United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555, a local union representing workers in Oregon and southwest Washington, re-affiliated with the Oregon AFL-CIO at the latter’s quarterly board meeting earlier this week. The two organizations split ways as part of a national rift in the labor movement which led a number of unions to leave the labor federation.
“In Oregon we’ve always worked closely,” said UFCW 555 Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Anderson. “Over the past few years we’ve moved from supporting each other’s organizations to direct coordination on many program areas. Rejoining the federation was the next logical step.”
“I’m glad to have Local 555 back within our organization, and look forward to even more opportunities to support their members, many of whom are ramping up for their busy season in the retail sector right now,” said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain, adding that “right now all workers, union members or not, are working more closely as we attempt to take our economy back from the corporations that have run our families ragged, and give everyone a fair shot. It’s exciting to see that unity, both within the labor movement in UFCW 555’s rejoining our federation, and among all working people in campaigns across the state on important issues like earned sick days and raising the minimum wage.”
"The members of UFCW Local 555 work hard to put quality food on tables all across Oregon and, like all workers, they deserve to be treated with respect by their employers. Joining together with the Oregon AFL-CIO will help strengthen both organizations and improve the lives of not just UFCW members, but all working Oregonians," said UFCW Local 555 President Dan Clay.
The rejoining came after a vote by the Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board cleared the way for a phased-in affiliation and for the addition of two seats on the Executive Board to be held by UFCW 555 appointees. Both motions passed unanimously. President Dan Clay and Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Anderson were appointed and sworn-in later in the meeting.