July - UFCW Local 653
Vol. 51 No. 6 July 2013
Affordable Care Act (ACA)/ObamaCare
What it Means to our Taft Hartley Fund (Insurance)
By Matt Utecht
The looming implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as “ObamaCare,” as it stands today could have a
dramatic impact on our Health and Welfare Fund as we know it. If you recall, the ACA and lack of specific information on its impact on our
Health and Welfare Fund is the reason we ended up with a one-year contract this past March.
In the five months since the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery contract negotiations were held, more detailed information on the
ACA continues to be released by the state and federal government at a snail’s pace. As it stands today, we (the union, employers, and the
American public as a whole) still have far more questions than answers as to what the final impact of the ACA will be on us all.
Please take the time to read the following articles and questions and answers on the ACA/ObamaCare. My objective for printing all this
information is not to create some sort of panic, but rather to be as transparent as possible with our membership concerning major issues
facing this union, be it good news or bad. It’s my firm belief that the membership of this union be well educated on the issues of the day,
and I want to keep it that way.
You should know that your local union is very involved with the UFCW International Union in communicating with members of the United
States Senate and Congress to have the ACA amended to protect our Taft Hartley funds across the country. (See Jim Schommer’s article on
The following article was written by our International UFCW President, Joseph T. Hansen, and printed in “The Hill” on May 21, 2013.
Treat Nonprofit Healthcare Fairly
By Joseph T. Hansen (International President)
“If you already have health insurance through your job — and because
many of you are members of unions, you do — nothing in this plan will
require you or your employer to change your coverage or your doctor.
Let me repeat: Nothing in this plan will require you to change your
coverage or your doctor.” Those were the words spoken by President
Obama at the AFL-CIO Convention in Pittsburgh on Sept. 15, 2009.
Since then, Congress has passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and
it has been signed into law. It has withstood a challenge before the
Supreme Court. Regulations have been issued, exchanges created, and
open enrollment is set to begin in a matter of months. Unfortunately,
what also has become increasingly clear with each passing day is
that the president’s statement to labor in 2009 is simply not true for
millions of workers.
For decades, unions have negotiated high quality, affordable health
insurance through nonprofit Taft-Hartley plans — one of the few
reliable private providers for lower income individuals.
These plans are mutually agreed upon between union members and
participating employers and provide insurance to millions of American
In addition to being a long-standing and successful provider, these
plans have been models of efficiency, achieving better cost savings than
for-profit insurance carriers with medical loss ratios often exceeding 90
percent. That means 90 cents out of every dollar go to patient care. Savings in healthcare can free up money for wages and pensions, and
thus drive the economy forward for all of us. But as currently interpreted, the ACA would block these plans from the
law’s benefits (such as the subsidy for lower-income individuals and
families) while subjecting them to the law’s penalties (like the $63 per
insured person to subsidize Big Insurance). This creates unstoppable
incentives for employers to reduce weekly hours for workers currently
on our plans and push them onto the exchanges where many will
pay higher costs for poorer insurance with a more limited network of
providers. In other words, they will be forced to change their coverage
and quite possibly their doctor. Others will be channeled into Medicaid,
where taxpayers must pick up the tab.
In addition, the ACA includes a fine for failing to cover full-time workers
but includes no such penalty for part-timers (defined as working less
than 30 hours a week). As a result, many employers are either reducing
hours below 30 or discontinuing part-time health coverage altogether.
This is a cut in pay and benefits workers simply cannot afford. For
example, a worker making $10 an hour that has his or her schedule cut
by six hours a week would lose $3,100 a year in income. With millions of
workers impacted, this would have a devastating effect on our economy.
Beginning next year, states are required to have health insurance
exchanges up and running to cover the growing uninsured population
in this country.
The ACA offers a subsidy to lower-income individuals and families so
they can afford to purchase this insurance. As many of our members
fall into this category, we believe the subsidy can and should apply to
nonprofit plans. All we want is equality — where our plans are treated
the same as for-profit insurers. The Obama administration has refused our request, citing legal hurdles.
But since the treatment of Taft-Hartley plans is not fully described in the
ACA, we believe the regulatory process is exactly the appropriate place
to deem them qualified health plans eligible for subsidies. Any objective
review of the evidence and reasonable definition of what our funds
provide leads to this conclusion. We’d be open to a legislative fix, but ultimately this is the administration’s
responsibility. They are leading the regulatory process. It’s their
We don’t want a handout. Our members want to keep the healthcare
they currently have. Let me repeat — our members want to keep the
healthcare they currently have. We just want them to be treated fairly. Hansen is the president of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and chairman of Change to Win.
6/27/13 3:34 PM
Fixing the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Call or write or visit the websites below to email these Minnesota Government Officials to demand the Obama
Administration recognize Taft-Hartley funds as Qualified Health Plans eligible for subsides under the ACA.
Senator Amy Klobuchar:
Senator Al Franken:
Representative Betty McCollum:
Representative Keith Ellison:
The Obama Administration said Americans who liked their current health care could keep it.
As currently interpreted, that is simply not true for millions of workers.
The ACA creates an incentive for employers to dump part-time workers currently in Taft-Hartley plans onto
the exchanges where many will pay more and get less.
Employers are using the ACA to reduce hours for full-time workers and drop part-time coverage altogether,
a cut in pay and benefits workers cannot afford.
Please urge the President to fix this law.
ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS:
For decades, unions have negotiated high quality, affordable health insurance through non-profit Taft-Hartley
plans — one of the few reliable private providers for lower-income individuals.
These plans are mutually agreed upon between union members and participating employers and provide insurance to over 20 million American workers.
But as currently interpreted, the ACA would block these plans from the law’s benefits (such as the subsidy for
lower-income individuals and families) while subjecting them to the law’s penalties (like the $63 per insured
person to subsidize Big Insurance—a government handout they do not need).
This creates a powerful incentive for employers to dump part-time workers currently in Taft-Hartley plans onto
the exchanges where many will pay more for less coverage.
Others will be channeled into Medicaid where taxpayers must pick up the tab.
In addition, employers are using the ACA to reduce hours for full-time workers and drop part-time coverage
A worker making $10 an hour that has his or her schedule cut by six hours a week would lose $3,100 a year in
income. With millions of workers impacted, this would have a devastating effect on our economy.
All we want is equality—where our plans are treated the same as for-profit insurers.
The ACA offers a subsidy to lower-income individuals and families so they can afford to purchase insurance.
Since many of our members fall into this category, fairness dictates that the subsidy can and should apply to
Any objective review of our funds, which have a decade’s long record of providing quality affordable health
care to millions of Americans, leads to this conclusion.
We believe the regulatory process is the appropriate place to deem Taft- Hartley funds Qualified Health Plans
eligible for subsidies under the ACA.
We don’t want a handout. Our members want to keep the healthcare they currently have.
• THIS LAW MUST BE FIXED NOW!
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In closing, we will keep you informed on changes and effects of the ACA as they become
available. Please take the time to write or call your United States Senators and Congress
members. We all need to make our voices heard on this issue! -- Matt Utecht
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Your Union Hard at Work on Capitol Hill During National Lobby Day
By Jim Schommer
On June 18 and 19, over 150 UFCW
members and staff went to Washington,
D.C. to talk face-to-face with members
of the United States Senate and
Congress about the important issues
facing working men and women, most
importantly about the implementation of
the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Local 653
sent five staff members—President Matt
Utecht, Paul Crandall, Steve Milner, Bill
Spartz, and me—to talk with our elected
officials. Our chief concern was to ask our
legislators to contact White House Chief
of Staff Denis McDonough and demand
the Obama administration recognize TaftHartley funds (our type of healthcare
plan) as Qualified Health Plans eligible for
subsidies under the ACA.
Left to right: Jim Schommer, Steve Milner, Matt Utecht, Congressman Collin Peterson, Congressman Rick Nolan,
Paul Crandall, Bill Spartz, and Bernie Hesse from Local 1189
Congressman George Miller briefing UFCW staff on the Affordable Care Act
We were scheduled to meet with Senator Al Franken, Congressman
Richard Nolan, Congresswoman Betty McCollum, and Congressman
Keith Ellison. I was very impressed with how hard they worked to make
sure they saw us. Senator Franken was on the floor giving a speech but
had us brought over to the Capitol to meet him. Both Congressman
Nolan and Congresswoman McCollum gave us all the time we needed
to explain our issue. At the last minute Congressman Ellison had to miss
our meeting for a vote, but we talked to his chief of staff, Kari Moe, Ph.D.
In Senator Klobuchar’s office we were only able to talk to two of her
legislative assistants. Everyone was very receptive to our concerns with
the ACA and agreed to draft a letter and make a call to the White House
to voice our very serious concerns regarding Taft-Hartley Funds relative
to the ACA. All in all it was a very productive two days in Washington.
So what do we need from you as a member? We need you to contact
your representatives in Washington. See page 2 for contact information.
Request that they contact the Obama administration to urge them
to recognize Taft-Hartley plans as Qualified Health Plans eligible for
subsidies under the ACA. Please take a few minutes to help with this. It
is our future.
It Just Gets Better
By Steve Milner
In the last couple of years they have:
Totally remodeled the Golden Valley location
and added the Creations Café.
Remodeled the Byerly’s in Maple Grove.
Remodeled the Ridgedale Byerly’s, and added
the Creations Café.
The great customer service and quality products the company is known for are now
mixed with price promotions, BOGOs, daily price events, and a weekly ad. All of this
is adding up to increased sales at the stores. Lunds and Byerly’s prices are more
competitive than they have ever been. Their product mix along with the new price
points make the stores a must-shop destination.
Begun remodeling the Lunds store in Wayzata.
Opened a stand-alone pet store, Bone Marche’,
in St. Louis Park.
Built a new store on Hennepin Avenue in
With all this new activity going on they are still running the company like a well-oiled
machine. I am proud to represent the employees of Lund Food Holdings, and the
many opportunities that go along with all of this expansion. There are not enough
good things that can be said about this company and its future.
United We Bargain – Divided We Beg
Begun building a new store in downtown St.
Begun building a new concept store in
Announced plans to rebuild the Byerly’s store
on France Avenue in Edina.
In the May issue of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal there was a very
nice article about Tres Lund, CEO of Lund Food Holdings. It was about his vision of
improving his stores and the expansion that has been going on over the last couple of
years, and what is planned for the near future.
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Walmart’s National Week of Action
By Jim Schommer
June 1 through June 7, 2013 was the first week-long national action
against Walmart. Through Organization United for Respect (OUR
Walmart) associates have been standing together and speaking up for
change, including better working conditions, such as increased flexibility
and availability of hours in scheduling, respect for the individual, and
increasing the pay of associates so that they earn at least $25,000 per
year full-time. Walmart’s response to this has been retaliating against,
and trying to silence those who speak out.
Associates began an extended strike in protest of Walmart’s illegal efforts
to silence the calls for a change of course at Walmart. Throughout the
week, more than 100 workers nationwide joined the strike and “Ride
for Respect” to Bentonville (Walmart’s headquarters where the annual
shareholders meeting was held on June 7)--a week-long nationwide
caravan in the spirit of the civil rights movement during which workers
and supporters voiced the direct impact that Walmart is having on their
lives and the economy.
Local 653 held our Walmart Day of Action on Friday, June 7. The entire
staff--including President Matt Utecht--visited 11 Walmarts in our
jurisdiction, leafleting cars and talking to customers and employees of
Walmart about their substandard wages and hours. The employees and
customers were very appreciative of us out working for them on their
As we move forward with more actions we may be calling on you the
members for your help and support. An active informed membership
is what makes a union strong!
(President Matt Utecht talking to an employee at the Monticello Walmart)
Semana de Acción Nacional de Walmart
Por Jim Schommer
Del 1 de junio al 7 de junio del año 2013, se llevo acabo la acción
nacional de una semana contra Walmart. Mediante la Organización
Unidos por Respeto (OUR Walmart) los asociados han estado unidos y
expresándose por el cambio, incluyendo mejores condiciones de trabajo,
como el incremento de flexibilidad y disponibilidad de horas de horario,
el respeto al individuo, y el incremento de salario para los asociados para
que ganen al menos $25,000 al año y de tiempo completo. La respuesta
de Walmart a todo esto ha sido la venganza, y tratar de silenciar aquellos
que expresan sus derechos.
Los asociados comenzaron una huelga en protesta al Walmart en contra
de los esfuerzos de esta para silenciar las llamadas al cambio dentro
de Walmart. Durante la semana, mas de 100 trabajadores a través
de la nación se unieron a la huelga y la “marcha por el respeto” hacia
Bentonville (las oficinas centrales de Walmart a donde la reunión de
inversionistas se llevo acabo el 7 de junio) --- una caravana semanal
nacional con el espíritu del movimiento de los derechos civiles durante
el cual los trabajadores y sus apoyos expresaron el impacto directo que
Walmart esta impactando en sus vidas y en la economía.
Aquí en la local 653 nosotros tuvimos nuestro Día de Acción Walmart
el viernes, 7 de junio. Todo el personal, incluyendo al presidente de la
unión Matt Utecht, visitaron 11 Walmarts dentro de su jurisdicción,
distribuyendo panfletos y platicando con los clientes y a los empleados de
Walmart sobre sus bajos salarios y sus horas de trabajo. Los empleados
y los clientes apreciaron mucho el que nosotros nos esforzáramos
trabajando por ellos en su favor.
(Business Agent Greg Larson talking to an employee at the Brooklyn Park Walmart)
Mientras damos pasos hacia adelante con mas acciones, le estaremos
llamando a usted como miembro por su ayuda y su apoyo. ¡La membresía
activa e informada es lo que hace a un sindicato fuerte!
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The International UFCW and Local 653 are Taking Steps to Cure Cancer!
By Matt Utecht
United Food & Commercial Workers have supported The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for
more than 30 years – raising a total of $46 million earmarked for blood cancer research. Since our
partnership with LLS began, survival rates have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled. Local 653 has
been a contributor to this national achievement by hosting an annual bowling tournament, golf events,
Bag for a Cure and more.
Let’s walk to the end of cancer together.
Join the UFCW Local 653 Light The Night team today.
Simply visit http://bit.ly/11MliPY to register online. When
you do, you will get a personal online fundraising page and
a mobile app to collect pledges on your Smartphone!
On Sunday, Sept. 22, our team will step onto Target Field
to participate in the Light The Night® Walk to help raise
awareness and funds to support the nearly one million
people in North America living with a blood cancer.
Invite friends and family members to join our team, too,
for an inspirational and memorable evening. During this leisurely walk, participants carry illuminated
balloons - white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer.
Hundreds of us will form a community of caring, and bring light to the dark world of cancer.
As our team captain, I encourage you to become a Champion For Cures by raising $100 or more to help
people fighting cancer live better, longer lives. A Champion For Cures will receive night-of-walk benefits,
including a 2013 Light The Night T-shirt and a wristband which entitles you to food and refreshments.
Light The Night Walk funds treatments that are saving the lives of patients today. LLS is making cures
happen by providing patient support services, advocacy for lifesaving treatments and the most promising
cancer research anywhere. And it’s all happening now. Not someday, today.
The money UFCW Local 653 raises will provide:
• Lifesaving cancer research
• Financial assistance to cover patient expenses for transportation, medication and testing
• Free educational materials and events
• Programs such as the Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection program and Family Support Groups
• Advocacy for better treatments and healthcare reform
• Comprehensive, personalized assistance through the LLS Information Resource Center.
I look forward to walking to the end of cancer with you!
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Goodbye to “Fella”
By Paul Crandall
Sadly we say goodbye to Bill Duehn, who passed away on April 22, 2013. Bill was
a business agent for Local 653 for 19 years and a meat cutter for Red Owl for 23
years. If you knew Bill at all, you will know he had an infectious smile and his
presence lit up the room wherever he was. Bill loved his work with passion and
loyalty second to none. He was very proud of his meat cutting trade, and still had
the Red Owl pride his whole career. As a union business agent, I was very fortunate
to ride along on Bill’s route, and participate in organizing, house calls, hand billing,
and picketing on the strike line.
Bill was a vital cog in former Local 653 President
Eugene Utecht’s staff and was often called on
for special projects and advice by the union
President. Family was extremely important
to Bill, who always talked about his wife Joan
and his children, and later became a proud
grandfather who wouldn’t miss a softball or
basketball game. I want to express our deepest
sympathy to Bill’s family and want you to know
he is remembered here at the local union fondly
and will be greatly missed.
At left is a Fact Finder article from 1985 that
expressed Bill’s love and pride for meat cutting,
and a picture of his last day of work for Local 653.
I want to share a poem that was printed in Bill’s
memorial bulletin that truly describes Bill’s
I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when day is done.
I’d like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times, and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve
to dry before the sun.
Of happy memories that I leave
behind - when day is done.
-- Helen Lowrie Marshall
“When I started work as an apprentice meat
cutter, I had no idea that I had to join the
union... It was probably the best thing that
ever happened to me.”
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Land of Promise
By Nancy Vaillancourt
Several years ago Steve Milner wrote an article featuring Gerry and Sharon
Ernst from Elk River Cub, and the Land of Promise Memorial Center
dedicated to the memory of their daughter who passed away at the age of
11, and to Gerry’s brother.
Land of Promise was originally a 35-acre farm on Lake Beebe in
Buffalo, Minnesota, that Gerry’s grandfather purchased in 1905. It has
now been transformed into a nondenominational church camp. The
old barn was made into a chapel that accommodates 75 people. It is a
stress-free retreat center where many groups have come to enjoy the
gardens, fishing, and other water activities.
Over the years many things have changed at the Land of Promise. The gardens are beautiful as ever as they add new and different perennials and
annuals every year. Gerry couldn’t even guess how many different flowers they have. Along with the flowers they now have a fountain, and they
also have pavers with names of loved ones placed through the gardens.
In 2006 the Land of Promise also started to have weddings on the grounds. Gerry performs about 12 weddings a year. He is an ordained minister
through International Ministerial Fellowship. Gerry is also the Chaplain at the Wright County jail. Sharon recently retired from the Elk River Cub
and will be spending more time working in the gardens. They both spend about 30-40 hours per week maintaining the memorial garden. They
also have volunteers that help them. The church has about 40 members, with services held every Sunday. Many members have rededicated their
lives there, gone through water baptisms, been married, and have even held some funerals there.
I want to thank Gerry for asking about details on renting Hall 653, as he thought it would be great to offer it to people using Land of Promise for
their ceremonies. It led to a great conversation, and then to this article. It was great hearing about your and your wife’s life passion.
For a chance to win tickets to the MN State Fair, mail this
entry form to: UFCW Local 653, Attn: Tickets, 13000 63rd
Ave N, Maple Grove, MN 55369.
Biggest Loser 2013…It’s Not Too Late
By Nancy Vaillancourt
Remember--it’s not too late for you to enter our Biggest Loser
contest. All members are encouraged to join us! We have
approximately 50 participants so far, and we would love to have
more join in.
Would like 2 or 4 tickets (circle one)
My progress is going slow. I will admit it’s been hard staying on
track, especially on days off. I have walked about 45 minutes on a
treadmill, but only a few times. I had really hoped to have a little
more of a routine down by now, including a little bit of weight
training. I had also hoped to be down 15 pounds by now, but I
am only down 9. So the struggle continues, and I have a lot of
work ahead of me. The biggest hurdle to overcome is having no
motivation. I’m hoping that gets going more with the warmer
weather around the corner.
Wishing all of you continued success. Feel free to call and keep
me updated. I look forward to hearing from all of you!
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UFCW Local 653
13000 63rd Avenue North
Maple Grove, MN 55369
763-525-1500 or 1-800-292-4105
Matthew P. Utecht, President
Richard Milbrath, Secretary-Treasurer
CORPORATE CUB FOODS: Apple Valley, Bloomington, Burnsville HOTC, Burnsville South, Chanhassen,
Eagan West, Eagan East, Lakeville, Lakeville South,
Rosemount, Savage, Shorewood
Paul Crandall, Assistant to the President
Brainerd / Baxter Cub Foods - S.A.V.E Foods - Baxter
Super One - Crosby Super One - Pequot Lakes Supervalu - Byerly’s St. Cloud
JERRY’S CUB FOODS: Bloomington, Brookdale, Eden
Prairie, Knollwood, Lake Street, Nicollet, Rogers, Southdale, West Broadway
JERRY’S FOODS: Edina, Eden Prairie, Jerry’s Enterprises
Ingebretsen’s - Everett’s Foods - Nelson Meats - Swanson Meats - Cooper’s County Market - Sullivan’s Supervalu - Almsted’s Fresh Market - Village Market - Jubilee
Foods - Bergan’s Supervalu - Cub Foods Shakopee Driskill’s Foods - Oxendale’s Market
FRESH SEASONS MARKET: Minnetonka, Victoria
JERRY’S FOODS: Jerry’s Sausage
LUNDS: Lake Street, Central, Edina, Richfield, Minnetonka, Bloomington, Wayzata, Navarre, Plymouth,
Hennepin, Lunds Kitchen, Trainers/Drivers
BYERLY’S: Edina, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, Ridgedale, Burnsville, Chanhassen, Eagan, Maple Grove
BONE MARCHE’: St. Louis Park
Ours Resort - Lutsen, MN
Available to all active dues-paying UFCW Local 653
members and retirees receiving a UFCW Local 653 pension!
Anoka Care Center - Bryn Mawr - Park Health & Rehab
- Golden Living (Bloomington & Chateau) - Innsbruck
Healthcare - Oaklawn Healthcare - Gold Cross - Brede’s
CORPORATE CUB FOODS: Monticello
KOWALSKI’S MARKETS: Lyndale, Eagan, Hennepin,
Chicago, Eden Prairie
Ideal location for quiet little retreat or a family reunion. No matter the season, there are
plenty of activities you can choose fromwhether it be nature hikes, snowmobiling,
skiing or fishing. You will enjoy the many
scenic views the North Shore has to offer.
Indoor-Fully equipped kitchens, HDTV, Blu-ray/
dvd player, fireplace, porch/deck, beddings, towels, and soap.
Outdoor- Charcoal grill, deck chairs, swing set,
horseshoe pit, and a beautiful view of Lake Superior.
CORPORATE CUB FOODS:
Blaine North, Blaine
South, Brooklyn Park North, Brooklyn Park South, Coon
Rapids South, Crystal, Champlin, Fridley, Maple Grove,
Silver Lake Road, Rockford Road, New Brighton, Vicksburg
KNOWLAN’S FESTIVAL FOODS: Andover, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park
CUB FOODS - Coon Rapids (Williston), Minnetonka
JERRY’S CUB: Elk River
ORGANIZER: JIM SCHOMMER
RAINBOW FOODS: Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington,
Brooklyn Park, Chaska, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Lake Street, Lakeville, Maple
Grove, Plymouth (6th Ave), Plymouth Station, Quarry,
Richfield, Savage, St. Louis Park, Uptown
KING’S COUNTY MARKET: Andover
Anoka Care Center
KING’S COUNTY MARKET: St. Francis
July 2013 - Fact Finder - Pg 9
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“I Didn’t Know”
By Greg Larson
This is an answer we hear quite often in daily conversations with our members. It may be an honest answer and to some degree
understandable, but it is also one that we should not hear so often. Let me explain why:
1. We have a published union contract book which covers our agreement with the employers. Have you ever read it completely?
2. We publish a newsletter called the “Fact Finder.” While none of us are journalists like a Scott Pelley, Peter Jennings, or Diane
Sawyer, we do try to inform you as to what is currently happening. Take the time to read each publication. I assure you that
at the year’s end you will have learned a lot from it. Besides that there are upcoming events posted, forms to fill out and send
in to your union for several sporting event tickets, and several other ticket drawings.
3. Health and Welfare will issue you a benefits booklet when you become eligible. Read it and understand the procedures you
are to use when benefits are needed. Any questions regarding health insurance or pension should be directed to Wilson
McShane-Corporation at 952-854-0795. They are more than happy to help you.
4. Most employers have handbooks which state their company policies. Read it so you know what is expected of you in the
performance of your duties.
I am well aware that by reading all of the above, you will not have ALL the answers-- nobody does--but you will be better
informed. We also have union meetings eight months of the year (October through May) which we encourage you to attend.
UFCW Local 653 is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and a business agent on duty.
I would like to offer some suggestions and procedures that may be helpful.
1. If you are going on a leave of absence, be it medical, FMLA, military, personal, or if you are leaving the industry, call your
business agent at 763-525-1500 or 1-800-292-4105.
2. If you have questions about medical, dental, pension, optical, life insurance, or disability, call Health and Welfare so you
know the procedures that must be followed. Wilson McShane is the company that administers those benefits and their
phone number is 952-854-0795 or 1-800-535-6373.
Remember--we cannot help you if we do not know what is happening.
Be Informed – Stay Informed
“Yo No Lo Sabía”
Por Greg Larson
Esta es la respuesta que frecuentemente escuchamos en las conversaciones diarias entre nuestros miembros. Podría ser una respuesta honesta
y hasta cierto grado entendible, pero también es una respuesta que no debemos escuchar frecuentemente. Permítanme explicarles porque:
Hemos publicado un libreto del contrato del sindicato el cual cubre nuestros acuerdos con los empleadores. ¿Lo ha leído usted
2. Hemos publicado un boletín llamado el “Fact Finder.” Mientras que ninguno de nosotros es periodista como un Scott Pelley, Peter Jennings,
o Katie Couric, nosotros le tratamos de informar de lo que esta sucediendo. Dedique tiempo para leer cada publicación. Les aseguro que
al final del año habrán aprendido muchísimo. Además de los eventos venideros, formatos para llenar I mandar a su sindicato para obtener
boletos para eventos deportivos, y varias rifas de boletos.
3. Salud y Bienestar le pondrá a su disposición un folleto de beneficios una vez que usted se convierta en elegible. Léanlo y entiendan los
procedimientos que usted debe de utilizar cuando usted necesite sus beneficios. Cualquier pregunta sobre el seguro de salud o pensión
de ser dirigida a la Corporación Wilson McShane al 952-854-0795. Ellos le ayudaran con placer.
4. Muchos empleadores tienen folletos los cuales describen las políticas de la compañía. De nuevo, léalo para que usted sepa lo que se
espera de usted en el desenvolvimiento de su trabajo.
Estoy seguro que con todo lo antes leído, usted no tendrá todas las respuestas—nadie las tiene—pero usted estará mejor informado. También
tenemos reuniones sindicales durante ocho meses del año (de octubre a mayo) a las cuales le invitamos a asistir. También, su oficina sindical
esta abierta durante cinco días de la semana de las 8:00 a.m. a las 4:00 p.m. de lunes a viernes, con un agente sindical en turno.
Habiendo mencionado lo anterior, me gustaría ofrecerle las siguientes sugerencias y procedimientos que podrían ayudarle.
Si usted va a tener una ausencia, ya sea de familia, FMLA, militar, personal, o si usted va a dejar la industria, llame a su agente sindical al
763-525-1500 o 1-800-292-4105.
SI usted tiene preguntas medicas, de pensión, seguro óptico, de seguro de vida o discapacidad, llame a Salud y Bienestar para informarse
sobre los procedimientos que usted debe de seguir. La Wilson Mcshane es la compañía que administra dichos beneficios y su número de
teléfono es 952-854-0795 o 1-800-535-6373.
Recuerde—nosotros no le podremos ayudar si usted no sabe lo que esta pasando.
Infórmese – Manténgase informado
Pg 10 - Fact Finder - July 2013
6/27/13 3:34 PM
By Bill Spartz
The legislative session has come to a close and the Democratic-led House and Senate have moved many things. I know we have a
number of conservatives in our membership and I will reflect on this session acknowledging that fact. In the previous legislative
session “Labor” had been pushed into a corner and was defending itself against “Right to Work” legislation. Labor was successful in
staving off that legislation and went to work on getting a majority in the Minnesota House. Not only did Democrats get a majority
in the House, but in the Senate, also. For the first time in over 20 years the Democrats hold the majority in the House, Senate, and
Depending on one’s point of view, you can describe the session as a success, failure, or don’t care. The fact of the matter is some
things got done that will not make everyone happy. As far as labor issues are concerned, I can tell you we supported an increase
in nursing home wages and the legislature passed an increase in facility rates of 5%. While newspaper articles have stated that
employees will get a 5% increase, it is not written that way. More information will be available next month. Hard-working nursing
home employees are going to see a raise for the first time in five years!
We as a local also supported a raise in the minimum wage. We did not favor either the House or the Senate bills, which differed
greatly--so much so that they were not able to pass a bill that increased the minimum wage in the state of Minnesota. It remains
at $6.15 an hour, a full $1.10 below the Federal rate.
The legislature also passed bills guaranteeing all-day kindergarten for Minnesota children, and froze tuition in our higher education
schools. Quality education is one of the things that make this the great state it is to live in.
Legislation was passed that allows private daycare providers to organize, as well as home health care workers. Groups have already
come out and filed a lawsuit asking for this legislation to be thrown out. A bill allowing gay marriage also was passed. These bills
were passed before the budget bills. I for one would like to have seen them get our fiscal house in order before dealing with these
issues. Tax increases and revenue increases to balance the budget are yet to be realized for our financial success for Minnesota.
The biggest problem we have is the group I spoke about earlier – the “don’t care” group. As that group continues to grow, the
power to the people becomes less effective. So don’t be shy--let your legislators know if they did good job, bad job, or where they
Por Bill Spartz
La sesión legislativa ha finalizado y la cámara legislativa y el senado dominados pro los demócratas ha puesto en movimiento
muchas cosas. Yo sé que tenemos un numero de conservativos entre nuestra membresía y reflexionaré sobre esta sesión legislativa
reconociendo esta situación. En la sección legislativa laboral “la labor” ha sido relegada a una esquina y se ha defendido por si
sola contra la legislación “Derecho a Trabajar” (Right to Work por sus siglas en ingles). La Labor tuvo éxito para sobrepasar dicha
legislación y paso con el apoyo de la mayoría en la cámara de Minnesota. No solamente los demócratas consiguieron la mayoría en
la cámara, pero además en el senado. Por la primera vez en más de 20 años los demócratas mantuvieron la mayoría en la cámara
baja, el senado, y la oficina del Gobernador.
Dependiendo de como lo vea uno, podríamos describir esta sesión como todo un éxito, fracaso, o sin importancia. La realidad
es que le lograron algunas cosas y no hará feliz a todos. En lo concerniente a temas laborales, les puedo decir que apoyamos
un incremento salarial a los trabajadores del cuidado de enfermería personales y la legislatura pasó un incremento de 5%. ¡Los
trabajadores tan esforzados de las casas de enfermería personal van a ver un aumento por la primera vez en cinco años!
Como una local sindical también apoyamos el incremento del salario mínimo. No dimos apoyo a la cámara baja o al senado en
dicha legislación, la cual era muy diferente—era tanta la diferencia que no pudo pasar la legislatura del salario mínimo en el estado
de Minnesota. El salario mínimo permanece a $6.15 por hora, con un $1.10 por debajo del salario dictaminado federalmente.
La legislatura también paso las legislaturas que garantizan el kindergarden por todo el día para los niños de Minnesota, y congelo
las colegiaturas en nuestros centros de alta educación. La educación de alta calidad es una de las razones para vivir en este gran
La legislación pasó legislaturas que permiten a los centros de cuidado privados para que se organicen, y también a los trabajadores
de casas de cuidado personal. Unos grupos han surgido para demandar que dichas legislaturas se anulen. Una legislatura que
permite a las parejas del mismo sexo para que se casen también pasó. Estas legislaturas pasaron antes de las legislaturas de
presupuesto. Yo personalmente pienso que deberíamos de haber puesto en orden nuestra situación fiscal antes de encarar dichos
temas. Los incrementos de impuestos e incremento de ingresos para balancear el presupuesto tendrán que convertirse en realidad
para tener un éxito financiero en el estado de Minnesota. El problema mas grande que tenemos es el del grupo del cual hablamos
anteriormente – el grupo “a mi no me importa.” Así como dicho grupo crece, el poder de la gente pierde su efectividad. No sean
tímidos—déjele saber a sus diputados si han hecho un buen trabajo, un trabajo malo, o a donde pueden mejorar.
July 2013 - Fact Finder - Pg 11
6/27/13 3:34 PM
Retiree’s Club Meeting Notice
UFCW Local 653
Knights of Columbus Marian Hall
1114 American Blvd. W.
Bloomington, MN 55420
United Food & Commercial
Workers Union, Local 653
13000 63rd Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369
763-525-1500 or 1-800-292-4105
Change Service Requested
Thursday, July 18
10:00 a.m Cards
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Speaker
For more information:
or Marlen Wahl:
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
Permit No. 2899
Twin Cities, MN
Go to the Member News and Events Page for
a chance to win tickets to the MN State Fair!
Service Is Our Strength
By Rick Milbrath
The “unknown” is what the union retail meat and grocery industry
often fears when they learn that another big box nonunion superstore
like Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, or Target Superstore is going up in their
area across the United States, encroaching on long-time meat and
grocery jurisdictions. Formal market assessments claim that when
another superstore goes up, the meat and grocery industry faces a
“potential” loss of business. Many other small businesses of all types
in these communities, when hearing of this news are asking, “What
should I do—close my business, relocate it, or hunker down and see
what happens?” None of the above seem like easy answers.
So, in order to compete with the superstores in our industry, employers
and employees must first check their attitudes. We have to accept the
fact that there will be change in our business and affirm that we have
the ability and desire to accept that change. Without the right attitude,
employers and employees could and would defeat themselves. It is up
to all parties involved to figure out how to make it a positive change
rather than an adverse one. Starting with our own customers—
especially our best customers—is just where we should begin. Making
these consumers feel like royalty by giving them extra attention goes
a long way in retaining their loyalty. Along with that we should also
be identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the new superstores.
You should avoid playing into their strengths, which usually includes
price. Getting into a price war with these companies and their deep
pockets could be fruitless and short-lived. Service, without question,
is one weakness where they come up short. Service, which studies
and research will confirm, is what consumers value when it comes to
shopping the retail meat and grocery industry. Service is what has built
this industry for decades. Consumers love to be pampered in every
which way possible even when it comes to grocery shopping. If we
can continue to improve in the service arena, we are setting ourselves
up for some leaps and bounds over the nonunion superstores. When
we hear about companies that are cutting more and more hours,
they are not only cutting payroll, but also the two things that set us
apart from the superstores--service and cleanliness. These two items
are the first things consumers will sit up and notice, and silently drift
away once they’re eliminated, leaving price being the only factor.
If we can continue to find ways for our companies in the union retail
meat and grocery industry to compete with the big box stores, the
question of “what should I do?” should not be part of the equation.
6/27/13 3:34 PM