Congratulations Esther Lopez!

UFCW Names Esther López New International Secretary-Treasurer

UFCW President Perrone Highlights Historic Announcement as Part of UFCW’s Commitment to Building a Diverse and Strong Union Family

Ester2016-778x1024PHOENIX, AZ — Today, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Executive Board elected Esther López as the new International Secretary-Treasurer. The historic announcement reflects the commitment by the UFCW, as the largest private sector union with 1.3 million members, to building a diverse and strong union family.

Esther López is a leading champion of hard-working men and women, and has worked tirelessly for decades on behalf of immigrants and all families seeking a better life. López has helped lead the UFCW’s groundbreaking outreach effort to the Latino and immigrant communities, and is recognized as a national leader in the areas of immigration reform, as well as civil, human, and labor rights.

“To become a better and stronger union family, I have been absolutely committed to building a diverse and inclusive union. It is why I’m so proud to announce that the UFCW International Executive Board elected Esther López as our union family’s new International Secretary-Treasurer. Esther is a tireless advocate for the rights of all hard-working men and women. Esther believes, as I do, that our nation’s diversity is our strength, that we must grow our union family, and that by working together we will provide a better life to all our incredible members,” said Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union.

In accepting her position, López said:

“I am truly honored to be elected as the International Secretary-Treasurer. This union and our members are my family. Doing everything I can to improve the lives of hard-working families, and provide them with the better life they’ve earned, has been my life’s mission. It is why the UFCW’s commitment to building a stronger and more diverse union family is so important. It inspires me to never stop fighting to better the lives of our members, and those who deserve to be our members. Under Marc’s leadership, and as part of this incredible UFCW team, I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of our great union family.”

Throughout her career, López has been a champion of the rights of all workers – regardless of where they come from or where they were born. To help provide hope to immigrant workers, López launched a groundbreaking program to ensure eligible UFCW members were first in line to apply for citizenship. Prior to that, she spearheaded the Union Citizenship Action Network, also known as UCAN, to help UFCW members become naturalized and get on the path to citizenship. López was the lead staff person on the UFCW Commission on ICE Enforcement that highlighted civil rights abuses in the 2006 Swift raids. All along, López has never lost focus on the broader goal of giving aspiring Americans the chance to become citizens and ensuring all workers and their families are protected from exploitation.

López began with the UFCW in November 2006 when she was hired as Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department.  In that role, she has helped put the UFCW on the front lines of the most crucial civil rights battles of our time—fighting back against voter suppression, working to end exploitation of refugees from countries like Burma, Sudan and Somalia, creating more opportunities for women, and expanding LGBT equality.

Prior to her career at the UFCW, López played an active role in improving labor conditions within the state of Illinois, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Labor, as well as in the governor’s cabinet as Director of the Illinois Department of Labor.

UFCW Women’s Network Canada

Up for the Debate

Thirty years ago Canada held its first and only federal leaders’ debate on women’s issues. The televised debate provided an important opportunity for Canada’s political leaders to address the canada debate 1issues that specifically affect women and tell Canadians how their policies would impact women’s lives.

The world has changed significantly since that first debate. More women than ever before are graduating from university, entering new professions, and running for public office.

But the world hasn’t changed enough. Because of enduring gender inequality, women continue to form the majority of people living in poverty in Canada.

Domestic and sexual violence directly impacts women from every walk of life – driving more than 8,000 women and children in Canada to seek protection from a shelter or transition home on any given day – and levels of violence against Aboriginal women and girls are completely unacceptable. Young women graduating today will still earn 20% less than their male peers for the same full-time work, will be promoted less often to senior management positions, and will spend twice as much time doing unpaid work at home.
In spite of women’s crucial contributions to the economic, social and democratic life of Canada, their concerns received scant attention in the 2011 federal leaders’ debates. The word ‘women’ was rarely pronounced, and only one policy issue specifically affecting women (violence against women) was mentioned – once. Yet in that election, over half a million more women turned out to vote than men.
canada 2175 women’s organizations campaigned together to coordinate a national campaign called “Up for Debate”. Once the election was called, the Up for Debate campaign (through petitions) put pressure for a nationally broadcast debate for the leaders to tell voters how they intended to build a Canada that works for women. Over 500,000 participants supported the concept through online petitions. When leaders wouldn’t come to the table, the campaign went to Plan B and pushed for one on one exclusive interviews with each leader on the issues. It may not have been the debate that was first aimed for – but we’ve set an important precedent – women and their rights were taken as a ballot box issue! – WHAT A HISTORIC MOMENT!

Region 8 Kicks off October with 2 Day Conference

Leaders from across the country, joined together at this year’s Region 8 conference. Highlights included speakers, Esther Lopez, UFCW International Executive Vice President, Robyn Robbins, UFCW International Union, Jim Araby, UFCW International Western States Council, and many more! Our thanks to all who were able to attend and participate! The region is committed to the Women’s Network Mentorship program and bringing a voice to the workplace.

REGION 8 GROUP


Esther Lopez, UFCW International Executive Vice President, shares, Tell Your Story!
Esther Lopez, UFCW International Executive Vice President, shares, Tell Your Story!
Interactive workshops were inspiring & educational.
Interactive workshops were inspiring & educational.
Margo Feinberg, Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers LLP is presented  the Warrior for Workers Award, for her tireless service to give Workers a Voice. Presented by Kathy Finn, Local 770 & Deliana Speights, Local 1428.
Margo Feinberg, Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers LLP is presented the Warrior for Workers Award, for her tireless service to give Workers a Voice. Presented by Kathy Finn, Local 770 & Deliana Speights, Local 1428.

Region 1 News

Pictured from left to right: Fallon Ager-Nelson (Women’s Network Recorder), Assembly Member Shavonda Sumter, Sherry van Dyk and Nikki Kateman (Region 1 Coordinators)
Pictured from left to right: Fallon Ager-Nelson (Women’s Network Recorder), Assembly Member Shavonda Sumter, Sherry van Dyk and Nikki Kateman (Region 1 Coordinators)

Region 1 Rapid Response to A & P Displaced Workers

The A&P bankruptcy has been a main priority for many of the Locals in Region 1. Fallon Ager-Nelson (Women’s Network Recorder) is coordinating the A&P Displaced Worker Committee for the Region, which is providing assistance to members impacted by the bankruptcy and has hosted a number of Resource Fairs for these members. A number of Women’s Network Representatives from Region 1 are also actively involved in the Committee and have been promoting the work to our members.

Region 1 was proud to have attended an event in support of Assembly Member Shavonda Sumter, a dynamic leader in New Jersey State government, to thank her for her work on behalf of the displaced A&P workers. She offered assistance to the A&P Displaced Worker Committee and did media outreach in regards to the Resource Fairs that were held in New Jersey.

 

 

 


REGION 1
Workshop Reaches Members Using Social Media

social mediaDuring the annual Region 1 District Council Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey held September 27th-30th, the Region 1 Women’s Network hosted a workshop on using social media to effectively communicate with members generally, and during organizing campaigns. The workshop was facilitated by Janna Pea (RWDSU), Nikki Kateman (Local 338 and Women’s Network Regional Coordinator), and Joe Fedele (Local 1500). Approximately 30 union delegates and staff members attended and the session received great feedback.

 


 

REGION 1
Pride in New York City

On June 28th, Women’s Network Region 1 attended the New York City Pride Parade in support of UFCW OUTReach and our LGBTQ membership.  Over one million people participated in the

Pictured: Sandra Oxford, Minerva Villar, Vilmarie Solivan, Betty Walston, Shayanne Walston, Stuart Appelbaum (RWDSU President/UFCW Executive Vice President), Michele Kessler (OUTReach International Chairperson), John Woods (OUTReach Regional Coordinator) and Agueda Arias.
Pictured: Sandra Oxford, Minerva Villar, Vilmarie Solivan, Betty Walston, Shayanne Walston, Stuart Appelbaum (RWDSU President/UFCW Executive Vice President), Michele Kessler (OUTReach International Chairperson), John Woods (OUTReach Regional Coordinator) and Agueda Arias.

parade, including thousands of union members from different sectors of the labor movement. It was an exciting day and we’re already looking forward to marching in the Pride Parade next year!

 

Join the national movement to pass legislation for the Healthy Families Act (HFA)

Millions of Americans don’t have access to paid sick days and paid family leave, which threatens their financial security, their health, and the health of their families, and our communities.

Existing paid sick days and family leave laws clearly demonstrate that any fears that these policies will have a negative effect on businesses and economies are unfounded. In fact, when surveyed, employers generally support these laws after they are implemented and there have been no signs of economic harm. Looking for a reason to pass the Healthy Families Act (HFA)?

Research shows that:

  • Earned sick days and paid family leave help strengthen the economy.
  • Paid time off will strengthen families.
  • Increases employee loyalty and morale.
  • Earned sick days and paid leave protects public health and will make our country a safer, healthier place to live.
  • Small businesses support paid time off because it’s good for their bottom line.
  • Paid sick days and family leave is good policy – and also good politics.time to care

Download the The Work Family Policy Toolkit at www.hfanow.org/toolkit designed as an aid for those interested in joining the national movement to create workplace policies that help families. The toolkit is packed with information, reports, messaging, stories and more – all focused on paid family leave and paid sick days and why hard working families deserve paid time off.

Let’s Move Forward

Rhonda Nelson
Rhonda Nelson

May 2015

Let’s move forward to meet the ever- changing needs of today’s families.

Several months ago I was in contract negotiations with one of our larger employers. One of the company’s negotiators informed us that he would have to end at approximately 3:00 PM that day. After being pressed why, he finally admitted that his daughter played sports and that she had a game that evening that he had to attend. He also admitted that he was reluctant to tell us because he didn’t know how we would react.

Yet, he wasn’t the only man in the room who was facing work/family balance issues. One of the attorneys’ explained how, each month, he and his wife struggle to plan their children’s hectic after school schedules. Every day, they try their best to attend their children’s event or escort them to practice. Another man pointed out that due to the hospitalization of a family member, that he would not be available for one of the scheduled meetings.

I chuckled at first, as I thought of the numerous times I found myself in this position as I was raising my daughter, as well as the countless number of working women who came before and after me.

Juggling child care and family related issues can be stressful for both men and women and while I’m happy to experience this cultural shift among my male colleagues and associates, I have no doubt that these men are more involved with family responsibilities than previous generations of men. The American workplace remains stuck in the 1950’s. It’s still operating on the model of Dad as the family’s breadwinner and Mom staying at home to take care of the kids. Today women comprise over fifty percent of the workforce. Despite these changes, women are still viewed as the main child care provider and are therefore expected to take time away from paid work, causing them to receive less pay and overlooked for promotions no matter how hard they work or express an interest in moving up the ladder.

Traditional attitudes and stereotypes have also prevented some men from requesting time-off, flex time, and less traveling. Like women, these men fear not being taken seriously, overlooked for promotions, and not being considered “one of the boys”. It is important that everyone recognize that work conflicts are both women’s and men’s issues, and I urge all men to join or continue this conversation, both inside and outside of their workplace, so that we can move forward to meet the ever- changing needs of today’s families.

Region 8 – Mentorship Program Growing Strong in Southern California

Region 8 started its Women’s Network Mentoring program last year with 7 union representatives agreeing to serve as mentors to 7 rank-and-file women members who wanted to learn and become more involved in the union. The union representatives agreed to do 3 simple things:

  • Meet with the member monthly for coffee or lunch to discuss how the union works and answer questions;
  • Bring the member to a quarterly lunch at the local union office to discuss areas of common interest with the other women involved;
  • Bring the member to union events: rallies, meetings and lobbying.

    region 8 mike gattos office
    Mentors and Mentees visit the office of Assembly Member Mike Gatto. This was one of four visits to California State Assembly members. We Can Do It!

Congratulations to last year’s mentee, Samantha Christian, who was accepted to the International Blue and Gold Program and is currently working as a SPUR on our El Super Contract Campaign.  

Region 8 Lobby Actions

On March 24th, Southern California Women’s Network members attended the Los Angeles City Council hearing regarding raising the minimum wage in the City of Los Angeles to $15.25 per hour.

On April 15th, they rallied with thousands of other workers who support a substantial increase in the minimum wage for retail, fast food and home care workers.

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