State’s Largest Grocery Workers Union Endorses New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for Mayor

Union Cites Quinn’s Progressive Positions on Healthcare, Food Policy, Walmart and Workers Wages

WESTBURY, NY (12/13/2012)(readMedia)– United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, representing over 23,000 New York State grocery workers, announced today that they have endorsed New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to be the next Mayor of New York City. The Union cited Speaker Quinn’s progressive stance on several issues of great importance to their membership and the supermarkets that employ them.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Westbury, New York represents grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by A&P/Pathmark, Fairway, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, D’agastinos, Key Food, Shop Rite and King Kullen.

“For the past decade, Speaker Christine Quinn has proven to be a leader who has the ability to be creative, courageous and forward thinking when it comes to the issues that truly affect the livelihood of our members,” said Bruce W. Both, President of UFCW Local 1500.

“It was Christine Quinn who understood the problems and inequities in our healthcare system and led the fight to pass the Healthcare Security Act in 2005. She understood that irresponsible employers who were using State and City healthcare programs as health insurance for their workers were cheating tax payers and creating an unfair marketplace for responsible employers”

” It was Christine Quinn who, from the first day Wal-mart announced its intentions to enter the New York City market, demanded that before they open their doors anywhere in the five boroughs the world largest employer be held accountable for their irresponsible business model that has devastated communities, mistreated workers and created predatory business practices,” Both stated.

“Prior to Speaker Quinn’s development of Food Works New York, a long term, comprehensive plan for New York City’s food system, there was no real discussion taking place in New York City around establishing a progressive food policy that focused on opening new supermarkets and bringing good health, good food and good jobs to New York City’s food deserts. Speaker Quinn knew that in addition to working on long standing problems that New York City residents have faced for years, such as affordable housing and transportation, it was time to take a hard look at the City’s food system and understand its impact on our economy and healthcare system. The passage of the FRESH program while she was Speaker was historic” President Both continued.

“Lastly, Speaker Quinn understands that wages matter in growing the economy of this city and sustaining a strong middle class. Through her support for laws that set either living, prevailing or minimum wages for workers in various sectors of our economy, Speaker Quinn has shown a commitment to making sure workers are paid fairly and understands that no economic policy built around the ever growing wage inequities that exist today is neither smart nor sound policy.”

“For all of these reasons, as well as several others, UFCW Local 1500 is proud to endorse Speaker Christine Quinn to be the next Mayor of New York City and believe passionately that she is exactly the type of leader necessary to bring all New Yorkers together with the goal of strengthening our economy, providing our children with the best education possible and ensuring all city residents can live, work and prosper in the greatest city in the world,” President Both concluded.

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