Macy’s Voice Newsletter

 Summer 2013  Vol.3, Issue Two


Brothers and sisters welcome to the newest issue of the voice. In this issue we’re pleased to give you part two of the interview with Rhonda Nelson.

Also, security has been getting out of hand lately. The best ways of dealing with them are laid out in the Security versus Insecurity article. They have been planting money and gift cards in the store, desperately trying to set up and entrap members. Our lawyers are currently investigating the legality of their actions. In the mean time, stay sharp and know that we all have each other’s backs.


Rhonda Nelson Interview

Part Two By Erik Christianson
Rhonda Nelson is the International Chair of the UFCW Women’s Network and the Recorder/Trustee of UFCW Local 1500. The UFCW Women’s Network works to encourage and motivate UFCW women to become active in their local unions so they can contribute
toward building and strengthening the UFCW.
She began her career in the Labor Movement in 1970 as a rank and file member of UFCW 876 working for Revco Drugstores in Detroit, Michigan. Within the UFCW she’s held many posts Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 11.45.30 AMincluding: Vice President of Local 1500, organizer, union representative and field director. She is also actively involved in many community organizations.
Most recently, she was in San Francisco to receive the International Women’s Labor Leadership Award at an event hosted by Instituto Laboral de la Raza for its 2013 National Labor-Community Awards.
What do you see as some of the strengths of the labor movement?
The strength of the labor movement, I believe, is twofold. First it lies within its core principles which are to protect workers by fighting for fair wages, safe working conditions and other terms and conditions of employment. As long as you have unfairness in the workplace, there will always be a need for unions because unions provide the best hope for workers.
Our strength also lies within our members. Mobilizing members around particular issues shows the power and strength of the labor movement and therefore it has helped provide the necessary leverage to change and determine the outcome of a particular situation.
What do see as your greatest accomplishment in your labor work?

Read More… 


Security or Insecurity: The War on Us!

by Erik Christianson
In the last few months security has been going a bit overboard. They’ve been pulling members into some pretty relentless interrogation sessions. The only reason they are able to interrogate one of our brothers and sisters is that members aren’t always aware of their
rights. You do not have to submit to interrogation! Unfortunately, our members have been submitting themselves to some rather nasty sessions with security simply because they either aren’t sure of their rights or are afraid to speak up for themselves. This is why we need to be an educated work force.

Read More… 


By Greg McInnis, Chef Shop Steward

Disclaimer: This article is only meant for discussion and food for thought, not a step by step process (please consult Banks and or a CRP, Certified Retirement Plainer).

First of all a 401K by definition is a saving plan that allows employees to contribute a fixed amount of income to a retirement account and to defer taxes until withdrawal.

Along with a 401K there is Social Security. You as a U.S. worker may not want to depend solely on either program.
There are two ways   Continue Reading…


Featured Members

Every month we’re featuring members from Macy’s with short bios and pictures. Any and all are welcomed and encouraged to participate.

Jean-Pierre Bitchoka

I am originally from Cameroon, but San Francisco has been home for the past ten years.
I have worked in the men’s Lacoste department, at the San Francisco men’s store since May 2004.Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 12.11.09 PM

What I enjoy the most working in this store is meeting customers from all over the world. I think in the past nine years, I have interacted with people from every corner of the planet.

Being a member of UFCW5, gives me a sense of security. It is like having a big family that will always have my back.
Outside of Macy’s, I am an International Studies graduate student at the University of San Francisco. I love to be involved in community service, and social justice related activities. For the past three summers, I have travelled to Central America and Africa to volunteer for various causes.



Julie Fisher

Twenty Eight years at Macy’s and one of my early jobs was as a bookkeeper on the 8th floor. From there arrived on the selling floor – starting with Handbags , next Men’s Dress Furnishings Julie Fisherfollowed by Men’s Sportcoats and Trousers. Currently, I work in the Fine Rug Gallery (7th floor) of Macy’s Union Square store. As I have moved from department to department , I have been welcomed by and learned from my co-workers. Many warm and lasting friendships have started at work and continue to this day.

Being a member of UFCW has provided the opportunity to have Seniority, to bid on different positions, to be involved with contract negotiations and to meet many of our workers both in the store and at our union gatherings.

The chance to be part of some great community building has happened as well – serving as the UFCW5 delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council, being a member of Jobs with Justice and of the SF Sweatfree Procurement Advisory Group.

During leisure time some favorite pursuits are bird watching, reading, and enjoying time outside in our wonderful bay area.
With the approach of our next contract, we may have many concerns and challenges as we prepare for negotiations. Working together, voicing our ideas, and supporting each other will move us closer to a contract that benefits all of us. We work hard and contribute to the success of this company. We deserve to receive our fair share.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk

by Katie Johnston
Membership Services
For all of our family, friends, and coworkers who have selflessly suffered with this disease I’m asking members to please show support, donate, and join me as we walk for this cause. We’d like to have a huge turnout for this important event. (Please, see the enclosed flyer here for more information)

LGBT Pride/UFCW 5 Representing 2013


photo 2


A final note:

I resigned my position at Macy’s, though I’m staying on with the UFCW5 as an associate member and look forward to continuing The Voice. Yours in solidarity,

Erik Christianson
For comments, questions, and contributions please contact Erik Christianson at:

Mike Jones
Macy’s Union Representative, Union Square

Lance Wood
Macy’s Union Representative, Stonestown