Two UFCW Locals Voice Support for HR 676

Two United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) local unions have joined the growing list of labor organizations voicing support for HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

In South St. Paul, Minnesota, the Executive Board of UFCW Local 789 overwhelmingly endorsed HR 676 on March 10. The 7,000 member local represents workers in retail, grocery, long term care and meat packing.

Bernie Hesse, Local 789 Director of Special Projects, spoke of the endorsement: "Healthcare is a right not a privilege, and Medicare for all is the right direction for us to follow. We call upon elected officials to move legislation which will benefit all workers and strengthen our economy. We stand ready to educate, agitate, and build power to pass healthcare for all."

In Tigard, Oregon, the Active Ballot Club (ABC) of UFCW Local 555 voted to recommend to the UFCW International Union that it endorse HR 676. The Active Ballot Club is the political arm of the 18,000 member UFCW Local.

In a letter to UFCW International President Joseph Hansen, UFCW Local 555 President Dan Clay wrote: "We would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to review, and if possible, to endorse HR 676 on a national level." The letter continued: "Health care, as you are well aware, is on the verge of bankrupting this country. In its current form, if allowed to continue, it will decimate people's lives and make annual budgets a nightmare for anyone to allocate for." In concluding his letter asking for the International Union to endorse HR 676, President Clay said that HR 676 "…will also provide the best benefit to a system that is exhausted and on the verge of collapse."