UFCW 770 Delegates to the 9th International Convention Speak in Support of a Stronger Union
Represented by an outstanding delegation of rank-and-file members who spoke and voted at the International Convention 2023, our group of UFCW 770 delegates made a mark during the convention as they spoke on numerous issues brought forward by members to continue empowering workers in their workplaces, at the bargaining table, and every time they exercise their right to vote to make our union stronger, more diverse, and more democratic.
During the convention, the nearly 1,500 delegates representing North America unanimously elected the entire “Members First” slate of the UFCW Executive Committee, including the reelection of Mark Perrone as the President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Secretary-Treasurer Shaun Barclay, Executive VPs Milton Jones, Stuart Applebaum and Paul Meinema, and our very own President of UFCW Local 770, Kathy Finn as one of the 50 International Vice Presidents representing the Executive Board in the U.S. and Canada.
Local 770 sent 26 delegates to the convention including rank-and file members and staff.The delegates’ remarkable messages advocating for fair worker representation and election process, more financial resources for organizing, and democracy resounded at the 9th International Convention held in Las Vegas on April 24-28, 2023.
Main highlights of the Convention:
- About 10 members who attended spoke eloquently from the floor of the convention. Other delegates took notice and could be more likely to join us in the future.
- We achieved our objective of getting more financial support from the IU for strikes both during contract campaigns and also, for the first time, organizing campaigns. Strike pay assistance from the International will now begin on the 8th day rather than the 14th.
- We achieved our objective of providing more opportunities to build diverse and strong leaders throughout the UFCW.
- We were able to get the IU to publicly come out in opposition to the Kroger/Albertsons Merger.
- The delegates voted to approve a discretionary dues increase of up to $2.00, if necessary, on July 1,2024 and July 1,2026.
Jessi Crowley passionately spoke in support of the 1 Member, 1 Vote amendment to restore the balance of power and representation of Local Unions. “Allowing every member to vote has the potential to empower our membership and increase engagement on an international scale,” she pointed out in front of thousands of delegates from different UFCW locals from the US and Canada.
DeAndre Williams reinforced our position, “we’re asking for more members to be able to come to this convention so they can have a voice. Larger locals have more members, that’s just what it is, and more members should be here to speak on that. We’ll never take away the voice of smaller locals. We’re just asking that the larger unions, which have thousands of members who are unable to be here, can have that voice.”
Mike Iovino also called for a fair representation of delegates elected among active members.
Erika Bentzen spoke about the bargaining power achieved when rank-and-file members are part of negotiations as was the case of the 2022 food contract campaign when grocery store workers negotiated substantial contracts with significant wage increases and benefits.
Delegates James Lirette, Joyce Roberson, Heidy Lopez, Rogelio Madrigal, and Hector Chaidez also took to the mic to share their commitment to empowering workers across the United States and Canada so that together we can build a stronger UFCW International union. Panelists Susan Hernandez and David Quezada shared their stories and contributed to a rich discussion about issues that matter to our members.
Along with UFCW President, Kathy Finn and the Director of Organizing, Maricruz Ceceña, each of the delegates made our local union proud and they are an inspiration to everyone to get ready for the next Convention in 2028 to continue advocating to empower members’ voices even more. Their courage and commitment to our Local and the IU is the way to go!