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UFCW: Pale, Stale and Overpaid!

Written by Sharyn Sigurdur Wednesday, 21 August 2013

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King

A luxury location - two thousand invited delegates - a handful of high profile biz-union friendly guest speakers - a shit-load of over-paid union heads and undoubtedly tens of thousands of union dues dollars later - UFCWs' International Convention 2013 comes to a close and fades into the annals of union history. Or will it?

Pale and stale doesn't come close to covering a pathetic performance. While UFCW International President Joseph Hansen boasts of representing "1.3 million" members, he leaves out the important details of how. Or for that matter, why that particular membership number never seems to fluctuate, despite the huge decline in private sector union membership. Interestingly, the Catholic church membership numbers don't change much either. While the Catholic church does keep dissenters on its' books even after relationships are dissolved, Catholic members can in fact simply choose not to belong. UFCW members not so much.

On with the show! Hansen spent the better part of his convention air-time handing off responsibility for the abysmal state of UFCW contracts and the dire financial straights many UFCW members find themselves in these days. The awards go to: the "right to work" drives - the "health care laws" - the "broken election promises" - the recession - the "yadda yadda"....

Take heart, Hansen assured the predominantly UFCW_paid_staffer crowd that with more money in the organizations' coffers, he could pull a couple rabbits out of the hat - chasing the Scott Walkers of the world back under the rocks from which they came - and - sending "Stephen Harper back to Alberta". His last terms' failed projects or - magic trick do-overs if you will. It would go a long way to cleaning up the poop but in light of said recession it does not much to address the immediate and pressing issues members now face. Bigger question, can members afford it? Turns out they may not have a choice, as the only sure thing that seems to have come out of UFCWs' costly Chicago party appears to be a hike in Local per capita charges by a whopping $1.50 a head. Only by coincidence of course, does hiking the per cap effectively hand off even more responsibility as to where or how Locals can find that much cash. Case in point - a 30,000 member Local will need to cough up an extra $45,000.00 - due and payable to the IU per month. From whose pocket shall they pick it? Anyones' guess eh?

To be fair, members did not come away completely screwed over. UFCW members can now look forward to accessing an unspecified "dream", a new "blue, gold, bold" innocuous chant and if history truly repeats itself, highly probable, a shit-load of UFCW buttons to ward off the enemies.

So before Hansen lines himself up along side Martin Luther King, perhaps he should ask himself where he was standing when retail members took massive wage cuts, or when UFCW paid homage to the enemy, or how about this.

"Best union in North America"? We can only hope not!

UFCW wOOwOO.

A message for UFCW about unity

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