The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Local 2008 – whose pledge is “Smart. Safe. Fair.” – held two telephone town hall meetings that firmly upheld their pledge. By allowing their members to vote on important contract changes without putting anyone at risk with an in-person meeting, UFCW 2008 affirmed that they value the opinions and safety of their members.

Managed by Telephone Town Hall Meeting (TTHM), the UFCW conducted both telephone town hall calls to ensure that their membership could vote on key contract changes with a food production company. UFCW reached out with their members’ schedules in mind. Both calls were held on the same day with one call targeting night-shift members in the morning and the other reaching day-shift members in the evening.

These virtual forums afforded the 449 UFCW members who are employed by Tyson to have an opportunity to fully discuss the proposed contract changes, ask questions of leadership, and ultimately vote whether to accept or reject the contract proposal. Most notably, the call allowed the members to engage in this important process from the safety of their home.

The vote taken by UFCW utilized the embedded polling feature of the Tele-Townhall platform, with votes following education and discussion. As described by UFCW leaders on the call, “We will be discussing the proposed changes, have a question and answer period, and then you will be asked to either vote yes to accept the proposed changes or vote no to reject the
proposed changes and authorize a strike.”

TTHM has managed events like this for labor unions across the country throughout the pandemic, but this type of forum predates 2020. Unions often use Telephone Town Hall Meetings to connect members with leadership across geographic boundaries.

Participating members have responded that they appreciate joining from the comfort of home, while being able to learn more and weigh in on important issues. Many labor unions with a diverse membership also take advantage of our Additional Language Simulcasts to fully involve those members who have a first language other than English.