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We Fight Inequality Every Day.
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Voting and Elections

UFCW voters matter for California.

California Candidates: District UFCW Endorsement State Senate SD 01 Pamela Swartz SD 03 Bill Dodd SD 05 Susan Eggman SD 07 Steve Glazer SD 09 Nancy Skinner SD 11 Scott Wiener SD 13 Josh Becker SD 15 Dave Cortese SD 17 John Laird SD 19 Monique Limón SD 21 Kipp Mueller SD 23 Abigail Medina […]
United States Representatives in Congress CA Labor Fed CA Dem Party UFCW CD 1 Audrey Denney (D) Audrey Denney (D) Audrey Denney (D) CD 2 Jared Huffman (D) Jared Huffman (D) Jared Huffman (D) CD 3 John Garamendi (D) John Garamendi (D) John Garamendi (D) CD 4 Refer to Exec Council Brynne Kennedy (D) No […]
The right to vote is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Ordinary men and women fought – and even died—to protect people’s right to vote without intimidation or obstruction. Voting is the opportunity for citizens to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions. The below listed labor-endorsed candidates’ promote advocacy for working families, commitment […]

Safe Prescriptions

UFCW is working to ensure pharmacists have the support to do their most important job: delivering the right medicines, in the right doses and protecting consumers against potentially deadly drug interactions.

Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council applauded the California State Board of Pharmacy’s election of Seung Oh as President. The Board of Pharmacy is tasked with protecting and promoting the health and safety of Californians by pursuing the highest quality of pharmacist’s care and the appropriate use […]
Sacramento, CA – After hearing from member pharmacists with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council, the California Board of Pharmacy adopted regulations that reinforce standards set out by SB 1442 (Wiener), the No Pharmacist Left Alone Law. The nation-leading, pro-patient regulation, drafted in response to a petition by UFCW, will help […]
Board of Pharmacy to Enforce “No Pharmacist Left Alone” Law Sacramento, CA – After hearing from member pharmacists with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council, the California Board of Pharmacy voted Wednesday to write regulations to help enforce SB 1442 (Wiener), the No Pharmacist Left Alone Law.  The vote on the […]


The UFCW is the only union representing cannabis workers in California. We are committed to building a successful industry that offers consumers access to safe products and local communities jobs with better wages and benefits.

Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council celebrated Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature on AB 2188 (Quirk), which will prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who use cannabis off the job and away from the worksite by banning out-dated cannabis urine testing methods. The following statement may be attributed to […]
Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council applauded the California State Senate’s passage of AB 2188 (Quirk), which would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who use cannabis off the job and away from the worksite by using out-dated urine testing methods. “California has always led the nation […]
Sacramento, CA – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council today released the following statement from Amber Baur, executive director, UFCW Western States Council, in response to the agreed upon California budget for 2022-2023:  “The 180,000 UFCW members in California applaud Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature’s 2022-2023 budget that invests […]
UFCW in the News
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Sacramento, CA – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council today announced it has named Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs as Person of the Year. After being elected to the Arizona House in 2010, Governor Hobbs went on to serve in the Arizona State Legislature for four terms, including two as Senate Minority Leader. In 2018, she was elected Secretary of State, where she successfully oversaw a contentious election cycle and forcefully defended the votes and voices of every single Arizonan. Seeing her home state at a critical turning point, Governor Hobbs made the decision to run for Governor, and in 2022 was elected the fifth woman, and also fifth Arizona native, to lead the state.

“Governor Hobbs is a true friend to Arizona’s working families,” said Jim McLaughlin, President, UFCW Local 99. “From prioritizing affordable housing to ensuring every voter’s voice is heard, Governor Hobbs has supported UFCW’s members in Arizona and inspired members across state lines. I’m proud to have worked hand in hand with Governor Hobbs to ensure Arizona’s working people can thrive and even more proud to have her named as UFCW Western States Council’s 2023 Person of the Year.”

“Governor Hobbs is an absolute powerhouse in Arizona, showing everyone, nationwide, what it means to defend our democracy,” said Mark Ramos, President, UFCW Western States Council and UFCW Local 1428. “Our nation is stronger because of her tenacity and stand up against the forces trying to remove voters’ voices. Governor Hobbs was the only choice for UFCW Western States Council in deciding who our 2023 Person of the Year would be.”

“The power of UFCW is bringing people together – giving a collective voice to those who aren’t typically heard,” said Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs. “That idea is exactly what motivated me to run for office in the first place, and what continues to guide me. The honor of being UFCW’s Person of the Year isn’t just for me, it’s for every Arizonan whose life is better because of the change each of us has fought for. Thank you for this honor.”

UFCW Western States Council also named two members of UFCW Local 99, Jocelyn Cruces and Cesar Escobedo, as Members of the Year during the award ceremony Wednesday, November 15, 2023. 

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November 16, 2023

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]

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Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council released the following statement after Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed SB 725 (Smallwood-Cuevas), the Grocery Worker Safety Net, and SB 777 (Allen). 

SB 725 would have required a grocery establishment who conducts layoffs as a result of a merger or acquisition to provide workers with a one-week displaced grocery worker allowance for every year of service. 

“Governor Newsom hailed California’s grocery workers as heroes and essential during the pandemic, with our state relying on them to keep everyone fed and the supply chain working.  UFCW leadership and our members were proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Governor Newsom during those difficult times, in order to provide food for all Californians,” said Amber Baur, executive director, UFCW Western States Council. 

“The veto of SB 725, unfortunately, denies these very workers the safety net they need and deserve if they lose their jobs to greedy corporate grocery chains. Unemployment insurance does not provide an adequate wage replacement for grocery workers already living paycheck to paycheck. SB 725 would have ensured they knew how they were going to pay their rent or put food on the table if they lost their job.

“The grocery industry has been ravaged by mergers and acquisitions for decades now, and the trend will only continue. Corporations put profits over people. SB 725 was a potential check on this rampant corporate power.  Our hope and expectation is that Governor Newsom will work with UFCW and its leadership when the inevitable and foreseeable store closures and mass layoffs occur if and when the merger between Kroger and Albertsons is approved.”

In October 2022, it was announced that Kroger and Albertsons would pursue a $24.6 billion mega-merger, joining together two of the largest grocery chains in the United States. Nationally, these two grocery chains employ over 700,000 workers and operate over 50 manufacturing facilities and 5,000 retail stores. California has more of these two grocery chains than any other state in the country, with Kroger operating approximately 233 stores under the Ralphs, Food 4 Less and Foods Co banners and Albertsons operating approximately 579 grocery stores under the Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Pavilions banners. 

A merger between these two companies could result in large scale layoffs for workers and without protections, the loss of this many jobs in one region will have ripple effects through the local economy and further burden an already tattered social safety net. In Los Angeles and Orange Counties, 115 of 159 Albertsons stores are within two miles of a Kroger store and are potential targets of closures by the Federal Trade Commission. This could result in an estimated 5,750 jobs being lost in the Los Angeles region alone. 

SB 725 (Smallwood-Cuevas), was part of UFCW’s legislative package to mitigate the effects of mergers and acquisitions on the retail and grocery industries. The other two bills in the package that the Governor signed are: 

  • AB 647 (Holden), Protect Grocery Workers Job Act. This bill will protect grocery and pharmacy workers’ jobs by strengthening California’s existing Statewide Grocery Worker Retention Law. This will ensure that skilled and trained workers can continue to provide our communities with access to safe food and lessen the economic impact to our social safety net. 
  • AB 853 (Maienschein), Californians’ Right to Know on Essential Goods and Services. California residents and workers must have the right to know about proposed mergers in the Grocery and Drug-Retail industries that affect the supply and affordability of food and medicine and the supply of experienced grocery retail workers with knowledge of food safety and licensed pharmacy staff entrusted with supplying safe and accurate medications and clinical services to ailing Californians. AB 853 will require grocery or drug-retail companies to notify the California Attorney General 180 days in advance of finalizing a proposed merger or acquisition and submit an impact analysis report on the impact of the merger or acquisition on communities, such as food deserts, food prices, and access to food, and workers, such as supply of experienced grocery workers, unemployment, wages and benefits and more. 

SB 777 would have required retail establishments that sell plastic bags to submit annual aggregated reporting to CalRecycle specifying the actual costs for implementing the provisions of SB 270, actual costs for providing the reusable bags, costs associated with a store’s educational materials or educational campaigns encouraging the use of reusable grocery bags, and costs associated with recycling. 

“SB 777 was a simple bill that would have informed California how customer’s dollars are being spent when they purchase plastic bags at the grocery store and if those fees are being used for what they were designed for in 2014,” continued Baur. “This veto was a clear giveaway to the grocery industry to allow them to keep pocketing the money from the sale of plastic bags and not invest in the requirements of SB 270.” 

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October 10, 2023

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected] 

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Sacramento, CA – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council applauded Governor Gavin Newsom for signing AB 1286 (Haney) into law. AB 1286 will begin to alleviate the chronic understaffing of community pharmacies and pharmacist burnout that puts patients at risk of medication errors. 

“Pharmacists have taken on more and more of our communities’ healthcare provider duties, but without the appropriate increase in staffing,” said Dan Larson, president, UFCW Local 648. “AB 1286 ensures pharmacists will have the staffing they need to prevent against medication errors and pharmacists can have the time to give patients the level of care they deserve. UFCW member pharmacists and pharmacy technicians know this bill will keep California’s patients safe and applaud the signing of this bill into law.” 

In 2021, the California Board of Pharmacy released a workforce survey of pharmacists that sought information about working conditions in community pharmacies. The survey results highlighted what UFCW’s member pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy staff already knew – they faced significant challenges in terms of their workload, which was further exacerbated by the expanded role they played in the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • 83% of respondent pharmacists in community chain pharmacies said they don’t have sufficient time to provide appropriate patient consultation. 
  • 91% said current staffing levels are inappropriate to ensure adequate patient care. 
  • 78% of respondents said they do not have time to provide adequate screening prior to the immunization of a vaccine. 

In response to the survey, the Board established a Medication Error Reduction and Workforce Ad Hoc Committee to consider the issues of medication errors, workforce challenges and the intersection between the two, and undertook review of its regulation of pharmacy technicians. AB 1286 is the result of this work.

The Medication Error Reduction and Patient Safety Act will:

  • Establish a first-in-the-nation mandatory anonymous reporting of medication errors to an independent third-party approved by the Board of Pharmacy
  • Provide minimum staffing for pharmacists who work alone by requiring a technician or clerk to assist the pharmacist from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Give the Board of Pharmacy authority to issue a cease and desist order within 24 hours if the Board determines the conditions in the pharmacy present an immediate risk of death, illness, or irreparable harm for patients, personnel, and pharmacy staff 
  • Require closures of the pharmacy for lunch breaks where staffing doesn’t overlap

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October 8, 2023

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]