Today in history: UFCW formed

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The United Food and Commercial Workers union was formed on Aug. 8, 1979 when the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workers of North America officially merged with the Retail Clerks International Union. The newly merged union became the UFCW.

Today the union represents well over a million workers including meat cutters, meat packers, manufacturing workers, food processors, grocery clerks, cashiers, delicatessen clerks, delivery people, seafood clerks, produce managers, frozen food specialists, bakers, hardware salespeople and health and beauty aid salespeople to name only some.

The union, in the last decade, has moved into the forefront of the fight for immigrant rights.

On Sept. 12, 2007 the UFCW sued to stop the government from arresting and detaining workers including undocumented workers, U.S. citizens and legal residents while at their workplace.

The union sued both the U.S. Dept. Of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in response to six raids on Dec. 12, 2006 at meatpacking plants across the U.S.

The UFCW represented workers at five of the six plants raided: in Minnesota, Colorado, Texas, Iowa and Nebraska.

Photo: Bernard Pollack // CC 2.0

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