President’s Message

It’s All About You
A Message from President Mark P. Federici

Mark F portraitWelcome to the website of United Food & Commercial Workers’ Local 400, proudly representing 35,000 workers in the retail food, retail, health care, law enforcement, food processing, service and other industries in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

In my nearly 30 years as a UFCW member and activist, I’ve learned one truth above all others: The success of any union depends on its members. Not its leaders. Not its staff.
Its members.

The more members who get involved in bargaining, the better contracts you get. The more members who help organize, the larger and more powerful the union grows. The more members who take an active role in the day-to-day aspects of contract enforcement, the more respect you receive in the workplace. And the more members who volunteer to help elect pro-worker candidates, the more likely it is we’ll have elected officials on our side.

So as honored and humbled as I am to serve as president of Local 400, it’s not about me—It is about you!

Unions don’t work from the top down. They work from the bottom up. Unions are about members joining together to bargain collectively with employers, to gain a strong voice in the workplace, and to empower themselves to improve their lives. They’re not about leaders telling members what to do or how to do it.

So I want to be as clear as I can: We are here to stand with you arm in arm, to fight alongside you, and to have your back. We can’t fight your battles for you; rather, we’re here to fight with you. Every official and staff member of Local 400 is here to help you realize your dreams— to provide the support, the information, the tools and the resources to enable you to improve your life. We work for you—not the other way around.

That’s what the labor movement is all about, because we are democratic institutions run by our members. And that is why we can’t run on autopilot— only members can truly make things happen.

The social critic Alexander Woolcott once commented, “I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t work. We are supposed to work it.” This same sentiment is true of Local 400. It is up to you—our members—to make our union work! It works if we work it!

UFCW Local 400 exists to empower our members—and all working families—to improve their lives. We fulfill this mission by:

  • Increasing union density and power by organizing in our core industries.
  • Engaging in collective bargaining, negotiating contracts that provide our members with industry-leading wages you can raise a family on, good health benefits, retirement security and a voice on the job.
  • Ensuring that our members are treated with dignity, respect and fairness by management.
  • Protecting our members’ safety and health in the workplace.
  • Conducting legislative and political advocacy to make our members’ voices heard in the corridors of power and winning policies that help working families gain opportunity and security.
  • Fighting to expand the union market share of our industries.
  • Fighting to increase the power of workers, raise their standard of living, and make life better for their families.
  • Working together with our communities to help raise the economic standing and quality of life for all working families.

Local 400’s greatest strength lies in our members—hard-working men and women from all walks of life who are the most productive workers in their professions and pillars of their communities. That’s why member activists are at the heart of everything we do. They talk with their fellow workers about why joining Local 400 is the best investment they can make for a better future. They talk with their neighbors about how unions are the one force left in society fighting to restore our standard of living and save the middle class. Our members volunteer in a host of efforts to improve the quality of life in our communities.

Joining Local 400—or any union—is the single best step workers can take to regain control of their destiny. If you haven’t done so already, I hope you will join with us and be a part of the greatest movement for social and economic justice, job and financial security, and equal opportunity in the history of our great nation.