 864 family member work towards double diploma

UFCW Canada -

Fredericton, N.B. – July 17, 2020 – Kara MacPhee is one of eighteen winners of the UFCW Canada – BDM Scholarship. Currently enrolled in the Forestry Technology and Fish & Wildlife Technology programs at the Maritime College of Forest Technology (MCFT) in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Kara is the daughter of Brian MacPhee, a proud UFCW Local 864 member who works at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Funding package for priorities to restart Canada’s economy reveal start of path for longer-term recovery

Unifor -

July 17, 2020

TORONTO – The short-term federal funding package for provinces lays the groundwork for recovery, but still misses bigger picture economic needs, says Unifor.

“The federal government has come through with a first step for economic recovery, but it is just a start,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Now it’s up to Premiers and the federal government to continue this collaboration, make these changes permanent, and create a long-term plan that puts working families first.”

“Any form of aid is welcome in this sector, which has been largely underfunded for years, but the federal government must respect the Quebec government’s power to direct spending, especially for health care,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director.

The $19 billion package, confirmed on July 16, earmarks funding for critical programs related to provinces’ re-opening while addressing immediate healthcare needs. The areas of focus include:

  • Testing, contact tracing, and data management
  • Health care system capacity
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Municipalities
  • Personal protective equipment for health and non-health workers
  • Child care for returning workers
  • Pan-Canadian paid sick leave

Federal and provincial governments will be required to develop comprehensive recovery plans in the months and years ahead, that will improve upon these foundations and create investments in Canada’s public services, infrastructure, industrial capacity, and income support programs.

“The scale of this $19 billion stop-gap reveals just how far we had let our public health care system atrophy before the pandemic. Premier Ford should take this as the message it is: Ontario must make significant, lasting changes to improve care and safety in all aspects of our health care system,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director.

“I’m proud of how Canadians came together when faced with tragedy, but we can never be caught unprepared again. Workers returning to their jobs in a newly re-opened economy need to know that Premiers will take every step to ensure their safety now and in the future,” said Linda MacNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “That means improving labour law so that paid sick leave is accessible to all workers, not just during the worst of times.”

“The critical programs included in this week’s funding package are welcome steps to help provinces prepare for and prevent a damaging second wave. Now, Western Canada’s workers are watching Premiers’ responses carefully, to ensure that so-called recovery plans continue to echo our priorities instead of siphoning off more power and resources to wealthy corporations,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Western Regional Director.

Unifor released a detailed plan for economic recovery that puts workers first. Visit buildbackbetter.unifor.org to read the recommendations and download the Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange a Skype or Zoom interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

For French interviews, please contact Unifor Quebec Communications Representative, Marie-Andrée L'Heureux at marie-andree.lheureux@unifor.org or 514-916-7373 (cell).

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