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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 […]

Cannabis

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, Calif. – Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D- Winters) announced today that her Assembly Bill 2223 passed the Assembly Floor with over 65 bipartisan Assemblymembers voting to support the bill. AB 2223 will protect public health by eliminating access to intoxicating hemp products, while providing a pathway for well-regulated hemp and cannabis industries to […]
Sacramento, CA – Today the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council applauded the California State Assembly for passing AB 1775 (Haney) to give local governments the authority to allow cannabis retailers and microbusinesses that have licenses to operate cannabis consumption lounges to conduct additional business activities, such as preparing and selling non-cannabis-infused […]
Sacramento, CA – Today the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council applauded the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee for passing AB 1775 (Haney) to give local governments the authority to allow cannabis retailers and microbusinesses that have licenses to operate cannabis consumption lounges to conduct additional business activities, such as preparing and selling […]
UFCW in the News
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Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council, California Association of Food Banks, GRACE/End Child Poverty California, and the California Food and Farming Network applauded the California State Assembly for passing AB 1961 (Wicks), which will develop, for the first time in state history, a strategic masterplan to end hunger in California. At a time when one in four households with children are food insecure, with deep disparities for Black and Latine households, the groups underscore the urgent need for California to prioritize ending hunger.

“Los Angeles is located in the nation’s fifth-largest food supplier state, and should have easy access to affordable, fresh, quality food, but many of our city’s neighborhoods, like South Los Angeles, are food deserts,” said Kathy Finn, president, UFCW Local 770. “We know hunger is a result of systemic factors that need big solutions to fix. That’s why UFCW is proud to sponsor AB 1961 to establish a broadly inclusive task force that will tackle the inequalities that exist in our current food system, and ensure workers can put fresh, healthy, culturally relevant food on their table each night.”

“Today it’s clear that the hunger crisis is not behind us, it’s upon us. The impact of the end of the pandemic boost to CalFresh benefits last year continues to ripple through our communities, along with the end of many other critical public supports that helped to keep communities nourished. With still incredible demand at food banks, three-quarters have had to scale back their operations while they are faced with dramatic funding shortfalls,” said Stacia Hill Levenfeld, CEO, California Association of Food Banks. “We are proud to co-sponsor this historic initiative that embodies the collaborative spirit needed to address the root causes of food insecurity across our state. By convening experts and stakeholders to develop comprehensive strategies, AB 1961 paves the way for a more equitable access to food. Together, we can build a future where no one in California goes hungry.”

“Sadly ironic, hunger is felt disproportionately across people that work in the food and farming system,” said Beth Smoker, Policy Director, California Food and Farming Network. “Food workers face higher levels of food insecurity than the rest of the U.S. workforce with 72% of agricultural workers reporting trouble paying for food, 62% of small farmers experienced food insecurity in a survey of 120 CA farmers, and over three-quarters of workers at a large grocery chain were found to be food insecure. We have a lot of work to do if the people growing, harvesting, and serving our food cannot put adequate food on their own tables and AB 1961 is one important step toward correcting these inequities.”

“Nutrition programs are proven as some of the most effective at helping lift children and families out of poverty, by making sure families have the resources to purchase groceries and take pressure off rent, utilities and other basic needs,” said Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO, GRACE/End Child Poverty California. “Despite recent progress California still has work to do to maximize and augment the federal nutrition programs, including the Summer EBT program, the first new entitlement in a generation. We also saw recently the shameful but predictable rise in food insecurity from the end of many pandemic era expansions that drove hunger to historic lows. The time is now for a comprehensive plan to ensure access to food and build pathways out of poverty through California’s vital food and farming economy.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 23, 2024

Contact: Jenna Thompson, UFCW Western States Council, 949.246.1620, [email protected]

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Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council, California Labor Federation and the Prosecutors Alliance of California applauded the California State Senate for passing SB 1446 (Smallwood-Cuevas), which will protect workers and the public by ensuring safe staffing levels at grocery and drug-retail stores and regulating self-checkout machines. It will also put in place guardrails to prevent worker displacement and harm to workers and the public when retail employers adopt new AI-enabled check-out technology.
“UFCW members have had to sit by and watch as our employers implement technology designed to eliminate workers’ jobs while putting the public and workers at more risk,” said Andrea Zinder, president, UFCW Local 324. “Companies want to use self-checkout to drastically cut staffing and reduce labor costs, but this reduction in front-line grocery workers has created a range of problems for retailers, workers, and the public, including overworked cashiers and an increase in workplace violence and retail theft. SB 1446 will protect good jobs and keep workers safe by ensuring there are safe staffing levels for cashiers and regulating self-checkout. We’re proud the California Senate supported this important legislation.”
In 2011, California passed AB 183 (Ma) in law, which banned the sale of alcohol via self-checkout machines in response to “evidence of inadequate staffing, inconsistent monitoring, and technological failures” at self-checkout that increased illegal purchases of alcohol and harmed public health.1 Since then, self-checkout has rapidly spread in retail grocery and drug stores, with some stores that do not sell alcohol having eliminated checkout staffed by human workers.
“Replacing workers with automated checkout machines has undermined safety for workers and the public. No one feels safe in stores without employees,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Chief Officer of the California Labor Federation, representing 1,300 unions and 2.3 million union members. “In every industry, workers are demanding a say in the use of new technologies to prevent displacement. This bill guarantees safe staffing levels and provides new tools to ensure that technology is not used to destroy good jobs or leave communities without adequate services.”
Self-checkout machines accounted for under 30% of total transactions in 2022, but cost food retailers more than $10 billion in lost profits annually. Nearly 7% of self-checkout transactions have at least some partial shrink compared to 0.32% with cashiers.2
“We commend the Senate for passing SB 1446, which will stop retail theft before it happens. This bill protects workers, deters individuals from stealing, and provides a better, safer experience for customers. It’s a win for our communities,” said Cristine Soto DeBerry, Executive Director of Prosecutors Alliance Action.
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1  Self-Checkout: Is it Reliable for Selling Alcohol?. Community Economic Development Clinic, UCLA, LAANE. 2009. https://laane.org/research/self-checkout-is-it-reliable/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2024
Contact:
(UFCW) Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]
Posted under

Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council applauded the California State Senate for passing SB 1089 (Smallwood-Cuevas), which will help mitigate the harms from abrupt disruptions in access to food and prescription medication, especially in underserved or at-risk African American communities, by requiring 60-day advance notifications to the affected community, employees, and other stakeholders, before the closure of a grocery store or pharmacy with five or more employees. The bill requires a 30-days notice for a grocery store or pharmacy that has five employees or less. The following statement may be attributed to Joe Duffle, president, UFCW Local 1167:

“I’ve been in countless Rite Aid stores where our members are so afraid that they will be out of a job any time their manager calls a meeting. This uncertainty of whether they can pay their rent or car payment that month is causing unneeded stress for our members. SB 1089 will ensure our members and communities receive advance notice before a grocery or drug-retail store closure so workers can plan ahead, and pharmacy patients can know where their prescriptions will be transferred. UFCW is proud to sponsor this important bill.”

SB 1089 is part of the 2024 California Legislative Black Caucus Reparations Priority Bill Package.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 21, 2024

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]