Customer Mobilizations

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.

Hang tough


With the grocery contract negotiation right around the corner, I can’t stop thinking about the strength I saw in all our members at the Grocery Stewards Conference back in October.

In my 40 years of working in the grocery market, I’ve never been so excited about the future of this union. When I looked out and saw hundreds of stewards standing together with their fists in the air, it hit me: we can do anything we set our minds to if we hang together.

Watch the video above and learn why I’m fired up to fight for you. Then leave a comment to let employers know you’re ready to fight for a better deal.

We all have our own versions of what we think makes a fair contract and collectively, they create a shared vision and a strong union. If we hang tough, stand together and bring that same energy to the upcoming grocery contract negotiation, we will win. We’ll win better benefits, higher wages, and the respect we deserve.

I’m proud to be a part of this union with you. Let’s get ready to get a better deal.

Leave Your Comment

We got this,

Jennifer A. Gates, 770 member 

My Friend, Michael Four

Michael was more than just our attorney for over 35 years; he was a huge part of our UFCW family. Personally, he was my mentor and my very dear friend. He was such an extraordinary person with a unique combination of personality traits that made him the one and only Michael Four.

I first met Michael in the late 80’s when I was a law student clerking at Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers. For the 6 years that I worked at SSDS as a law clerk and associate, Michael was the best boss without exception (no offense to the other SSDS attorneys all of whom I love). His direct style, supportive nature and approachability made it easy for a young associate to ask questions, debate ideas and strategies and come to a thorough understanding of the task at hand. This made it so Michael rarely had to make corrections to my work although, according to him, he always had to find at least one thing to correct on every brief I wrote so he could justify signing his name to it.

Michael was a dedicated and steadfast advocate for working people. Our union representatives always requested Michael to handle their discipline arbitrations because, in the end, win or lose, the members felt the best possible case was presented to the arbitrator. The members especially liked to see their managers squirm under Michael’s cross-examination. Michael has also been the one constant in our industry-wide arbitrations since the early 80’s. His knowledge of our industry history is irreplaceable. Michael was incredibly liked and respected by opposing counsel and all the arbitrators we work with.

Michael always wanted to be in the mix because he truly cared about every development impacting our organization and our members. During our most challenging negotiations, he called frequently for updates and was always available to offer bargaining advice or emotional support. Particularly, during our 2003/2004 strike, which until now was the most difficult time in my career, Michael handled all of the litigation and was still available to take calls whenever anyone needed his support or encouragement. After the strike, Michael worked to recover $70 million for our Ralphs members who were unlawfully locked out.

Over the 30 years I’ve known him, Michael became a very dear friend of mine. We shared a life-long love for the Grateful Dead and went to shows together frequently, including “Fare Thee Well” in Chicago in 2015. We first went to a Dead show together in 1990 and our last show was this last July when Michael was thrilled to be at the show with his sons.

Michael and I also shared a love for our families and constantly up-dated each other about our kids successes and challenges. Michael even brought his mother to Chicago in 2015, not to the Dead show, but so she could visit her family in Chicago. When Michael’s parents moved to Los Angeles, he struggled with the challenges of helping to care for his parents, but he never failed to take them shopping on Saturdays. Michael loved his family. Even though I didn’t spend much time with Michael and Karen together, Michael talked about Karen frequently and I always felt a part of their lives. He spoke proudly about Karen’s career achievements and shared other interesting details about their lives, including their plans to retire in Santa Fe.

Michael’s unique personality included anxieties and some neurotic behaviors but he dealt with them with such an honest and upbeat self-deprecating humor that they were endearing rather than annoying. His intelligence and dedication made him the best attorney while his humility and humor made him fun to work with and a pleasure to be around.

Last week, Michael and I had planned to prepare for an upcoming arbitration after I chaired my first executive board meeting. Rather than coming after the Board meeting, Michael came in the morning to watch me chair the meeting. He said, jokingly, that John wanted him there to make sure I didn’t do anything crazy but I’m sure he was there to share that milestone with me. He genuinely cared about people both personally and professionally. Literally everybody liked Michael. He will be remembered lovingly and profoundly missed by so many.

—Kathy Finn, Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW 770

In memory of Michael Four

It is with great regret and sadness that we report the death of Michael Four, a close ally of our movement and a labor law attorney with the firm Schwartz Steinsapir.

Michael spent 37 years fighting tirelessly for the rights of working people, collaborating with our union and others to advance and expand the interests of workers and employees across the country.

He contributed to numerous victories throughout the years, helping hundreds of employees find justice in arbitrations, holding corporate management accountable, and handling large, sweeping projects for our union. He helped win a landmark judgment against Ralphs Grocery that resulted in millions of dollars paid to employees unfairly treated during the 2003-4 lockout and strike.

Although a formidable and steadfast advocate for our families, Michael was best known for his kindness, compassion, and devotion to his family, qualities acknowledged by all who knew him – including those on the other side of the bargaining table.

He is survived by his mother, brother, wife, and two sons.

His insight, optimistic and positive attitude, and commitment to the fight will be missed. While we mourn Michael today, we are sure he would echo the famous quote from Mother Jones: “Pray for the dead, but fight like hell for the living!”

Thank you, Michael. May your name be a blessing.

Condolences for the family and firm can be sent to Margo Feinberg at InlovingmemoryMDFour@ssdslaw.com where they will be compiled into a memory book for the family.


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.


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


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

Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center
6338 Variel Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Animal Shelters

Ventura County Animal Shelter
600 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010

The Humane Society of Ventura County
401 Bryant Street, Ojai, CA 93023

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

Simi Valley Animal Shelter
670 West Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley

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


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.

Open Letter to the Dodgers

To say we are disappointed with you crossing a picket line and betraying the needs of your fellow union members in their time of need is an understatement.

We are furious. And we have a long memory.

There is no excuse for the union players of the Dodgers to become scabs and cross a legitimate, established picket line, especially one created to protest the massive gap between the financial condition of workers and the customers they serve.

The Dodgers had more than ample notice to find another hotel. Heck, the union even gave them a list of other available hotels. You saw the massive pushback against the scab Yankees when THEY crossed the picket line. The Boston City Council passed a resolution supporting the workers nearly a week before you arrived in Boston. The strike had been going on for nearly a month.

But still you chose to betray the poverty-wage workers who change your sheets and clean up your mess, simply because it was a little bit easier for you.

Well, this is one mess your fellow union members will NOT clean up.

The Major League Baseball Players’ Union benefited from the support of your fellow union members in your time of need. Those making barely minimum wage rallied to your side, helping you secure an average $4.5 million annual salary and job security.

But when it came time to choose between supporting those working people who stood with you and a minor hotel inconvenience, you chose to become scabs.

You seem to easily forget the solidarity of the unions that came before you make your job and salaries possible. Without miners being shot for organizing, without garment workers dying in their factories, without workers starving for months on picket lines – you would still be playing for peanuts.

But when it came time to honor that debt, that heritage, you balked.

Shame on you. Your betrayal will not be forgotten nor easily forgiven.

—John Grant, President, and members of UFCW 770

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