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President Bob Blair: Let’s not settle for ‘right to work for less’

What is a unionBy Bob Blair
Published online at the Courier Journal, December 9, 2016

Members of UFCW Local 227 are your neighbors and friends, and we’re committed to making Kentucky a better place to live. Our hard work is especially evident throughout the holiday season. From turkey and cranberry sauce to holiday hams and mashed potatoes – some of the best things to eat throughout this season are made and sold by members of UFCW Local 227. And chances are, those special holiday sweaters and outfits that people wear this time of year are sold by us too. Simply put: we make the holidays happen.

In addition to helping customers, we are committed improving the entire community. We’re proud to negotiate with Kroger, Meijer, Jim Beam and many others to create good jobs for hard-working men and women all across our state. Our negotiated contracts include great benefits like health care, retirement security and job security.

We’re also proud to provide members with a free college benefit that allows them to earn a degree and the skills they need to advance their careers at no cost to them. And when it comes to holidays like Christmas, if we do work, it includes extra pay. Membership in our union family can truly make a person’s job and life a lot better.

Unfortunately, too many hard-working families in our community, especially those in retail, endure low wages, schedules that make it impossible to go to school or take care of a family, and the risk that one sickness or injury will send them to financial ruin because of their lack of health care benefits.

Over the last 16 years, as inequality has grown and wages have stagnated, the wealthiest few have become wealthier and the middle class has become harder to reach. Now, more than ever, we need to create good jobs, like our union family helps provide, to grow the middle class. Which is why it is troubling to see that so many politicians would rather pursue unfair laws like right-to-work for less that has only proven that it will bring low-paying jobs with no benefits to our state.

Workers and families in Kentucky deserve better than that.

So as you sit down with your loved ones this season, and no doubt enjoy meals brought to you by the hands of UFCW Local 227 union members, we urge you to remember that economic inequality, mistreatment, injustice, discrimination, and exploitation take no holiday. Every hard-working man and woman deserves a better life, and the opportunity to join a union family to achieve it.

Because if there is one thing we must all agree on, especially during the holidays, it is that no one in Kentucky or America should have to struggle alone.

Bob Blair is the President of UFCW Local 227 in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Read Bob’s column online at the Courier Journal.

Dec. 7th Free Pictures with Santa in Louisville!

167412_462702430434417_237020435_nAvoid the long lines and save yourself some money! Each year our union family comes together to celebrate the holidays with food, crafts and pictures with Santa. On Wednesday, December 7th join us at our Louisville Union Hall between 5:30pm and 8pm. Tickets are $2. Please contact 502-582-3508 ext. 0 to reserve your spot today!

Dec. 5th Tour the Versailles Castle!

12316305_926324280738894_6708360586303861696_n-2Last year our union family began a new tradition for the holidays! Monday, December 5th is UFCW 227 Member Night to Tour the Versailles Castle. We will meet at Kings Way Church (4175 Lexington Rd., Versailles) at 5:15pm for our tour. Tickets are $10. Space is limited so call Kristah Lavalle at 502-582-3508 ext. 609 to reserve your spot today! All money raised from ticket sales benefit the Salvation Army which supports veterans, the elderly and children in our community. UFCW 227 matches all money raised to support this great cause. We hope you’ll come together with us this year to support those who need it most in our community!

President Bob Blair Announces Free College Benefit for UFCW 227 Members and Their Families

ufcw_freecollege_buttonBy Bob Blair

I had a scholarship to play basketball at Valdosta State University in Georgia when I graduated high school. That year my Dad had a massive heart attack. The decision to stay in Louisville to care for him and my mom was an easy one. I also had a half scholarship to Bellarmine University, but even with that aid, tuition was still too expensive.

I went to work for Kroger in 1977 and thanks to this union I was able to support my family. The economy is very different today and the importance of a college degree has increased dramatically since I graduated high school. By 2018 nearly half of all jobs in Kentucky will require a college degree.

As a parent I have worked hard to provide a better life for my kids, just like we all do. I’m proud that my son is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and my daughter, a high school junior, will soon be looking at schools. However, since my son graduated, tuition at the University of Kentucky has increased by 59.5%. Too many people either can’t afford to go to college or they are struggling with crushing student loan debt.

Our union works hard every day to make life better for thousands of families. It’s because we believe that your hard work has earned you something better. We fight for more than just what’s in your union contract. The modern workforce has modern problems that need 21st century solutions. Unions have done more for the middle class than any other group throughout American history and now it’s time to focus on a better future.

This is why I’m excited to announce a Free College Benefit we have created for our union members and their families. We’ve partnered with Eastern Gateway College to provide you, your spouse, children, dependents and grandchildren with a way to earn an Associates Degree online with no out of pocket cost to you.

Eastern Gateway Community College is an accredited college that is part of the University of Ohio system. They are currently offering online programs in Criminal Justice, Business Management, Early Childhood Education and the Associate of Arts degree. Programs in Labor Studies, Health Information and IT are in the process of being added.

If you’re interested:

  • Call our union office at (502) 582-3508 or (800) 443-5191 and dial ‘0’ or click here to begin the process of verifying your union membership
  • An admissions officer from Eastern Gateway Community College will contact you to get you enrolled
  • Apply for Federal Financial Aid and apply any grants to your tuition (grants only, not loans)
  • Submit your High School Transcript (or GED equivalent)
  • Apply for any tuition assistance from your employer
  • Classes begin January 17th, 2017!

By working together we can overcome the challenges we all face together. We will continue to work hard so that you can provide your family with the better life they deserve. After all you’ve earned it.

Click here to start the process of verifying your union membership and apply for free college through your union!

Are you brave enough? Visit one of the scariest places on earth with your union family!

waverly_hills_ghost_photo_mary_leeUFCW 227 Union Day at Waverly Hills Sanatorium is Tuesday, October 25th.

Gates open exclusively for UFCW 227 Members and their guests at 6:00pm and close at 9:00pm.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium Hospital
4400 Paralee Ln. Louisville, KY 40272

Cost: $10.00 per ticket (normally a $20 value)

Due to limited space you must reserve your spot by contacting Kristah Lavalle (502) 582-3508 ext. 609 or klavalle@ufcw227.org.

Weekend Union Member Tickets to Kings Island are $25!

kingsislandTickets to Kings Island for union members and their families are only $25!

Parking passes are $10.

Tickets available: October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30

Tickets MUST be purchased 5 days in advance if ordering by phone. No advance purchase is necessary if you purchase online.  Discount will NOT be given at the gate.

How to Purchase Tickets 

 ONLINE: visitkingsisland.com/save and enter username: UFCW227 and password: BANSHEE (processing fees apply)

 CONTACT: Kristah Lavalle (ext. 609)

Regular Adult Admission: $65

Regular Parking: $20

Health Screenings End September 30th!

hs-reminderposterIf you are enrolled or eligible for the UFCW Union Local 227 & Employers Health & Welfare Plan…15 minutes could make you eligible for a better health program in 2017!

The deadline for annual Health Screenings is Friday, September 30th. Simply download the 2016 Medical Care Provider Health Screening Authorization Release Form and take it with you.

For your convenience, you can complete your health screening in three different ways:

Free at the Kroger Pharmacy: download your personal voucher at www.hwplan.org and schedule your appointment at krogerscreenings.com

Free at the Little Clinic: download your personal voucher at www.hwplan.org; no appointment necessary

Your personal medical provider: schedule an appointment with your doctor

On October 19th Have Some Fall Fun With Us at Evans Orchard and Cider Mill!

market-bldgUFCW 227 Fall Family Fun Day!

Evans Orchard & Cider Mill

198 Stone Road

Georgetown, Kentucky 40324

Wednesday, October 19th

3:30- 5:30 pm

$5 per person, children under 2 are free

Includes BBQ, a Hayride, the Play Yard and the Barn Yard

Play yard-

Jumbo Jumper

The Apple Cider Slider

Rat Racers Big Wheel Track

Corn Maze

Swings and Tire Climbs

Corn Bin Play Boxes

Hay Castle and MORE!

Barn Yard-They have calves, potbelly pigs, a miniature horse, bunnies and more!

Reserve your family’s spot today! Call or email Kristah Lavalle (502) 582-3508 ext. 609 or klavalle@ufcw227.org.

September 18th is UFCW 227 Family Day at Trunnell’s Farm!

mapSunday, September 18th, 2016
2:00- 5:00 PM

Trunell’s Farm
9255 US-431
Utica, KY

Enjoy the Fun Acre with 30+ activities, a Corn Maze, and BBQ for $5 each!
Children under 36” are free! 

Please make a reservation for your family! 

Call: (800) 443-5191 and dial “0” between 7:30am and 4:00pm (Central Time) 

Email: klavalle@ufcw227.org