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Part 1. Measuring the UFCW: Convention, Dues and Per Capita

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SFway
Post Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:28 pm

Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 573
The Convention:

In August 2008 the UFCW Convention re-elected its officers and pronounced the existence of a “new” UFCW.

"This convention is not just about who we are, but who we can be."

"I ask you: stand with me, stand for a new UFCW. Stand for a 21st century workers movement."

Apart from the goal of doubling the size of UFCW membership in ten year’s time, the details of the "new" UFCW have not been divulged to the membership. What will this "new" UFCW look like? How will it differ from the "old" UFCW? We do not know.

We do know that these are words we have heard before. We know that these are promises that were made thirty years ago at the creation of the UFCW. What we need to know is whether the promises made thirty years ago have been kept - whether there is substance and accomplishment behind the adjectives and air of the UFCW’s Convention rhetoric. One other thing we do know: the “new” UFCW will cost its members more, much more.

A majority of Convention delegates voted to approve increases in the funds received by the International from the Locals and to require higher Dues paid by members to the Locals. Revenues paid by members to the UFCW will approach or exceed 1 billion dollars per year.

At the present time, working people, working families are finding themselves pushed closer to the edge of economic hardship, even crisis. The deterioration we all have endured for decades - stagnant or decreasing wages, the loss or vastly increased cost of healthcare, the deterioration of pension funds - has now become unimaginably magnified by the losses on Wall Street and the costs incurred by the passage of the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008”. The price of this “rescue” will fall upon working families and it will be immense.

The UFCW is requiring its members to do something similar: the payment of more money, much more money, in exchange for a “new” UFCW. Will the “new” UFCW be fundamentally or substantially different from the “old” UFCW? Who will benefit from the investment that members are being required to make?

If it is true that "a man’s character is his fate", it is necessary to define the character of the UFCW as it has evolved during the thirty years of its existence. Promises are one thing, performance is another. We need to observe the record of the UFCW and to take its measure.

We begin here:
Part 1 - Measuring the UFCW: Dues and Per Capita, 2008


Related Files:
Part 2 - Measuring the UFCW: A Tale of Two Unions
Discussion
Part 3 - Measuring the UFCW, The Character of the UFCW
Discussion
Part 4 - Measuring the UFCW, Survery of California Locals
Discussion
Part 5 - Measuring the UFCW, Findings and Conclusions
Discussion
Raw Data on UFCW California Locals
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SharynS
Post Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:58 am

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3632
Location: the 'puter
Awesome bit of expose SFway. It's amazingly ironic. You can see a place in pictures but can't get a real feel for it until you visit it in person. And on the other hand, you can experience ufcw but it's real scape comes to life in pictures. Thanks for the e_memories eh!

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Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself. - Salman Rushdie
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SFway
Post Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:26 pm

Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 573
Exactly right, Siggy...
The anecdotal material that comprises much of the commentary on UNCHARTED is vital and invaluable: shared experience, direct experience.

What I have tried to do with this study is take a step back and provide an overall context is which these experiences occur, a definition and description of "the system", the environment.

The "how" and the "why" as well as the "what".

I have also atempted to allow the numbers to speak for themselves; the conclusion I have drawn may not be the conclusions someone (or anyone) else may draw.
I would be the first to welcome a different perspective and have quite honestly invited UFCW "insiders" to provide their interpretation, offer different numbers and conclusions. It will be interesting to see to any parties follow through.
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CR76
Post Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:17 am

Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 33
I am very impressed with the info SFway has provided for us. First of all being a recent retiree of the UFCW and a Union activist for many years, I love this website!!! It gives so much information to the members, which is truly needed. It is so frustrating to see the IU and the Locals basically "rape" the members. I personally have always believed that the salaries of the Local officers should be tied in to the major contract in their Local. If the members don't get an increase then neither do the officers. If members don't get increases in their hourly wages the dues should not be increased! If there is a mandatory dues increase by the IU let the officers take up the "burden" of covering that increase with deductions from their salaries.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. There is hope come January 2009
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Laboryes
Post Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:35 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 2055
CR76 wrote:
I am very impressed with the info SFway has provided for us. First of all being a recent retiree of the UFCW and a Union activist for many years, I love this website!!! It gives so much information to the members, which is truly needed.


Welcome CR76!

We love that your here! Can you tell us a little about yourself? What area?, what local? etc.

Not being nosey just like to know what areas are tuning into uncharted!

Hey... Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

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"When people refuse to obey, then democracy comes alive."
Howard Zinn
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Jeff-Hulk-Hemp
Post Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:28 pm

Joined: 10 Feb 2006
Posts: 448
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/11/26/18552901.php
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SFway
Post Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:42 pm

Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 573
UPDATE:

Sources inside the UFCW IU indicate that the IU is hiring a number of "Organizers" from SEIU.

The implications of this activity may prove interesting in the future.

This is, of course, on top of the UFCW's efforts to hire "Organizers" off the street, so to speak, through the "Union Jobs Clearinghouse".
www.unionjobs.com

It is worth noting that, as yet, we have not seen any attempt by the UFCW, IU or Locals, to train and hire its own members as "Organizers".
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CR76
Post Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:48 pm

Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 33
You must be joking!!! The UFCW both IU and Locals go to their membership to look for Organizers...What a concept. If they do that they may have to answer to the membership.
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