Each fall, there will be an open enrollment period for health insurance. At that time, you will be required to make a positive election to continue coverage for yourself and any dependents you want covered. If you do not make this election, you and your dependents will not be eligible for any plan benefits for the following year. You may also add or remove eligible dependents from your medical, dental, and vision coverage. Any changes you make will be effective on January 1, 2018. You enroll by submitting a completed enrollment form to the Administration Office by the required date. Enrollment forms will be mailed to all eligible Members. Look for it in your mailbox - Failure to complete and return this form will cause loss of health plan eligibility for 2018! There are issues every year of members ignoring this mailout and we are scrambling to get their insurance reinstated after the deadline. Don’t be one of them! If you have had a change in address or have not received a form by November 30th, please contact the Plan Administrator at 561-5119 or (800)325-6532 ext. 4240 and the UFCW Local 1496 Office at 258-1496 or (800)478-1496 .
The votes were tallied on October 27th after the last General Membership Meeting for the 4 delegates who will attend the UFCW International Convention in Las Vegas to be held from April 23-27, 2018. The elected delegates were Frank Mutchie, UFCW Secretary-Treasurer; Connie Johnson, UFCW Union Representative; Jalanda Jordan, Shop Steward, Safeway Store #3410 in Fairbanks; and Sara Brock, Shop Steward, Carrs Store #1739 in Palmer. Thank you to all who came to vote and we know that these members, along with President Buster Martin will represent our Local well at the Convention.
Our receptionist at the Anchorage Union office, Gretchen Cornelius (left in picture) is retiring on October 31st. She worked at Loss Prevention for Carr-Gottstein for 6 years, then moved to Oregon and worked as a baker for 1 year in a Safeway store. She moved back to Alaska to the Muldoon Safeway, working in Deli, Meat and Seafood for 6 years. She has been our receptionist for 11 years and will be greatly missed by the office staff as well as many of the members who call here for assistance. She is being replaced by Tina Taylor (right). We welcome her and know that she will do a great job filling Gretchen’s shoes.
Hispanic Heritage Month provides us with an opportunity to pay tribute to Cesar Chavez. who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association and helped to organize the Delano Grape Strike—one of the most successful strikes in labor history. Like thousands of others, Chavez’s family lost its land in the Great Depression and headed to work in the fields of California Central Valley, where he would spend the rest of his life fighting for the rights of migrant farmworkers. On September 8, 1965, Filipino farm workers in Delano, California, who were members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, walked off the job at table grape farms to protest the low pay and poor working conditions. The leaders of AWOC reached out to Chavez to join them in their fight. Chavez insisted that the Filipino and Latino strikers work together and take a vow to remain nonviolent and expanded the goals of the strikers to include the right to Unionize and engage in collective bargaining. Realizing their common goals, the NFWA and AWOC merged to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee in 1966. After 5 years of nonviolent strikes, boycotts, marches and fasts, the UFWOC succeeded in reaching a collective bargaining agreement with table grape growers in California in 1970, resulting in better pay, benefits, and workplace conditions for thousands of workers. In 1972, The United Farm Workers Organizing Committee was accepted into the AFL-CIO and changed its name to the United Farmworkers Union.
NOMINATIONS for UFCW International Delegates are being conducted by mail. NOMINATIONS MUST BE RETURNED TO LOCAL 1496 BY OCTOBER 6, 2017.
ELECTIONS: Elections for the delegates and alternates to the UFCW International Convention (To be held April 23-April 27, 2018) will be conducted prior to the General Membership meetings as follows:
Anchorage/Eagle River: Tuesday, October 17, 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, UFCW Office
Seward: Tuesday, October 17, 6:00 PM, Harbor 360
Homer: Wednesday, October 18, 6:00 PM Birdaka Inn
Fairbanks: Thursday, October 19, 9:00 AM.& 5:00 PM, UFCW Office
North Pole: Thursday, October 19, 3:00 PM North Pole Plaza (next to Ben Franklin)
Kenai/Soldotna: Thursday, October 19, 4:00 PM, Kenai Aspen Extended Stay
Kenai/Soldotna: Friday, October 20, 9:00 AM, Kenai Aspen Extended Stay
Palmer/Wasilla: Monday, October 23, 6:00 PM, Palmer MTA Sports Center
Ketchikan: Monday, October 23, 6:00 PM, The Landing (Downstairs Conference Room)
Eagle River: Tuesday, October 24, 5:00 PM, Parks & Rec (12001 Business Blvd)
Ketchikan: Tuesday, October 24, 9:00 AM The Landing (Upstairs Banquet Room)
Petersburg: Wednesday, October 25, 6:00 PM & 8:00 PM, Scandia House
Juneau: Thursday, October 26, 7:30 PM, Travel Lodge
There will be no proxy voting & write-in candidates shall not be permitted. Results of the election shall be tallied and recorded Friday, October 27, 2017, no later than 8 p.m. at Local office at 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Anchorage.
The UFCW Free College Benefit ensures that UFCW members and their families do not have to pay out of pocket for any tuition, fees or e-books at Eastern Gateway Community College—resulting in cost savings of thousands of dollars! The Free College Benefit covers any amount for tuition, fees or books that is not covered by federal or employer education grants. Children (or stepchildren), grandchildren (or step-grandchildren), spouses, domestic partners, and financial dependents of UFCW members are eligible for the UFCW Free College Benefit. The process is simple and can save you a lot of money! Check it out at http://www.ufcwfreecollege.org. The last day for fall registration is October 13th.
Labor Against Cancer is a movement to end the devastation of cancer, led by the passionate members of the United Food and Commercial Workers. The movement provides an opportunity for all organized labor to do what they do best, empower their membership to band together for the good of others in the communities where they work and live. Labor Against Cancer will raise much needed funds to advance research and patient support in partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society while raising awareness of the important role that union members play each and every day.
With Open Enrollment coming up soon, we want to reach out to see if we have your current information. Have you moved, or changed phone numbers? Many members do not receive their refunds or important news because we can’t contact you by mail or phone. Please make sure our information for you is up to date. Just give us a call so we can more effectively serve you. Also, don’t forget to give your current information to Labor Trust Services for medical and pension. Call 907-258-1496 or 1-800-478-1496 for Anchorage Union office, 907-456-6571 for Fairbanks and Labor Trust at 907-561-5119 or 1-800-325-6532.
As we have all seen, Hurricane Harvey has swept through the gulf coast and devastated Houston and other coastal cities and towns. Among the millions impacted by this storm are over 15,000 hard-working UFCW members and their families. They are in urgent need of temporary shelter, clothes, fresh food, and other daily essentials.
We know these members and their families are struggling; but rest assured, they will not struggle alone.
UFCW Local Unions and the International have already launched a fundraising drive that will provide vital financial assistance to all members impacted by this disaster. We are working with community partners and employers to provide additional assistance. And, we have also heard from members just like you as to what they can do to help.
If you would like to donate to the Local 455’s Membership Assistance Fund, go to www.ufcw.org/harvey-relief.
Because of your efforts and the efforts of Local Unions across the country, the UFCW raised over $1 million to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. As we did then, any money raised will be distributed to members and families in need.
Thank you for helping our fellow UFCW members in this time of need, and for all you do for our union family and yours.
Statistics Through July 2017
GRIEVANCES FILED 98
GRIEVANCES SETTLED 91
MEMBERS (back to work) REINSTATEMENTS 3
LOST VACATION DAYS RECOVERED 74
LOST PERSONAL DAYS RECOVERED 29
LOST WAGES RECOVERED FOR MEMBERS $ 30,748.02
“Know your Contract, track your accruals via HR Direct or by calling your employee services center”
This is what's new in UFCW 1496!