The Racine County Workforce Development Center, in partnership with the state Department of Workforce Development Center, is offering informational briefings to the Echo Lake Foods workforce Wednesday. In attendance at the briefings are representatives from the Racine Area Labor Council, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Auto Workers Local 180, the Communications Workers of America, and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 321.
“Affiliates of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO have joined together with the community to lend a helping hand and provide assistance to displaced Echo Lake Foods workers during their time of need,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.
“During difficult times it’s important for workers to support workers whether they are members of a union or not, because we are all one community of working people,” said Dale Seianas, Vice-President of the Racine Labor Council and member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1473. “The UFCW represents grocery store workers and food workers across Wisconsin and we know how difficult it is when someone has to go without a paycheck. That is why we are offering our assistance anyway we can in this dark hour.”
Unions are offering translation services for Spanish speaking workers and offering to help connect workers with community dislocated worker programs.
In 2009, a fire broke out at the Patrick Cudahy plant and labor unions pulled together to help UFCW members during their time of need. Unions are taking that experience and building upon it to answer questions and offer assistance to Echo Lake Food workers.