UFCW Members Launch Lawsuit in Bid For Fair Elections

Members in the 1.2 million member United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) are stepping up their efforts to win a voice for members in elections for International Union officers.

 

Currently delegates to the UFCW Convention elect the union’s international officers – instead of the one-member, one-vote system we have in the Teamsters.

Even worse, UFCW convention delegates are selected in a skewed and undemocratic way.

Large locals get much less representation per member than small ones. Some locals will not even pay to send their rank-and-file delegates, just the
officers.

At a press conference at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago, UFCW reformers announced they have filed a lawsuit to challenge this system.

The right to one-member, one-vote is not required by federal law. But UFCW members have sued to win a more democratic system for choosing convention delegates.

Leaders from TDU and from the UAW’s Unite All Workers for Democracy stood with UFCW members and plaintiffs Kyong Barry and Iris Scott, who are rank-and-file clerks from Seattle and Massachusetts, at the press conference.

“The UFCW international system is rigged to keep rank-and-file members’ voices quiet just as CEOs and corporations rigged the workplace to keep workers’ voices quiet,” said Scott, a plaintiff and member of UFCW Local 1459 in Western Massachusetts.

Faye Guenther, the president of the 50,000 member Local 3000 in Washington State, plans to run for UFCW President in 2028.

Inspired by examples set by new, militant leaders in the Teamsters union and by the Auto Workers, she is campaigning on more aggressive bargaining and funding new organizing to grow the union.

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