National, Retail

In Union, Grocery Worker Finds His Voice

October 21, 2016
By Mary Robbins
Repost from UFCW.org

Pittsburgh, PA – As a member of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 23 in Pittsburgh, Will Reynolds Young is making a difference in his community. “I’m someone who likes to speak my mind,” Will said. “That’s a really important part of having a union.”

This election season, he is using his voice to engage voters about the important issues at stake for union members and all working people. He is registering voters at their worksites, phone banking and knocking on doors in the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.

When talking to his fellow union members, Will often leads with a personal experience. He has been working at the Giant Eagle grocery store in Pittsburgh for 10 years. Since 2014, he has been dealing with chronic health issues and has needed two surgeries, one in July 2014 and another in January 2015. For him, the union health coverage has been critical.

“I can’t even put a price tag on how valuable the health insurance is that I’ve been afforded as a union member,” Will said.

During his first surgery, Will was in the hospital for seven days. He came out of that experience with a renewed commitment to help others and get more involved in making a positive difference in his union and in politics.

Will said he is excited to support Hillary Clinton, who has a history of fighting for labor unions and policies that lift up working families.

Clinton’s support of working people stands in direct contrast with her opponent.

“Donald Trump is literally terrifying for workers,” Will said. “He does not treat his employees or the people around him well. He basically treats them as dispensable and disposable.”

But there’s more reason to vote than just the presidential race. Will explained that sometimes state and local races can have an even greater impact. So he’s also making sure people know about the election between Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who Will says has contributed to gridlock on Capitol Hill, and Katie McGinty, the pro-worker challenger.

All in all, Will says the political work he is doing “can be trying at times,” but on Election Day, victory will be worth it, not just for him, but for union members across the country.

October 20, 2016

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