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March 2011

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the doc
Post Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:30 pm

Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 121
John I am from Canada Ont. UFCW 175. They don't tell us how much, but we have had lots of scandals. Money disapears, union officers leave suddenly no explanation except they wanted to retire (at 50 or 55). This has gone on for years and nobody has ever been charged. The UFCW looks after their own baby. You can steal from us and be shown the door, but you will never ever be charged with a crime, cause they don't want to let you know where the money went. By the way I have never heard of anybody paying money back.
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SharynS
Post Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:34 pm

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3632
Location: the 'puter
That is how the rules read JB but it's more often than not, not how they works work. ufcw member obstacles may differ country to country but they're still obstacles. Canadian members don't routinely get to see where the money goes. In fact here's ufcw 247 members who had to sue to get local financials. Just one Canadian example of members trying to find the money.

And I suppose it could be argued that the pension contribution recently negotiated in the new Seattle CBA (p. 2 or 3?) "will also go directly to the affected members within that contract / Plan." but given ufcw's pension oversight history I think even indirectly might be a huge stretch.
Quote:
e. Employers agree to increase their hourly pension supplemental contribuion as follows:

Effective January 2011 hours: $0.05
Effective January 2012 hours: An additional $0.05
Effective January 2013 hours: An additional $0.05

These will result in an additional $0.15 per hour of a contribution from the employer b the end of the contract period.

(These additional contributions are not used to calculate the value of an employee's individual pension but are contributions that are needed to help the pensions plan make up for the market losses of 2008 and 2009 and improve the plan's funding status)
Straight up that looks more like money negotiated away and out of members' pockets to cover fiduciary ass. It comes with absolutely no guarantees of anything so I'd say it's quite safe to say we all know how and where it will end (up).

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ross53
Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:49 am

Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: california
Laboryes wrote:

This is where you are wrong Ross! Also this is exactly how the employers and the UFCW leaders want you to feel.

Ross there is power when people unite and stand together! The only requirement Ross is to show up and do something!

Ross people have power but they must be willing to use it! Don't use it....then you lose it!

Simple as that!!!!


Ly,

Not, in actual fact; I do know with absolute firmness that my co-workers don’t care!

We have unity in knowing that we are getting screwed by the union and exploited by the grocers, no doubts about that.

…it becomes a problem when people are asked to show up; they all have one reason or another that precludes each and every one of them to show up.

As I said before, the knowledge is their; the desire to change the current status is not!

Is that Simple!

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GRUMPY
Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:21 pm

Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 204
Went into a store I used to work at this a.m. and saw a few people I still recognized. This one said hello and stated that she had only five more years until she could retire under the Golden 85. I didn't have the energy to talk to her about this subject. For this is a person that would brag about all the "good deals" she would get on food, etc. at W.M. Never involved with anything that had to do with workers rights, unless she got something out of it. You all know the type. ME, ME, ME !!!

She better think about calling it quits so soon, because she is one that spends beyond her means.
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SharynS
Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:35 pm

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3632
Location: the 'puter
Grumpy we can point fingers at ourselves, each other or - those of us who do have an understanding can keep doing whatever we can that could enlighten or inspire those that don't. Hard to blame people who may not have the experience and perhaps know no other way. After all people can only do what they know to do at any given time.

My guess is the person you talked to actually knows no other way at this point. Another guess would be that at one time neither did you or I. It all comes down to one defining moment for each of us, perhaps the person you were talking to hasn't had her defining moment yet? I'm just saying as frustrating and big as it seems maybe we shouldn't write people off so easily. Behind the curve is not a crime, it's an opportunity for the rest of us?

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Laboryes
Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:05 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 2055
SharynS wrote:
Hard to blame people who may not have the experience and perhaps know no other way. After all people can only do what they know to do at any given time.


Sharyn you make a great point here and this is exactly how I feel about all the new people coming into the industry, they don't know any better because the people of my generation are to fucking selfish to reach out and try and teach! All they see is that "Golden 85" being the magic road to freedom and as long as they get theirs all will be good! What happens to the new people is no concern to them.

In Grumpy’s defense I know the people he refers to, and they do(or at least should) know better. This particular store was flooded with information about what was going on with their local union! They also were "handed" meetings with organizers who flew in from out of state and others who came from the Bay Area to help educate them on what could be done to help bring change in their union, or on how to win decent contracts. If these certain people at this store are still blinded with their heads deep in the sand it’s not because they weren’t offered the education to make a difference, it’s because they were to ignorant and or to lazy to do something with it!

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John Briley
Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:12 pm

Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 2167
I just read the following Food Negotiations Update from UFCW Local 770's website which appears to be written to their Ralphs Member's from Local 770's President Rick Icaza.

Quote:
Food Negotiations Update

Dear Ralphs Member:

It is contract negotiation time, as our master food contract expires March 6th.

That means management is going to express false concern about you and cry poverty about themselves.

Ralphs just sent an example of this false concern for your well being along with a bunch of excuses why they can’t give you a fair contract:

The reason the company has lost its market share is because our customers found other places to shop during the lock-out of 2003/2004 and because employers like Ralphs are abandoning markets in the urban core and refusing to fight non-union shops like Walmart coming into our territory.

“Unemployment is up”: while technically true, don't let Ralphs fool you. People still need to shop – and the real effect of unemployment is a downward pressure on wages, an effect Ralphs is all too eager to exploit.

Before you believe that Ralphs is concerned for your well-being and job, consider this: in 2003, Ralphs locked you or your fellow workers out, and then used fake social security numbers to hire strikebreakers, a violation of federal law.

When Ralphs was prosecuted by the federal government for this breach of labor law, a judge said about them:

“You have one of the largest grocery store chains in Southern California that’s been charged with violating criminal law, all in an effort to gain some imagined tactical advantage over the union and company’s workers during a labor dispute.” (Judge Percy Anderson, Ralphs sentencing hearing)

They ended up paying $70 million in fines and restitution for that.

Ralphs and other employers will express concern for you and make excuses for why they can’t possibly give you a fair contract.

But remember: companies like Ralphs have broken the law in secret to gain an advantage over you before. It could happen again.

Please check our website for negotiation updates or text the word FOOD
to 68398 for updates on your cell phone.

In Solidarity,

Ricardo F. Icaza, President



Out of curiosity, does anyone have a copy of the letter / flyer (whatever??) that Ralphs sent to their employees? It would be very helpful to be able to review just exactly what was said by Ralphs to their employees!

I am surprised that Local 770 didn't have that "alleged" document to reference in a side-by-side comparison?

"Ralphs just sent an example of this false concern for your well being along with a bunch of excuses why they can’t give you a fair contract"....



Quote:
Grumpy we can point fingers at ourselves, each other or - those of us who do have an understanding can keep doing whatever we can that could enlighten or inspire those that don't. Hard to blame people who may not have the experience and perhaps know no other way. After all people can only do what they know to do at any given time.



Thank You Sharyn..... Well said!

Quote:
those of us who do have an understanding can keep doing whatever we can that could enlighten or inspire those that don't.


And that is what we shall do.....!!!!!!
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ross53
Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:39 pm

Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: california
Laboryes wrote:
All they see is that "Golden 85" being the magic road to freedom and as long as they get theirs all will be good! What happens to the new people is no concern to them.


Precisely the point that is the key problem!

The new comers have intentions to stay maybe a couple of years, and then move on
They are working part-time because they are going to school to get a real job.

Therefore they don’t have the time or the interests to take the time to participate in any organize protest against the corrupt regime of the UFCW.

A new hire he/she, knows that they have to pay union dues if they want to keep their job. Furthermore, they never see the union rep and in my work place they don’t even know that we have a Shop Steward “who is imposed upon us by Mickey Kasparian” a petition was made, signed and mail to the union in order to give the workers the right to elect who they want to be represent by. The dictatorship regime of Mickey Kasparian totally ignored the member request and continues to impose upon us a person who only concern is to have the Shop Steward title “is” because in the event of a transfer the Shop Steward can’t be transferred, nothing more.

The majority of the time my steward has no idea of what time it is; and the rest of the time is spent rubbing elbows with the boss in order to receive a schedule that is favorable to the shop steward.

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Bill Sable
Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:27 am

Joined: 14 Feb 2009
Posts: 272
A couple of things.
First, the "Golden 85" is nice but it is decidedly not the end-all/be-all of our contracts, jobs, etc. My grandfather worked until he was 80; my Dad worked until he was nearly 80...and with any damned luck at all I will live to be at least 80. Retirement only to see one's pension dissolve in the future is not the way to go.
Second, I will say again, anyone who retires before Medicare kicks in is living in a fool's paradise unless that individual has guaranteed access to healthcare coverage thrugh some other means. Look at the damned contract and the Summary Plan(s): retiree healthcare is an ancillary benefit that can be eliminated without reason at any time by the Trust
So, sunshine, you've retired with your "Golden" 85 when you are 60 and 10 minutes later the Trust decides to abolish your coverage. Do you have the $1,000. +++ per month to buy insurance if you can find it Question Good luck. It ain't "Golden" , cousin...it's a stinky shade of brown.
Third, my plan (all things being equal) is to continue to work...slower and slower every damn year, doing my level best the entire time.
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ross53
Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:46 am

Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: california
ross53 wrote:

I believe that, I don’t have the power to make a difference in the current negotiation “because members don’t care” and “You see LY, you can’t bring the horse to water if the horse doesn’t want to drink”
Simple Laboryes!
Rolling Eyes


Ly,

A True Story; “short version”

Summer 1994 someone knocks at my front door my wife opens the door and she see this tall young man standing by the door he spoke in Sicilian and asked my wife, is Ross home?

My wife said, May I ask who you are, he politely reply my name is Giuseppe. I am from
Sicily and my father said for me to go to Ross and ask Ross for help.

My wife informed Giuseppe that Ross was at work and Ross will not be back until 11:00pm, what we can do to help you in the meantime. Grazie, he says but I prefer to speak to your husband.

Come in, my wife said, my kids are home, I can fix you something to eat if you like, Giuseppe said I would love a cup of espresso nothing more.

My kids asked Giuseppe how you know our father, Giuseppe response was; my father and your father crew up together they went to school together, when your father left Sicily to come to America I was only two years old therefore I will not be surprise if your father doesn’t not know who I am unless I tell your father who my parents are.

The next morning Giuseppe show up like he had promised, as you can imagine I was totally surprise to see him, people change in 21years, and remember Giuseppe was only two the last time that I seen him.

I asked how I can be of help you. Giuseppe said, I arrived in San Diego about two months ago I have made some acquaintances but I don’t have a true friend, I don’t have a job, I need to find a job. I asked him what type of work you have in mind. He said I would love to work at a restaurant and have enough free time to go to school to learn English.

Within the next four days Giuseppe was offered a job at a restaurant with a condition that he will attend school M-F in the morning, and work at the restaurant has long that he showed progress with the English language and of course did is job right.

Six years later, Giuseppe opened his own restaurant, now into the eleventh years in business and thriving.

The point of the story, I could help hundred of UFCW members make them knowledgeable about the union and what rights they have, and how to make our union a better union. The problem, the UFCW members don’t want to be helped they are not looking for a better life; they are content with the present condition. That is why the UFCW Leaders are getting away with whatever they do!

Ly, you and I have been on uncharted for nearly 5years; time and again we have expressed our desire to change the UFCW to the point that it will be a union who actually care about the members. How many people do you have that will take a stand next to you
and try to make this a better union? No Ly, I am not trying to be a jerk, or to offend you or anyone on uncharted,I am simply sharing part of my life story with you.

When people want to be helped anyone can make a difference in some else life.

Ciao.

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" I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody" Lilly Tomlin.
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GRUMPY
Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:24 pm

Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 204
Thanks LY for getting my back on this one. I was not trying to upset anyone by bringing up my experience, only stating that I still can't believe people can look you in the eye's and think one thing and not have a clue on what is going on. Shit I/we put more hours then I care to count up trying to get people to get with the program and get off their ass'. Really, I truely did. People on here that know me, I hope, would second that.

IMHO adults SUCK !!! I try and help the young kids out. They are the ones that will be stuck trying to clean this mess up.

Been having some good conversations with some youngsters and trying to pass on what little I know. I come off as a bitter, yet serious person, only because it is a serious subject that I care about. There are plenty of days that I wish I could just not give a rats ass about anything or anyone, like so many out there. Hell, it would of saved me from buying a $4000 t-shirt. Wink Laughing

Bill, you are right. It has happened to my dad.

Hey Ross, how many of us thought we were going to make this a career ? Sure wasn't me, the farthest thing from my mind. These kids that are going to school to better themselves, are getting out and not finding shit for jobs. I/you have probably worked with many people that had degrees and were still working in grocery stores. It just happens.

WTF is a real job, anyways ? Who the hell is hireing ? Come on Ross, you can do better than that. What would you be doing if you weren't stirring the pot, knitting a sweater or maybe playing a video game ? Laughing Nothing personal, bro.
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Laboryes
Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:43 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 2055
ross53 wrote:

Ly, you and I have been on uncharted for nearly 5years; time and again we have expressed our desire to change the UFCW to the point that it will be a union who actually care about the members. How many people do you have that will take a stand next to you
and try to make this a better union? No Ly, I am not trying to be a jerk, or to offend you or anyone on uncharted,I am simply sharing part of my life story with you.



Ross no offence taken! In fact I think it’s a very fair a good question.

To be open and honest with you Ross in my workplace I probably have enough people that “might” stand by me to create a picket line. But as we both know it only takes two to create a collective picket line. Honestly Ross in my workplace most live in denial. They don’t want to believe that there’s a “good chance” in this next contract that they may lose their health benefits when they retire. They don’t want to believe that their pension fund is underfunded, even though they’ve received all the notices from the trust fund. They don’t want to believe the rumors flying around that their company wants to take away Sunday pay, night premium, all holidays except Xmas & Thanksgiving, all full time positions, and that they will receive no raise.

The denial does baffle me considering all the losses and take-aways they’ve seen since 2004. I guess taking responsibility for your own working future is a bit much for some to handle.

I have to disagree with your point about members not wanting to be helped! I believe they want help and a better life but don’t know who to trust to give them that help. They’ve seen their union reps screw over member after member! They know their getting screwed by the company but if the union doesn’t help where do they go? Much less stressful to just put your head down and try and not be noticed. I think the biggest problem is they don’t see other workers standing up for each other and that kind of creates a hopeless situation. Imagine a workplace where when one worker was harassed by management 20 other workers came to their defense!!! We really wouldn’t need to worry about what the UFCW racketeer reps were doing or not doing for people would we? What people forget Ross is “we” are the union, not the corporate friendly bunch of losers that presently reside in “our” union halls. The responsibility to create a workplace where workers stand up for workers falls on people like us Ross....you know, the people paying attention! We can only lead by example! And trust me on this one Ross, members denial, apathy and complacenacy sure make me fall short on this responsibility at times but I do keep trying.

To get back to your point on “how many people stand beside me”? While the numbers are not large in my particular workplace through uncharted and other internet places I hang out in I have been lucky enough to become part a core group of like minded people who’ve I come to trust very much! I know if I ask they’ll be there! These people are not afraid to show up and stir the turd. Some UFCW, some not. I’ve also reached out to some other.....shall we say more radical groups that are very interested in reaching out to grocery workers. These people are very knowledgeable regarding workers struggles and what can be accomplished through “direct action”.

I guess the biggest question is...are grocery workers ready for a workplace dominated by solidarity and direct action, or do they need to lose it all before that becomes an option?

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ross53
Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:00 pm

Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: california
GRUMPY wrote:

WTF is a real job, anyways ? Who the hell is hireing ? Come on Ross, you can do better than that. What would you be doing if you weren't stirring the pot, knitting a sweater or maybe playing a video game ? Laughing Nothing personal, bro.


Grumpy,

No offense taken I understand.

A real job is …remember back in the 1970-1980 when you/me had a full time job, the wife stayed home to take care the kids and you/me can still buy a home, a car and take the family out for a pizza and movies on our day off….and have few dollars left at the end of the month.

That was a real job!

Now the grocery job is basically a part-time job with government benefits and still can’t make ends meet.

You are right I have worked with kids who have a college degree but only for a short period of time they never stop looking for something better and has soon that the opportunity arise they took off and never looked back.

What would I been doing if I wasn’t working at the grocery store? I really don’t know, but I can assure you of one thing, I will not be on government assistance.

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ross53
Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:28 pm

Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: california
Laboryes wrote:

The denial does baffle me considering all the losses and take-aways they’ve seen since 2004.

Ly,

In 2004 it was not a take away; it was a deal made between the grocers and the union
On the grocers side they viewed as leveling the plain field with WALMART on the union side was to ensure the union leader kept their job.

In 2007 the grocer realized that the two tier wages structure was in actuality counter productive to the benefit of the grocers, therefore they restructure in a way that the company will not have a large turn over ratio, and the UFCW presented to the members as a victory for the union.

Quote:
We can only lead by example! And trust me on this one Ross, members denial, apathy and complacenacy sure make me fall short on this responsibility at times but I do keep trying.


I will never stop trying!


Quote:
To get back to your point on “how many people stand beside me”?

I will stand by you, just say when.

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" I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody" Lilly Tomlin.
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John Briley
Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:16 pm

Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 2167
I recently found the following article outlining comments by UFCW Local 8's President & UFCW Local 135's President, concerning Northern & Southern California utilizing their "common Contract expiration dates".

http://www.ufcw8.org/index.cfm?zone=/unionactive/view_article.cfm&HomeID=43075

Interesting Read:

Quote:
We can’t do it alone in Southern California or Northern California,” Kasparian said. “We’ve got to do it collectively.”

Kasparian talked about other lessons that were learned during the strike and lockout. “We learned that we have to change and we have to change now,” he said. “We have to check our egos at the door and work together to make the contract we will be negotiating next year the best one ever.

“We can’t do the same things we’ve done in the past,” he continued. “We need a new strategy. We can no longer bargain with the employers regionally. We need to have a national approach.”

Kasparian observed that Northern California’s collective bargaining agreements will expire within six months of Southern California’s next year.

Another eight contracts will expire across the country around that time. “We must leverage these contracts throughout the country to give us the strength we need to effectively fight these huge corporations,” Kasparian said.

“International President Joe Hansen has created a National Bargaining Committee that is designed to do just that. Jacques Loveall and I both serve on that committee.” Kasparian continued: “Next year, we will be stronger than ever in our unity.” The San Diego president praised UFCW 8 President Jacques Loveall for the Union’s support during the strike and lockout in Southern California.



Will their same position apply for 2011 Food Negotiations in No.& So. Cal.????
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