UFCW Local 75 played an instrumental role in supporting the Cincinnati School Board’s passage of the Good Food Purchasing Program on Jan. 28. The program will leverage millions of public procurement dollars back into Cincinnati’s regional economy, while encouraging school food suppliers to provide healthier food that is ethically produced, locally sourced and environmentally friendly. The policy also protects workers’ rights to organize a union free from intimidation and helps ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their products.
UFCW Local 75 was part of a community-based coalition that included other unions, faith groups, and environmental and animal welfare organizations, which advocated for the program for over two years. UFCW Local 75 also obtained the endorsement of the Good Food Purchasing Program from the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, and then secured pledges of support from school board candidates.
“We commend the Cincinnati Board of Education for passing the Good Food Purchasing Policy, which includes fair labor standards,” said UFCW Local 75 President Kevin Garvey. “The board took a strong step towards providing strong incentives for food companies receiving taxpayer dollars to pay their workers a living wage, provide strong protections against workplace hazards, and otherwise move towards adopting more sustainable food production practices in a manner that bolsters Cincinnati’s local economy.”
“This is a win for hard-working people, students, farmer-owned cooperatives and those companies that pay livable wages and provide dignity and respect on the job,” added Garvey.
“Many of the 1,000 or so people that work in surrounding plants have children attending Cincinnati public schools,” said Paige Stephens, who is a union representative at UFCW Local 75. “If more of the food contractors are incentivized to agree to labor peace agreements and collective bargaining, this will lower poverty rates and our students will experience more stability at home.”