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Introducing the 2016 Giant & Safeway Advisory Committee

meet-the-team

We are your 2016 advisory committee! We will be assisting in negotiations for our next union contract with Giant & Safeway. Starting Wednesday, September 21, along with our brothers and sisters at UFCW Local 27 in Baltimore, we will sit across the table from Giant & Safeway management with the goal of winning a fair contract that allows us to take care of ourselves and our families, keeps our healthcare accessible and affordable, and makes sure we have a secure retirement. Our hard work continues to make these companies the most successful grocers in the region and we deserve to share in that success.

Winning a good contract will require all of us to stand together, stay informed, and participate. If you have any questions, input, or want to get more involved, talk to one of us in the stores or contact your union representative.

Sign Up for Text Alerts: Text FELRA to 698-329

As we negotiate our next union contract with Giant and Safeway, we’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. By signing up for text alerts, you’ll get the latest updates immediately!

To sign up, just text FELRA to 698-329.

Your wireless provider’s message and data rates may apply – you may opt out any time by texting STOP to 698329.

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Sep 12: Join Us for the Moral Day of Action!

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Join us for the “Moral Day of Action” in Richmond on Monday, September 12!

Moral Day of Action
10:30am @ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
815 East Grace Street, Richmond, VA 23219

On Saturday, August 13, we made history in Richmond. 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.

Now, we’re taking our message to Virginia legislators. On Monday, September 12, we’re rallying to call on the governor, state legislators and candidates for office to move away from extremist politics and policies that benefit the few and move toward policies and laws that are just and fair and guarantee a better life for the majority of the people. As we rally in Richmond, simultaneous rallies will be held at state capitals throughout the country as part of a national Moral Day of Action. Join us!

10:30am @ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
815 East Grace Street, Richmond, VA 23219

About the Moral Day of Action:

On Monday, September 12, 2016 at State Capitols around the nation, at 11 AM in every time zone, justice will roll across the country as faith leaders from diverse traditions, people impacted by poverty, racism, and injustice, advocates, and activists come together rally and to deliver to our elected leaders and candidates the Higher Ground Moral Declaration, which calls on governors, senators, state legislators and candidates for office to move away from extremist politics and policies that benefit the few and move toward policies and laws that are just and fair and guarantee a better life for the majority of the people.

The Moral Declaration that has already been delivered to the RNC as well as the DNC will be read, proclaimed, and delivered to our Governors, US Senate candidates and state party officials. The format will be simple and will be the same in every state.

The Moral Day of Action on Monday is part of “The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values,” a national tour to redefine morality in American politics and challenge leaders of faith and moral courage to be more vocally opposed to harmful policies that disproportionately impact the poor, people who are ill, children, immigrants, communities of color, and religious minorities. The first part of the national revival tour has over 19 stops from April 2016 to January 2017 including New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Missouri, Washington DC, Tennessee, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Kentucky, and Virginia.

The Revival is co-led by the Rev. Dr. James A Forbes Jr. and the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, architect of the historic Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina. They will be joined in some states by other national social justice leaders, including the Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon, acting executive minister of the United Church of Christ’s Justice and Witness Ministries, and Sister Simone Campbell, leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” and executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK in Washington, DC.

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Workers at Nation’s Only Lipton Tea Factory Vote to Unionize

Lipton workers announced the victory at a press conference outside the plant on Monday, August 29. They were joined by several supporters, including Virginia Senator L. Louise Lucas, Doris Course-Mays, President of the Virginia AFL-CIO, and Renee Browder, Financial Secretary Treasurer of ATU Local 1177.

Lipton workers announced the victory at a press conference outside the plant on Monday, August 29. They were joined by several supporters, including Virginia Senator L. Louise Lucas, Doris Course-Mays, President of the Virginia AFL-CIO, and Renee Browder, Financial Secretary Treasurer of ATU Local 1177.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 29, 2016

CONTACT
Jonathan Williams, UFCW Local 400, jwilliams@local400.org, 301-577-5836

Hundreds of workers in southeast Virginia manufacturing plant vote to unionize with UFCW Local 400

SUFFOLK, VA – Last week, nearly 200 workers at the Lipton plant voted to unionize with Local 400 of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).

“I woke up this morning feeling wonderful,” said Lisa Gayle, who’s been with the company for 14 years. “As a unified group, now we can make Lipton the best place it can be. I’m so excited!”

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. More than 200 employees currently work at the plant, but that number could as much as double in the coming months as the company expands its workforce.

“I couldn’t be happier to welcome such a wonderful group of people into the UFCW family,” said Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400. “Their courage, commitment and tireless efforts bolstered my faith in the power of working people to stand up for themselves and improve the lives of all hardworking men and women.”

On Monday morning, the workers held a press conference outside the plant to announce the victory.

“For the last ten years, we’ve seen our benefits decline. By standing together as one, as a union, we hope we can stop the bleeding now before it’s too late,” explained Alvin Brown, an Operations Technician who celebrated his 21st year with the company on Monday.

“I’m so proud of all of us for coming together and standing as one,” said Rodney Hart, who has worked at the company for 24 years. “We come a long way in a few weeks, and now we have to stand as one and support each other in order for our union and our company to be the best at what we do.”

The workers were joined by several supporters, including Virginia Senator L. Louise Lucas, who represents the district where the plant is located.

“I just wanted to say how proud I am of what you’ve accomplished here,” Senator Lucas told the workers in attendance. “It takes a lot of hard work and courage to do what you’ve done and I know our district is better off for it. I know you’ve worked hard to make Lipton the success it is today. Congratulations on taking the bold step to form a union and stand up for your rights at work.”

“Welcome to the union family,” said Doris Course-Mays, President of the Virginia AFL-CIO, who also attended the event. “You may not know this, but you’re not alone. You have union brothers and sisters throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia behind you today.”

Renee Browder, Financial Secretary Treasurer of ATU Local 1177, the union of transit workers throughout the region, echoed the sentiment. “Unions are all about unity – not just unity with your brothers and sisters at work, but unity with everyone that works hard for a living. When we stand together, we all do better.”

Earlier this year, several people working at the Lipton facility reached out to the UFCW to explore the possibility of forming a union at the plant. At the time, many workers were required to work up to 12-hour shifts for as many as 13 days in a row with only one day off before doing it again. The widespread practice of forcing employees to work overtime was known as “drafting” and went on for years. The workers claimed they needed the guarantees and protections of a union contract to ensure fair treatment and accountability from plant management, including putting an end to involuntary overtime drafting.

“We just want a voice. A lot of us missed a lot of quality time with our families because of our forced commitment to the company – times that we will never get back,” said Robert Davis, a maintenance technician at the plant who recently marked his 25th year with the company. “Now, we’re looking forward to having a seat at the table and negotiating a fair contract with Unilever.”

Following last week’s vote, the workers will now collectively negotiate their first union contract with Unilever, the parent company of Lipton, which could cover several aspects of employment, including wages, benefits, safety measures, and workplace policies.

“I have such a wonderful group of coworkers,” explained Anita Anderson, who has worked at the plant for 10 years. Like many of her coworkers, she’s looking forward to the next step in the process. “Whether you voted for the union or not, whether you’re a worker or a manager, now it’s time to move forward, together. Let’s let our unity and smiles warm the hearts of many. Working together is the only way we will ensure we have a fair contract that treats us all as equals.”

With the support of their union, UFCW Local 400, the workers will begin the bargaining process by surveying coworkers to gather input on their first contract, then forming a committee of employees to negotiate with management. Once negotiators reach a tentative agreement with the company, the proposal will be presented to the entire workforce for a ratification vote. The contract will take effect once ratified by a majority of the workers.

Last week’s vote by a majority of workers at Lipton means the employees will soon collectively negotiate a union contract, which will apply to all employees once ratified, but does not require the workers to join the union to receive the full benefits and protections of the contract. Because of the state’s so-called “right to work” law, union representatives in Virginia are required to provide their services for free to all workers, even if the employee is not a member of the union and does not contribute to covering the costs of union representation.

“As a longtime Virginia resident, I know all too well how decades of regressive legislation and outdated federal labor law have stacked the deck against workers, particularly in the South,” explained Local 400 President Mark Federci. “This unfortunate reality only makes me more proud of what the workers at Lipton have accomplished.”

While many companies notoriously fight tooth and nail to prevent their employees from exercising their right to form a union, Unilever’s own Human Rights Report states the company is “committed to the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.” In a letter to employees earlier this year, Lipton factory director Katie Ingersoll emphasized the company’s commitment to “remain neutral when it comes to employee’s right to organize.”

“We must commend Lipton and Unilever for upholding their commitment and honoring their employee’s right to organize,” said Tiffany Flowers, Director of Organizing at UFCW Local 400. “Too many companies intimidate, threaten, or even outright fire workers who dare to exercise their right to have a voice on the job. We’re happy to say that wasn’t the case here.”

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Aug 27: Votante Fiel Kick-off Event

Join us as we celebrate the beginning of a historic election season for Latino voters. Hear stories of trial and triumph as community members discuss how to motivate your Latino friends and family to vote. Find out how you can take action and be empowered at the polls.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Patric Henry Elementary School
701 S. Highland St.
Arlington, VA 22204

For more information, call Sara Benitez at (202) 499-4084 or email sbenitez@faithinpubliclife.org.

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2016 Election Labor Walks

Steve Meador (left), a Local 400 union rep, knocked on hundreds of doors to speak with fellow labor voters last year.

Steve Meador (left), a Local 400 union rep, knocked on hundreds of doors to speak with fellow labor voters last year.

Labor 2016 kicks in to high gear on Saturday, September 10th! Come out to walk and talk with fellow union members about what’s at stake in November’s election.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. on September 10th at one of the following locations:

In Annandale: NoVA Labor Offices – 4536 John Marr Drive

In Richmond: CWA Local 2201 Hall – 5809 Lakeside Ave.

In Norfolk: Ironworkers Local 79 Hall – 5307 E. Virginia Beach Blvd.

In Roanoke: Western Virginia Labor Federation – 2101 Dale Ave., SE

September 9-10: Labor Night at the Richmond Raceway

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Join us September 9th & 10th for Labor Nights at the Richmond International Raceway!

Union members and friends enjoy exclusive discount tickets to the fall NASCAR races at RIR. Tickets for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Race on September 10th are only $40 (regular price is $75!) & tickets to the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Race on September 9th are $20 (regular price $35). Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.RIR.com/AFLCIO.

October 1: Free Legal Clinic & Community Fair

PHOTO CREDIT: "The Scales of Justice" by James Cridland.

PHOTO CREDIT: “The Scales of Justice” by James Cridland.

The NOVA Restoration Initiative Presents: The 2016 Legal Clinic

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 1, 2016

Shiloh Baptist Church
1401 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Program Overview

Legal Clinic:

Community Members are encouraged to come out and meet with attorneys from Legal Services NOVA, Lawyers Commitee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Arlington County Public Defenders Offices of Arlington and City of Falls Church & The Old Dominion Bar Association to discuss matters of: criminal record expungements, criminal law, child custody/visitation, child support, housing-landlord/tenant, consumer law-credit reports, debt collection and bankruptcy.

Restoration of Rights:

The Secretary of the Commonwealth Office will facilitate a workshop on Restoration of Rights.

Voter Registration:

New Virginia Majority will be doing voter registration.

Career Readiness Workshops:

  • Resume Building + Interviewing Skills
  • What’s In Your Parachute (Developing Your Career Path)
  • Building Your LinkedIn Presence (does not begin until 12/noon)
  • Complimentary headshots will be provided by two professional photographers.

Beauty & Makeover Workshop:

Ty Cobb, Celebrity Makeup Artist and Radio Personality, will facilitate a workshop on “Makeup/Beauty Best Practices.”

This event is free and open to the public, however, you must register to attend. Register here to attend.

Light refreshments will be served.

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20161001-NVRI ROR Flyer

West Virginia Labor Day Events

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Live in West Virginia? Join us for one of these upcoming Labor Day Weekend celebrations!

Marion County Labor Council Annual Labor Day Celebration & Picnic

Sunday, September 4, 2016
12:00pm – 4:00pm
Hough Park, Mannington WV

Additional info contact Mark Dorsey:
(304) 777-7642 markdorseyumwa@live.com

Workers United 863/LiUNA Annual Labor Day Celebration & Picnic

Sunday, September 4, 2016
11:00am – 6:00pm
Valley View Country Club – White Sulphur Springs, WV

Additional info contact Peter Bostic:
(304) 667-3863 / workersunited863@gmail.com

United Mine Workers of America 78th Annual Labor Day Celebration & Picnic

Monday, September 5, 2016
11:30am – 4:30pm
John Slack Memorial Park, Racine WV

Additional info contact Ted Hapney:
(304) 552-4498 / hapney56@hotmail.com

Marshall-Wetzel-Tyler Labor Council, AFL-CIO Paden City Labor Day Parade

Monday, September 5, 2016 / 1:00pm
(12:00 p.m. line up at the South End of Town)

“Free” 7:30pm Jimmy Fortune Concert
(A former member of the Statler Brothers)

Brought to you by the Unions of the Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler Labor Council, AFL-CIO and Gold Khourey & Turak – Attorneys At Law

Additional info contact BB Smith:
(304) 545-7781 /  bbsmith667@hotmail.com

Save the Date: Vote on the New Contract at Boar’s Head

The union bargaining committee was responsible for negotiating the latest contract with Boar's Head. This will be the first contract to cover both the Jarratt and Petersburg facilities.

The union bargaining committee was responsible for negotiating the latest contract with Boar’s Head. This will be the first contract to cover both the Jarratt and Petersburg facilities.

If you work at Boar’s Head in Jarratt or Petersburg, your collective bargaining team would like to invite you to vote on our next contract!

Please plan to attend one of these meetings listed below to discuss proposed changes to the terms and conditions of your current collective bargaining agreement.

You only need to attend ONE of the meetings.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
12:00 p.m. Noon
Hampton Inn Emporia
898 Wiggins Road Emporia, VA 23847

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
5:00 p.m.
Hampton Inn Emporia
898 Wiggins Road Emporia, VA 23847

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
12:00 p.m. Noon
Holiday Inn Petersburg North-Ft Lee
401 East Roslyn Road
Colonial Heights, VA 23834

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
5:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn Petersburg North-Ft Lee
401 East Roslyn Road
Colonial Heights, VA 23834

Questions? Drop us a line!

Call UFCW Local 400 toll-free at 1-800-638-0800, Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.