From Your Connecticut State AFL-CIO
Support a fair budget that works for all of us!
A state budget is a statement of values, principles and priorities. A budget that cuts aid to families while not asking for any new taxes from wealthy corporations is not only wrong, it threatens our future and the quality of life for everyone.
We have a big ($5 billion!) budget deficit that needs to be tackled. But the governor’s and legislative leaders’ proposals to close the budget gap rely too heavily upon the sacrifices of working families and threaten Connecticut’s quality of life. Proposed budget cuts to funding for PreK-12 and higher education, worker training, child care subsidies and tax credits for the working poor and more will hurt and cause long-term pain. It could also shift state burdens onto cities and towns, resulting in higher property taxes. And, on top of all these sacrifices, Republican leaders want to end collective bargaining for public employees.
Contact your legislator and let them know that we need a CT budget that works for all of us including our families, children, students, and seniors. Connecticut needs to invest in quality PreK-12 public schools in all communities, invest in workforce development, work to attract and keep small businesses, and adjust taxes so the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share.
For too long, the state budget has been balanced on the backs of middle class families. Enough is enough. We need to act now to make sure legislative leaders hear us loud and clear.
Click here to send a message to your legislator urging them to support a fair state budget that does not solely rely on cuts to middle class workers and the state’s most vulnerable.
If we want to create a better life for all our members and hard-working families, we need to hold presidential candidates, from both parties, accountable. And, that starts with them answering your tough questions.
So we’re doing something a little different this presidential cycle, and it starts with new effort were calling #AnswerMyQuestion2016.
The goal is really simple.
We want all the 2016 presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican, to answer your questions and those of all of our hard-working members – and there is no better time to ask tough questions than a debate.
So, the first phase of our grassroots social media effort begins with the first Democratic Debate. As you know, this coming Tuesday, October 13th, at 9pm EST, CNN will televise this year’s first Democratic Debate from Las Vegas. The world will be watching to see what Presidential candidates Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee will have to say.
So, our goal, is to pressure the candidates to answer your questions and that is why we need your help. We all know how difficult it today for so many families, but do they have answers on how they will solve the problems that will create a better life for you and your family?
We all want to know, and we need your help to get answers.
Tell us what questions you have for the presidential candidates at this first Democratic debate. Take a video of you holding a sign with your question, or just your picture of your question. Either way, post your submissions at http://ufcw.tumblr.com/. We hope you encourage your friends and co-workers to do the same.
We’ll not only post these questions on our tumblr and ufcw.org, we’ll retweet, repost, and share what you’re saying across social media so we can let these candidates know that your questions matter.
To help spread the word, we hope you’ll post your question on your facebook page or tweet it out. And, if you do remember to use the hashtags #AnswerMyQuestion2016 or #DemDebate. Share it on Instagram too! And, make sure to tag us @ufcw_international)
So join with us. Let’s get our voices heard, and our 2016 questions answered. Because you and every hard-working family deserve to know how those running for President will build a better life for the people we all care about.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2015
UFCW President Perrone: “We Will End LGBTQ Discrimination in the Workplace”
UFCW Vows to Fight for LGBTQ Rights at Work and Advocate for Comprehensive Healthcare for Transgendered Workers
ORLANDO — Today, Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, addressed LGBTQ union members at the AFL-CIO Pride at Work conference in Orlando, Fla. The UFCW was the first labor union to endorse the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The UFCW also implemented a policy of including gender reassignment surgery as part of a comprehensive Health and Welfare plan for union employees:
“Even though we are celebrating marriage equality this summer, too many LGBTQ workers still endure discrimination in workplaces that are far from equal. Today, in 29 states, it is still legal to fire a worker on the basis of their sexual orientation. In 33 states, a worker can be fired for being transgendered.
“Right now, the only way for these workers to gain the protection at work that we all deserve is through a union contract.
“In this spirit, I am proud to say that as part of our long commitment to equality for all workers, the UFCW is changing our Health and Welfare plan to include gender reassignment surgery. While this is a change that should have been made long ago, it is a change that I am proud of.
“The UFCW is committed to putting an end to discrimination in the workplace. We will stand up, speak out and fight for what is right when companies disregard the value of hard-working men and women, based on whom they may love or who they are.”
Today in the Washington Post, UFCW International President Marc Perrone, in a letter to the editor, wrote about how it’s time to focus on real ideas for immigration reform:
“The circus surrounding Donald Trump and his presidential campaign paralyzes our country, preventing it from having a constructive debate about immigration [“Trump driving migrant debate,” front page, Aug. 18].
We can’t solve our country’s immigration crisis by focusing on the antics and destructive proposals of a political campaign based on eccentric, misguided and insular views. Hard-working people are exploited every day at the hands of our outdated immigration system. Instead of addressing the causes of a broken system, candidates such as Mr. Trump turn a blind eye to the abuse that workers and their families face.
Let’s have a serious debate, not one defined by sound bites and divisive rhetoric. Let’s begin by taking a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump may not want this, but reasonable Americans understand that this is the path to a better and more united country.”
For Immediate Release: April 16, 2015
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.”
A copy of President Perrone’s Wednesday op-ed in The Hill is below.
April 15, 2015, 02:00 pm
Trans-Pacific Partnership will harm middle and working classAmericans
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).
By now, we all know what’s happened in Wisconsin. First, Gov. Scott Walker severely limited collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. Then just this week, Gov. Walker made Wisconsin the 25th state with so-called “Right to Work” laws, which is intended to break both private and public sector unions. Many never believed this attack on labor would happen in Wisconsin, which had a similar union membership rate to Connecticut. All it took was one election and one legislative session.
This just goes to show that it is vital for union members to engage in both the electoral and legislative process early on. While we’re not currently at risk of losing our collective bargaining rights, we need to stay active and vigilant.
Please join us on April 11th for the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s annual legislative conference in Hartford.
What: Connecticut AFL-CIO’s Annual Legislative Conference
Where: Legislative Office Building (Room 2C), 300 Capitol Ave, Hartford
When: Saturday, April 11 from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Register: Click here to RSVP
Cost: There is no fee to register, but you must RSVP to attend. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
The strength of the labor movement depends on the strength of its members. So join us at our legislative conference next month and meet with local legislators as we discuss organized labor’s agenda. Agenda items will include common sense economics, demystifying the budget, explanation of important labor bills, and a training with state representatives and senators.
Please register today: http://act.aflcio.org/salsa/track.jsp?v=2&c=ac2aUgmyVp4AFOhoxT3qCWaUe2oKTXv4
Your Sister in Solidarity,
Lori J. Pelletier
Executive Secretary Treasurer
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