President Hansen and International Executive Committee Re-elected

_BBF3531The OUR Team slate of the International Executive Committee was re-elected today by the more than 2,500 delegates convening in Chicago for the 2013 Convention.

This slate includes: UFCW International President Joe Hansen, International Vice President Marc Perrone, International Vice President Pat O’Neill, International Vice President Bill McDonough, and UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley.

“Thank you for your support, and most of all the great work you do for our 1.3 million members in Canada and the United States,” said President Hansen to the convention. “I am excited — along with the rest of our team — to continue building the best union in North America. We should all be proud of the way we work together. We have built a foundation for success.  It is now up to us to build on that foundation.”

UFCW Kicks Off 7th Regular Convention

UFCW 2013 TUES NEWS ENG HR (2)The 7th Regular Convention of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union opened with anticipation and excitement. Thousands of delegates from UFCW local unions across the U.S. and Canada filled Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center.

“This is awesome. I feel so excited to be here,” said Sharon Hill from Russellville, AL a member of RWDSU Local 932 who works at Pilgrim’s Pride. “We just got our first contract, and so to carry that good feeling all the way to Chicago and share it with all these other union members is just so amazing.”

Every five years the UFCW holds its regular Convention with the goal of shaping the courseof the union and ensure the lives of its 1.3 million members are improved over the course of the coming years. Nearly 2,000 delegates and alternates came with one message, “We are proud to be blue, gold and bold. And we are powerful together.”

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Congresswomen Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) and Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), and activist/author Lilly Ledbetter opened the first day of Convention with rousing and inspired speeches to the delegates assembled.

“I am here today to tell you we can rebuild the American Dream for everyone,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky. “I am more optimistic than ever, not just because I know you are here to lead the fight, but because I see more working people coming together around the country than ever before.”

“Let me tell you this union changed my life when I was starting out in high school and in college,” said Rep. Tammy Duckworth. “I do not know if my father was a UFCW member, but I can tell you that you raised the pay and benefits for everyone in my father’s chicken processing plant. That job put food in our bellies and allowed me to go school, and I thank you for that.”

When asked about her experience at the Convention so far, UFCW member Deborah Jones of Local 832 said, “I am pumped to be here. I’ve already got so many great ideas to take back to my local. I think sometimes we forget that we are such a huge union, so it’s just great to come here and meet people from all over. It really reminds you that we are everybody’s union—today just showed that.”

Monday’s Featured Speakers

Monday’s speakers include:

Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois

Pat Quinn HR (2)Governor Pat Quinn was sworn in as the 41st Governor of Illinois on January 29th, 2009. The Governor’s efforts to boost the Illinois economy include passing business and tech-friendly legislation that strengthens Illinois’ place as capital of the Midwest. Quinn has served the people of Illinois for more than 30 years as both a citizen and a public official.


Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

Rep. Jan Schakowsky with OUR Walmart member Tyrone Robinson.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky with OUR Walmart member Tyrone Robinson.

Jan Schakowsky was elected to represent Illinois’ 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois State Assembly. Schakowsky serves in the House Democratic Leadership as Chief Deputy Whip.


Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth

tammy duckworth3HRCongresswoman Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth ran for Congress in 2012 to advocate for the practical solutions and cooperation needed to rebuild our economy and ensure that every American has a chance to achieve the American Dream.


Lilly Ledbetter

2013 headshot 1After nineteen years of working her dream job at the Goodyear tire factory, Lilly Ledbetter received an anonymous note revealing that she was making thousands less per year than the men in her position. Devastated, she filed a sex discrimination case against Goodyear, which she won—and then heartbreakingly lost on appeal. Over the next eight years, her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where she lost again: the court ruled that she should have filed suit within 180 days of her first unequal paycheck–despite the fact that she had no way of knowing that she was being paid unfairly all those years. In a dramatic moment, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, urging Lilly to fight back. And fight Lilly did, becoming the namesake of Barack Obama’s first official piece of legislation as president.

Welcome Delegates!

Welcome, delegates, to the UFCW 7th Regular Convention in beautiful Chicago! We hope your travel went smoothly and you are now getting your bearings and learning your way around the convention center. Shuttle service today and tomorrow will run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. between the various Convention hotels and the McCormick Convention Center West. Details about the service are listed in your Delegate Information Guide that you will receive when you register. Registration today is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Unity Hall.


While you are there, explore the various exhibits open in the Unity Hall:

  • Check out our interactive photo and video wall. It works like a giant, motion-sensing video game. You can scroll through photos of UFCW members at work, proudly displaying the products they make and sell.
  • Buy UFCW gear! Made in the USA or Canada by union workers: polo shirts, tees, or jackets, travel mugs, stickers and other gear, all customized with the UFCW colors and logo.
  •  Visit our historical timeline and learn about the key events that shaped the UFCW.
  • Go online to check your email messages, or connect your electronic device in charging stations.
  • Stop by the ABC booth to win! The ABC booth will be open throughout the Convention. Stop by to buy a ticket for a shot at one of several prizes, including a hand drawn map by Senator Al Franken. Every $25 donation gives you one photo booth picture with your friends and
    family- allowing you to bring home a memorable picture from the Convention.
  • Don’t forget! Lilly Ledbetter will sign copies of her book in the Unity Hall following Monday’s General Session.