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UFCW ... Pledge This!!!

Written by John Briley Friday, 27 May 2011

As I follow the 2011 UFCW Southern CA Food Negotiations between UFCW Local's 8, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 & 1442 and Ralph's (Kroger), Albertsons (Super-Valu) and Von's (Safeway) I couldn't help to be amused at the recent UFCW pledge mania posted on Local 770's website in it's May 10th Contract update.

Specifically: The Pledge

Grocery Workers call on Albertsons to fulfill pledge not to cut wages, benefits, or retirement.

On May 2, 2011, the corporate owners of Albertsons issued a communication to their employees pledging to continue to provide good wages, a pension at retirement, and access to quality, affordable health care.

To us, that sounds like they are pledging to hold the line on those items. While your union is fighting to IMPROVE wages, benefits, and retirement, we still believe Albertsons and SuperValu should put their money where their mouth is and sign a pledge to at least preserve your current compensation.

Anything less than that would call them out as liars, trying to mislead you into trusting them while they seek to cut your compensation – even as they record high profits and pay out hundreds of millions in dividends to investors.

We are calling on Albertsons and SuperValu to sign the following pledge to, at a minimum, maintain your compensation, and do it by midnight, Wednesday May 11th.

Refusing to sign this pledge confirming their promise to you is a tacit admission they are lying to you about their intentions, and are seeking to increase their profits at your expense.

Ask your manager today if Albertsons and SuperValu will sign this pledge.

As the former President at UFCW Local 839 for over 17 years, I am dumbfounded as to the strategy being pursued by the Southern Ca. UFCW Leadership on behalf of their 60,000 members with respect to these negotiations.

With Northern California UFCW Food Contracts expiring on October 8, 2011, especially with the common problems shared by the North & South pertaining to the serious funding issues within our H&W/Pension Plans, etc., including improving and protecting our Retiree H&W Benefits. I would have hoped that our UFCW Local and I.U. Leadership would have utilized the relatively close contract expiration dates between the North & South in a more creative and beneficial manner on behalf of our Active and Retiree members.

It appears now that our UFCW Local Union and I.U. Leadership do not want to slow the Southern California Negotiations down and or wait for Northern California Contacts to expire so as to have a tremendous advantage over the various Employer's including the possibility, if necessary, to shut down the State of California to achieve our objectives and goals on behalf of our UFCW Members!

Since we do not have a crystal ball as to what this contract will look like and or what any other UFCW Contracts are going to look like in the near future, the time has come for the UFCW Local Union/International Union Leadership to immediately start to provide monetary relief to our UFCW Members within the U.S. and Canada who can no longer continue and or afford to subsidize the UFCW Cash Cow Machine any longer!

Specifically: UFCW ... Pledge This!!!

UFCW Members and Retirees call on our UFCW Local and International Union Leadership to fulfill their commitment and obligation to stave off cuts to our Active Member Wages and H&W/Pension Benefits, including improving/protecting Retiree H&W Benefits.

UFCW leadership have 24 hours to sign the pledge to defend the living standard of it's Members and Retirees.

On May 10th, 2011, UFCW issued a communication to it's Members and Retirees pledging that the UFCW is fighting for you at the bargaining table, working to protect your wages, hours, retirement, and benefits and that UFCW cannot and will not stand for any wage and benefit cuts as sought by it's Employers.

To us, that sounds like the Leadership is pledging solidarity with it's Membership and Retirees.

While Members and Retirees are fighting to keep their standard of living above the poverty line, we believe UFCW Leadership should put their money where their mouth is and sign a pledge of solidarity.

Anything less than that would call UFCW Leadership out as labor fakers, trying to mislead you into trusting them while they seek only to maintain their record high salaries and perks.

We are calling on the UFCW Leadership to sign the following pledge to, at a minimum, take equal lumps, hits and/or claw-backs along with it's Membership and Retirees.

Refusing to sign this pledge of solidarity is a tacit admission UFCW leadership is lying to you about UFCW's commitment, and are seeking only to retain their positions at your expense.

Ask your Local Union/International Leadership today if they will sign this pledge.

Pledge to UFCW Members and Retirees throughout the USA and Canada:

  1. Any and all Contract Concessions, including any Retiree claw-backs and/or additional H&W co-pay premiums will automatically trigger an immediate reduction in UFCW members' weekly/monthly dues structure and initiation fees within their respective Local Union.
  2. Any and all Contract Concessions, including any Retiree claw-backs and/or additional H&W co-pay premiums will automatically trigger an immediate reduction in Leadership and Union Reps salaries within the respective Local Union and I.U. staff.
  3. Additionally, any and all Contract Concessions, including any Retiree claw-backs and/or additional H&W co-pay premiums will trigger an immediate reduction in the monthly Per Capita tax required to be paid by the Local Union to the I.U.

As indicated in UFCW Local and International communications, articles and speeches, UFCW Leadership pledge to, at a minimum, stand in full solidarity with UFCW Members and UFCW Retirees.

This action would not take any divine intervention and/or require any assistance from Federal Mediation. The Local Unions and the I.U. could accomplish this edict internally without any problem. The question as we all know, are they willing to stop the UFCW Cash Cow Machine which will impact their lifestyle of the rich and famous!

By way of example as to the UFCW Cash Cow Machine, let us review the 2010 LM2 Reports for the UFCW International Union and UFCW Local Unions currently involved in the Southern California Food Negotiations.

Please take the time to review the salaries for the UFCW Local Union Leadership including our Union Representatives, our I.U. Leadership, including the Executive Committee and the amount of Union Dues paid to each Local Union by our members, including the amount of Per Capita Tax paid by each Local Union and received by the UFCW I.U.

Clearly there are monies that can immediately start going back into our UFCW member's pockets throughout the U.S. and Canada by immediately implementing the aforementioned Pledge!

Here is the DOL link to review LM2 Reports

UFCW Local Union and UFCW I.U. DOL File#'s:

UFCW I.U. File# - File# 000-056
UFCW Local 8 = File# 043-536
UFCW Local 135- File# 517-319
UFCW Local 324- File# 022-620
UFCW Local 770- File# 517-385
UFCW Local 1167 – File# 041-697
UFCW Local 1428 – File# 028-808
UFCW Local 1442 – File# 039-918

To be continued….

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