Oct. 3, 2005 – Just days after the founding convention of a new labor federation, two Washington State locals with the United Food and Commercial Workers announced would merge to create a 30,000-member-strong organization that can more effectively deal with multinational corporations and the changing world economy. The merger officially took place Saturday.
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"The employers we deal with today are very different from even a decade ago. Most are gigantic national corporations, not local chains," Dave Schmitz, president of the new union, said in statement Friday. "There's more non-union competition than ever before, which threatens wage and benefit standards for everyone. And Wal- Mart's irresponsible business practices are having a tremendous impact in every industry and every community."
The new union, Local 21, was formed from UFCW Locals 1001 and 1105.
The UFCW is a founding member of the Change to Win Coalition, along with UNITE HERE, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers International Union of North America and the Service Employees International Union. Two other unions, the United Farm Workers, International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, belong to the coalition.
In August, UFCW, SEIU and the Teamsters left the AFL-CIO in order to focus more heavily on organizing outside what the unions see as the restrictive atmosphere and rules the Federation imposes. The Carpenters disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO in 2001.