The deadline to register to attend VSEA’s 75th Annual Meeting has passed. But if you missed the deadline, you are still welcome to walk in to Annual Meeting on September 14 to attend the meeting portion, provided you are a member in good standing, meaning a full dues-paying VSEA member. Be advised that if you walk in to the meeting on Saturday, September 14, VSEA will be unable to provide you with a meal at the Annual Meeting luncheon, as food had to be pre-ordered. RSVP online here.
Members attending will be hearing from United Food & Commercial Workers’ Local Union 1445 President Jeff Bollen, this year’s keynote speaker.
Here’s a piece about Brother Bollen from the Annual Meeting WARN, which emailed this week to VSEA members:
“We told the workers in advance when we were training them, ‘Don’t worry about how much food gets into the store; don’t worry about how many scabs they bring in from the outside. All you have to do is win over that customer that you wait on every week, and you will win.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”
For 11 days in April 2019, 30,000 Stop & Shop employees in three New England states went on strike against the supermarket chain, and today’s keynote speaker, UFCW Local 1445 President Jeff Bollen, was one of the strike’s principal leaders. As many VSEA members know, the employees’ strike ended in victory, and they were rewarded with a fair contract.
“Our union achieved a major victory in the face of efforts by management to decimate the contract,” Bollen told several news outlets, following ratification of the contract on April 20. “It’s a very, very good contract that provides across-the-board wage increases and defeats a slew of concessions sought by the company.”
Bollen will be sharing how his union mobilized its members to take action, how customer solidarity and other labor union’s support aided the strikers, what lessons were learned and what the victory means for organized labor nationwide.
Jeff Bollen grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts, graduated from English High, served in the U.S. Navy and then went to work in a union meat packing plant, where he was educated about unions and quickly signed up to be an Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union shop steward and bargaining team member. In 1981, Bollen was hired as an organizer for United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1445, and he was then appointed to be a business agent. Recognizing Bollen’s dedication and commitment to Local 1445’s members, he was then chosen to be the Local’s Secretary Treasurer. In 2015, Bollen was elected president of UFCW Local 1445, representing 13,000 members
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