The Stand

UFCW 21 builds worker power by joining with MLK Labor

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The following is from UFCW 21:

SEATTLE (April 23, 2020) — In an effort to build stronger labor unity and increase the power of the workers here in the region, UFCW 21 last week formally joined MLK Labor, previously known as the former Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council. As one of the largest local unions in the state — with 46,000 members — it is a significant change and substantially increases the number of members represented by MLK Labor affiliates.

The official swearing-in ceremony took place April 15 at the MLK Labor meeting held via Zoom as part of the social distancing practices in place to protect public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the vote of the council, Jeannette Randall, a UFCW 21 member from Safeway in White Center, and Kyong Barry, a UFCW 21 member from Albertsons in South Auburn, spoke about the importance of the essential work that grocery and retail workers do.

“I am so honored to be part of MLK Labor representing my brothers, sisters and friends of UFCW 21,” Kyong said at the meeting. “Especially right now when labor is being attacked from all sides by corporations, politicians and others who are on the side of mega multi-billion dollar businesses who don’t want workers to have the rights unions have fought for and won. Thank you for this honor.”

The council overwhelmingly approved a new grocery and retail trade section and UFCW 21 will have a seat on the MLK Labor Executive Board.

Faye Guenther, President of UFCW 21, added, “I am glad UFCW 21 is affiliated, we add an important voice.”

“We are so excited to welcome UFCW 21 into the MLK Labor family,” said Nicole Grant, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of MLK Labor. “UFCW 21 is leading our movement through organizing and building worker power. Being on the frontlines of battling the coronavirus, they are already showing us what’s possible with collective action.”

The mission of UFCW 21 is to building a more powerful union to fight for economic, political and social justice in our workplaces and communities. Learn more at UFCW21.org.

MLK Labor is the central body of labor organizations in King County, Washington. It is affiliated with the national AFL-CIO, the central labor organization in the United States, representing more than 13 million working people. MLK Labor’s mission is to unify all labor organizations in King County to build power and strength for all workers. Learn more at MLKLabor.org.

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