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Statement by UFCW International President Marc Perrone on Walmart’s Wage Announcement

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement about Walmart’s wage announcement:

 “Walmart’s announcement yesterday that it will raise wages for 500,000 hourly associates is an important step forward for Walmart workers and their families. This is not an act of corporate benevolence. It would not have been possible without the courage of countless workers who are standing together, taking risks, and demanding wages and schedules that can support their families. Walmart is responding directly to calls from workers and their allies to pay a living wage.

 Because of a strong and organized movement that includes many UFCW members, half a million Walmart workers will now get a raise. Because workers spoke out, $1 billion will now go directly into our economy instead of onto the Walton family’s balance sheet.

 Walmart should know that we will continue to stand with workers and the community to be more transparent about exactly how much the company pays each of its 1.4 million associates. Today’s announcement calls to question Walmart’s long-term inconsistencies about its wage claims – even ten years ago it claimed workers were paid an average of $10 an hour.  High turnover leaves the vast majority of Walmart workers toiling at the lowest wage scales which will now pay at least $9 an hour. We know that Walmart can and should do better.

 Today marks a victory for Walmart workers but more importantly, a call to action for the UFCW and the entire labor movement.  The largest private employer in the nation is feeling the pressure to do better for its workers. We must seize this opportunity and keep fighting until every single worker – in retail stores, supermarkets and beyond – are paid a living wage.”

 

Marc Perrone Elected International President of UFCW

Starting a new chapter at the UFCW

On December 15, former UFCW International Secretary-Treasurer Marc Perrone, was elected International President at a board meeting held in Chicago, Ill.

“The choice we face today is whether we will stand together and build an economy that lifts up all families, or watch as even more workers fall further behind and struggle to make ends meet,” Perrone said. “Cynics may believe that these divisions and inequities are irreversible. I do not. We, as a union, do not. I strongly believe that by uniting together we can give workers across North America the opportunities they deserve.”

Perrone will spend the coming weeks and months meeting with UFCW members throughout the United States and Canada. As part of this listening tour, Perrone is planning one on one conversations with members, worksite visits, and the utilization of digital and social media platforms to engage with union members to hear their thoughts and ideas on how the UFCW can grow even stronger.

“The ideas to build a stronger union do not lie within any one individual,” Perrone said. “They lie within all of us. They lie in the collective wisdom and strength of 1.3 million UFCW members who work hard every day to support their families. I want to hear their ideas. I want to hear their vision. I want to hear what we can all do to become an even greater and stronger union for the decades ahead.”

Perrone succeeds retiring International President Joe Hansen.

“Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, Joe Hansen never lost sight of our members,” Perrone said. “His commitment and dedication to the hard-working men and women we represent will never be forgotten.”

During his tenure, Hansen increased union density in meatpacking and processing, formed important global labor alliances, and helped lead the labor movement’s positions on comprehensive immigration reform.

New UFCW Officers Elected:

Under the UFCW International Constitution, the International Executive Board is charged with electing a replacement for a vacancy in the office of International President. The UFCW Executive Board consists of 50 International Vice Presidents, primarily local union leaders, and five Executive Committee members.

The UFCW International Executive Board also elected former Executive Vice President Pat O’Neill as International Secretary-Treasurer, Stuart Appelbaum as Executive Vice President, and Esther Lopez as Executive Vice President. Paul Meinema currently serves as Executive Vice President and National President of UFCW Canada. Executive Vice President Bill McDonough retired on October 31.

 

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