Last week, 36 UFCW GOLD interns met in Chicago for a week of orientation and training. Throughout the week they spoke with and learned from elected officials, labor activists, civil rights leaders, and UFCW members with acute knowledge of the action projects that they’ll be working on.
GOLD interns will be spread across the country at eight different action projects from July 7th – August 4th. The projects are wide ranging – GOLD interns will be working on paid sick leave fights, voter registration drives, workplace injury research, and organizing workers on campaigns across the country.
Even though it was the first time any of the interns had met each other, the excitement within the room was extraordinarily high. Interns made fast friends and had high hopes for the summer.
“This week has proven to me that UFCW really is just a giant family. From the second I stepped off the plane and met everyone in baggage claim there was an immediate bond between us all. I feel like I’ve known these people my entire life.” – Melissa Berry Local 655
“I love the idea of working together to create better lives for people. I feel like being a GOLD intern is a great way to do that. That’s why I’m here.” – Anthony Mustacchio Local 1500
“I applied to be an intern because I love the advantages of being in a union and want to bring that to other workers. This entire week in Chicago has been incredible. It’s amazing how quickly a group of 36 strangers can come together with a common goal and common drive. Shows how much power there is in a united workforce.” – Matt Greeley Local 1473
“It’s an absolute privilege to be here. I’ve met 35 brothers and sisters that I didn’t know I had. All of us are looking forward to showing everyone that we can be the leaders they need us to be. GOLD interns are going to be making an impact this summer and beyond.” – Dan Puglisi Local 23
“I’m a GOLD intern because I like helping people and inspiring others to do the same. I’ve seen horrible working conditions and I want them stopped everywhere. If I accomplish one thing this summer I hope its bringing people together and letting them know they have a voice that no one can take away.” – Robin Kerfoot Local 1000
“It’s an exciting moment right now because all of us have the chance to accomplish something great – something that will last. Hopefully all of us can inspire people across the country to take ownership of our communities and put the movement back in the labor movement. This entire week has gotten me really excited for the potential of this summer.” – Mikhail ‘Flip’ Filipovitch Local 951
GOLD interns can be found this summer in San Francisco, Sacramento, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Jackson, Raleigh, Iowa City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Greenbelt.
If you want to follow UFCW members taking part in the GOLD internship, their photos will be tagged on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ufcwgold all summer long.