The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on, as well as express gratitude for our many blessings. The holidays bring us together like no other time of the year. They bring us together with family and friends, with old memories and with new hopes for the future. We at Local 1496 are hoping your holiday season is safe and joyful, and that you are able to spend quality time with the ones you love.
By now, you should have received a medium white envelope with your medical open enrollment forms in it. Be sure to fill the form out and return ASAP so you and your family will have health benefits for 2015. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN LOST BENEFITS! You may also add or remove dependents at this time. There are instructions on how to fill out the form and it only takes a few moments to ensure benefits for you and your family members in the coming year. If you have not received a form by now, please contact the Plan Administrator at 561-5119 or (800)325-6532 ext 4236 or The UFCW Local 1496 Office at 258-1496 or (800)478-1496, Fairbanks 456-6571. You can also log onto www.akufcwtrust.com and download a form. Be sure to mark the annual enrollment box at the top.
On Friday, November 14, 2014, the Muldoon employees ratified their first UFCW Contract. They join the Meat and Seafood employees at the Abbott, Dimond, Northern Lights , Wasilla, Fairbanks West and East stores. The UFCW also represents the Grocery Department at the Fairbanks West store. Congratulations!
Black Friday, November 28th at 12:30pm in Anchorage and across the nation, members of our UFCW, as well as the AFL-CIO and the National Organization for Women stood together to protest Walmart’s unfair wages, labor practices and discrimination against women workers. Here in Anchorage, the protest was held at the Walmart on A Street. Mother Jones magazine reported recently that 600,000 employees work part-time and many rely on food stamps and Medicaid. OUR Walmart and the UFCW union recently stated, “The Walmart economy, a business model where a few profit significantly on the backs of the working poor and a diminishing middle class, perpetuates the income inequality problems that are devastating our country.” It’s time to stand up to Walmart-together.
On election day, voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota passed binding referendums to increase their minimum wages. Alaska’s minimum wage will increase to $9.75 by 2016. While these states join the growing number of states and localities that have raised their own minimum wage to levels higher than the federal rate, all Americans deserve a living wage and this problem calls for a federal solution. Some people believe that raising the minimum wage will be bad for businesses, despite findings that states who raised the minimum wage experienced faster employment growth than the states that didn’t. The value of the minimum wage has been declining for more than 4 decades and if it had kept pace with inflation, it would now be worth over $10 an hour. Raising the current federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation would provide millions of workers with a living wage and boost our economy.
All Union members are not to perform any work off the clock. “NO FREE TIME”! Members are prohibited from performing any work when they are not clocked in. Even when confronted with reduced hours and increased workloads, working off the clock is a violation of your Union Contract and Company Policy. Any person in violation of this can be subject to immediate dismissal. If you don’t have time to finish a job during your shift, ask management for approval for overtime to finish or someone else on the clock will have to perform the task. Working through breaks is not acceptable either. To work through a rest period is taking away time that should be paid for work performed by others in the workplace. Every Member for every shift scheduled is granted at least one paid uninterrupted rest period.