Teach the Children Well

Each Generation Benefits from the Union Values of Solidarity.

With every new generation, the task begins anew: passing on the values we have acquired in life’s journey to those who are following us down the road.

We might have groaned and complained a little, but the advice we heard from our parents and their peers will keep enriching us long after they have gone. So, too, will the younger generations appreciate learning those same lessons from us.  

No lesson is more important than the lesson of Solidarity: the idea we are made stronger when we work together toward a common goal.

“Solidarity Works” is the motto of UFCW 8-Golden State and it has been the guiding principle of the entire Labor Movement since its beginnings many decades ago.

Alone, a working person has no chance of negotiating the terms of her or his employment on an equal basis with an employer who has far more wealth and power. Without a Union, a worker is essentially forced to take whatever the company is willing to give, and it better be taken with a smile!

But with a Union, the equation changes dramatically. Through collective bargaining, the entire work force is able to negotiate a fair deal and receive a proper share of the benefits of its labor.

In this Voice of Action magazine, you will see examples of the many ways we benefit through membership in a strong Union like UFCW 8-Golden State: Not just better wages, but also better health benefits, better retirement benefits, better working conditions, better protections against discrimination and unfair treatment, better vacations and much more.

These benefits were not obtained cheaply. Some of them were won through great cost. 

In each round of collective bargaining, we never lose sight of the importance of protecting the achievements of past generations, not just for ourselves, but for generations to come. Just as importantly, we are committed to breaking new ground toward fulfilling the aspirations of generations to come.

Consider this: The United Food and Commercial Workers, which is the largest private-sector Labor Union in North America, also has the youngest membership.

Forty percent of us are under 30 — about 450,000 people who work in supermarkets, drug stores, food processing plants, medical facilities, offices and other work sites in the United States and Canada.


Gavin Newsom leads California
in a new direction for working families

Something extraordinary is happening in California.

Just a month after taking office, Gov. Gavin Newsom has launched our Golden State into a bold new direction on behalf of working families.

Gavin is a good friend — the picture on the cover of the Winter 2019 Voice of Action shows his close connection with our Union — and I believe he will be the finest governor in the United States.

By electing him last November, our state has wisely committed itself to continue building a better economy for all people — not just the wealthy few, but everyone who punches a time clock, has a loved one who needs care, or has dreams of raising a family in a neighborhood with good schools and clean air.

A fresh vision for California

In his first State of the State speech on Feb. 12, Gov. Newsom outlined his fresh new vision for California. Of particular interest for working women and men, he addressed these issues:

Good jobs and higher wages. Gov. Newsom proposes initiatives for training workers in new skills to ensure technological changes will create jobs instead of destroying them. He also supports ongoing efforts bringing Labor and business leaders together to promote opportunities for higher paying employment. In addition, he intends to expand the earned-income tax credit to cover a million additional working families.

Affordability crisis. Noting 61 percent of young Californians believe they can’t afford to live in the state, the governor described how he is pushing cities to update their zoning rules to encourage building more affordable homes.

Health care. Responding to the Trump Administration’s efforts to wreck the Affordable Care Act, Gov. Newsom called for state action to restore the individual mandate and increase subsidies for working individuals and families. These actions would, in turn, help lower premium costs for everyone.
He also announced initiatives to reduce health care costs by promoting competition among hospitals and limiting prescription price increases.

Above and beyond these initiatives are a number of legislative proposals advocated by the California Labor Federation to affirm and protect the rights of working people to organize themselves and bargain with their employers from positions of strength.

We expect Gov. Newsom to support these proposals as they move through the Legislature and sign them when they reach his desk.

At the conclusion of his State of the State address, Gov. Newsom introduced Allyn Pierce, an intensive-care nurse in Paradise, Calif., who drove into the fire to rescue patients from the flames that eventually destroyed the hospital where he worked. The heroic nurse was quoted as saying, “This is what we do.”

Taking care of each other is what we do in the Union Movement, as it should be for all Americans. Gov. Gavin Newsom is making sure this is what California will do for everyone who is fortunate enough to dwell inside its boundaries.

Solidarity works!