News

UFCW affiliates with the AFL-CIO

August 9, 2013 at 6:05pm

On August 8, 2013, UFCW International affiliated with the AFL-CIO [American aug09:13Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations]. The move toward a more unified labour movement came after a vote in which the UFCW Executive Board supported UFCW President Joe Hansen in his decision to add our 1.3 million private sector members to the AFL-CIO.“I think this is an important decision and one that comes at a time when the labour movement needs to pull together more than ever to face the challenges ahead,” says Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty.The UFCW Executive is in Chicago this week ahead of the 7th Regular UFCW International Convention, which begins on August 12. The convention welcomes elected delegates from UFCW Local Unions across North America, including the elected officers of Locals 175 & 633 plus 64 delegates/alternates.

Below is the statement released by UFCW International President Joe Hansen:

“We join the AFL-CIO because it is the right thing to do for UFCW members, giving them more power and influence. This is not about which building in Washington D.C. we call home — it is about fostering more opportunities for workers to have a true voice on the job. It is about joining forces to build a more united labor movement that can fight back against the corporate and political onslaught facing our members each and every day.

“Our affiliation with the Change to Win Federation (CTW) has been a rewarding one. The CTW’s Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) is leading some of the best campaigns to give workers rights and dignity. While no longer an affiliate of CTW, we continue our strong relationships with the Teamsters, SEIU and the Farmworkers. We will remain active in the SOC and bring our AFL-CIO partners into collaboration with private-sector unions in an effort to build more power for workers.

“The need for unity became paramount after the 2010 elections. The attacks on workers brought the UFCW into direct strategic partnership with the AFL-CIO and the entire labor movement. Our shared campaign revealed a dynamic and revitalized AFL-CIO and made it clear that it was time for the UFCW to redouble our efforts to build a more robust and unified labor movement.

“I respect Rich Trumka’s bold leadership of the AFL-CIO and his strategic advocacy on key issues like the urgent need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, fix the Affordable Care Act so workers in multiemployer plans can keep the health care they currently have, and ensure the National Labor Relations Board protects workers’ rights. The UFCW is proud to affiliate with a transparent, strategic and innovative AFL-CIO – an AFL-CIO committed to bringing a union voice on the job to millions of workers from coast to coast.”

UFCW delegates representing local unions in the U.S. and Canada will chart a course for the next five years and beyond that aims to raise standards and build power for workers in the grocery, retail and food manufacturing industries. Inspired by the theme, “Blue. Gold. Bold. Powerful Together,” UFCW delegates will deliberate on taking steps to strengthen the UFCW’s strong base of member activists who are the backbone of creative organizing campaigns, engaged bargaining programs and political activism