A Look Back on 2016

As 2016 comes to a close and we look forward to the year ahead, we want to take time to reflect on our successes over the year. We’ve welcomed hundreds of new members to our union family, successfully passed legislation to benefit hard-working families, and even saved hundreds of jobs threatened by a corporate merger overseas. We know we have our work cut out for us in 2017, but we will continue to meet every new challenge the same way: by sticking together as a union family.

January & February:

“Right to Work” Is WRONG for West Virginia
Thousands Gathered at West Virginia State Capitol To Stop War on Working Families More than 3,000 West Virginia workers gathered at the state capitol on January 13, 2016 to make sure their voices were heard loud and clear: “Right to Work is WRONG for West Virginia!”

UFCW Local 400 Condemns Passage of “Right to Work” in West Virginia
In a partisan vote, the West Virginia legislature voted to override Governor Tomblin’s veto of the “Workplace Freedom Act,” commonly known as “right to work.” Mark Federici, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, issued the following statement:
“Every West Virginia State Legislator who supported passing this bill should be ashamed of themselves. The bottom line is ‘right to work’ will make it much more difficult for hardworking men and women to earn better wages, secure family-supporting benefits, or ensure proper safety in the workplace.”

Labor Management Partnership Awards Distinguished Service Award to Local 400 Member
Congratulations Margaret “Peggy” Kane, RN

March:

Delivery of Petition Signatures to Kroger on Behalf of Coworker Who Suffered Stroke Draws Local Media Attention
We delivered more than 330 signatures from employees to store managers at a Kroger Marketplace in Portsmouth, Virginia on behalf of Felecia Mayes, an 18-year employee with the company who suffered a stroke while commuting to work, lives only minutes away from the store. The petition called on the company to allow her to transfer to the store with all the benefits and protections of her union contract intact.

Local 400 Launches #SaveMyStore Campaign
Following shareholder approval of the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, the parent companies of local grocery chains Giant Food, Food Lion, and Martin’s, employees at eight area stores were informed that their stores may be sold as a result of the merger. With the future of so many jobs at stake, nearly 100 Giant Food employees were joined by local elected officials and community leaders to launch the #savemystore campaign at a press conference in Fredericksburg, VA.

Local 400 Activists Stand In Solidarity with Verizon Wireless Workers
On Saturday, March 19, Members of UFCW Local 400 were proud to join our brothers and sisters in the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 2204, at an informational picket at a Verizon Wireless store in Salem, Va.

April:

Long-time Local 400 representative and organizer Loyd Baker Retires

UFCW Rallies at the Supreme Court to Demand Justice for Immigrant Workers
The rally at the Supreme Court sent a strong message that the UFCW will continue pushing forward with our efforts to build worker power for immigrants and ensure that when the legal ruling on DAPA and expanded DACA are rendered, UFCW members are first in line when the application process begins.

May:

Hundreds of Employees, Customers, Allies Deliver Thousands of Petitions to Giant Demanding Save My Store
Hundreds of Local 400 members, Giant customers, brothers and sisters from other unions, community allies, elected officials and faith leaders today marched from Local 400’s office to Giant headquarters to deliver thousands of petitions telling the company, “Save My Store!”

Kroger Roanoke Members Authorize Strike Vote
On Wednesday, May 18, at our mass meeting in Salem, members voted unanimously to reject Kroger’s “last best offer” and authorize a strike at 41 stores in the region.

June:

New Contract Ratified with Kroger Roanoke

When Kroger tried to force us to accept a bad deal, it wasn’t until we all stood together and voted unanimously to authorize a strike that we forced Kroger to do better. By standing united, we won several improvements over our last contract, including higher starting pay and additional personal holidays.

D.C. joins Seattle and San Francisco to become third major city to enact $15 minimum wage

July:

We Saved Our Stores!
By standing together as a union family, we were successfully able to save hundreds of jobs and prevent all Giant eight stores in the region from being sold as part of a corporate merger.

Local 400 Members Mobilize for Giant & Safeway Contract Negotiations
Local 400 scheduled special meetings for all Safeway and Giant Food members to provide an opportunity to actively participate in the upcoming contract negotiations.

Local 400 Members Raise Thousands of Dollars to Help West Virginia Families Devastated by Flooding

August:

Thousands Gather in Richmond for Historic Fight for $15 March
Thousands and thousands of us marched through the streets of Richmond to demand economic justice for the 64 million Americans working for less than $15 an hour. The march brought together people from across the country working too much for too little – from Kroger associates to fast food workers to childcare providers and even college professors.

Workers at Nation’s Only Lipton Tea Factory Vote to Unionize
The Lipton plant has operated in Suffolk, Virginia for more than 60 years and produces nearly all of the Lipton tea sold in North America. Lipton workers announced the victory at a press conference outside the plant on Monday, August 29.

September:

Giant & Safeway Bargaining Team Begin Negotiations

October:

In-Store Actions at Giant and Safeway: Reporting Scheduling Violations, Talking to Customers and Being a Team
We created some serious buzz among the members and customers as we continued to bargain for a fair deal at Giant and Safeway. In just two days, more than 4,000 customers delivered cards to store managers expressing support for us as we negotiate our new contract.

November:

New Contracts Ratified With Safeway & Giant
For the past 40 years, Giant and Safeway have jointly negotiated union contracts with us, but this year, the companies negotiated separately. While the companies were more divided than ever, we stuck together as Safeway and Giant union members. Thanks to your support in the stores, we successfully rejected proposals by both companies to decrease our pay, increase our costs, or make us work longer for less.

Lipton Workers Begin Negotiating First Union Contract With Unilever

December:

D.C. Council Advances Expansive Family and Medical Leave Rules
District of Columbia is set to pass the nation’s best paid family leave legislation in the country. The city council not only moved the Universal Paid Leave bill forward on Dec. 6, but restored medical leave to the program. The proposal now includes eight weeks of parental leave, six weeks of family leave and two weeks of medical leave, making it one of the nation’s most generous packages of family and medical leave benefits.