By 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.