Wisconsin Protest


UFCW President Perrone Statement on Adoption of Right to Work in Wisconsin

Mar 09, 2015
From UFCW International

“By standing against hard-working families, Governor Walker should be ashamed, but we know he is not.”

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C.Marc Perrone, International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the adoption of right to work in Wisconsin.

“Every elected leader has a sacred responsibility to stand up for America’s hard-working families and to help them achieve a better life. Higher wages, better benefits, equal pay for equal work, protection from discrimination and exploitation; those are the rights that unions offer and which we fight for every single day. These are the true rights that Governor Scott Walker wants to take away from the union men and women who work hard, sacrifice, and help make Wisconsin and America a better place.

The truth is by standing against hard-working families, Governor Scott Walker should be ashamed, but we know he is not. He has chosen to pursue a radical agenda that willingly ignores that this law will devastate countless workers and their families. Make no mistake, this law gives irresponsible corporations, let alone politicians, the right to exploit and mistreat countless men and women all across Wisconsin.

Let me be clear, this fight is not over. We will stand up and fight for the right to protect our hard-working union family and the rights of countless families in Wisconsin and all across America who earn and deserve a better life.”wisconsin


Key Facts: Value of Union Membership for Hard-Working Men and Women

  • Union workers vs non-union workers earn higher wages, receive better benefits, and have more job security than non-union workers. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Union Members – 2014”, January 2015, Table 2. Available at:http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm
  • Women are more likely to get equal pay for equal work by being a union member. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Union Members – 2014”, January 2015, Table 2. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm
  • LGBT workers are less likely to be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity as a union member.  Source: Frank, Miriam. “Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America”, Temple University Press, 2014.


The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternationaland www.twitter.com/ufcw.

On Point: Walmart Warehouse Workers Walk Off the Job and March for Workers’ Rights

Click to read On Point: Volume 16, Issue 2
-Walmart Warehouse Workers Walk Off the Job and March for Workers’ Rights
-Seattle Macy’s Workers Ratify New Deal, Unity Actions Key
-Workers Win After Wis. Judge Strikes Down Anti-Union Law
-UFCW Launches New and Improved UFCW.org Website
-Workers Stand Together in Nationwide Walmart Day of Action–Oct. 10

Things Could be Looking up for Labor after Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin’s Act 10

Photo courtesy of UFCW International Flickr

From UFCW Blog–Big news for labor came out of Wisconsin on Friday, when a judge struck down Scott Walker’s controversial anti-collective bargaining law. Although the governor has said he is sure his state will successfully appeal the judge’s decision about Act 10, we certainly are not. If anything, this news could be just the fuel people need to keep up the fight for labor rights, and do what’s right, especially when this decision comes so near to the November Presidential election.

In a Washington Post article about the ruling, a few possible outcomes of this news are detailed, most of which bode well for the state’s- and the nation’s- labor movement:

Firstly, the decision, although perhaps only temporary, is a big motivator for all those involved in this year’s earlier anti-walker protests. After investing countless resources into the movement to stop his anti-worker legislation from passing, and recall the governor, it was disheartening to lose the battle. Working families see that our efforts were not in vain.

Another point made in the article suggests that now, political polarization and opinion on the issue is not going to fade away, and will only be rejuvenated. Because of the Friday decision, Democrats and Republicans are less likely to compromise on their beliefs regarding right-to-work legislation, essentially giving the labor movement a second wind. Collective bargaining is now back in the spotlight, front and center. The debate is not over.

This is good news folks. Even if the judge’s ruling doesn’t stand up, we know that the fight will not be over.

Recall Walker. Reclaim Wisconsin. Make History

From UFCW Blog–Fifteen months ago, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker “dropped the bomb” (that’s a direct quote) on working families when he began his campaign to dismantle the rights of public employees. UFCW members from Wisconsin and beyond have banded together to ensure the fallout stops on Tuesday, June 5th, with the end of Governor Walker’s tenure in office.

In February 2011, UFCW Local 400 members in Ohio supporting workers rights to collective bargaining Photo courtesy of Mick Hutchinson.

For workers across the nation, Wisconsin is the line in the sand. If the radical reign of Governor Scott Walker is left unchecked, it opens up the floodgates to an economy where low wages, low benefits, and silenced workers become the norm.

Governor Walker’s actions compelled Chester Ward from Local 951 in Michigan to volunteer in Milwaukee and do whatever he could to help with the recall effort.

“We’re here because Governor Walker and legislators across the nation are diminishing the rights of middle class families. If we don’t stand together and fight – they’ll take everything from every worker. Without our middle class, our economy doesn’t work. We are literally fighting for our right to exist. This goes beyond Wisconsin. This is a fight for workers everywhere to have a voice and command the dignity they deserve. Wherever that fight is – we go.”

The collaborative energy and effort happening in Wisconsin makes it clear that this moment has transcended individual people and states. Working families are standing up with a unified voice so loud that ignoring them is impossible.

Veronica Alma from Local 540 in Texas spoke of the overwhelming solidarity that brought her to Wisconsin:

“We came because it was an opportunity to help not just UFCW members, but workers everywhere. The radical agenda of Governor Walker doesn’t directly affect us, but if it’s allowed to stand – it will. Making a change here will help to make a positive change for workers everywhere.”

UFCW members, including Veronica Alma, out
knocking doors to recall Gov. Walker

Governor Walker’s effort to maintain his office has been funded at unprecedented levels by corporations and wealthy individuals whose sole interest is to marginalize the voice and power of workers.

They’re seeking to prop themselves up on the backs of working class families struggling to survive.

Elected officials should be held accountable for their actions. Governor Walker stripped away collective bargaining rights, dismantled equal pay protections, and slashed funding for healthcare and education.

These policies – his policies – have placed Wisconsin dead last in the nation in job creation.

UFCW member Walter Garron (right): "My children and I deserve better."

Governor Walker has brought pain and poverty to thousands of Wisconsin citizens whose only crime was the desire for an equal voice and an equal chance.

Scott Walker hasn’t moved Wisconsin families forward. He has pushed them to the ground – and in trying to break them, he broke the state of Wisconsin itself. But the ground is no place for champions. Those workers got up, banded together, and rose with a resolve to reject the greed of Scott Walker’s policies and put their state back together.

UFCW member Walter Garron from Local 1473 in Wisconsin has devoted all of his spare moments for the last couple of months to the task of recalling Governor Walker.

“I volunteer during my days off and my evenings because my entire livelihood is at stake. I am absolutely terrified of being denied more rights and opportunities. My children and I deserve better. Governor Walker and anyone else like him must understand that working class people won’t stand by and be pushed down. Everyone deserves a chance to work hard and rise above their circumstances – he just wants to take that away.”

UFCW member Walter Garron (right): “My children
and I deserve better.”

The people of Wisconsin deserve better and it’s clear they have the courage and conviction to obtain it.

That’s why thousands flooded into the capitol attempting to prevent Governor Walker’s divisive, anti-worker legislation.

That’s why more than 900,000 people signed a petition to initiate the recall election.

That’s why tomorrow, June 5th, Governor Scott Walker will be recalled and Wisconsin will at last be reclaimed.

April 4th: Revive the Dream

Monday, April 4, 2011

Local 400 Shop Stewards Satheria Duvernay, Giant #773 Herndon, VA. Right: Gary Tafrawe, Safeway 3 1801, Warrenton, VA. Middle is Gary's wife Paula Tafrawe. Photo by Bill Burke.

Events Scheduled to Take Place Across the Country Today, as Union Members, Workers, and Supporters Stand Up for the Middle Class
Washington, DC –
UFCW members are joining labor activists across America today in taking action – whether wearing stickers to show support for workers, rallying, posting online, marching, or attending numerous other events – to stand up to corporate interests fueling the push for anti-worker legislation in states nationwide. By standing up and fighting back, workers are reviving the dream of worker justice that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fighting for 43 years ago today when he was assassinated in Memphis.
As working families across America have been subject to increasing political attacks, this day – the day Dr. King died speaking out for the striking sanitation workers – is a day to stand together and fight back. UFCW members are joining with their union and non-union brothers and sisters across the country to stand up for the rights of America’s middle class.
“When Dr. King was assassinated, he was standing up for striking workers in Memphis,” said UFCW International President Joe Hansen. “We honor his memory and legacy by fighting back for Wisconsin workers, for all American workers. Today we say, enough is enough. Workers deserve respect for their work and for their unions.” To read President Hansen’s blog post on the events today, please
click here .
Across the country, in places like Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and many more, UFCW members have joined millions of Americans as they’ve stood up against coordinated attacks on working families over the last few months. Now they are joining a national movement by standing up for good jobs on April 4th.

Ohio Legislature Passes Bill to Limit Collective Bargaining

sign from Ohio Protest The Ohio Legislature voted Wednesday to severely limit the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers, sending a bill that sparked weeks of pro-labor protests to Republican Gov. John Kasich, who is expected to sign it by the end of the week.

The law will affect around 360,000 employees by allowing unions to no longer negotiate health care, sick time or pension benefits. It also does away with pay increases that have been automatic and instead replaces them with raises based on performance. The bill also will ban the striking.
Read more

April 4: Revive the Dream Event Scheduled!

We Are One LogoUnified we stand from Wisconsin to Indiana, from Ohio to New Hampshire, from Washington, DC; Maryland and Virginia we are one, and we stand with workers in every industry and every job. We are coming together to say we’ve had enough of politics controlled by big corporations. We’ve had enough with givebacks and giveaways to millionaires and attacks on working families. We’ve reached our limit with policies that drag us down while Wall Street gets richer.
Our union is how we fight back. It’s how normal working families balance out the power, greed and money of big companies and their bought-and-paid-for politicians.
We stand together, because only together can we make our jobs better.
We stand for good jobs that can support our families and laws that protect and strengthen the middle class.

Stand together with UFCW Local 400, Friends in Labor and Community allies to support the Zoning Ordinance regarding Large Retail Establishments (Big Box).
Place: 1 Harrison St., S.E., 3rd Fl, Leesburg, VA 20175 Loudoun County public hearing, 1st floor hearing room
Date/Time: Monday, April 4, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.

Warm Welcome: Wis. GOP comes to DC Today

From Union City-THIS IS (NOT) WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE: In case you need another reason to attend today’s demo (5P, 601 13th St., N.W. near G Street, Metro Center) at the Wisconsin GOP fundraiser, consider that Wisconsin Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Monday that the votes of state Senate Democrats won’t count, proving once again that Wisconsin Senate Republicans don’t believe in democracy. Fitzgerald and the rest of the GOP gang in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly are coming to D.C. tonight to collect their payoff from corporate lobbyists after they voted last week in the dark of night to strip teachers, nurses, snowplow drivers and others of their collective bargaining rights. Local activists will demonstrate at the fundraiser from 5P-7P at 601 13th Street NW.

Wis. GOP’s Attack on Workers Rights

Workers rally outside Wis. Capitol Building. Photo courtesy of UFCW International Flickr stream.

Last night, Wisconsin’s Republican senators used a surprise procedural maneuver to pass the bill that has been controversial for weeks. The bill would end collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. The state’s senate voted 18-1 without debate to approve the bill in about 30 minutes, even though all 14 Senate Democrats remained out of the state to continue their efforts to stop the vote from happening.

How could they vote? The republican senators adjusted the bill to do away with the spending measures (health benefits and pension) but leaving in the collective-bargainig changes; thus eliminating the need for any Democrats to be present.

The UFCW International’s Statement

For live updates inside Wisconsin’s Capitol Building visit UFCW International’s Facebook or Follow them on Twitter @ufcw

Wisconsin press from the Journal Sentinel

National press on the topic:


Washington Post

NY Times


Wall Street Journal