Working Against America

The UFCW used its vast resources to push health care reform through Congress.1 Yet a majority of the Americans disapproved of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 2

The UFCW lauded the achievement “among the ranking highest in our national experience.”3 They may have been right with regard to the impact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have on the American experience. For example, it would add trillions of dollars in new government spending.4

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will also increase Medicare’s long term liabilities by nearly $50 trillion.5 The bill created more than $560 billion in new taxes and cut Medicare by more than $520 billion. 6

The UFCW claims to protect America’s middle-class by fighting for healthcare reform. 7 However, the same healthcare reform bill the union backed created a “destructive” tax on savings and investment income that would hurt middle-class American including rank and file UFCW members. The Tax is predicted to skew incentives to work, save and create jobs. 8


1 UFCW Press Release: http://www.ufcw.org/press_room/index.cfm?pressReleaseID=490
2CNN/Opinion Research Poll
3UFCW Press Release: http://www.ufcw.org/press_room/index.cfm?pressReleaseID=490
4James C. Capretta, “The Real Budgetary Impact Of The House And Senate Bills,” Heritage Foundation Web Memo #2756, 1/14/10; “Enacting A Lie,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/23/10
5“Enacting A Lie,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/23/10
6U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) Op-Ed, “Fix Health Reform, Then Repeal It,” New York Times, 3/26/10
7UFCW Press Release: http://www.ufcw.org/press_room/index.cfm?pressReleaseID=490
8“ObamaCare’s Worst Tax Hike,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/17/10

The UFCW used its vast resources to push health care reform through Congress.1 Yet a majority of the Americans disapproved of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 2 The UFCW lauded the achievement “among the ranking highest in our national experience.”3 They may have been right with regard to the impact the Patient Protection […]






Walmart Fights UFCW to Keep Black Friday from Going Dark – UFCW Monitor UFCW Monitor

Walmart Fights UFCW to Keep Black Friday from Going Dark

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For months, the UFCW and their subsidiary group, OUR Walmart, have been making noises that they’ll be striking at Walmarts across the country during arguably the biggest retail day of the whole year- Black Friday.

Now Walmart is finally fighting fire with fire, and taking legal action against the UFCW:

Wal-Mart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW, asking the National Labor Relations Board to halt what the retailer says are unlawful attempts to disrupt its business.

The move comes just a week before what is expected to be the largest organized action against the world’s largest retailer, as a small group of Walmart workers prepare to strike on Black Friday, typically the busiest shopping day of the year.

The response from the NLRB is expected to come sooner rather than later, as Black Friday is imminently approaching, and the impact on Walmart sales could be drastic.

UFCW’s approach here seems to fit the “we hate you, so join us” attitude that we’ve written on extensively here. In this approach, the UFCW is threatening to cut Walmart where it hurts- their bottom line. Rather than negotiating for better wages or making their case in the court of public opinion, they

However, as we’ve seen, this approach does not work well in practice. For all of the previous attempts the UFCW has made to unionize America’s largest employer, Walmart has yet to unionize any of their stores, or even change their attitude towards unionization. But rather than change course, the UFCW has instead decided to double down on attacking the employer.

This is a particularly bad strategy- not only because it only seems to fuel the animosity Walmart has for the UFCW, but because it also hurts the very employees the UFCW claims they are trying to help. Right now, the U.S. economy is not in a particularly good spot, and people are clamoring for whatever jobs they can get.

When a company has a significant loss of revenue, they’re less likely to be able to use that revenue to promote their employees, increase their employee’s benefits, or be able to retain employees especially in a down economy. But by undermining the company’s chief source of revenue, we see a key contradiction between the UFCW’s stated goals of helping employees and their real goals of unionizing more companies at any cost.

One of the origins of the phrase “Black Friday” comes from the accounting practice of using red ink for deficit revenue  and black ink for positive revenue- the Friday after Thanksgiving would the first day some companies would be “into the black,” or finally making a profit for the year. By undermining Walmart, the UFCW is showing their real colors- they don’t mind if the company doesn’t make a profit, as long as they keep getting their dues money from workers to finance their lavish lifestyles.

Walmart Fights UFCW to Keep Black Friday from Going Dark By admin On Nov 23, 2012 All News | Dirty tactics | Union Mismanagement 1 Comment Tags: Black Friday, National Labor Relations Board, NLRB, OUR Walmart, UFCW, Walmart, we hate you so join us For months, the UFCW and their subsidiary group, OUR Walmart, have […]






UFCW To Walmart- We Hate You – Join Us – UFCW Monitor UFCW Monitor

UFCW To Walmart- We Hate You – Join Us

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“A wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
That’s what the UFCW thinks of Walmart, according to Thomas P. McNutt, president of Local 400 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

But of course the UFCW Local 400 has something to lose when it comes to having new jobs in the area—it represents “employees of area Giant, Safeway and Shoppers Food Warehouse stores.” Rather than asking the Walmart employees to join the UFCW family the union attacks and belittles them.

McNutt himself spells it out in a blog post on the UFCW 400 blog:

“For we are family,” he said. “One big family. Just like family, we’ve got to have each other’s backs. We’ve got to treat an attack on one like it’s an attack on all. And we’ve got to always put our family first.”

This “Family First” policy consists of pitting certain employees against other   employees. Walmart is expanding its’ company stores across new areas in Washington, D.C. and other major cities, and the UFCW is opposed to these new jobs at a time where unemployment is all the way up to 9.5% in D.C. Local UFCW chapters have launched campaigns aimed at stopping the consumer giant from establishing stores, with corresponding job opportunities, in new areas.

So what exactly is UFCW claiming Walmart will do?

One of the most prevalent claims against Walmart, the nations largest private employer, is that they achieve their low prices by paying their employees next to nothing. Leading the charge is the “Respect D.C.” project, co-sponsored by the UFCW. One tweet from the @RespectDC Twitter page even went as far as saying Walmart provided “slave wage jobs”:

Walmart jobs do not provide decent, livable wages or health care & are basically slave wage jobs that will hurt local small biz

UFCW does not explain why people line up for these jobs by the thousands.  Maybe is because UFCW claims are demonstrably false, in other words lies. The “Respect D.C.”website has a list of demands (PDF link) that “WalMart will pay every employee in its DC stores the DC Living Wage rate or higher,” which is currently $12.50 per hour.

If the D.C. living wage is currently $12.50 per hour, what exactly is Walmart paying their employees? Apparently just $0.01 less:

At its stores in Washington area suburbs, Wal-Mart pays an average of $12.49 an hour. Although Restivo would not say what wages would be at its District stores, he said the rates would be above that of most union jobs offered by competing grocers and that most jobs would be full-time positions.

Quite far from “slave wage jobs”, employees not in D.C. are actually paid far closer to the “DC Living wages” Respect D.C. is demanding.

Another well-worn knock on Walmart and other large retailers is that they hurt struggling small businesses. According to Andy Shallal, a hard-left anti-war restaurant owner, Walmart is “a big-box bully that depresses wages and crushes small competitors”, and that WalMart’s “track record of destroying local businesses speaks louder than any academic research”.

But what does that academic research actually say? A Competitive Enterprise Institute study (PDF link) found that:

DRCs (discount retail chains) benefitted the communities they entered by increasing wages and employment, and strengthening other businesses that did not compete directly with the new DRC… the presence of DRCs “may create alternative opportunities for businesses that are unable to compete with large discount retail chains,” and “new businesses emerge that provide either services or products that complement the DRC’s offerings.” … Rather than shutting down retail activity, the presence of DRCs actually stimulates dynamic local retail growth.

Clearly the economic case against Walmart is falling apart, so what’s left? Maybe a half-baked assertion that Walmart turns children into criminals? Funny enough, that’s exactly the claim Washington D.C.’s Ward 4 ANC Commissioner Brenda Speaks made in a recent rally against Walmart:

You’re putting kids in jeopardy of getting a record from shoplifting in this Walmart store. For the first time, some kids will have a record- they will start a record- because kids are kids and they will go in those stores and pick up things, and security is going to grab them, and that’s crime.

Mrs. Speaks seems to believe here that Walmart stores specifically will incite children (through no fault of their own) to begin lives of crime. Something about the goods and services Walmart would uniquely provide causes children to inevitably shoplift. (Perhaps the area Giant, Safeway and Shoppers Food Warehouse stores don’t have goods tempting enough to steal?) Sometimes the fiction people believe is truth is the strangest fiction of all.

So what does that leave us with?

The UFCW “Family First” model is fundamentally at odds with employees, consumers, and ultimately, the facts. If their goal is to increase benefits for all workers, they must change their model to account for political realities that may be undermining their arguments.

If the companies their members represent are threatened by competition by Walmart, they should find ways to follow the suggestions put forward by the CEI study, and find ways to provide complimentary services or products.

It is not Walmart that union members should be afraid of. Rather, it is the inability of their unions to adapt to change they should be worried about.

UFCW To Walmart- We Hate You – Join Us By admin On May 20, 2011 All News | Dirty tactics Comments Off Tags: Brenda Speaks, RespectDC, Thomas McNutt, UFCW 400, Walmart “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.” That’s what the UFCW thinks of Walmart, according to Thomas P. McNutt, president of Local 400 of the United […]






UFCW Strike Stops Red Cross Blood Drive – UFCW Monitor UFCW Monitor

UFCW Strike Stops Red Cross Blood Drive

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For about four years, there hasn’t been a contract between the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 75 and the Red Cross’ Toledo office. Despite multiple trips to the bargaining table, no agreement has been reached.
Now, the UFCW Local 75 is taking a radically extreme step, and stopping an annual blood drive– one with significant local support:

The 25th Annual Interfaith Blood Drive that had been scheduled for June 23 and 24 has been postponed indefinitely because of the Red Cross workers’ strike.

Devorah Shulamit, founder and chairman of the blood drive that is supported by multiple local religious groups and individuals, said the event “has been caught in the middle of a very sad and unfortunate position due to the strike.”

The ongoing strike has centered on health care, with the Red Cross offering plans similar to other charity groups, and the UFCW Local 75 demanding more concessions.

In a statement the Red Cross issued, they clarified their position:

The biggest obstacle in these difficult negotiations is health care. The Red Cross has made proposals consistent with those made elsewhere, and we are disappointed that the union continues to demand more.

The Red Cross has put forward contract proposals consistent with the health, dental, vision and life insurance benefits package provided locally to our non-union staff, including management. We offered multiple plan options at various pricing levels designed to meet the needs of our employees and their families.

The Red Cross has settled 20 contracts with other local labor unions across the country since July 2011. Two of these agreements came after UFCW Local 75 began its strike. This shows we are committed to reaching successful resolutions to negotiations, and we believe a contract should be achieved here as well.

While the health care concerns of UFCW Local 75 may be significant, the Red Cross does significant life saving work. Blood drives are an important way to make sure that blood banks are prepared in the case of emergency. More importantly, donated blood helps save lives.

For the UFCW to continue to fight for special benefits even after other local unions have agreed to similar terms, and to interrupt life-saving services, is beyond selfish- it’s downright wrong.

UFCW Strike Stops Red Cross Blood Drive By admin On Jun 7, 2012 All News | Dirty tactics | Union Mismanagement 1 Comment Tags: Red Cross, Toledo, UFCW Local 75, Union Standoff For about four years, there hasn’t been a contract between the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 75 and the Red Cross’ […]






UFCW Official Tries to Kill Jobs – UFCW Monitor UFCW Monitor

UFCW Official Tries to Kill Jobs

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one newsPeggy Vines, a UFCW vice president in Washington State, is trying to keep a new Winco grocery store from opening. Supposedly, the reason is due to traffic concerns. But, of course, the store is non-union, and this is the third proposed Winco store to be opposed by people connected with the UFCW. Winco is also employee-owned, but that’s not enough for Vines.

UFCW Official Tries to Kill Jobs By admin On Mar 8, 2016 Dirty tactics Comments Off on UFCW Official Tries to Kill Jobs Peggy Vines, a UFCW vice president in Washington State, is trying to keep a new Winco grocery store from opening. Supposedly, the reason is due to traffic concerns. But, of course, the […]






Are UFCW Members OK with This? – UFCW Monitor UFCW Monitor

Are UFCW Members OK with This?

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washington free beaconThe UFCW supports Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider which is under investigation for selling the body parts of aborted babies.

Are UFCW Members OK with This? By admin On Aug 11, 2015 Latest updates Comments Off The UFCW supports Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider which is under investigation for selling the body parts of aborted babies.






Texas Bus System Lays Off Drivers After UFCW Blocks Funding – UFCW Monitor UFCW Monitor

Texas Bus System Lays Off Drivers After UFCW Blocks Funding

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The Texas branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW 1000) has filed a complaint with the Department of Labor to strip the Texoma Area Paratransit System’s (TAPS) federal funding, saying that TAPS had failed to abide by the terms and conditions of federal funding eligibility.

This has resulted in denial of $1.15 million in federal funds for the TAPS Bus System, causing them to shut down urban services effective last Friday.The Department of Labor had proposed a solution involving a Section 13(c) protective arrangement that would comply with federal and Texas law regarding labor negotiations between employees and a political subdivision, which TAPS agreed to but the UFCW opposed.

Complicating the matter is the fact that TAPS, as a political subdivision of the State of Texas, cannot be involved in collective bargaining under Texas State law.

Section 617.002 of the Texas Government Code states:

  1. An official of the state or of a political subdivision of the state may not enter into a collective bargaining contract with a labor organization regarding wages, hours, or conditions of employment of public employees.
  2. A contract entered into in violation of Subsection (a) is void.
  3. An official of the state or of a political subdivision of the state may not recognize a labor organization as the bargaining agent for a group of political employees.

The UFCW maintains that there was a previous agreement between them and TAPS, however it has not been produced and the TAPS lawyers are questioning it’s existence, as well as pointing out it would be void under Texas law regardless.

Ultimately, UFCW’s efforts to pursue a labor agreement in violation of Texas law has resulted in discontinued service for many customers in Texas. According to the TAPS Chairwoman Cary Wacker:

…the actions of union officials in Tennessee are harming thousands of Texoma residents who depend on public transportation and that the employees of TAPS will be laid off.

And that’s exactly what’s happening. According to local news station KTEN, “An estimated 70 drives will be laid off. Nearly 800 TAPS passengers will no longer get rides.”

Worse still, TAPS’ discontinued service affects many children in after-school programs. According to an email sent out by Tammy McNew Blanton, chief executive officer of Girls Inc. of Sherman:

Each day during the school year 50-75 school children (K-6th grades) ride TAPS to Girls Inc. These children are supervised and entertained until their parents get off work. Girls Inc. is only one of 10-12 local children’s organizations that are serviced daily by TAPS.

Most of our families cannot afford after school care for their children and they will be forced to leave them alone.

The UFCW’s insistence on tying up public funding in the courts is costing employees their jobs, customers their transportation, and, perhaps gravest of all, depriving children of their after-school programs.

Americans for Limited Government has called for the elimination of the entire Section 13(c) program. We believe that it is a waste of approximately $4 Billion, and is the root cause of this issue. The reason UFCW has taken issue with TAPS is because of their complicated relationship with Texas state law and Federal labor law.

Eliminating the Section 13(c) program would give TAPS the opportunity to privatize, avoiding all of these issues and allowing the service to resume, and new negotiations with the UFCW to take place without the same complications and issues.

Texas Bus System Lays Off Drivers After UFCW Blocks Funding By admin On May 3, 2011 All News | Dirty tactics Comments Off Tags: NRLB, TAPS, UFCW The Texas branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW 1000) has filed a complaint with the Department of Labor to strip the Texoma Area Paratransit […]