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Giant Food Member Wins Grievance, Keeps Job, Gets Back Pay

Loan Cao

Loan Cao, a 29-year member of Local 400 from Giant Food, holds up her backpay check for a photo with union representatives Bertha McKiver (left) and Neil Jacobs (right).

For Loan Cao, it was seven-week ordeal, but thanks to her union, it was one with a happy ending.

A 29-year Local 400 member who works in the front end at Giant Food #795 in Springfield, Va., Loan was suddenly fired on December 11, 2018. She was alleged to have done something wrong when she was closing the store one night, but another employee who did the exact same thing received no discipline whatsoever.

“I felt really sad, like they don’t care about me at all,” Loan said. “I try to do the job right. I know I made a mistake but it seemed like they used it as an excuse to tell me they don’t want me anymore.”

“It seems like Giant’s been trying to drive people out who have seniority because they make higher salaries,” she said. “I hope I’m wrong about that, but they don’t seem to appreciate people who’ve worked for them for so many years.”

Fair treatment is a fundamental right under your union contract. As the saying goes, “with a union contract, your boss can’t fire you without just cause. But without a union, your boss can fire you just ’cause.” Management is not allowed to discipline one worker more harshly than another employee who is disciplined for the same thing.

With the help of her Local 400 representative, Bertha McKiver, Loan immediately filed a grievance, charging unfair treatment. The process was delayed by the Christmas and New Year holidays, but Local 400 persisted. Giant tried to fight the grievance, but when it became clear it would go to arbitration, the company settled. It agreed to give Loan her job back and wrote her a back pay check for $6,800. She started work again on February 2, 2019.

“Oh my God, it felt like heaven,” Loan said of learning she had won her grievance. “I never expected this. What my union did for me, I’m so happy.

“When Giant told me I was fired, I was numb and couldn’t cry,” she said. “But when Bertha called me to say I got my job back, this time I cried and cried. I never expected my union to help me so well. I’m so very thankful.”

UFCW Local 400 & CASA in Action Call on Governor Northam to Resign Immediately

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2019

CONTACT
Jonathan Williams, Communications Director, UFCW Local 400 – jwilliams@local400.org – 202.316.0235

UFCW Local 400 & CASA in Action Call on Governor Northam to Resign Immediately

RICHMOND, VA (February 1, 2019) – After a photograph from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook surfaced showing a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe and another man in blackface, two of Virginia’s largest membership organizations who had previously endorsed Mr. Northam have called on the governor to resign.

Mark Federici, President of Local 400 of the United Food & Commercial Workers union (UFCW), issued the following statement on behalf of the union:

“This racist, despicable behavior is reprehensible no matter who does it and no matter when it is done. There is simply no place for blackface or the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia, let alone in the governor’s mansion.

“Mr. Northam has much work to do to reconcile his relationship with our members, our community, and all citizens of the Commonwealth. Remaining in the governor’s office is simply incompatible with that undertaking.

“We hereby rescind our past endorsement of Gov. Northam and call on him to resign from office immediately.”

Luis Aguilar of CASA in Action, Virginia’s largest immigrant rights organization, issued the following statement:

“Our members – people on the frontlines of the battle for human rights – deserve representation that honors their fundamental dignity.  It is almost impossible to identify images more damaging to the soul than those in Ralph Northam’s yearbook. He has apologized and said he is a changed person. But it doesn’t mean he is an appropriate governor. In an era in which the White House is occupied by a white supremacist, we ask that Governor Northam heal this grave wound to the African-American community and more broadly all People of Color, by resigning.”

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UFCW Local 400 represents thousands of members working in the retail food, health care, retail department store, food processing, service and other industries. In Virginia, the union represents primarily grocery clerks at Giant Food, Safeway, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, and Kroger grocery stores, as well as factory workers in food processing, Chesapeake Bay fisherman, and many others.

With 97,000+ lifetime members, CASA in Action is the largest electoral organization fighting for immigrant rights in the Mid-Atlantic region.

January 8: Virginia Special Election for State Senate District 33

On January 8, a special election will be held in Virginia State Senate District 33 to fill the seat vacated by Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton.

Help make sure labor-endorsed candidate Jennifer Boysko is elected! We can trust her to solve problems for working families.

Jennifer Boysko has a 100% pro-labor voting record from her three years serving as a House Delegate. She believes in workers’ rights to organize and has stood side by side on picket lines with union members as we have fought for fair wages, benefits and important protections on the job. Her door will remain open to workers and our concerns.

As a House Delegate, Jennifer sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage, expand broadband and make sure women receive equal pay for equal work. She carried bills that fought wage theft and worker misclassification which deny core wage and workplace protections. She knows the importance of investing in our transportation infrastructure and public education system.

Make a plan to vote! Your regular polling place will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Not sure where to vote? You can look up your polling place on the Virginia Department of Elections website here.

Deadline Extended! Kroger Open Enrollment for 2019 Health & Welfare Benefits

We are pleased to inform you that open enrollment for health care benefits in 2019 has been extended through December 20, 2018 for Kroger associates covered by one of our union contracts.

Everyone currently enrolled must re-enroll by no later than December 20, 2018 – even if you have no coverage changes.

You may enroll online through the secure website (instructions below) or return your paper form by December 20, 2018.

Also, for Kroger associates in the West Virginia division, the physical form deadline has been extended to February 1, 2019. Discounts will be applied after proof of physical is received.

To enroll online:

  1. Go to https://memberxg.gobasys.com/CARDAY
  2. First time users click Create Account and complete the requested information.
  3. From the website, click on the Open Enrollment Icon from the dashboard and complete the requested information.

Or call the Fund Office for an application form:

304-343-7682 or 1-866-343-7682 or 1-800-654-5038

Most Local 400-Backed Candidates Win in 2018 Elections

Union Members Play Key Role in Recapturing House for Working Families

Led by Local 400-backed candidates, the critically important 2018 mid-term elections resulted in major victories for working families.

Pro-worker forces recaptured control of the U.S. House, with Virginia front and center. Three candidates recommended by Local 400 — Elaine Luria (2nd), Abigail Spanberger (7th) and Jennifer Wexton (10th) — all defeated anti-worker incumbents. These victories alone accounted for more than 10 percent of the seats won nationally to gain a majority.

Three senators backed by Local 400 were re-elected: Tim Kaine in Virginia, Joe Manchin in West Virginia and Ben Cardin in Maryland.

Local 400 won key local races, as well. In Washington, D.C., Councilmember Elissa Silverman was re-elected to her at-large seat despite facing a strong challenge from a corporate-backed candidate. And Marc Elrich won a landslide victory in his race for Montgomery County Executive over two opponents, one of whom was lavishly funded by developers.

In Maryland, while endorsed candidate Ben Jealous lost his race for governor, Democrats maintained veto-proof majorities in the state House and Senate, which means that pro-worker legislation can still become law even over the opposition of re-elected Gov. Larry Hogan.

In West Virginia, pro-worker forces gained seats in the state House and Senate, but not enough to win control of either body.

In total, of 165 candidates recommended by Local 400, 125 won, 36 lost and four are in races yet to be decided.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work put in by Local 400 members to elect candidates who will fight for us, and against billionaires and big business,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “By pounding the pavement, working the phone banks, and getting people out to the polls, our members played a central role in winning back the U.S. House and making gains at every other level of government. This will have important consequences over the next two years in passing legislation that benefits our members and blocking efforts to harm working families.

“I want to congratulate all of our recommended candidates, whether they won or lost, for having the courage to fight for what’s right and to stand up to the big money that’s poisoning our politics,” Federici said.

“This election showed the power of working people to fight back,” he added. “But it’s just the beginning. Now, we have to fight at the federal, state and local levels for policies that will raise workers’ living standards and protect our rights – and gear up for the massively important election of 2020.”

UFCW Local 400 2018 Voter Guide

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. This is one of the most important elections in recent history. Make sure your voice is heard and make a plan to vote!

Your vote is a personal decision. As your union, it is our job to recommend candidates who share our values and will fight to make a better life for our union family. We have endorsed the following candidates for office because we believe they will fight on behalf of our members and all working families.

Find Your Polling Place

Visit Vote.org to find your polling place and learn everything you need to vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

How Candidates Are  Recommended

Local 400 recommends candidates for office only after an exhaustive process of getting to know them, analyzing their records, and reviewing their positions on issues impacting our members’ lives. These issues include jobs, the economy, workers’ rights, health care, retirement security, workers’ compensation and education. We recommend those candidates judged to have your best interests in mind.

In order to decide on a candidate to endorse, we:

  1. Review the voting records of incumbents on labor issues.
  2. Participate in the AFL-CIO interview process and schedule one-on-one interviews between Local 400 and many of the candidates.
  3. Discuss with other union members and leaders the interviews and the written questionnaires candidates submit.
  4. Make recommendations to the executive boards of the relevant area labor councils.
  5. Participate in state AFL-CIO meetings, where delegates from Local 400 and other unions vote to give labor’s recommendation to a limited number of candidates.
  6. After acceptance, these recommendations are communicated to Local 400 members.

2018 UFCW Local 400 Voter Guide

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
Eleanor Holmes Norton

Mayor
Muriel Bowser

Attorney General
Karl Racine

City Council
At-Lg. Elissa Silverman
1st       Brianne Nadeau

 

MARYLAND

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Ben Jealous/Susan Turnbull

Comptroller
Peter Franchot

Attorney General
Brian E. Frosh

U.S. Senate
Ben Cardin

U.S. House of Representatives

3rd      John Sarbanes

4th      Anthony Brown

5th      Steny H. Hoyer

8th      Jamie Raskin

State Senate

14th    Craig Zucker

15th    Brian Feldman

16th    Susan Lee

18th    Jeff Waldstreicher

19th    Ben Kramer

20th    Will Smith

21st     Jim Rosapepe

22nd   Paul Pinsky

23rd    Douglas J. J. Peters

24th    Joanne Benson

25th    Melony Griffith

26th    Obie Patterson

27th    Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.

28th    Arthur Ellis

39th    Nancy King

47th    Malcolm Augustine

House of Delegates

14th
Anne Kaiser
Eric Luedtke
Pamela Queen

15th
David Fraser-Hidalgo
Kathleen Dumais
Lily Qi

16th
Ariana Kelly
Marc Korman

17th
Jim Gilchrist
Julie Palakovich Carr
Kumar P. Barve

18th
Al Carr
Emily Shetty
Jared Solomon

19th
Bonnie Cullison
Charlotte Crutchfield
Vaughn Stewart

20th
David Moon
Jheanelle Wilkins
Lorig Charkoudian

21st
Joseline Peña-Melnyk
Ben Barnes
Mary Lehman

22nd
Alonzo Washington
Tawanna Gaines
Anne Healey

23A
Geraldine Valentino-Smith

23B
Ron Watson
Marvin E. Holmes, Jr.

24th
Jazz Lewis
Erek L. Barron
Andrea Fletcher Harrison

25th
Darryl Barnes
Dereck Davis
Nick Charles

26th
Kris Valderrama
Veronica Turner
Jay Walker

27A
Susie Proctor

27B
Michael Jackson

27C
Jason Fowler

28th
Debra Davis
Edith J. Patterson
CT Wilson

39th
Lesley J. Lopez
Gabriel Acevero
Kirill Reznik

40th
Melissa Wells

47A
Diana M. Fennell
Julian Ivey

47B
Wanika Fisher

Montgomery County Executive
Marc Elrich

Montgomery County Council
At-Lg.  Will Jawando
4th      Nancy Navarro
5th      Tom Hucker

Montgomery County State’s Attorney
John McCarthy

Prince George’s County Council
1st       Tom Dernoga
2nd     Deni Taveras
5th      Jolene Ivey
9th      Sydney Harrison

Prince George’s County States Attorney
Aisha Braveboy

 

VIRGINIA

U.S. Senate
Tim Kaine

U.S. House of Representatives
1st       Vangie Williams
2nd     Elaine Luria
4th      Donald McEachin
5th      Leslie Cockburn
7th      Abigail Spanberger
8th      Donald S. Beyer Jr.
10th    Jennifer T. Wexton
11th    Gerald Connolly

 

WEST VIRGINIA

U.S. Senate
Joe Manchin

U.S. House Of Representatives
1st       No Endorsement
2nd     Talley Sergent
3rd      Richard Ojeda

State Senate

2nd     Denny Longwell
3rd      James Leach
4th      Brian Prim
5th      Mike Woelfel
6th      Charles Sammons
7th      Ron Stollings
8th      Richard Lindsay
10th    Stephen Baldwin
11th    Bill Hamilton
12th    Mike Romano
13th    Bob Beach
14th    Stephanie Zucker
17th    Terrell Ellis

State House Of Delegates

7th
Lissa Lucas

8th
David Bland

9th
Jim Marion

10th
Andy Daniel
J.Morgan Leach
Harry Deitzler

12th
Missy Morris

13th
Dem Scott Brewer

14th
Brianne Solomon

16th
Sean Hornbuckle
Matt Spurlock
Vera Miller

17th
Chad Lovejoy
Matthew Rohrbach

18th
Karen Nance

19th
Ken Hicks
Robert Thompson

21st
Phylis White

22nd
Gary Mccallister
Zack Maynard

23rd
Rodney Miller

24th
Ralph Rodighiero
Timothy Tomblin

26th
Ed Evans

29th
Rick Moye

31st
Richard “Rick” Snuffer Ll

32nd
Margaret Anne Staggers
Mell Kessler
Luke Lively

33rd
David A Walker

34th
Brent Boggs

35th
Andrew Byrd
Renate Pore
James Robinette
Doug Skaff Jr.

36th
Larry Rowe
Andrew Robinson
Amanda Estep-Burton

37th
Mike Pushkin

38th
Tom Tull

39th
David “Woody” Holmes

40th
Melissa Huffman

47th
Frank “Ed” Larry

51st
Barbara Fleischauer
Evan Hanson
Rodney Pyles
Danielle Walker
John Williams

52nd
Gary Knotts

53rd
Cory Chase

Nov 1: Smithfield Foods Newport News Contract Meeting

The team negotiating a new contract on behalf of the union included Maurice Browder, Dennis Hughes, Ronny Parsons, and Anthony Randolph, as well as Local 400 Bargaining Director Chris Hoffmann, Bargaining Representative John Lee, Regional Director Donna Waddell, and Representative Lavern Wrenn.

On Thursday, November 1, 2018, we will be hosting two contract meetings for members working at Smithfield Foods Newport News.

As a Local 400 union member, you have the opportunity to get answers to your questions and vote on your next contract. Please make a plan to attend one of these important contract meeting. (Please note: you only have to attend one meeting.)

Smithfield Foods Contract Meeting

Thursday, November 1, 2018
8:00 a.m. or 4:00 p.m. (you only have to attend one meeting)

Residence Inn
531 St Johns Rd, Newport News, VA 23602

Sep 29: TSoul Benefit Concert to Fight Sickle Cell Disease

TSoul, the popular finalist on Season 12 of NBC’s “The Voice” and son of Local 400 member and representative Kenny Pinkard, is hosting a charity event to raise money to fight Sickle Cell Anemia. The benefit concert will be held Saturday, September 29 at Kilmarnock Town Center Park in Kilmarnock, Va. to help raise money and awareness for the FACES of Our Children Charity.

TSoul and Friends Live: A Benefit Concert to Fight Sickle Cell Disease

September 29, 2018
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Kilmarnock Town Centre Park
201 North Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA 22482

Purchase tickets online: https://sicklecellconcert.eventbrite.com

For more information regarding vendor spaces or sponsorships, contact Kenny Pinkard 1-804-580-0619 or AL.B 804-205-7651

For more than 15 years, the UFCW has worked with FACES OF OUR CHILDREN (FOOC) – an organization dedicated to raising awareness, support and funding for the fight against sickle cell disease.  UFCW has raised millions of dollars to support FOOC’s efforts to deliver educational programs and materials through the internet, traditional media, schools, and community-based organizations.  FOOC also works to advance public policy and increase government and corporate funding with the goal of bettering the lives of people who suffer from (and ultimately finding a cure for) this deadly disease.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle Cell is an inherited but not contagious, blood disorder where normal round shaped red blood cells change to a quater-moon (sickled) shape. Sickle shaped cells have difficulty passing through small blood vessels so they can jam up. When the cells jam up, the flow of blood and oxygen to body parts are blocked causing extreme pain. It also can cause damage to muscles, bones, and internal organs. Today, approximately 1 in 500 African American children are born with sickle cell disease making it the most common long term illness identified in this population.

In Virginia, 1 in 325 babies are born with sickle cell disease. It is estimated that over 4,000 persons in the Commonwealth of Virginia are potentially living with the disease.

Kroger Members Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify New Contract in Richmond/Tidewater

Kroger members working at 22 stores in the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new union contract today.

Congratulations on your new contract! Some highlights include:

  • Accelerated wage scales with guaranteed pay increases twice a year
  • Annual bonuses for most experienced associates
  • Premium pay for select positions in the store
  • Maintaining affordable healthcare and retirement benefits

Thanks to every member who came out to vote today. This wouldn’t have been possible without your hard work. Our union membership has grown significantly and this new and improved contract reflects our greater strength. As we continue to grow stronger, our contracts will continue to get better.

Your new contract takes effect immediately and extends through August 7, 2021. To get a review copy of the new contract, talk to your shop steward or union representative, or call our headquarters at  1-800-638-0800 (Mon – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

September 11: Kroger Richmond-Tidewater Contract Meeting

Be There to Vote on Your Next Contract

We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Kroger that we are prepared to recommend for ratification. The offer provides better pay and maintains affordable healthcare.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, we will hold two membership meetings where we will review the offer in detail and answer any questions you may have. It is critical that you make every effort to attend one of these meetings and hear the details of your contract proposal. You only have to attend one of the meetings.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

8:00 a.m. Richmond
Four Points by Sheraton
4700 South Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA 23231
Registration begins at 7:00 a.m.

5:30 p.m. Norfolk
DoubleTree Norfolk Airport
1500 North Military Highway, Norfolk, VA 23502
Registration begins at 4:30 p.m.

As a Local 400 union member, you have the opportunity to get answers to your questions and vote on your next contract. Please make a plan to attend one of these important contract meetings.

In the meantime, all of the protections and benefits of your current union contract remain in effect. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk to your shop steward, union representative, or call our headquarters at 1-800-638-0800 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).