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UFCW Aims to Get Workers at Kmart, Wal-Mart Behind Health Security Act

NEW YORK -- The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) said Monday it is staging a campaign to build support among nonunion employees of Wal-Mart and Kmart for the proposed Health Security Act.<BR><BR>UFCW said it will distribute handbills...

NEW YORK — The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) said Monday it is staging a campaign to build support among nonunion employees of Wal-Mart and Kmart for the proposed Health Security Act.

UFCW said it will distribute handbills today at Wal-Mart stores in East Greenbush, N.Y., and North Brunswick, N.J., and Kmart locations in Westbury and Fresh Meadows, N.Y. The leaflets are designed to educate the employees on the health plan and contain information about how to contact members of Congress. The UFCW is also operating a toll-free hotline for workers who want to obtain more information.

“One out of four uninsured workers are employed in the retail industry,” said a spokesman for UFCW Local 1, based in Utica, N.Y. “The reason we’re going after Wal-Mart and Kmart is that they are the giants of the industry.

“They do not provide insurance for part-time employees,” he continued. “Also, the current health plan for Wal-Mart and Kmart employees costs employees much more than if President Clinton’s health plan were put into effect.”

The spokesman stressed that the UFCW is not trying to organize either company.

“We are simply trying to mobilize the employees and get them to support the President’s plan,” he said.