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Retail negotiations will begin in earnest in March of next year for the majority of Union Retail Grocery stores represented by UFCW Local 1189. We have designed a survey to gather information from you on what is important in your workplace and your thoughts and ideas regarding your collective bargaining agreement (your Union Contract). Your opinions and input are important. Take the Survey!

It’s a new year, but House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Republican leaders in Congress are still singing the same old song about gutting Medicare benefits.  A few days ago, The Hill newspaper reported that Ryan and House Republicans are prioritizing the dismantling of health care for millions of Americans—and that includes Medicare.

From marketwatch.com, 1/4/17: There’s a joke among insurers that there are two things that health insurance companies hate to do — take risks and pay claims. But, of course, these are the essence of their business!  Yet, if they do too much of either, they will go broke, and if they do too little, their customers will find a better policy. This balancing act isn’t too hard if they have a pool sufficient to average out the highs and lows. I speak with some experience as the former CEO of one of these firms.

From citypages.com, 12/15/16:  Metro area Walmarts rely on police to deal with shoplifting more than any other business, including rival big box stores like Target and Cub. Legislators from St. Paul and Brooklyn Park say the discount giant has been gobbling up an unfair portion of their cities’ public resources. Rather than hiring their own security to deal with petty crimes, they say, Walmart is forcing taxpayers to subsidize security for its stores.  In the past year, the St. Paul Walmart made 2,129 calls for service; Bloomington had 1,250; Brooklyn Center 1,099; and Brooklyn Park 480.

From workdayminnesota.org, 12/11/16:  WASHINGTON:  Led by National Nurses United and aided by 250,000 signatures from members of the Alliance for Retired Americans, a coalition of progressive groups delivered more than a million names on petitions to Congress to save Social Security and Medicare against threatened Republican cuts and privatization.  And they picked up support from key congressional Democrats, including incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

We, the Working Americans are demanding Fair Trade NOT FREE TRADE.TAKE ACTION:  Please call your U.S. Representative at 1-888-659-7351 and urge him or her to publicly reject all TPP-like trade deals now.NOW is the time to STOP TPP (Trans Pacific-Partnership trade deal)! If there was one thing voters agreed on during this contentious election season, it's that we've had enough of backroom trade deals.

From kstp.com, 11/1/16:  It's been three months since chronic pain became a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Minnesota. While the program continues to struggle with low enrollment and high costs, some see reasons for optimism.  One such reason is a recent uptick in patients. According to the most recent numbers from the state, more than 700 health care practitioners are now authorized to certify patients for the state's medical marijuana program, and nearly 4,000 Minnesotans are now enrolled.

Are you frustrated about healthcare costs, availability, or where to go to find affordable health insurance for a family member?We need to change the system and start the discussion that healthcare is a right not a privilege.We are forming a working group that would involve members in retail, long-term care, and allied industries.If you want to throw in your hat and time- contact: Bernie Hesse at 651-216-3827 or bhesse@ufcw1189.orgRemember- Sit down and read.  Educate for the coming conflicts.                                                                                                   

We knock, call, visit worksites to encourage members to get active in the process.  You have a right to take time off work to vote without losing your pay, personal leave, or vacation time.Election DayTuesday, November 8Office of the MInnesota Secretary of Statemnvotes.org 1-877-600-VOTEFor volunteer activities: Bernie Hesse, 651-216-3827

No matter what a NYtimes journalist believes..This is the reality that workers face: They arrive at Walmart with dreams of rising in the ranks and developing a career, but a bureaucratic and discouraging system of managers who are only concerned with their stores’ bottom lines, and not the development of workers, keeps these new employees stranded at $9 an hour. The Times further reported that half a million employees leave the company each year.  Read More.Join us as we stand up for the workers.Ocober 25, 2016 at 11:00 at the Midway Walmart on University Ave. in St. Paul.

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