April 28th is Workers’ Memorial Day. UFCW joins workers in the U.S. and around the world to honor the thousands of workers who have been killed on the job and the millions of workers who have suffered from injuries, sickness or diseases in their places of work.
While decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions, too many workers here in the U.S. and around the world are suffering or dying on the job.
-Over 4,600 workers lost their lives on the job in 2014 alone.
-Millions of America’s workers continue to suffer from injuries and illnesses at work.
-Women, older workers, as well as temporary and foreign-born workers are especially at-risk.
New standards must be enforced to keep pace with a rapidly changing economy that is pushing more and more workers into precarious and unregulated jobs with little to no workplace safety protections.
Workers everywhere deserve a safe place to work, and those corporations that exploit workers for profit and put them in danger must be held accountable. As we observe Workers’ Memorial Day, the UFCW takes to heart the words of activist Mother Jones to “pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living” by reaffirming our dedication to supporting workers here in the U.S. and around the world who are fighting to uphold their basic rights – including safe jobs, workplace fairness and collective bargaining.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone stated, “We must make Workers Memorial Day a catalyst for great change. It is a day to come together and push to pass safe workplace laws that help workers, not protect the irresponsible. Let’s make it easier for workers to be protected in their workplace and bargain for safer standards. Let’s create an environment where corporations view workplace safety as a priority.”
Let’s use Workers Memorial Day to inspire us to save the lives that should never be lost.
Over these past weeks, there have been huge victories for working families and union members alike. Who helped win these?
UFCW members were a huge part of it and the States Council played a key role. What is the Western States Council…watch and share this video.
On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee passed the “Reliable Scheduling Act” on a 4-1 vote.
The Reliable Scheduling Act (SB 878) would ensure that workers receive their work schedule for the next three weeks at least one week in advance. This bill would also allow workers to receive minor “modification pay” when their schedules are changed with less than seven days’ notice.
In recent years, some employers in the retail and food service industry have abandoned the traditional weekly work schedule and implemented a policy known as “just in time” scheduling. This practice— often driven by software programs that closely monitor sales and customer traffic—schedules workers on a day-to-day basis without regular hours or advance notice of changes.
Many employers require workers to call in every day to find out if they are working, and if so, when and for how long. On the days that the employee is scheduled to work, sometimes he or she is not even given a scheduled end time. Research demonstrates that unreliable schedules are remarkably common. More than 40 percent of early career hourly workers (ages 26 to 32) receive one week or less advance notice of their job schedules. Half of these workers have no input into their schedules and three-quarters experience fluctuations in the number of hours they work, with hours varying by more than eight hours per week on average. Parents of young children are among those most likely to experience volatile job schedules. Nearly 70 percent of mothers and 80 percent of fathers of children ages 12 or younger who work in hourly jobs receive hours that fluctuate by up to 40 percent. “Schedule reliability not only helps employees plan their lives better so that they know when they will be able to go to the eye doctor or if they will need to find child care for their kids, but also so that they will have a better sense of how much they will make so they can make financial decisions for their family.
SB 878 would make California one of the first states in the nation to recognize the importance of reliable schedules for workers while also meeting the day-to-day needs of businesses.
SB 878 is cosponsored by the California Labor Federation and the United Food and Commercial Workers States Council and supported by the California Professional Firefighters, the Stronger California Advocates Network and the Western Center on Law & Poverty.
United Food and Commercial Workers Praise Attorney General Harris for Upholding Law
Oakland, CA — United Food and Commercial Workers (UCFW) Western States Council released the following statement from Kelly Martinez, Communications Coordinator with UFCW as anti-choice groups increased their attacks on California Attorney General Kamala Harris for enforcing state law and investigating potentially criminal acts by anti-choice agitator David Daleiden:
“As California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris has proudly and firmly stood beside working families, women, students, and crime victims to peruse justice. Now, as she is the target of unfair attacks, California’s working families stand with Kamala Harris.
“Attorney General Kamala Harris is doing her job as our state’s top law enforcement official and following the law to ensure those who break the law in their efforts to take away women’s reproductive freedom are brought to justice.
“The hypocrisy from anti-choice groups who are protesting this investigation is astounding. On the one hand, they criticize an elected official for enforcing the law and conducting a professional investigation, while simultaneously using their own deceptive videos to push for taxpayer funded smear campaigns against Planned Parenthood despite no evidence of wrongdoing.
“The attacks on Harris today are part of a national smear campaign to target anyone who stands up for the rights of women and working families. Attorney General Harris reflects the values of California and we support her and thank her for her leadership.”
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The United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council is the regional coordinating body of 11 UFCW local unions representing over 200,000 workers in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The Council is a part of the 1.2 million member strong UFCW International Union. UFCW Members are standing together to improve the lives of workers, families and communities.