Employers are trying to shed responsibility for providing health insurance, good pension coverage, reasonable work hours and job safety protections. Additionally, companies are making workers' jobs and incomes less secure through downsizing, part-timing, contracting out, and sending jobs off-shore.
As the nature of work changes, working people need the collective voice and bargaining power unions provide to keep employers from making the workplace look as it did in the early nineteenth century.
UFCW members work in a number of different industries in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada but are concentrated in grocery stores, meatpacking and poultry plants, food processing and manufacturing plants, and retail stores.
With most of the economic benefits of our economy going to corporate America, working people are using the power of collective action to get their fair share.
Every worker deserves affordable health insurance, prescription drug coverage, living wages, safe working conditions, equal opportunity, a secure pension and a voice in the workplace.
UFCW Local 653 represents over 10,000+ members in the Minneapolis and surrounding areas.
When workers stick together as a union, they have bargaining power and a collective voice that they simply do not have when they are not unionized. Being a member of a union not only gives you a better position to get better wages, benefits and working conditions, you also get job security.
Non-union workers have limited rights and can be fired “at-will” for no reason – just because your boss is having a bad day and decides he/she doesn’t want you around anymore. Non-union workers also find that the rules can change at the whim of the employer.
With a union contract, everything is spelled out in black and white, as decided upon between the workers’ negotiating committee and the employer during bargaining, and the rules don’t change until workers renegotiate. For instance, raises are guaranteed, holidays, vacations, hours, etc. can all be defined by the contract.
In addition, discipline and firing isn’t at the whim of the employer for union members. There are certain rules the boss has to go through, a series of steps, to show that they have just cause for discipline or firing you. Throughout this time, a union representative will be working on your behalf to represent you and make sure you get a fair deal and your rights are protected.
The first step is to form a committee among the workers with representatives from each department and shift. The committee’s job is to attend meetings and educate themselves about the Union. Then they can educate their co-workers and help dispel false information spread by management.
Next, the majority of the employees must sign cards stating they want to have a Union in their workplace. After a majority of workers have signed up, the Union can ask the employer to recognize the Union or file a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
When the Union files for an election, then the employees have a chance to vote for the Union in a secret ballot election conducted by the government. If the Union wins a majority of votes, and the employer does not challenge the vote on legal grounds, then the Union can begin the process of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement (contract).
Collective bargaining takes place between two groups – one composed of the negotiating committee and your union representative and the other composed of representatives from management.
Usually after each collective bargaining session, the contract is returned to you and your fellow workers for discussion. Once the negotiating committee agrees that they have a good contract, they will bring it to their fellow co-workers for a final decision. Should the workers reject the contract, it will go back to the bargaining table for further negotiations until a contract is agreed upon. However, if a majority of employees approves the contract, the contract then goes into effect.
If you are unable to call during regular business hours, please feel free to contact by filling out the form below.
Thank you for the two tickets that I won on the MN United FC Soccer game on May 12th. I was able to use the tickets and bring…...[+] MORE"– Jaclyn Zirbes
Thank you so much for the MN Zoo Tickets. I will surely appreciate a fun day at the zoo!...[+] MORE"– Carolyn Essmann
Thank you for the zoo tickets. I can't remember the last time I went there (Probably as a chaperone for a field trip). Now my…...[+] MORE"– Mary Ann Mingo
I just want to thank you for all the tickets I received in the past. The grandkids and I have a great time with all of them.…...[+] MORE"– Dorothy
Thanks for donating the Bears vs Vikings tickets. I was lucky enough to win and the seats were awesome! I took my sister who is a…...[+] MORE"– Wendy Eck
Thank you so much for the great seats to the MN Wild game on 12-27. It was a hard-fought game against the Dallas Stars whom we…...[+] MORE"– Joanne and Dan Irvin
UFCW Local 653 - Thank you so much for the Kowalski’s gift cards that I won. I was very surprised, thanks again....[+] MORE"– Jane
Thank you so much for the gift cards I received at the Health Fair. I thought the Health Fair was a huge success. It was…...[+] MORE"– Carol
UFCW Local 653 - Thank you for the educational grant, it is much needed and will be put towards my expenses here at NDSU....[+] MORE"– Andrea
UFCW Local 653- Thank you so much for gifts at Christmas time. The gift cards were much appreciated. To all of you at Local 653,…...[+] MORE"– Jacos
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the circus tickets. It was a generous gift and much appreciated. It was a…...[+] MORE"– Mary
Just a note to thank all who put together the great fishing tourney and Hot Dog picnic. It was a blast for my family and we won a…...[+] MORE"– Larry Kavanagh
I wish to thank you for your representation for union support shops at the Crow Wing County Fair. Your message to support “people”…...[+] MORE"– Janet