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April 29: March for Climate, Justice and Jobs

Learn more about the People’s Climate March at peoplesclimate.org

Join Local 400 for the People’s Climate March on April 29th in Washington, DC

Climate change is already causing major problems. We see it in record high temperatures, increasingly severe weather, and rising sea levels. And unless we take bold action now, it will only get worse, ultimately threatening human survival.

That alone is reason enough to combat the root causes of climate change. Unfortunately, too many elected leaders are ignoring the facts, and in many cases, they’re making matters worse.

At Local 400, we know we can’t ignore the facts. Our members will be directly impacted by effects of climate change. Across the globe, research suggests climate change will hurt working families the most. It will impose the greatest hardships on lower-income and working class communities because they are especially vulnerable to flooding, toxic air and water, and other environmental problems. And it will devastate our economy, causing massive job losses.

That’s why Local 400 is proudly joining many other labor unions in the April 29th People’s Climate March on Washington.

“It’s no accident that the Trump Administration and congressional extremists are undoing policies to fight climate change and undermining workers’ rights at the very same time,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “Their agenda is to enrich big business and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of working families. They’re putting everyone from Big Oil to union-busting employers first and the interests of hardworking Local 400 members last.

“So we must join together with every individual and organization committed to social, environmental and economic justice to resist Trump’s anti-worker agenda,” Federici said. “That’s what the People’s Climate March is all about. I encourage all our members to join us on April 29th.

The march’s agenda includes support for a $15 minimum wage, a demand for a “just transition” for workers negatively impacted by the shift to clean and renewable energy, and a call for bold investments in communities threatened by climate change.

Join us on April 29th in Washington, D.C. for the People’s Climate March. Learn more at peoplesclimate.org and help the spread the word with these helpful resources.

Why This Local 400 Organizer Protested Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing

Local 400 organizer, Michael Sampson (center), poses for a photo with six other protesters after facing trial for disrupting the nomination hearing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January. (Photo courtesy of Kim Propeack).

For Local 400 Organizer Michael Sampson, it was “an opportunity to speak truth to power.”

Then-Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-Ala.) was testifying at a hearing on his nomination by President Donald Trump to serve as U.S. attorney general. But Sessions had a decades-long history of holding racist beliefs and undermining voting rights.

Michael Sampson chants “black lives matter!” as police escort him out of the hearing.

So in a courageous act of civil disobedience, Michael joined with activists from civil rights, immigrant rights and other organizations to attend the hearing and protest Sessions’ nomination.

“Sessions has a history of calling vital organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and NAACP un-American,” Michael said. “He once called a black staffer ‘boy.’ That’s why he was rejected by the Senate for a federal judgeship in the 1980s.” In addition, Sessions worked as a prosecutor and senator to undermine voting rights laws, to support efforts to disenfranchise African American citizens, and to deport immigrants. And his record of support for anti-worker laws stands second to none.

Michael attended the hearing “to give voice to communities under attack, especially with the executive orders Trump has been signing,” he explained. “It’s important that we speak up for those who are marginalized by this administration and make clear people will resist.”

When Sessions spoke, Michael and other activists stood up and chanted, “Sessions is a racist!” He and four other protestors were then arrested by the Capitol Hill Police.

“I spent six to seven hours in jail,” he said. “I was sentenced to 32 hours of community service and banned from the Capitol grounds for four months. This was not a vacation day, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. The strength of the people I was arrested with was inspiring. We must stand up to racism, oppression, and attacks on working families.”

Footage from NBC News captures Michael’s arrest after protesting the nomination of Jeff Sessions for U.S. attorney general. (Screenshot via @frankthorp).

Michael, who organizes retail employees in Washington, DC, encourages Local 400 members and unorganized workers to take action. “We need to continue get involved with our union and speak out against the bosses working hand-in-hand with the Trump Administration,” he said. “Many of these CEOs are working with Trump to pass laws like national ‘right to work,’ which is a direct attack on Local 400 members. As attorney general, Sessions is the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and will play a role in implementing the anti-labor laws Trump will be pushing.

“Many people, both inside and outside the labor movement, are being awakened about how we need to come together, speak up and keep resisting,” Michael emphasized. “For the marginalized people we serve and those we want to serve in the future, we’ve all got to be out there making change happen.”

Join Us to March Against Trump’s Anti-Worker Agenda (UPDATED)

The inauguration of the most unpopular President-elect in modern history is only a week away and union members will be joining with countless other organizations to say no to Donald Trump’s anti-worker agenda.

Labor union members, leaders and organizers will be participating in two marches to show our opposition to Trump’s proposed attacks on working men and women. Join us!

Friday, January 20, 2017 – Festival of Resistance: March Against Trump

12:00 p.m. Noon

Join the labor contingent on the east side of Columbus Circle, Washington, D.C.

DC-area labor union members, leaders, organizers, and staff are mobilizing for the Festival of Resistance, a march from Columbus Circle to McPherson Square, on January 20th. We’re calling on all union members – wherever you’re from – to join us!

Union members are encouraged to wear their union’s shirts/colors and to meet on the east side of Columbus Circle no later than 11:45 a.m. The march will kick off around 12:00pm (noon).

This march, part of DisruptJ20, will be fully permitted and fun! There will be families, marching bands, puppets, and other displays that show the diversity and power of the resistance to Trump.

It’s critical that organized labor participate forcefully in these early days of the resistance, as basic worker and union protections will be among the first to be attacked.

Interested in doing more? Want to take direct action on January 20th? We’re doing that, too. Check out: https://www.facebook.com/events/764142167083262/ for details.

 

Saturday, January 21, 2017 – Women’s March on Washington

8:30 a.m.

UPDATED LOCATION: Join the labor contingent at Garfield Park (3rd St SE and G St SE) near Capitol South Metro.

Join thousands of women on January 21 to send a message to the new administration and to the world that we will do everything possible to defend and protect women’s rights to defend and protect women’s rights!

Those unable to attend the D.C. march, please click on the link below to find a march near you in both the U.S. and Canada.

https://www.womenmarch.org/

Virginia Elected Officials Rally With Local 400 to Demand Minimum Wage Increase for Working Families and Access to Drivers’ Licenses for Immigrants

UFCW Local 400 member Rick Howell, who works at a Kroger store in Roanoke, speaks to a crowd at the #TakeActionVA rally in Richmond on Thursday.

Bipartisan coalition of elected officials, immigrants and low-wage workers called for $15 minimum wage and driver’s license access for undocumented immigrants working in Commonwealth

Take Action Virginia members and a number of state elected officials called on the Virginia legislature to answer the plea of working families who demand a $15-an-hour minimum wage and immigrant-rights activists who know that granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants is beneficial to the economy of the Commonwealth.

More than 250 people attended the rally outside the state capitol.

“Driver’s licenses are very important for everyone,” said state Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax. “That is why I continue fighting for them every year until it passes.”

Legislators from both parties support a measure to authorize driver’s licenses to immigrants working in Virginia, who alone contribute $5.5 billion in gross state product to the state economy.

At least 12 states and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation. Having a state-issued form of ID allows undocumented people to open checking accounts, and also allows law enforcement officials to have positive and verifiable form of identification when detaining individuals.

In addition, advocates called on legislators to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2021. California, New York and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation, along with several cities and municipalities.

“Every job in Virginia should be a good job,” said Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. “I know first-hand, it is impossible for Virginians to, not only support themselves, but much less to support their families on $7.25 an hour. It’s time to give yourselves a pay raise.”

While the minimum wage in Virginia is only $7.25, an individual living in the city of Richmond requires an hourly wage of at least $11.93 to cover the cost of living, according to Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That number more than doubles if the individual has just one child to support.

“It’s time for us to turn the tide,” said Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, who introduced the legislation to increase the federally mandated minimum wage up to $10 an hour this year and to $15 an hour by 2021. “So we’re gonna stand up.”

“It’s wrong to ask people to work two to three jobs and not be able to make ends meet,” said Del. Marcus Simon, D- Falls Church.

The measure has the support of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who emphatically rallied the crowd.

“Poverty knows no race, no color, no gender,” Stoney said. “I’m committed to the principle that everyone has an equal opportunity. That means a $15 min wage.”

People who would be directly affected by a minimum wage increase also spoke up.

“I’ve seen the anguished look on the faces of my coworkers when they can’t pay their bills,” said Rick Howell, a grocery clerk from Roanoke and member of UFCW Local 400. “The fight against corporate greed is the most important. The middle class is disappearing fast.”

Take Action Virginia is a progressive and diverse alliance of organizations working to win social, economic, and racial justice for all working families in Virginia that includes 32BJ SEIU, SEIU Virginia 512, CASA in Action, LiUNA! Mid-Atlantic, NAKASEC Action Fund, UNITE HERE Local 23, UNITE HERE Local 25, and UFCW Local 400. The member organizations of Take Action Virginia collectively represent tens of thousands of Virginians employed as home care workers, parks staff, librarians, building cleaners, nurses, construction & highway workers, hotel workers, retail employees, and more. They include African-American, immigrant, Latino, and Korean voters.

Thousands Gather in Richmond for Historic Fight for $15 March

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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.

The march culminated the first-ever national Fight for $15 convention, which brought together thousands of underpaid workers to strategize next steps for our growing movement.

The Fight for $15 movement shows us what we can accomplish when we stand together. It all started four years ago when fast food workers in New York went on strike. Since then, it has grown to thousands of cities across the world and has scored victory after victory for working people. Just last month, we passed legislation to raise the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. to $15 an hour by 2020. New York and California have already done the same thing. Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles have also gone to $15.

Marja Tippin, a teacher from Oakland, California, explained the importance of the movement to millions of hardworking men and women:

“We need to get a livable wage across the board, and possibly, hopefully, end poverty. We work really hard to provide, and can’t maintain, and that is not right. This is not the American dream, at least not the way I was taught.”

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, leader of North Carolina’s chapter of the NAACP who recently made headlines after delivering a speech at the Democratic National Convention, was a featured speaker at the convention. With his piercing moral perspective, the reverend put the crisis facing underpaid workers today in stark relief:

“Right now you’re helping to fight for a third Reconstruction in this country. Labor without livable wages is nothing but a pseudo-form of slavery. When you pay people more, it’s good for them, it’s good for the economy, it’s good for America.”

It’s time for an economy that works for us ALL. It’s time for $15 and union rights. We are thousands strong, and we are tired of struggling to get by no matter how hard we work. We deserve better. We know that by standing together, we’ll get the better lives we deserve.

Photos on Facebook

Check out photos from the march on Facebook.

August 13: March for $15 at Kroger

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On Saturday, August 13, thousands of people like us will be marching through the streets of Richmond calling for a $15 minimum wage and union rights. Can you make it?

March for $15 at Kroger
1:30 pm, Saturday, August 13
Monroe Park, Richmond, VA
Part of the first-ever Fight for $15 National Convention

The Fight for $15 has grown to become a household name in our country for a reason. Thousands of hardworking men and women have refused to stay silent about the challenges of making ends meet on today’s poverty wages.

Just look at the facts. Nearly 64 million Americans work for less than $15 an hour, including many members of Local 400. Over the last few decades, the real value of our wages has plummeted. Today, the minimum wage in Virginia is only $7.25. But in 1968, it was $1.60 –equivalent to $11.08 today. Not only that, we’re more productive today than we were in 1968. If the minimum wage kept pace with our productivity, it would be $18.85 today!

20160804-EPI_Chart_Min_Wage_Productivity

Even if you make more than the minimum wage, your pay is affected too. When the value of the minimum wage goes down, so does the value of your paycheck. It’s simple: the lower the bottom goes, the deeper we all sink. That’s why we’re fighting to raise wages up and down the scale – because like the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

It’s not that Kroger can’t afford to pay more. Kroger made $2.4 billion in profits last year. Kroger’s CEO, Rodney McMullen, was richly rewarded for your hard work: he got a 17% pay raise this year. He now makes $11.2 million a year. A part-time Kroger associate making $9 an hour would have to work 1,204 years to make what he made last year alone.

We’re tired of CEOs getting all of the reward off of our hard work while we struggle to make ends meet. We’re tired of working harder than ever but earning less than we did decades ago. It’s time for change.

Join us on Saturday, August 13, for a historic Fight for $15 march through Richmond. We’ll be marching with thousands of McDonald’s cashiers and airport baggage handlers, truck drivers and early education teachers, retail employees and home care workers. And so many others.

To those of you that doubt us, those of you that think we’ll never get $15 an hour (or worse, think that we don’t deserve $15 an hour) – think again. We’re already doing it. Just last month, we passed legislation to raise the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. to $15 an hour by 2020. New York and California have already done the same thing. Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles have also gone to $15.

This isn’t just a fight worth winning, it’s a fight we ARE winning. Help us keep up the momentum! Join us on Saturday, August 13 to Fight for $15 at Kroger!

Print the Flier (PDF)

20160813-Richmond Fight For 15 March

MAY 11: #SaveMyStore Rally & March to Giant Food HQ

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Eight Giant Food grocery stores in the region are slated for potential sale as the result of a merger between Ahold and Delhaize, the European-based parent companies of Giant Food and Food Lion.

Hundreds of jobs and the future of our community is at stake. We can’t let a corporate merger in Europe take away good jobs and quality shopping options here at home. Join us for a rally and march to Giant Food Headquarters to preserve good jobs!

#SAVEMYSTORE RALLY

11:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Rally at UFCW Local 400
8400 Corporate Dr, Landover, MD
RSVP on Facebook

Ample free parking available.

Buses Available: Reserve Your Seat Today!

We have arranged buses from Virginia and southern Maryland for anyone interested in attending the rally. All are welcome, so reserve your seat today!

Reserve Your Seat at SaveMyStore.org Today!

Fredericksburg/Stafford Bus:

Fredericksburg, VA
Giant #770, 1245 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA
Departs: 8:30 a.m.
Returns: 3:00pm

Stafford, VA
Giant #243, 317 Worth Ave, Stafford, VA 22554
Departs: 9:30am
Returns: 2:15pm

La Plata/Accokeek Bus:

La Plata, MD
Giant #339, 200 Rosewick Rd, La Plata, Md 20646
Departs: 9:00am
Returns: 2:30pm

Accokeek, MD
Giant #338, 7025 Berry Rd, Accokeek, Md 20607
Departs: 9:30am
Returns: 2:00pm

Since launching the #SaveMyStore campaign, our petition to Ahold/Delhaize has steadily gathered thousands of signatures. On May 11, we’ll deliver our petition directly to Giant Food headquarters.

We demand answers. So far, representatives of Ahold and Giant Food have refused to answer our questions. We’ve invited them to our town halls, but we’ve only been met with radio silence.

We demand to know the future of our stores, our jobs, and our communities. Join us on May 11 to make our voices heard!

About the #SaveMyStore campaign:

On Tuesday, March 15, employees at eight area Giant Food stores were informed that their stores may be sold due to a corporate merger. Less than a week after hearing the news, welaunched the #SaveMyStore campaign to bring together Giant employees, union members, and the communities we serve to save these stores.

In a matter of weeks, we have already collected thousands of signatures on a petition to preserve the quality shopping, good jobs, and excellent customer service that we have come to expect from our local Giant grocery stores.

We’ve also hosted a series of town hall meetings to bring together Giant Food employees, elected officials, community leaders, customers, friends and neighbors. With so many jobs at stake, together we will do whatever it takes to keep our communities intact.