How we won in November

They said it couldn’t be done.

In a right-to-work, anti-union state like Nevada, they said voters wouldn’t elect candidates who fight for working people.

They were wrong.

Last week, we regrouped to look back at the historic victory UFCW 770 members helped win in Nevada. Leading up to the Midterms, a group of fired up members took paid leaves from their jobs to travel to Las Vegas and get out the vote.

The results were huge. Thanks in part to 770 members knocking door-to-door, voters elected the first Democratic governor in Nevada in two decades, Steve Sisolak, and kicked out Republican Senator Dean Heller, who helped pass last year’s corporate tax cut.

It was a big moment for working people, especially in a fiercely anti-union state.

More importantly, our GOTV volunteers are bringing their energy and hard-earned lessons back home to California to keep fighting.

Here’s what we learned:

1. It’s never too late to start organizing

You don’t need to be an experienced campaigner to make a difference. In fact, many of the members who traveled to Nevada were volunteering for the very first time, like Nicole Parraz, a Food4Less cake decorator from Palmdale.

“This was my first experience organizing with the union and it opened my eyes to just how important the union is. I met a lot of great people, and it was a life-changing experience. It made me want to continue to help organizing.”

2. Attitude is everything

Tracy Cason, a 770 pharmacy assistant at Kaiser Permanente for 20 years, was also a first-time political volunteer in Nevada. For her part, she wasn’t sure how to canvass or talk to voters, but jumped in with enthusiasm – and it paid off.

“I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but when I watched the election results, I was so happy. All that hard work, all that heat. It paid off. To make a difference was such a good feeling.”

3. We need to keep the momentum going

Ludmila Blanco from CVS has been politically active literally since she was a child. She knows that it’s “constant fight” against employers for better rights — and that we need to stay vigilante if we’re going to keep winning.

“As a Salvadoran child, my parents were politically active here. At the age of five, I was marching in downtown LA for the war to stop in El Salvador. I was taught that we need to stand up, and peacefully fight, and not give up. Being part of the union is bringing [my identity] – this is me, this is the fighter that I’ve been since I was a child. We ought to fight for our rights.”

If you’re interested in fighting for your rights and pitching in during organizing campaigns like Ludmila, sign up below and we’ll get you started on everything you need to know.


Thankful

Hey there,

I just sat down from cleaning a pile of dishes up to my ears. The kids have left, the house is quiet. After a long day of family, friends, and (so much) food, I couldn’t let the sun set without sharing my gratitude with you all.

Thanksgiving is more than a holiday or an excuse to sell some turkeys. It’s a chance to reflect back on where we’ve been, where we’re going, but – most importantly – the people who walk with us on our journey.

That means you. I’m thankful to every single person in this union for pouring their blood and sweat into the job every day (with a smile on your face, too). Not only that, you all are going above and beyond to meet the incredible fight we’re in to get democracy – on and off the clock.

I’m thinking of Francis Robateau and Andrea Arhelger and our political volunteers who took their hard-earned days off to walk door to door canvassing. They didn’t let the hot sun of the Simi Valley scare them. The pushed ahead and their tenacity helped flip a seat that’s been in hostile hands for decades.

I’m thinking of Johnathan Fabro and our organizing team who are helping bring safety and security to hundreds of Cannabis members across L.A. County. We’re about to sign a new contract with Med Men – a major moment to show the world that we are here and we’re legit.

I’m thinking of Mary and the thousands of Rite Aid workers and supporters who, when Rite Aid threatened their health care, said: “No way.” Our Boycott Rite Aid campaign brought the company back to the table and took their hands off your benefits.

I’m thinking of all of you who feed your communities – mind, body, and soul – every single day. You keep your neighbors happy and healthy. That’s a powerful thing, and something they’ll never be able to take from us. As long as we continue showing up and giving our all, we’ll keep winning.

The fight is far from over, though. Next month, we begin organizing for our Grocery contract negotiations. Whether you’re a Grocery division member or not, this is your fight. It’s no secret ruthless companies like Amazon want to bring automation to every store. When we hang tough, though, we can get ahead and get more.

They may have the money and the expensive lawyers. We have something better, though: the power of people. We have each other.

Please sign up to volunteer your time and we’ll get you started on how you can pitch in to help get a better deal. For now, Happy Thanksgiving.

VOLUNTEER

And now we go,

John Grant
President, UFCW 770


GEKLAW Workshops

GEKLAW Workshops

As workers, you’re at risk of getting injured or sick on the job every day. As members, you have access to attorneys from Gordon Edelstein who will make the workers comp process as smooth for you as possible. Come to one or all of our GEKLAW workshops for legal advice and answers to your questions – free of charge.

Understand and exercise your rights under your contract and the law with the help of these workshops.

Get your rights. Get treated.

For more information, call us at 323.923.2119.

 

GEKLAW Office Hours and Locations

Shatto Office – 630 Shatto Place, Los Angeles, CA 90210
Every Wednesday—2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Huntington Park Office – 5400 Pacific Boulevard, Huntington Park, CA 90255
Two Wednesdays each month beginning in December—2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. See dates below.

Camarillo Office – 816 Camarillo Springs Road, Suite H, Camarillo, CA 93012
Every Tuesday—9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Assistance in Spanish is available at all locations. 

 

Huntington Park Workshop Dates

Month Dates
December 2018 December 5, December 9
January 2019 January 16, January 30
February 2019 February 13, February 27
March 2019 March 13, March 27
April 2019 April 10, April 24
May 2019 May 8, May 22
June 2019 June 5, June 19
July 2019 July 17, July 31
August 2019 August 14, August 28
September 2019 September 11, September 25
October 2019 October 9, October 23
November 2019 November 6, November 20
December 2019 December 4, December 18


Where to get help

To all our members who are caught in the devastating path of the Hill & Woolsey Fires: we’ve got your back.

Members affected by the fires can apply for assistance starting today, Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

1. Register online http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

2. Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Here are other resources for members in need:


Evacuation Centers

Ventura County

Taft Charter High School
5461 Winnetka Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Pierce College
7100 El Rancho Drive, Woodland Hills

California Lutheran University
Gilbert Sport & Fitness Center
130 Overton Court, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Los Angeles County

Palisades High School
15777 Bowdoin St, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Canoga Park High School
6850 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91303

Filter Masks

N95 Particulate Filter Masks are available here:

California Lutheran University
130 Overton Court, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

North Oxnard Public Health
2240 East Gonzales Road, Oxnard, CA 93036

South Oxnard Public Health
2500 South C Street, Oxnard, CA 93033

Channel Islands Harbor Master
3900 Pelican Way, Oxnard CA 93035

Las Pasas Family Medical Group
3801 Las Posas, Suite 214, Camarillo 93010

Sierra Vista Family Medical Clinic
2700 East Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93065

Moorpark Family Medical Clinic
612 Spring Road, Building A, Moorpark CA 93021

Adventist Health Simi Valley
2975 Sycamore Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065

Los Robles Regional Medical Center
215 West Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital
2309 Antonio Avenue, Camarillo, CA 93010

St. John’s Regional Medical Center
1600 North Rose Avenue, Oxnard 93036

Counseling

Veterans needing crisis support
Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255

Anyone in need
The Ventura County Crisis Team is available at 866-998-2243

American Red Cross
Camarillo Office
836 Calle Plano, Camarillo, CA 93012
805-987-1514

Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center
6338 Variel Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
1-800-RED-CROSS

Animal Shelters

Ventura County Animal Shelter
600 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010
805-388-4258

The Humane Society of Ventura County
401 Bryant Street, Ojai, CA 93023
805-646-6505

Earl Warren Show Grounds
3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Simi Valley Animal Shelter
670 West Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley
805-388-4341


What Comes Next

Last night was a win for working people. Across the nation, communities stood up, spoke out, and got heard. Here in California, we took crucial seats, including helping flip CA-25 and elect Katie Hill.

You got the job done, but our work is just beginning. Now we need to hold our new leaders accountable, and remind those re-elected that we’re here and we’re a force to be reckoned with.

Stay involved. Sign-up to be a part of our political team and get updates on ways you can help organize for the next fight.

Join the team

Results

When we show up, we win. Here’s a recap of what you helped accomplish:

Candidate Status
Governor, Gavin Newsom WON
Lt. Governor, Ed Hernandez LOST
Secretary of State, Alex Padilla WON
Attorney General, Xavier Becerra WON
Treasurer, Fiona Ma WON
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond Too close to call
Insurance Commissioner, Ricardo Lara Too close to call
State Senate, Bob Hertzberg WON
State Senate, Connie Leyva WON
State Senate, Mike Eng LOST
State Senate, Maria Elena Durazo WON
State Senate, Ben Allen WON
State Senate, Holly Mitchell WON
State Senate, Bob Archuleta WON
U.S. Congress, Katie Hill WON
U.S. Congress, Judy Chu WON
U.S. Congress, Adam Schiff WON
U.S. Congress, Tony Cardenas WON
U.S. Congress, Brad Sherman WON
U.S. Congress, Grace Napolitano WON
U.S. Congress, Ted Lieu WON
U.S. Congress, Jimmy Gomez WON
U.S. Congress, Norma Torres WON
U.S. Congress, Karen Bass WON
U.S. Congress, Linda Sánchez WON
U.S. Congress, Gil Cisneros LOST
U.S. Congress, Lucille Roybal-Allard WON
U.S. Congress, Maxine Waters WON
U.S. Congress, Nanette Barragan WON
U.S. Congress, Alan Lowenthal WON
State Assembly, Blanca Rubio WON
State Assembly, Ed Chau WON
State Assembly, Wendy Carrillo WON
State Assembly, Freddie Rodriguez AHEAD
State Assembly, Miguel Santiago AHEAD
State Assembly, Sydney Kamlager AHEAD
State Assembly, Ian Calderon WON
State Assembly, Reggie Jones-Sawyer AHEAD
State Assembly, Autumn Burke WON
State Assembly, Anthony Rendon AHEAD
State Assembly, Mike Gipson WON
State Assembly, Al Muratsuchi AHEAD
State Assembly, Patrick O’Donnell WON
U.S. Senate, Kevin de Leon LOST

Time to show up

It’s time to get down to business, people. We’re less than one week from the biggest midterm election of our lives. Workers around the country are proving that when we show up, we win. So let’s get out the vote.

Here are two easy ways you can get involved today:

2. Tell Your Employer You Need Time Off to Vote

Reminder: California law provides you up to two hours off to vote if you do not have enough time to do so during non-work hours.

According to the Office of the California Secretary of State:

California Elections Code section 14000 allows workers up to two hours off, without a loss of pay, to vote if they do not have enough time to do so in their non-work hours. The law requires workers to give their employers two working days’ notice before the election if they will need to take time off to vote.

Be sure to give your employers two working days’ notice before the election if you will need time off to vote

Learn more

 

2. Make Your Voting Plan

Find out where to vote, your registration status, and UFCW 770 candidate endorsements so you can make an informed vote on November 6th.

Let’s go

 

3. Get Out the Vote

CA-District 25 is one of the key seats that could flip the House in favor of working people next week. Take an hour out of your day this weekend and make a huge difference for years to come.

I’m In

This is our chance to get heard. Let’s make some noise.


This Moment in Labor History: Fair Labor Standards Act

Today is the 80th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the law that gave us the minimum wage, overtime pay, and the ban on child labor.

The effect of this law on the lives of working people has been historic. As Laura Huizar of the National Employment Law Project writes:

“Prior to the FLSA’s adoption in 1938, countless children, some as young as 5, worked day and night and many risked their lives in dangerous mines, factories, and mills. By 1810, ‘about 2 million school-age children were working 50- to 70- hour weeks.’”

Of course, working conditions and wages were just as back-breaking for adults, who could be forced to work around the clock, every day of the week, without limit.

There were a couple of factors that made the FLSA possible—all of which were powered by people. Crucially, the Supreme Court reversed itself and legalized the minimum wage. Before then, there was this ridiculous idea that workers had a constitutional right to be exploited to the point of injury and death. There was a powerful and well organized labor movement with a champion in the White House—and we’re not talking about FDR.

Frances Perkins was the first woman appointed to the cabinet and the longest serving labor secretary in U.S. history. She was brilliant at working with labor leaders and workers to force the president—who gets all the credit today—to do the right thing. Thanks to that Supreme Court decision and a lot of blood and sweat, the FLSA became law.

As we honor the anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act and how far we’ve come, we also have to take a hard look at how much further we have to go. The fact is we’re still struggling for a decent wage. As Huizar also points out, “the current federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 for almost ten years, and almost half (43.7%) of U.S. workers earn under $15 an hour.”

The lessons of the FLSA are clear: No matter how bad it seems (and we’re talking about five-year olds working in factories bad), we can win if we organize and fight to get heard. It was a strong labor movement that made FDR and Congress act. They did it in a single year because working people demanded better.

In just a few days, we’ve got another huge opportunity to get heard. Voting is one small thing you can do now that will make Washington sit up and listen. Commit to vote today and let’s make our own bit of history.


 
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