Category Archives: UFCW

Duuude! Marijuana Workers of the World Unite!

Well, if the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) can’t unionize Wal-Mart and Whole Foods, they might as well settle on unionizing pot growers.

At a ceremony hosted by Oakland City Council’s Rebecca Kaplan, 100 employees at medical marijuana dispensary and education hub Oaksterdam University turned in their membership cards to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 5.

It may well be the first union pot shop in the country, if not the world.

But, alas, there seems to be more than just high times at the bargaining table afoot:

Workers at three medical marijuana businesses in Oakland will announce Friday that they have unionized, another step in a concerted campaign aimed at bringing legitimacy to a once-hidden sector of the state’s economy and boosting the marijuana-legalization initiative.

Perhaps the UFCW bosses will start claiming taking their dues payments in seeds.

Now, wouldn’t that be something?

UPDATE:  Oh! Wait!  There’s more:

If California voters in November approve the Control and Tax Cannabis initiative, which would legalize marijuana possession and use of small amounts of marijuana for those over 21 and tax it, there could be thousands of new workers ripe for unionizing, said Dan Rush, a Local 5 organizer.

In addition to the retail clerks at the dispensaries, union organizers anticipate thousands of new cannabis-processing jobs, agricultural work for growers and security positions at dispensaries.

“These will be good union jobs with middle-class incomes,” said Ron Lind, the president of Local 5 and a vice president of the 1.3 million-member international union.

The union has not officially endorsed November’s legalization measure. Those recommendations could come in July. But Lind said the union’s national leadership is “supportive” of the local’s new outreach and it reflects the interests of members.



Yet, Big Government’s Bret Jacobson has a slightly different take on the unionized pot heads:

Well, maybe now we know why: they have been laying the groundwork to organize the entire food chain, as it were, since they have organized a pot shop in Oakland. Now you can Super Size it and smoke a spliff without ever crossing a picket line.

Indeed, unionized pot heads swinging through the unionized drive-thru:  There is something to be said for unions creating their own supply and demand.


And, we thought unions had reached their low point when the SEIU unionized strippers exotic dancers some years back!





__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under marijuana, UFCW

Dues-sucking unions threaten blood collection at Red Cross

Led by the United Food & Commercial Workers, unions including the Teamsters, SEIU, Steelworkers, CWA, and OPEIU, may be striking the Red Cross next week.

Unionized blood-services workers at the American Red Cross’ regional offices based in Toledo have notified the agency they could strike June 2 if they do not have a new contract by then.

The strike, which would involve 184 members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75, would be one of seven walkouts being coordinated in several states by different trade unions, all to commence at 9 a.m. that day.

[snip]

However, Mr. Dudley said the UFCW is coordinating its actions with several other unions, including the Teamsters, the Service Employees International Union, the United Steelworkers, the Communications Workers of America, and the Office and Professional Employees International – representing about 1,000 workers total at Red Cross blood services offices in Michigan, California, Connecticut, Georgia, New York, and West Virginia. None of the unions reached new contracts, Mr. Dudley said.

The Red Cross has a contingency plan in the event the unions strike.

__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under CWA, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, labor union strike, OPEIU, Red Cross, SEIU, UFCW

Arizona Electrifying Response to the Left’s Boycotts-R-Us Campaign

Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. 

Wyatt Earp

With the SEIU, the UFCW and the AFL-CIO up in arms over Arizona’s new immigration law (which enforces already-existing law), Obama administration officials Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano have admitted they haven’t actually read the law, despite their condemnation.

Meanwhile, the City of Los Angeles has opted to boycott the State of Arizona.  According to union-backed Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa:

Boycotts work. We saw this in the early 1990s, when people last boycotted Arizona for the state’s refusal to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: people canceled their vacations to Scottsdale and the Grand Canyon; conventions were moved from Phoenix to Los Angeles, and the NFL moved SuperBowl XXVII from Tempe to Pasadena.

In response to L.A.’s arrogant attempt to economically blackmail the Grand Canyon state, Arizona’s Corporation Commissioner gave the L.A. mayor a message:  Two can play that game.

In a letter [see below] to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce said a boycott war is bad for both sides, and said he would “be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements” to end the electricity flowing to Los Angeles.

“I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands,” Mr. Pierce said. “If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.”

We’ll have to wait and see who blinks first…Arizona or Los Angeles (and its lights).

Response to the LA Boycott by AZ Corp Commissioner
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under Amnesty for Illegals, Arizona immigration law, illegal immigrants, SEIU, UFCW

SEIU’s New Burger Queen? Internal Documents Expose Plan to Unionize Fast-Food Industry

If you’d like to see how a union plans to exploit and target workers if the hallucinogencially-named Employee Free Choice Act (aka “card-check”) is passed, read this post.

Last weekend, we reported on what appeared to be a new union battle that the SEIU was going to wage by invading the UFCW’s turf and attempting to unionize grocery workers.  The foundation of this was an interview new SEIU boss Mary Kay Henry gave to a reporter.  On Tuesday, the SEIU was forced to issue a press release reassuring the UFCW it had no plans on invading (also known as raiding) the food sector.

SEIU fully recognizes the food sector as a core industry of sister union United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents more than a million supermarket workers.

Well, it turns out that the SEIU’s “correction” (see above) may not be entirely accurate.

Internal SEIU documents have exposed a December 2009 plan hatched to unionize the nation’s fast food workers.  The SEIU plan details how the purple behemoth plans on targeting fast-food chains in Los Angeles first, the using L.A. and an “east coast” city as a spring board into other cities.

The SEIU’s plan is based on a labor landscape that is post Employee Free Choice Act, but its strategies demonstrate how the SEIU plans to use EFCA to unionize an almost-entirely union-free industry.  While there is much to comment on about the SEIU plan and how a union targets workers within an industry (see highlighted text), we’re just going to show you the plan itself.

In its plan, the SEIU states:

Our initial probing in this industry has taken place in the Los Angeles metro area.  Los Angeles County has over 60,000 fast food workers in just the top ten chains.  When we mapped out the restaurants of the major chains, we saw that they encompass large groupings of low income tracts.  While just over 20,000 workers are employed in the top 10 chains in Fast Food in LA, we have broke [sic] down 75% of the geography into 4 Clusters.  This encompasses just over 15,000 of the 20,000 workers.

The SEIU’s One-year goal:

Organize 15,000 food service workers in LA County and thousands of additional workers in an east coast market within the first 6 months, and begin raising the standards for these workers.

The SEIU lays out its strategy, as follow:

  • Initiate a focused experiment in one or two metro areas to test the organizing theory and bring resources to bear on a limited geographical target.
  • Choose metro areas with a favorable local political environment and workforce composition (Los Angeles and an east coast market)
  • Target 7-10 of the largest chains to keep bargaining manageable and map out geographic clusters where field work can be concentrated.
  • Build broad-based support for targeted workers via extensive community outreach and organizing and political work with prominent local elected officials
  • While staying focused on the 7-120 chains, bring workers together across companies within geographic clusters to build a sense of movement and solidarity.
  • Use a living wage as a vehicle to excite, build momentum, build worker lists/ID potential leaders and potentially support collective bargaining.  We believe we will have enough traction with an ordinance to use as a legitimate tool for organizing and potentially as legislation to raise standards.
  • Move fast and furious with an army of 200-300 Staff/MOs/VOs/other volunteer organizers and the necessary number of leads to:
    • Petition for living wage
    • ID leaders 
    • Bring workers together within geographies
    • Sign authorization cards
    • File on dozens of restaurants per week 

While the SEIU’s plan was prepared during the reign of Andy Stern and presented to the SEIU’s Executive Board, there is no indication to believe that this plan has changed as Mary Kay Henry has committed $4 million to organizing and was part of the Executive Board at the time of this proposal.

You can read the rest of the SEIU plan here (captured just before it was mysteriously ‘scrubbed’)…

h/t: SternBurgerWithFries.

__________________ 
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.
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    Filed under EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, fast food, Mary Kay Henry, SEIU, UFCW, United Food and Commercial Workers

    Told Ya So…SEIU’s New President Walks Back Statement on Unionizing Grocery Workers

    Either Mary Kay Henry, the new boss of the Union or Purple People Eaters misspoke, or she was taken out of context.  In either case, the SEIU had to issue a press release on Monday, walking back from Queen Mary’s Saturday reported statement.

    On Saturday, Mary Kay Henry had a conference call with reporters.  Afterward, BusinessWeek reported:

    Mary Kay Henry, elected today as president of the Service Employees International Union, pledged to spend $4 million organizing employees in businesses such as banks and supermarkets.

    On this, we noted:

    Without clarification, it is difficult to know the context in which Henry referenced unionizing supermarkets. If she is intent on unionizing supermarkets through the SEIU, she is clearly stepping on the UFCW’s turf.

    Monday’s press release emphatically denied that the SEIU would be starting a turf war with the UFCW:

    SEIU plans to engage in conversations with sister unions throughout the labor movement to discuss our shared interests. However, despite a recent media report, SEIU has no intention of organizing grocery workers. SEIU fully recognizes the food sector as a core industry of sister union United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents more than a million supermarket workers.

    We would have loved to have heard the angry telephone call Joe Hansen (UFCW) made to Queen Mary after seeing the reports.
    __________________
    “I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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    Filed under Mary Kay Henry, SEIU, Service Employees International Union, UFCW, United Food and Commercial Workers

    Shaw’s bloodies UFCW’s nose again…

    Once upon a time, the United Food & Commercial Workers was the bully of the grocery industry.  However, having had its clock cleaned so thoroughly in the famous grocery strike of 2003 and 2004, the union has become a shadow of its former self.

    A case in point is the UFCW’s latest press release:

    The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 791 announced today that Shaw’s Supermarkets rejected the union’s contract offer and countered with a very regressive proposal that is significantly worse than their two previous packages. With no agreement reached, the strike at the Shaw’s Methuen Perishable Distribution Center is in its ninth week. Local 791 has filed an unfair labor practice against Shaw’s with the National Labor Relations Board stating the company is bargaining in “bad faith.”


    [snip]


    Since the onset of the strike nearly two months ago, concerned citizens, political, religious, labor and community leaders from across New England have expressed their support for the striking Methuen workers, and have called on the company to bargain in good faith so their workers can go back to work. After the company’s regressive proposal yesterday, supporters of the Methuen workers are vowing to continue the fight until Shaw’s and its parent company — Supervalu – agree to a decent and fair proposal.

    Problem is, the company has already exercised its legal right to permanently replace the UFCW strikers, leaving the union little choice but to issue press releases as it hopes for a National Labor Relations Board ruling in its favor.
    __________________
    “I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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    Filed under National Labor Relations Board, UFCW, United Food and Commercial Workers

    Would UFCW strikers benefit from Employee Free Choice Act?

    Let’s see if you can find the flaw in this story:

    UFCW strikers go on strike over management greed.

    Members of the United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 1167 have been on strike for nearly a week.

    With earnings of $19.55 an hour, they will have wasted $782 in wages as of tomorrow.

    The UFCW workers are out on strike over wages–they want a $0.10 per hour increase

    Their employer does not want to give it to them.

    “I think they’ve been offered a very good contract,” says their boss.

    Their employer is currently using management and (presumably) temporary replacement workers to fill the strikers’ jobs for now.

    If their employer gives in to the strikers demands tomorrow (one week after the strike started) by granting the $0.10 per hour increase, it will take the strikers three years and 40 weeks to recoup what they have lost in the one week they have been out on strike.  If the strike lasts a month, it will take the strikers 15 years and two weeks to make up the money they will have lost…if they get that dime an hour increase.

    Now, here’s where it gets interesting:

    Unions have spent years and hundreds of millions of over a billion dollars to get politicians elected in order to get a law passed called the Employee Free Choice Act.  One of the rallying cries for EFCA is the allegedly weak labor laws here in the U.S.  And, one of the cornerstones of EFCA is a process called binding arbitration–a process where a government arbitrator imposes a union contract on the unionized employer.

    In fact, here’s what one union has about EFCA on its website:

    The Employee Free Choice Act is legislation designed to protect the middle class by giving workers a free choice and fair chance to join a union. Employee Free Choice would ultimately raise wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers. It would do it by empowering workers with the chance to join a union in a simple one-step process: if a majority of workers choose union representation, their company must honor that choice and negotiate a union contract. It also holds companies accountable for trying to suppress workers’ freedom to join a union. CEOs negotiate their contracts—Employee Free Choice would ensure workers have the same right. With more members uniting for a voice on the job, we can build more power at the bargaining table to negotiate better contracts and restore the American Dream for millions of workers.

    Despite the fact that EFCA will ultimately destroy more jobs, unions have used just about every labor-management conflict imagineable (like the example above) to push for this legislation.

    So here’s a couple of questions (and the rub):

    Would EFCA help the strikers that we used in the example above get their $0.10 per hour increase?

    Would it matter?

    Or, since these workers are already unionized and EFCA’s binding arbitration provision only applies to newly unionized workers, would they still be striking their greedy employer over a measly $0.10 per hour?

    Does it matter that the greedy employer cited above is, in fact, the United Food & Commercial Workers whose own employees went out on strike last week?

    And does it matter that the above EFCA quote is from the same UFCW local’s website?

    Perhaps the word hypocrisy should begin with capital “U.”

    …but it probably doesn’t matter.
    __________________

    “I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

    Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

    For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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    Filed under EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, labor union strike, UFCW, United Food and Commercial Workers