Fall 2015 Newsletter

Working Hard to Make Lives Better

Working Hard to Make Lives Better

We are now a union with over 46,000 members, the largest UFCW local in the nation. Together, members and the community have shown that we can protect our benefits, improve our wages, and achieve stronger contracts. In the end, every hard-working man and woman has earned the right to a higher wage, better benefits, and a schedule allowing better control of their lives...


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2015 Steward Awards

2015 Steward Awards

UFCW 21 has over 1,000 Stewards at work locations all across the state. While we cannot award each one, we want to showcase some of the most active members who enforce our contracts, educate fellow members (especially new ones), coordinate actions during and between contract negotiations, take leadership on political work, and so much more...

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Members Stand Up For Their Rights

Women Moving Up in the Workplace 

On September 3, 2015 Pacific Northwest Magazine of the Sunday Seattle Times ran a story titled “Women in the Trades.” The story profiled hard-working women in what are often seen as jobs traditionally done by men. One of the women profiled in the story is Molly Milasich, a UFCW 21 meat cutter at PCC.  UFCW 21’s King County Meat Apprenticeship program at South Seattle College, where Molly trained, is working to bring more women into the trade. Check out the full story at: http://projects.seattletimes.com/2015/women-in-trades/

Keeping Up to Date Helps Us All

Vickie Orcutt is a leader at North Valley Hospital. When she completed her certification, her employer, unlike years in the past, decided not to pay her. Vickie worked with our union to resolve the situation and North Valley agreed to pay for the certification and for all the hours to complete it. Keeping up-to-date with certifications is helpful for the patients we serve every day, and we should not have to pay for it out of our paycheck.

Still At It After All These Years

Stafford Jones was a sophomore in High School when he started working for Safeway – that was in August of 1951. He is still at it and turned 80 this past summer. Stafford has worked at different locations over the years, starting at a Burien store and most recently moving from Mercer Island to Issaquah. Talking about his work in produce, where he continues to work two days a week, Stafford says, “I still get a kick out of it—the challenge to get the job done and done well each day.” It is an honor to have Stafford as a member after all these years. Cheers. 

Working Together Pays

Song Kelley, a per diem CNA at Forks Hospital, works hard and plays by the rules. She wanted a permanent position and had been applying for part-time work when it was posted, but the Hospital kept hiring new staff rather than her as a per diem. Song never gave up and with the support of her co-worker Aleda Adams, Song ultimately was able to get the new Interim HR manager to turn this around, and she received her long-awaited part-time position.

Racially Equitable Workplaces & Communities

The social justice seminar was amazing. I appreciated the panel with youth and more senior leaders from Alaska and Oregon. They gave me an understanding of social justice from different angles. I definitely enjoyed the Q & A portion even with difficult questions and statements, everyone could be passionate yet stay cool at the same time.
— Candice Hemphil

The Regional NAACP Convention, held in Spokane on September 19-20, was a unique opportunity for UFCW 21 members from around the state and from different sectors to engage collectively in race equity for Washington State. Patricia Brown (MultiCare), Candice Hemphill (Macy’s), and Mary Watkines (OurWalmart), joined Carolyn Kennedy, Jodi Spurgeon, Susie Heritage (Holy Family), Ginny Hein and Carol Cropper (Sacred Heart), and NAACP chapters from Alaska, Washington and Oregon engaging in thought-provoking workshops, inspiring keynote speakers and a celebratory banquet.

The conference touched on issues such as “Ban the Box”, voting rights and engagement in Black Lives Matter. During the Social Justice panel Patricia spoke from her experiences as a health care worker-leader, regarding social justice for the newly-born, which is closely tied to access to women’s health care and family planning options. According to Patricia voting is important, and for those under 18 there needs to be other ways for these youth to experience social justice.

UFCW 21 looks forward to continuing to work with the NAACP chapters in King, Pierce, and Spokane counties, with a vision of racially equitable workplaces and communities.


UFCW 21 members and their spouses/domestic partners and dependents will be able to apply for a scholarship. Last year UFCW 21 awarded over $40,000 in scholarships to our members and their families. Please visit here for application forms and information.

NEW extended deadline April 1, 2016.

HRA Funding Save Money Avoid a Higher Deductible

Nearly half of our members have health care coverage through Sound Health and Wellness Trust and can save up to $500 for a member or $1,000 for a family. Check it out!

Deadline: December 31, 2015

Donations — Thank You

When UFCW 21 members attend a General Membership Meeting,they receive a half month’s dues credit which they can choose to donate to a cause. This past summer’s donation of $2,034.30 went to support the local community of Charleston, South Carolina, where a racially motivated shooting occurred in a church earlier this year. In November the donation will benefit communities devastated by the wildfires in Eastern Washington.