Connie M. Leyva serves as President of the California Labor Federation and as President of UFCW Local 1428 (Pomona/Claremont), the first woman to hold either of these positions. Leyva also serves on the International Executive Board of the UFCW. During the 2008 Presidential Election campaign, Leyva was one of 20 national leaders chosen by then Senator Obama as a member to the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee where she worked alongside other notable democrats to author the Democratic Platform that is being used as a ruling guideline by President Barack Obama within his current administration. Learn more about President Leyva.
Without our armed service women and men, none of us would enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted every day. In an effort to thank our Veterans for their great service to each of us and our nation as a whole, the California Labor Federation is sponsoring a day of service on Veterans Day, November 11th, and at a number of locations around the state, union members and supporters will volunteer their time to help out veterans and military families in their own communities.
When our Master Food contract expired in March, no one could have imagined that it would take eight months, two strike votes and giving a 72-hour contract cancellation notice that ran out to the last minute in order to get a fair contract for 62,000 Southern California grocery workers. These three employers, Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons, tried to use the downturn in the economy and high unemployment to drastically reduce the standard of living for grocery workers.
No one is getting rich working in a grocery store, and what has made these jobs into good jobs over the years is the affordable healthcare our members have always had. For eight months — and right up until the last minute — these three corporate giants had proposed cutting the Health and Welfare plan to a point where the fund would be bankrupt that before the end of the new contract.
More than 62,000 grocery workers at Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons in southern California have been working on a contract extension since March, when the grocery chains proposed new health care provisions with higher premiums, deductibles and co-pays that would force some workers to pay as much as half their paycheck for coverage.
The average grocery store worker makes $25,000 per year. We understand the economic realities of the day, but these workers simply cannot afford to have those additional healthcare costs shifted onto their backs — especially when the grocery chains have raked in $5 BILLION in profits over the last three years. We know they can afford to take care of the people that make the money for them. They just don't want to.