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Grocery Contract Update: 05/07

GROCERY MEMBERS: Contract negotiations resume 5/22 – 5/24. Find your latest update here: Contract Update – 5/7

BREAKING: New England Stop & Shop Workers Go On Strike

From union leaders at UFCW Local 1445:

The coordinated negotiations between Stop & Shop and our local unions in Region 1 have reached a breaking point. As of 1 p.m. EDT today, we have gone on strike. This will affect 31,000 Stop & Shop workers and their families. This strike is primarily over Stop & Shop’s attempt to severely reduce health and welfare and pension benefits.

As you know this is a very critical situation for our members. We will keep you updated as this situation unfolds.

770 Members: To show your support, sign the petition.

Sign the Stop & Shop petition


Your Assembly Delegate Guide

Why you should vote

Assembly District delegates help shape the Democratic party here in California and beyond. They have a voice in everything from endorsing candidates for statewide and congressional office, as well as voting to endorse resolutions and ballot measures. That means your delegate could affect major issues for working people, from healthcare to education to housing. Your vote is your chance to get heard.

How you can vote

Voting is this upcoming Sunday, 1/13. First things first, make sure you’re registered, find your district, and locate your polling place. Any registered Democrat living in the district is eligible to vote. On-site voter registration is available for those not registered as Democrats.

Check Your Registration Status

 

Where to vote

If you already know you’re registered and your district, here are the three main polling places for members looking to get heard in the L.A. area.

Assembly District 43 Date: Sunday, January 13, 2019
Doors Open: 9:30am
Candidate Speeches Begin: 10:00am

Registration & Voting: 10:30am-12:30pm

Location:

I.A.T.S.E. Local 80
2520 W. Olive Avenue
Burbank, CA 91505
Assembly District 51 Date: Saturday, January 26, 2019
Candidate Speeches Begin: 10:30am
Registration & Voting: 11:00am-1:00pm

Location:
East LA Rising
324 N. McDonnell Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Assembly District 53 Date: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Doors Open: 10:00am
Candidate Speeches Begin: 10:30am
Registration & Voting: 11:00am-1:00pm

Location:
Boys and Girls Club of Estrada Courts Gym
3232 Estrada Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033

 

Who to vote for

Check out the progressive candidates in your district in the links below:

Assembly District 43

Find Your Candidates

 

Assembly District 51

Find Your Candidates

 

Assembly District 53

Find Your Candidates

 


“It really changed my whole point of view”

Hector Chaidez is a pharmacy technician with Kaiser Permanente in Montebello. Although he’s been with Kaiser for 18 years and a UFCW 770 steward for five, 2018 was the first time he’d every stepped up to take political action. His biggest reason? To see how to win a race up close in case he one day wants to throw his name in a race.

That’s exactly the change we need to see. Since 1995, workers have made up just 4% of political candidates for local and county races here in California. We need people like Hector to get the on-the-ground experience today to maybe someday run and rep working people tomorrow.

What made you want to organize this year?

I wanted to hear what it’s like to be a political candidate if I ever decide to go down that path. I wanted to hear the basics. What it’s like. How are these candidates being elected? It helped me understand the hard work that’s put into getting a candidate elected.

Would you organize again?

After this experience, yes, definitely. When I visited grocery stores [in Nevada], I heard a lot of stories about what the union has been able to accomplish for working people and I just felt so proud about the feedback. From meeting other members to meeting candidates I feel like it gave a fire in me to meet people and showed me how things work and change for the good.

What about your co-workers and other members? Would you ask them to organize, too?

I posted a lot [to social media] throughout my nine weeks in Nevada. A lot of my colleagues would see that, and I’d always get messages, like: ‘Oh, how was that? What was that like?’ I always responded with updates on what I was up to and every day, I heard back: ‘That’s so awesome.’ Even today, they ask me to let them know when there is an event coming up. Now I know a lot of people, and now I can spread the word.

What was the best part of organizing?

I never really had the opportunity to be a leader. To be able to actually lead and be successful at it, it really changed a whole point of view of how I look at myself. I want to inspire others. So, I’m definitely grateful for this experience.

We’re building a team of dedicated members like Hector to keep up the momentum of the Midterms. Sign up below for updates on how you can get involved.


“It paid off.”

Tracy Cason is proof: you don’t have to be a seasoned campaigner to make a huge difference. She traveled to Nevada back in November to get working people out to vote in a fiercely anti-union state. Despite never having volunteered on a campaign before, she jumped in with two feet – and got the job done. Here’s why she thinks organizing is so rewarding:

Is this your first time organizing?

This is my first time campaigning. We were there to talk to union members, because the number was down. We’d go to the stores where they work, and ask what were the important issues to them to get them a little bit more involved and wanting to vote. We did that until we got run out of the stores [laughs]. Then we went door to door. We let them know that we were there and we wanted what was best for them. It paid off.

What was the number one thing you heard from people?

Concerns were health care, hard wages, days off with pay. It is a right-to-work state, so a lot of older members were union members. A lot of younger members weren’t union members. It’s kind of hard to get the younger generation involved, because they belive that their vote doesn’t matter. Every vote matters – if everybody thought that way, we’d end up with a worse situation.

What was the overall response?

Some people were really receptive, and some weren’t. You know the old saying: if you’re not welcome, just knock the dust off your feet. When I saw the results that night, I was so happy. All that hard work, all that heat. It paid off. To make a difference was such a good feeling.

What made you want to get involved?

They brought it up at one of our steward meetings. Everybody else in the room said they couldn’t go – they had too many responsibilities. So, I thought, I can step up. After one day, we were running. Let’s get to work! Day by day, you learn a little bit more.

Would you help with more organizing?

Yeah, I would. Our union is the best union in the world. I found that out in Las Vegas. We got health care, paid vacation, sick leave. These people go to work, and they don’t have all of that. I told my co-workers, if I hear anyone else complaining, I’m sending y’all to Vegas! [laughs]

This experience was awesome, and I learned a lot. It was adventurous. This was the best: to win. That’s the best experience: winning.

We’re building a team of dedicated members like Tracy to keep up the momentum of the Midterms. Sign up below for updates on how you can get involved.


“The fighter I’ve been since I was a child.”

Ludmila Blanco knows organizing. From the age five, she’s been politically active, marching through the streets of downtown L.A. to demand the end to the war in El Salvador. Today, she’s a shift supervisor and 25 year veteran of CVS. She traveled to Nevada to get out the vote for the 2018 Midterms, and here’s why she says you should always keep fighting.

Is this your first time working on a political campaign?

No, I’ve participated in rallies in L.A. I’ve done phonebanking, organizing, and I went to Nevada for the Hillary campaign two years ago. It was just for three days, so I wasn’t involved as much as this time around. Being able to talk to the candidates was just awesome. We got to know who we were actually getting the vote out for. We were very motivated by that. Having people come from different unions as well – we had the firefighters, the steelworkers, the culinary workers –  made it very positive.

How would this experience rank?

To know that we made history, that just changes everything. The power that the people have is unbelievable. To go out there and make a change that hadn’t happened in two decades was just amazing.

What would you say to some members who aren’t interested in organizing?

The benefits that we have, people fought for. If we continue fighting to keep them, it will be better for our children, and their children. If we don’t, things will go bad for us. We need to improve, make a better quality of life for everyone – our children as well. What we do now is going to affect them in the future. We want a better future for them.

Do you think being a part of a union has made you a better organizer?

Definitely. As a Salvadoran child, at the age of five, I was marching in downtown L.A. 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. I think everyone should join the union. We have to fight for our rights.

Even though we’re union, there’s still a constant fight. You’re fighting these corporations, so being a part of the union has made me a better leader politically. All these people here, they’re like family. It’s all worth doing.

We’re building a team of dedicated members like Ludmila to keep up the momentum of the Midterms. Sign up below for updates on how you can get involved.


 
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