Local 5 Delegates Help Set Course for Union’s Next Five Years at UFCW Convention
Local 5’s elected delegation gathered in Las Vegas in April with nearly 2000 delegates from UFCW locals throughout the United States and Canada at the international union’s once every five-year convention.
Delegates debated constitutional amendments and resolutions and heard reports from international officers and other presenters including AFL-CIO President Liz Schuler and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer who recently overturned the state’s “right to work for less” law.
Mark Perrone, who was re-elected as UFCW International Union president, announced that the organization has formally declared its opposition to the proposed Albertsons/Kroger merger over concerns about the potential impact on the union’s nearly 350,000 members working for the two companies.
Of particular concern is the likely divestiture of stores which could lead to thousands of lost union jobs. In discussions with the companies the union has demanded transparency and assurances but “we are not getting any definite assurances right now”, Perrone said.
Delegates approved important changes related to international union strike benefits, affirming the increase in the weekly payment from $100 to $250 (UFCW Local 5 has an additional strike fund as well) and approving a change to the constitution that will allow strike financial assistance to be paid to newly organized workers who strike to win their first contract.
“This financial assistance for newly organized workers seeking their first contract is of particular importance as Local 5 continues to vigorously organize new workers into the union. It demonstrates to employers that newly organized workers also have financial support if a fair agreement cannot be reached and those workers choose to strike,” said Local 5 Secretary-Treasurer John Frahm.