This election year, UFCW Local Unions 21, 367, 555 and 1439 fought hard for our members and for all working families in Washington and Oregon. And we won some great victories across the Pacific Northwest.
- Washington voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 1433, which gives every worker in the state the right to earn paid sick and safe leave and raises the minimum wage. I-1433 provides raises to hundreds of thousands of workers, including tens of thousands of UFCW members, and it sets the stage for further advances in coming contract negotiations.
- Voters elected great UFCW-backed candidates like Pramila Jayapal, who will be Washington's newest representative in Congress. Pramila has walked picket lines with UFCW members, supported our contract campaigns and helped to build broad community support for our issues.
This year's victories build on longer-term work we have been doing to advance UFCW members' interests in the political arena.
- In recent years, Oregon passed UFCW-backed measures for higher minimum wages and sick and safe leave similar to what the voters in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane recently passed. Our issues have popular support across the Northwest. There is no doubt the communities we serve are with us.
- In Oregon, UFCW 555 continues to build the Working Families Party to advance our issues without having to depend on the Democrats and Republicans. In Washington a movement is also growing toward an independent party for working families.
All UFCW members should take pride in our accomplishments. When we lead with our issues, our values and our hard work WE WIN -- at the bargaining table and at the ballot box.
Unfortunately, our values and issues did not prevail everywhere this year.
As a result of the election, the White House and Congress will soon be controlled by politicians who have consistently supported big corporations against working people. We are talking about:
- Politicians who have pledged to restrict workers' rights to have a voice on the job.
- Politicians who want to hand Social Security to Wall Street.
- Politicians who want to give even more power to health insurance companies, and take away rights from health care consumers and workers.
We are deeply concerned that our employers will take the election outcome as a signal that it's okay to refuse our just demands for living wages, fair schedules, affordable health care and secure pensions.
And we are concerned that politicians are attempting to divide working people with rhetoric and policies that unjustly target immigrants, people of color, women and other groups.
Our UFCW family includes people of all faiths, ethnicities, genders, languages, sexual orientations and ages.
When we take action together -- we are stronger.
When we defend each other against discrimination -- we are stronger.
When we stand together at work, at the bargaining table and in the political arena -- we win better contracts and pro-worker policies.
We cannot afford to let any politician divide us and sacrifice our rights to the power of giant corporations. When Donald Trump appeals to hate and division, he is expressing the very opposite of union values.
All of us at UFCW will stand together. We will protect one another. We will have each other’s backs. That is the very reason we exist -- to protect the rights of our fellow workers. And that has not changed.
We anticipate big challenges ahead. But we will continue to fight for our issues and our values, including living wages, sick and safe leave, better hours and equitable work schedules, affordable health care, secure pensions and the freedom to organize in our workplaces and communities. And we know that we can win if we stay united, because the public supports us on every one of these issues.
In order to face these challenges and emerge victorious we need to step up, stay united and get organized. We need more UFCW members to become active and informed. We need more members to become UFCW stewards.
It is our activists and stewards who lead the fight to enforce and bargain even better contracts.
It is our activists and stewards who lead the fight for legislation that reflects our values and boosts our contracts.
And it is our activists and stewards who help us build stronger bonds with the communities we serve.
We look forward to hearing from you and we stand ready to take on the challenges ahead, all of us together, as a union family.
UFCW 21 President
UFCW 21 Secretary-Treasurer
UFCW 555 President
UFCW 555 Secretary-Treasurer
UFCW 367 President
UFCW 367 Secretary-Treasurer
UFCW 1439 President
UFCW 1439 Secretary-Treasurer