UFCW President Perrone: We are Determined to See Fast Track Defeated
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Marc Perrone, International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the agreement reached on trade promotion authority or fast track.
“The TPP and fast track are not just wrong for America, they will hurt every hard-working family. The fact that Democrats and Republicans support TPP is a bipartisan insult to the millions of men and women struggling to find good jobs and earn a decent living.
Make no mistake, we are determined to see this legislation defeated. Our members will mobilize across the United States to call on Congress to stand up for hard-working families. While we may not be able to change every mind, our voices will be heard. And we will remember those who turned their back on America’s workers by voting for another destructive trade deal.”
April 15, 2015, 02:00 pm
Trans-Pacific Partnership will harm middle and working class Americans
By Marc Perrone
Four years ago, after careful consideration, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) decided to endorse the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, making us one of the only labor unions to do so. We viewed the Korea deal—which had improved labor standards and was estimated to create over 20,000 jobs in the meat sector, as a small, but not insignificant, step forward on global trade policy. As the union that represents hundreds of thousands of meatpacking and food processing workers, we support fair trade agreements that open up new markets to sell UFCW-made products abroad.
This time it’s different. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is not the Korea free trade agreement. It is neither free nor fair. And the UFCW is determined to see it defeated.
The truth is as we’ve heard during past trade debates, many Republicans and even some Democrats, repeatedly say that the TPP won’t hurt families or communities, or devastate industries, unions, or the middle and working classes.
America’s families know from experience the brutal reality will be quite different.
Over the last three decades, in large part because of bad trade deals, Americans have worked harder than ever, while wages remain stagnant. Income and economic inequality has grown to historically high levels. Industry consolidation, fueled by unchecked global competition, has led to countless jobs being lost. Good union jobs have been decimated across nearly every state and replaced by either no job, or non-union jobs that barely pay above minimum wage.
As for the TPP, while a bipartisan chorus will sing the praises of this trade deal, they choose to ignore the truth that it is America’s working men and women, not them, who will pay the price as irresponsible corporations justify future cuts to wages, hours, and jobs–all in the name of “international competition.”
If that wasn’t bad enough, the TPP goes even further by rolling back regulations that could be construed as a “barrier to trade,” which includes environmental, consumer, and labor protections. And, if there were any remaining doubts, this massive trade deal, which will impact tens of millions of American jobs, has been put together in secret, with the advice and counsel of hundreds of corporate special interests with absolutely no input from labor or other groups that fight on behalf of the working and middle classes.
Given all that we know, how any elected official, Democrat or Republican, can support the TPP is inexplicable.
So, on behalf of the 1.3 million hard-working men and women of the UFCW, we are calling on every member of Congress to oppose the TPP and the fast-track legislation that would make it possible to pass the TPP.
Let me be very clear, no elected official, regardless of political party, who is truly interested in making the economy better and fairer, can responsibly support the TPP. Simply put, this trade deal, like so many others, is bad for our workers, families, and shared future.
In the end, while we may not be able to change every mind, we will remember those elected officials who stood with America’s workers by voting for jobs and against another destructive trade deal. More to the point, we join with the AFL-CIO and other unions that refuse to support any member of Congress that decides to put narrow self-interests above the interests of hard-working families.
Marc Perrone is International President of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
Here We Go, Fighting the Fight Together
On the morning of Thursday, March 12, 2015, President Matt Utecht went to the construction site of New Hope's Hy-Vee to visit with our fellow unionist who are on an informational picketing line. Construction and General Laborers' Union Local 563, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 82, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers Local 10, United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local Union No.96 were all out on the informational picket line. Local 653 was out supporting our fellow locals by meeting them on that informational line. If you happen to be in area please show your support with a generous honk of your horn and thumbs up. United we stand! (pictures below)
Working America has Health Care Options for Those Who Still Need Coverage (Click here for full article)
Marc Perrone Elected President of 1.3 Million Member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
All Local 653 Members..Good News!
Hy-Vee Drops Out of Maple Grove Proposed Site!
Welcome to UFCW Local 653
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 lot of neat stuff. The grandkids are very happy and looking forward to our trip to Ours Resort next June. Thanks for being such a great union.