UFCW WSC eNewsletter

Local 99 Welcomes New Members

The marijuana industry is slowly coming out of the shadows and into the light. The labor movement has an opportunity to ensure that the workers in this multi-billion-dollar industry are safe, well trained and well compensated. UFCW locals across the Western States are committing resources to organize workers in the union. The latest example of this success, was on June 3rd when UFCW Local 99 welcomed 30 new members from Natural Rx.

Workers voted on their first contract.  In their contract, they gained wage increases, seniority rights, healthcare package, pension, paid holidays, vacation and personal days.  Workers represented are Patient Consultants, Garden Assistant, Budtenders, Edible Specialists, Security, Cashier, Compliance Specialists, Trimmers, Store Managers and Assistant Managers.

Owner Trevor Reed wants to operate as a union operator because he knows what a union provides for its worker since he was an Ironworker himself. He decided to sign a labor neutrality agreement and agreed to let his workers choose whether they wanted to unionize Trevor owns shops in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Los Lunas in New Mexico.  This is the first Cannabis business that UFCW local 99 has organized

Congratulations and welcome to the Union family.

Senator Newman Targeted in Misguided Recall

California’s roads and bridges are falling apart. Anyone who has driven down the 880 in the bay area or has taken the 55 to Newport Beach, knows that our infrastructure needs to be improved. Earlier this year the California legislature made a decision to raise money by increasing the gas tax by twelve cents.

Last November California’s 29th Senate district, located in Northern Orange County elected retired Lieutenant Colonel Josh Newman. Senator Newman was one of 27 senators who voted for the gas tax. Chevron did not like this and placed a $500,000 bet that they could deceive California’s voters into a recall election.

The anti-tax forces in California, primarily funded by big oil, are positioning themselves to be the saviors of the working-class. Chevron’s strategy is to recall Senator Newman and fund an initiative on the ballot to rescind the gas tax in 2018.

The recall petition is a costly power grab by out-of-district special interests that won’t save taxpayers a dime and won’t solve any problem voters care about. What it will do is cost up to $3 million in tax dollars that would be better spent on our schools and public safety.

UFCW members are going to focus on helping Senator Newman stay in office. Members who live in communities across California need elected officials who care about keeping California working, moving and prepared for the 21st century.


UFCW Statement on Amazon Buying Whole Foods

Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, made the following statement about Amazon buying Whole Foods.

“Amazon’s brutal vision for retail is one where automation replaces good jobs. That is the reality today at Amazon, and it will no doubt become the reality at Whole Foods.

“Sadly, the hard-working men and women who work at Whole Foods now face an uncertain future because the Amazon model for grocery stores ultimately leads to fewer jobs, worse benefits, and more automation. Make no mistake, these are not the values most Americans believe in nor the ones embraced by many Whole Foods customers.

“While Amazon may prefer a path that treats Americans as if they are just faceless workers, the employees of Whole Foods deserve better and should realize they’ve earned the right to a better life.”

The future of the grocery industry is changing: From how people shop to no longer shopping and opting for pre-prepped meal delivery.  What isn’t changing is the treatment of workers.  Workers’ labor expectations continue to increase to benefit the company’s bottom line.  To employers, cutting down on labor cost influences the bottom line but it directly affects the workers and consumer safety. Changes are shifting at such a fast rate that policy and regulations aren’t able keeping up or are being overlooked.

Jim Araby, Executive Director for UFCW Western States Council stated, “UFCW fights inequality each and every day.  UFCW has been committed to advocating on behalf of worker and consumer safety as well as for prosperity and growth in our economy. Companies like Amazon are exploding into a vast array of industries and are not advocating or promoting quality but rather quantity.

Change is evident and automation is evident.  We are not opposed to the growth and evolution of technology.  However, workers and consumer rights and safety have to stay at the forefront above the bottom line.”