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- Health & Welfare and Pension
Employers are trying to shed responsibility for providing health insurance, good pension coverage, reasonable work hours and job safety protections. Additionally, companies are making workers' jobs and incomes less secure through downsizing, part-timing, contracting out, and sending jobs off-shore. As the nature of work changes, working people need the collective voice and bargaining power unions provide to keep employers from making the workplace look as it did in the early nineteenth century.
UFCW Local 663 members work in grocery stores, food co-operatives, meatpacking and poultry plants, food processing and manufacturing plants, healthcare, retail, and in the chemical industry throughout the Midwest.
With most of the economic benefits of our economy going to corporate America, working people are using the power of collective action to get their fair share.
Every worker deserves affordable health insurance, prescription drug coverage, living wages, safe working conditions, equal opportunity, a secure pension and a voice in the workplace.
Working families never got anything without uniting for it! Here's a small list of what the power of coming together in the workplace has achieved:
When workers stick together as a union, they have bargaining power and a collective voice that they simply do not have when they are not unionized. Being a member of a union not only gives you a better position to get better wages, benefits and working conditions, you also get job security.
Non-union workers have limited rights and can be fired “at-will” for no reason – just because your boss is having a bad day and decides he/she doesn’t want you around anymore. Non-union workers also find that the rules can change at the whim of the employer.
With a union contract, everything is spelled out in black and white, as decided upon between the workers’ negotiating committee and the employer during bargaining, and the rules don’t change until workers renegotiate. For instance, raises are guaranteed, holidays, vacations, hours, etc. can all be defined by the contract.
In addition, discipline and firing isn’t at the whim of the employer for union members. There are certain rules the boss has to go through, a series of steps, to show that they have just cause for discipline or firing you. Throughout this time, a union representative will be working on your behalf to represent you and make sure you get a fair deal and your rights are protected.
The first step is to form a committee among the workers with representatives from each department and shift. The committee’s job is to attend meetings and educate themselves about the Union. Then they can educate their co-workers and help dispel false information spread by management.
Next, the majority of the employees must sign cards stating they want to have a Union in their workplace. After a majority of workers have signed up, the Union can ask the employer to recognize the Union or file a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
When the Union files for an election, then the employees have a chance to vote for the Union in a secret ballot election conducted by the government. If the Union wins a majority of votes, and the employer does not challenge the vote on legal grounds, then the Union can begin the process of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement (contract).
Collective bargaining takes place between two groups – one composed of the negotiating committee and your union representative and the other composed of representatives from management.
Usually after each collective bargaining session, the contract is returned to you and your fellow workers for discussion. Once the negotiating committee agrees that they have a good contract, they will bring it to their fellow co-workers for a final decision. Should the workers reject the contract, it will go back to the bargaining table for further negotiations until a contract is agreed upon. However, if a majority of employees approves the contract, the contract then goes into effect.
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Dear UFCW Local 663, Thank you so much for the $100 gift card. Your kindness and thoughtfulness is appreciated. My bout with…...[+] MORE"– Beth Smith
Hello Staff of 663, This note is very late getting to you, so please accept my apologies. It means so much to our family that you…...[+] MORE"– Kelly Lego and Family
I thought I would send you a quick note to say that I just received my first pension check. Hopefully the first of many. I…...[+] MORE"– Jim Kammerer
Thank you very much for the Wild Tickets. It was my first game and I had a lot of fun....[+] MORE"– Kayla Brisk
Dear Mr. Utecht and UFCW Local 663, We wanted to thank you very much. Our daughter, Jaclyn Zirbes, who has worked at the Chaska…...[+] MORE"– Mary Jo and John Zirbes
Matt Utecht and UFCW Local 663, I wanted to thank you so much for the $1000 Educational Grant that I received. I was so excited…...[+] MORE"– Jaclyn Zirbes
Thank yo uso much for the 4 State Fair tickets. We went on Friday, August 31, with out daughter, Joy, who is an art teacher. She…...[+] MORE"– Suzy Blewett
Thank you so very much for the State Fair tickets. We went the first day....[+] MORE"– Deb Woodruff
Thank you so very much for the 4 tickets to the MN State Fair. I had a wonderful time....[+] MORE"– Diane Radde
Workers Union Local 653, I want to thank you for the State Fair tickets from the drawing last month. We has a great time!...[+] MORE"– Sandy Drake
Thank you for the MN Zoo tickets. We had a great time. Perfect weather. And we rode a camel too! So thank you again....[+] MORE"– Jim Cagle and Gary Peterson
Thank you very much for the State Fair tickets. I am really looking forward to going this year. I love the food! Thanks again....[+] MORE"– Susan Hernandez
Thank you very much for the MN State Fair tickets! I am looking forward to attending the State Fair with my family. The fair is…...[+] MORE"– Karina Monson
Thank you very much for the $1000 educational grant! Being an employee of the Eagan Lunds & Byerlys store I have been working very…...[+] MORE"– Karina Monson
Thank you for the State Fair tickets. Can't believe it is that time of the year again. We will enjoy all the sights and smells…...[+] MORE"– Mary Ann Mingo
Thank you so much for your generous donation of Twins Tickets and for hosting a table! I know all of the associates had a…...[+] MORE"– Innsbruck Foundation
Thank you for the 4 fair tickets. I will enjoy the fair....[+] MORE"– David Belille
Matt and everyone at Local 663, Thank you for the Wild tickets you donated to my daughter in laws breast cancer benefit. I…...[+] MORE"– Nancy Brazil
Matt Utecht and staff, Many thanks for the State Fair tickets and Renaissance Festival tickets you sent us. Our family had a…...[+] MORE"– Chuck & Vicki Johnson and Family
Thank you so much for the State Fair tickets. My family had an awesome time at the fair. Thanks for all the things you do for us…...[+] MORE"– Elsie Nelson
Thanks so much for the MN Zoo Tickets! My daughter and I went last week and had a great time. Loved seeing all the animals,…...[+] MORE"– Sue Godfrey- Rockford Rd
Thank you for the two tickets that I won on the MN United FC Soccer game on May 12th. I was able to use the tickets and bring…...[+] MORE"– Jaclyn Zirbes
Thank you so much for the MN Zoo Tickets. I will surely appreciate a fun day at the zoo!...[+] MORE"– Carolyn Essmann
Thank you for the zoo tickets. I can't remember the last time I went there (Probably as a chaperone for a field trip). Now my…...[+] MORE"– Mary Ann Mingo
I just want to thank you for all the tickets I received in the past. The grandkids and I have a great time with all of them.…...[+] MORE"– Dorothy
Thanks for donating the Bears vs Vikings tickets. I was lucky enough to win and the seats were awesome! I took my sister who is a…...[+] MORE"– Wendy Eck
Thank you so much for the great seats to the MN Wild game on 12-27. It was a hard-fought game against the Dallas Stars whom we…...[+] MORE"– Joanne and Dan Irvin
UFCW Local 663 - Thank you so much for the Kowalski’s gift cards that I won. I was very surprised, thanks again....[+] MORE"– Jane
Thank you so much for the gift cards I received at the Health Fair. I thought the Health Fair was a huge success. It was…...[+] MORE"– Carol
UFCW Local 663 - Thank you for the educational grant, it is much needed and will be put towards my expenses here at NDSU....[+] MORE"– Andrea
UFCW Local 663- Thank you so much for gifts at Christmas time. The gift cards were much appreciated. To all of you at Local 663,…...[+] MORE"– Jacos
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the circus tickets. It was a generous gift and much appreciated. It was a…...[+] MORE"– Mary
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…...[+] MORE"– Larry Kavanagh
I wish to thank you for your representation for union support shops at the Crow Wing County Fair. Your message to support “people”…...[+] MORE"– Janet