Minneapolis UFCW workers band together to shed light on wageplight

MINNEAPOLIS: The Minneapolis local of the United Food and

Commercial Workers union is planning a dollars 300,000 awareness

campaign to spotlight low pay levels for discount retail store


The campaign includes radio ads, a new Web site and grassroots efforts

such as having union members visit retail stores like Target and

Wal-Mart to pass out information to employees.

UFCW Local 789 has already had volunteers ejected from one

Minneapolis-area Target store after giving small cards to employees that

read: "Are you being short-changed?" said Bill Pearson, president of the


The union hopes to get help from Minnesota social organizations and

other unions. Pearson said: "We're going to ask people to participate on

the most grassroots level. He plans to start distributing a second round

of cards carrying the tagline for the campaign: "You are worth more."

His new Web site is named Yourareworth-more.org.

The union local is also preparing press kits pointing out the disparity

in wages between unionized supermarket employees and non-unionized

discount retail workers. The kits will be distributed on July 5-6 just

as campaign radio ads begin to air in the Twin Cities. A media

distribution list is being culled from an AFL-CIO media database. The

kits are being created in-house by the local.

Pearson wants to see the union turn his efforts into a national

campaign. The union has long targeted Wal-Mart employees for organizing

efforts and Pearson wants to see that expanded to all discount stores.

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