Tagged as Mark Federici

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Shoppers Workers, Community Leaders Rally to Save Stores Facing Closure

Warn of the Loss of Good Jobs and Creation of Food Deserts

Hundreds of Shoppers Food & Pharmacy workers represented by UFCW Local 400, along with community leaders, other union activists and public officials, rallied in front of the chain’s Coral Hills, Md. store on June 26th to protest the potential closure of all stores in the area.

Speakers and participants called on the company to ensure these locations remain grocery stores with strong union jobs.

“I’ve worked at Shoppers for 11 years,” said Amber Stevens, a Local 400 member who works at Shoppers #2669 in Forestville, Md. “It’s my livelihood. It pays all of my bills. Not knowing if I’m going to be able to provide for my family makes me uneasy. When they decided to sell the stores, they should have informed their loyal employees. They should have informed us first. I hope that we can keep our stores and find union buyers — that would be a great outcome.”

“It’s been very stressful,” said Meeko Whitley, who works at Shoppers #2634 in Landover. “I have a family, two children and a grandchild, and it’s been very rough on a lot of people. I hope that I’m able to keep my job and stay employed. I hope UNFI reconsiders closing our stores.”

“We built this company,” Kevin Freeman, who works at Shoppers #2618. “For them to treat us like we’re nothing is wrong. We’re going to keep fighting, fighting and fighting some more. I hope UNFI sees and hears what’s going on and rethinks their decision.”

A host of public officials spoke out in support of the Shoppers workers.

“Prince George’s County has a problem already with food deserts, food swamps and not enough good paying jobs for our residents,” said County Councilwoman Jolene Ivey (D-5). “So this is a double-whammy. We need to protect people’s access to groceries and the right to good jobs. We need to make sure that we have quality grocery store here that’s a union shop. We need both.”

“I have a Shoppers in my district in Charles County,” said state Sen. Arthur Ellis (D-28). “It’s been there for years. I go there from time to time. I consider the people who work there my friends. I want them to keep their jobs, their health care and their retirement benefits. And we want people in our county to have access to fresh, good food, and we don’t want a food desert. Last year, Safeway in Charles County closed but we only found out after the fact. Here, we have an opportunity before an adverse action is taken to keep good jobs and fresh food in our communities.”

State Del. Dereck Davis (D-25) told the ralliers, “This is ridiculous. All we’re doing is asking them to let us know what’s going on. Well, we’re done asking. Now we’re demanding. We’re calling on the CEO to take care of their employees just like they take care of their shareholders.”

“You live here, you are our neighbors and constituents,” said state Del. Andrea Harrison (D-24). “We need to let UNFI know we mean business. Everyone should be able to take care of their families.”

“We are here to tell UNFI, it might be business to you, but it’s personal to us,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. “You are vital members of our community. I commit to you that I will do everything in my power to negotiate on your behalf.”

All Shoppers Food & Pharmacy stores in the DMV area are at risk of closing due to a decision made by corporate executives at Shoppers parent company, United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI).

In 2018, UNFI purchased the parent company of Shoppers, Supervalu, and immediately announced their intention to divest all of their retail operations, including Shoppers, as quickly as possible. Since that time, the people who work at Shoppers and the communities they serve have been left in limbo, not knowing what is going to happen to the good, union jobs and quality food options that have served their neighborhoods for decades.

“To be clear, Shoppers is not bankrupt or going out of business,” said Mark Federici, president of UFCW Local 400, which represents the unionized workers. “Their parent company is simply determined to sell these stores, regardless of whether or not they are profitable. The loss of these grocery stores and the union jobs they provide would be devastating for these communities.”

Participants noted that 12 of Shoppers’ 36 stores are located in Prince George’s County. Nine are inside the Beltway, where five Safeways have closed since 2010, making them all the more important. Two stores are in Forestville and one in Oxon Hill, considered by county officials to be food deserts. Other stores are in Bladensburg, Bowie, Clinton, College Park, Coral Hills, Hyattsville, Landover and New Carrollton — all communities with residents who periodically struggle to find and afford healthy meals for their families and need access to affordable, healthy food.

For more than 40 years, Shoppers has provided good union jobs with fair wages and health and retirement benefits, as well as affordable, fresh food in many communities that would otherwise be food deserts.

“Our members have been left in the dark for far too long,” explained Federici “After decades of faithfully serving the community, it is irresponsible to leave these hardworking men and women to wonder what the future will hold. We are calling on the company to ensure that these locations remain grocery stores with strong union jobs.”

Local 400 President Receives NAACP Labor Service Award

The Maryland State Conference NAACP recently honored Local 400 President Mark Federici with the Labor Service Award.

“I am deeply humbled by this award,” said Mark Federici. “Our union family is proud to stand with the NAACP and we are privileged to partner with many of its chapters throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Our partnership helps to build a stronger community to fight for a better life for working people.”

The recognition was presented at the organization’s 78th Annual Convention in October. To learn more about the Maryland State Conference NAACP, visit www.naacpmd.com

Members Overwhelmingly Elect Federici Slate

United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 members overwhelmingly re-elected President Mark Federici and the entire “Federici” slate to full terms as leaders of the 30,000-member union:

President: Mark Federici
Secretary Treasurer: Christopher Hoffmann
Recorder: Vivian Sigouin, Safeway Virginia
Vice President #1: Mike Wilson
Vice President #2: Yolanda Anwar
Vice President #3: Kevin Belle, Boars Head Provisions
Vice President #4: Bryan Bond
Vice President #5: Jaki Bradley, Kaiser Permanente
Vice President #6: Robert Brown
Vice President #7: Tami Faulknier, Kroger West Virginia
Vice President #8: Tiffany Flowers
Vice President #9: Kevin Freeman, Shoppers Food Maryland
Vice President #10: Lisa Gillespie, Kroger Virginia
Vice President #11: Alan Hanson
Vice President #12: Phyllis Jackson, Safeway Washington, DC
Vice President #13: Neil Jacobs
Vice President #14: Beverly McFarland, Giant Food Maryland
Vice President #15: Kim Mitchell, Macy’s Washington, DC
Vice President #16: David Payne, Giant Food Virginia
Vice President #17: Kenny Pinkard, Omega Protein
Vice President #18: Jerry Rexroad, Kroger West Virginia
Vice President #19: Paul Rickey, Safeway Virginia
Vice President #20: Tom Rogers
Vice President #21: Mary Smith, Tyson Foods
Vice President #22: Jane St. Louis, Safeway Maryland
Vice President #23: Linda Sykes, Boar’s Head
Vice President #24: Donna Waddell

This election saw a greater voter turnout over past years, with more overall votes cast, and more votes cast for the Federici slate, than the previous election in 2015.

“The members sent us a loud and clear message this election – we must keep the local moving forward,” said President Federici.

Chris Hoffman, who has served as Collective Bargaining Director since 2013, has moved into the Secretary-Treasurer role. “I’m looking forward to continuing my service to the members of Local 400 in a deeper capacity,” he said.

Chris has been a member of Local 400 since 1988 when he started working for Giant Food. In 1999, Hoffmann became more active in his union and joined the Local 400 staff as an organizer and just a few years later he joined the service department as a representative before transitioning to negotiating contracts in 2013.

“With the election behind us, we look forward to continuing our work serving our members,” explained President Federici. “I want to personally thank each and every member who took the time to vote and participate in their union through the election process and for the support they have continued to demonstrate for me and my entire team.”

Click here to view the full results of the election (PDF).

Local 400 President Mark Federici Elected to UFCW International Executive Board

Local 400 President Mark Federici (first row, second from left), poses for a photo with the Giant & Safeway Contract Action Team at a union meeting in November 2016.

This week, the Executive Board of the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) elected Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400, as International Vice President. Mr. Federici will now serve on the union’s executive board, the highest governing body of the international union. He released the following statement:

“I have dedicated my entire life to the labor movement because I truly believe in the power of ordinary people to make extraordinary things happen. I have always taken it as my personal responsibility to do whatever I can to grow our union into the strong, effective institution it must become in order to make a difference in the lives of hard-working men and women. For the last 26 years, it has been my greatest privilege to represent the 35,000 members of UFCW Local 400 in the Mid-Atlantic, and now I am honored to expand this responsibility to the 1.3 million members of UFCW across the United States and Canada.”

Local 400 Board of Directors Passes Resolution Condemning White Supremacy

Today, the board of directors of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 passed an official resolution condemning white supremacy and the violent actions of bigots in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend.

“Now is a time to make it clear what we stand for,” said UFCW Local 400 President Mark Federici. “Unity and solidarity are core values of our union family. We embody the diversity that makes our country great. The hardworking men and women of Local 400 stand together for a better life for all Americans. Hatred simply has no place in our union or in our country.”

Local 400 has nearly 11,000 members who live and work in Virginia, including grocery workers at three Kroger stores and one Giant Food store in the city of Charlottesville. The resolution was approved by a unanimous vote of the board of directors at a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday.

The resolution mourns the death of Heather Heyer and further expresses full support of all counter-protesters who demonstrated against the hateful white supremacists. In addition, the board resolution mourns the deaths of Virginia state troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, who lost their lives in the line of duty while serving the Commonwealth.

The full text of the resolution is below:

WHEREAS, nearly 11,000 United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 members live and work in the Commonwealth of Virginia;

WHEREAS, we are proud that our membership reflects the racial, ethnic, sexual identity, and religious diversity of the Commonwealth and our great nation;

WHEREAS, although racism is hardly a new phenomenon in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded a significant spike in hate crimes since Donald Trump’s election, as well as violent gatherings of white supremacists, including the deadly events in Charlottesville, VA last weekend;

WHEREAS, the wealthy and powerful have always used the politics of hate, division, and racism to divide the working class and weaken unions;

WHEREAS, by forging interracial solidarity, Lipton Tea workers in Suffolk, Virginia recently won a union contract that dramatically lowers healthcare premiums, raises wages and secures better working conditions for all;

THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 condemns the racist, violent actions of Nazis, and white nationalists, and attendees of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville this weekend.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 rejects in the strongest possible terms the ideology of white supremacy.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 mourns the death of Heather Heyer and will fight like hell for the living in her name.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 is deeply saddened by the deaths of two Virginia state troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, who lost their lives in the line of duty while serving the Commonwealth;

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 fully supports all counter-protesters who demonstrated against the hateful white supremacists who attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville and Local 400 extends our thoughts and prayers to all counter-protesters who were injured in the resulting violence.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that UFCW Local 400 recommits ourselves to the struggle for racial and economic justice, gender equality, and human and civil rights for all, and stands in solidarity with anyone who is fighting for the same.