With a tentative deal reached between UFCW and Kroger, UFCW Local 135 Union Reps have returned to San Diego from Houston
UFCW Local 135 Union Reps Stacie Cordeiro and Oscar Sumabat were deployed by UFCW International to the greater Houston, Texas area to help organize and participate in a potential strike between 14,000 members of UFCW Local 455 and Kroger. These union workers have been without a contract for almost two years and were ready to walk out.
Stacie and Oscar were in Texas from December 17-20 working under difficult conditions. They faced extreme weather that included a dangerous rain and lightning storm while working from their rented vehicles in Kroger parking lots, pro-company law enforcement following their every move, and the challenges of doing a hard job in a so-called Right-to-Work state. But they faced the risks and persevered. Like we knew they would.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone sent an email out recognizing the sacrifices made by those that went to Houston:
“The measure of our union family is how we respond when our local unions and our members face a severe challenge. Last week, as a strike in Houston seemed imminent, hundreds of you, from our Headquarters to Regions all across the country, dropped everything, worked tirelessly, to help 14,000 UFCW Local No. 455 members get prepared to fight for a better life. There is no doubt that this was disruptive and that it challenged plans some of you had for the holidays, but what is amazing is that each and every one of you answered the call. You got on planes or in cars, in some cases with hours’ notice, and you flew into Houston like an army prepared to help. It is these types of moments where we prove the true character and value of ourselves as union leaders, and as a person that is fighting this fight to improve and protect the lives of others.
“While words never do these moments justice, each of you should be immensely proud of what you did. The role you played. And how all of you, across so many departments including Communications, National Bargaining, Region and field staff, Political, and Digital worked together to get us, the Local Union, and the members ready. More importantly, even though we avoided a strike, your presence made the difference. Kroger knew and saw your presence and realized that we were not going to just walk away. We were damn serious, and we sent a clear message that moved negotiations to a tentative agreement that had been all but frozen for nearly two years.
“Again, each of you helped accomplish this and for that I, Milton, and the entire President’s office will be forever grateful and proud of. Working together we can accomplish great things, and none of you should ever forget or doubt that.”
We’re proud of the effort and sacrifices our two Union Reps made during the holiday season. With a tentative deal reached, Stacie and Oscar were able to return home to their families earlier than expected.
UFCW Local 135 will always stands in solidarity with our UFCW union siblings.
When called upon, we will go.
That is our duty as members of this mighty union.