State’s Largest Grocery Workers Union Endorses Sara Gonzalez for Re-Election to New York City Council

Praises Her Efforts to Help Fairway Markets and Their 350 UFCW Members Recover After Hurricane Sandy

WESTBURY, NY (07/19/2013)(readMedia)– The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500, New York State’s largest grocery workers union, today announced its endorsement of Sara Gonzalez for re-election to the 38th New York City Council District representing Southwest Brooklyn.

“Throughout her career, Councilmember Sara Gonzalez has distinguished herself as a vocal and aggressive advocate for the working families that reside in Southwest Brooklyn. She has been a steadfast defender of a worker’s rights to organize, earn a living wage and live the American Dream” said UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both. “UFCW Local 1500 is excited to support her 2013 campaign so she can continue to bring strong working class values and common sense governing to the residents of southwest Brooklyn.”

The Union also praised Gonzalez for helping Fairway Markets and their 350 workers recover after being heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

“Over 350 of UFCW Local 1500 members were deeply affected, as was the community, when Fairway was forced to close for four months for repairs caused by the hurricane,”said Patrick Purcell, Assistant to the President of UFCW Local 1500. “Thanks in large part to Councilmember Gonzalez efforts in helping coordinate assistance from the City, State and Federal governments, that store was not closed one more day than necessary and 350 workers returned to work as soon as possible and members of the community once again had access to healthy food and good jobs. That is just one more reason our 23,000 members are proud to endorse her and will aggressively work to see she is re-elected,” Purcell concluded.

UFCW Local 1500 represents 23,000 grocery workers across New York State with just over 10,000 members located within the five boroughs. UFCW Local 1500 helped write and pass the NYC FRESH Initiative, a zoning and financing law aimed at bringing more Supermarkets to underserved communities. The Union also serves on the New York State Supermarket Commission.

UFCW Local 1500 also has an active “Women’s Network,” which assesses issues particular to women like domestic violence and breast cancer awareness, and develops action programs to address them. Over half of UFCW Local 1500’s members are women.

Councilmember Gonzalez commented on the endorsement. “As a public health advocate, Community Board Chair, and City Councilwoman, I’ve worked side by side with UFCW Local 1500 and their members holding Walmart accountable for their unethical business practices, supporting the expansion of supermarkets into underserved and immigrant neighborhoods, and expanding access to quality, affordable health care for all New Yorkers,” said Councilmember Gonzalez. “I am thrilled to have UFCW’s support, and look forward to working with them for another four years on the issues that matter to working families in a city that has becoming increasingly unaffordable. I will continue to be a strong voice for Southwest Brooklyn in City Hall.”

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

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