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UFCW Local 400 Reaches Agreement to Represent Employees of Maryland Medical Marijuana Provider

Local 400 has reached an agreement with Bethesda Biomedical, Inc. to represent medical marijuana workers in Maryland once the state approves the company’s license to operate.

The agreement guarantees high wages, healthcare, a retirement pension and other benefits to future employees of Bethesda Biomedical. The contract covers pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, cultivators and laboratory technicians on both the manufacturing and retail sides of the business.

“As with any pharmaceutical product, it is critical that the manufacturing process is safe and well-regulated,” said President Mark Federici. “By signing this agreement, Bethesda Biomedical has shown that they are dedicated to developing this industry in a way that provides good middle-class jobs with living wages and proper benefits for a well-trained and qualified workforce. We look forward to working with Bethesda Biomedical to bring relief to long-suffering patients.”

UFCW already represents thousands of workers in the medical marijuana industry across the country. In an effort to maintain high employment standards in this growing sector, today’s agreement was modeled after a similar collective bargaining contract negotiated by UFCW Local 1198 in Minnesota.

“I am proud of the working relationship that we have established with UFCW Local 400,” said Brian Caldwell, president of Bethesda Biomedical. “Working with other industry leaders to ensure employees have livable wages, health care, pension and benefits, while ensuring a safe working environment is critical to our belief in being a good community partner. I believe that business and labor can be productive together and create an even more viable industry.”

Both parties anticipate the company’s license will be approved by the state of Maryland before the end of the year and operations could begin as early as January 2016. Meanwhile, Bethesda Biomedical is currently investigating potential manufacturing sites in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and a retail space in Takoma Park.

Virginia: Don’t Forget to Vote Nov. 3!

On Tuesday, November 3rd, Virginia voters will go to the polls to elect their state senators and delegates. Riding on the outcome will be whether the General Assembly changes from its narrow anti- worker majority to one more likely to pass legislation that benefits the com- monwealth’s working families—especially an urgently-needed rise in the minimum wage.

All along Virginia’s borders, states and cities have increased the minimum wage. Local 400 led successful fights for minimum wage hikes in Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. But legislation strongly supported by Local 400 that would have raised the Virginia minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour by 2017 was killed in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee last winter.

With anti-worker forces controlling the state Senate by a 21-19 margin, a shift of just two seats would make it possible to pass a minimum wage bill and other measures—like expanding Medicaid— that would raise the standard of living and quality of life for Virginia workers. That’s why it’s so important that Local 400 members know where the candi- dates stand on these issues—and that members turn out to vote on election day.

“Our members have an opportunity to vote for higher pay and a better future,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “This is a clear-cut case where member turnout can make the defining difference in how all of Virginia’s working families do in the future.
“When we won a minimum wage increase in West Virginia, our Kroger members in the state got a raise,” Federici noted. “It’s up to us to make the same thing happen in Virginia.”

Here’s our list of recommended candidates!


Members Overwhelmingly Re-Elect Federici Slate

President Mark Federici, Recorder Vivian Siguoin, Secretary-Treasurer Mikki Harris.

President Mark Federici, Recorder Vivian Siguoin, Secretary-Treasurer Mikki Harris.

United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 members overwhelmingly re-elected President Mark Federici, Secretary-Treasurer Lavoris “Mikki” Harris, Recorder Vivian Siguoin, and the entire “Federici” slate to full terms as leaders of the 35,000 member union.

“Federici and Harris have shown over their last term that by taking action alongside members they get results, whether it’s at the bargaining table or in the legislatures. The Federici slate has proven time and time again that we know how to move working families forward!” said Siguoin.

“I am grateful to our members for recognizing the progress we have all made together over the last few years,” Federici said. “We are going to continue to keep this momentum by growing the strength of our union, preserving our bargaining rights and benefits, and holding our elected officials accountable. Together, we are going to empower members through greater activism, as they mobilize into a powerful force fighting for justice and a better future.”

“Just like we have done for many years, we are going to continue putting all of our members first in everything we do,” Harris said. “Together, we are one union — united— to lift working families up — it’s our mission.”

In addition to Federici and Harris, and Siguoin the following members were elected to serve as vice presidents: Mike Boyle, Jaki Bradley, Robert Brown, Yolanda Anwar, Lisa Gillespie, Kevin Belle, Donna Waddell, James Hepner, Tiffany Flowers, Phyllis Jackson, Neil Jacobs, Jim Jarboe, Christopher Hoffmann, Calvin McGuire, Chuck Miller, Diane Nokes, Beverly McFarland, Kim Mitchell, Jerry Rexroad, Paul Rickey, Tom Rogers, Linda Sykes, Mary Vines, and Mike Wilson.

Local 400 Election Day: Find Your Polling Location

Original image via Wikimedia  is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 fr

Original image via Wikimedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 fr

Election Day is Friday, August 28, 2015

On Friday, August 28, UFCW Local 400 will hold local leader elections. As a democratic union, UFCW Local 400 members choose our leadership.

Polls are open Friday, August 28, from 9:00am to 1:00pm and 3:00pm to 7:00pm at the following polling locations. Scroll down to see a complete list of all polling locations.

To find the polling location nearest to you, enter your address in the search box.

Please note: At two sites, as indicated, only members who are employees at those companies may vote at those polling locations.

View UFCW Local 400 Polling Locations in a full screen map

UFCW Local 400 At Yorktown, Va. Kroger Grand Opening

11063625_934076963279873_3775071724033285286_nUpon the closing of Kroger 534 in Yorktown, Kroger 555 reopened on May 13 across the street in a new and more updated space. Our Kroger brothers and sisters worked long and hard hours preparing the store’s for the grand opening. Stewards, representatives, organizers, and new members all joined in celebrating the opening with a canopy in front of the store. Some folks were outside giving UFCW Local 400 balloons away, painting children’s faces, and chatting with customers while Kroger stewards Laverne “Misty” Wrenn and Cheryl Brown talked to dozens of new hires inside the store. Over 220 community members signed cards declaring that they “love shopping union” and many engaged with members about how great it was that Kroger is a union shop. Over 220 community members signed cards declaring that they “love shopping union” and many engaged with members about how great it was that Kroger is a union shop.
We will be posting these cards on the union bulletin board inside the break room soon. Many customers proudly wore our Local 400 gold union t-shirts inside while they shopped. “At one point I went inside the store to talk to members and saw the aisles covered in UFCW gold,” said Kayla Mock, Local 400 union organizer. “It was great to see such an outpouring of support from the customers.”

Take Them Out To the Ball Game

UFCW Local 400 members and their families are honored guests at the Bowie Baysox (AA Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) ALL SEASON LONG! Whether its is for  the baseball, one of our 19 fireworks shows, the fun promotions, or the GREAT fan friendly atmosphere, time spent together at a Baysox game is guaranteed to knock your ‘sox off!