Two Calif. Food Worker Unions to Merge

ROSEVILLE and FRESNO, Calif. -- In an effort to strengthen their bargaining abilities, the executive boards of UFCW 588-Northern California and UFCW 1288-Central California have agreed to merge to create a new organization called UFCW 8-Golden State.

"The very premise of a union is that there is power in unity," said Jacques S. Loveall, president of UFCW 588 said in a statement on the union's Web site. "Increased unity increases our power--the power to win better benefits, higher wages, superior pensions and language that provides for dignity and respect on the job. In today's world, unity and strength is more important than ever."

The merger, which takes effect May 1 and will be run by UFCW 588's Loveall, requires approval of memberships of both locals.

According to the unions, the merged organization will create the largest membership of any UFCW affiliate in the Western U.S., representing 40 of California's 58 counties; and establish a $2 million strike and defense fund.
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