Union members approve historic merger – Creation of the new UFCW 3000 — UFCW 21
In December, the UFCW 21 and UFCW 1439 Boards of Directors voted to approve a merger agreement and to send this merger question to the full membership. In January, members of UFCW 1439, who work primarily in grocery stores, food processing and other industries in eastern Washington, northeastern Oregon and northern Idaho, held their merger votes. Then, in February, UFCW 21 members, made up of grocery and retail workers in western Washington as well as healthcare workers and others across the state, held their merger votes. The merger has been approved by both members at least 95%.
“Now that we are united, we have over 50,000 worker voices across the state coming together as one, we have more resources to win better contracts and enforce those contracts. We also have over 33 millions of dollars in our strike and defense fund and more than 110 employees to negotiate and enforce our contracts,” said Kyong Barry, front-end supervisor at Albertsons in South Auburn, and Derek Roybal, cardiac catheterization lab technologist at Providence Sacred Heart in Spokane. They are both leaders of UFCW 21.
Their enthusiasm was shared by Shannon Corrick, a member of UFCW 1439 who works at the Cheney Safeway for file maintenance. She summed up the sentiment of many members by stating, “The companies we work for keep getting bigger and they treated us very badly during COVID. This merger makes us a much bigger union so we can take them on and win better wages and safer workplaces. Have more control over our lives.
Merger benefits include:
Build power in industries such as grocery stores, meat cutters, retail, healthcare, packaging and processing, and others to help win better contracts and organize more venues. work where workers want a union but don’t yet have one.
Double the size of our corporate members in eastern and central Washington counties.
UFCW health care members and grocery retail members acting together in western Washington counties have already made great strides together – in places like Kitsap and Snohomish counties. The amalgamation will extend this kind of solidarity to Spokane, Tri-Cities, Wenatchee and many other central and eastern areas of the state.
The newly merged union will have an expanding Member Resource Center hotline where members can call for quick answers to their questions, including weekends and late nights. We will also have a new member education department and invest in workforce development and training.
The newly created UFCW 3000 will be the largest UFCW local in the country.
The merger will take effect on March 1, 2022.