Dear Member,

Labor Day is the one day where the nation honors the hard work and sacrifices of America’s workers. Truth be told, there are not enough days in the year to fully recognize the incredible hard work and sacrifices you and every UFCW member has made – especially since the beginning of this pandemic.  

You are essential workers. For well over a year, you and your fellow union members have put your safety and well-being on the line to serve our communities.  These are the kind of sacrifices that must never be forgotten or ignored.  

All across America, UFCW members have worked tirelessly in grocery and retail stores, pharmacies, health care and manufacturing facilities, and in food processing and meat packing facilities to keep the food and medicine shelves stocked for working families.  

Every single UFCW member has made a difference that has helped working families, weather one of the most difficult and challenging times in our nation’s history.  

Tragically, being on the front lines of the pandemic has not come without a terrible cost.  Across the country we have lost 484 UFCW members and the pain of these losses – as well as the loss of so many other friends and family members – is immeasurable. While no words can minimize these losses, we must do all we can to keep their memories alive to inspire all of us toward a better and safer tomorrow.   

That is why your union family will continue to fight tirelessly to protect you and your rights. We will continue to prioritize safer working conditions, and the wages and benefits you rightfully deserve. Most importantly, we will stand together to build a better and safer life for every hard-working UFCW member.  

Thank you again for all that you do and may you and your loved ones stay safe on this Labor Day and all the days that follow. 

Sincerely and fraternally, 

Mark A. Espinosa

President

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Great News for CT Workers…..Great news for the UFCW!

General Assembly Passes Cannabis, Budget Implementer in Special Session

The General Assembly convened a special session on Tuesday with the Senate passing SB 1201, legislation legalizing recreational cannabis for adult use and SB 1202, the budget implementer. Both bills were sent to the House, where they were amended on Wednesday and sent back to the Senate.

SB 1201 Cannabis

On Tuesday, the Senate amended the bill to expand the definition of an “equity applicant” for a cannabis business license. Advocates sought to ensure that half of all licenses would be issued to those who had been impacted by the war on drugs. Applicants from areas with high rates of drug convictions or high unemployment and had incomes under 300% of the state median income were deemed equity applicants. The Senate amendment added another group – those who had been arrested or convicted on marijuana charges or had a parent, spouse or child who had been arrested or convicted. That action prompted Governor Lamont to threaten to veto the bill.

When the House convened Wednesday, it removed the Senate amendments before passing the bill, earning the Governor’s support. The amended bill was sent back to the Senate as a disagreeing action. The Senate reconvened Thursday morning to pass it again.

SB 1201 is important to the Labor movement because it requires cannabis business license applicants to negotiate labor peace agreements with a labor union before licenses can be awarded. It also requires licensees to negotiate project labor agreements for construction projects on retail and cultivation facilities valued at more than $5 million.

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