A young woman working in the salad bar at Giant in Temple Hills, Maryland had fallen on hard times and lost her home.
Fortunately, her UFCW Local 400 shop steward was Bernadette Hopkins-Christian.
“I walked up to her,” Bernadette said, “and asked, ‘Where are you going to stay tonight? It’s cold, you can’t stay outside.’ I told her she can stay at my home—we have an extra room in the basement with a bathroom. She lived with us for two and a half years. Now, she’s doing well. She has her own apartment with a friend and is back on her feet.”
Bernadette, who works as a cashier, wasn’t done with her extraordinary acts of generosity, opening up her home to two more co-workers in recent years.
Bernadette takes the same approach in her work as shop steward at Giant. She’s always been active in her union and was a member of the Contract Action Team during bargaining in 2016, organizing and participating in rallies and store actions. “It was exciting and very moving to be involved,” she said. “You don’t think people pay attention, but our customers sure did, because we are their families, too.”
Read more – and see a photo of Bernadette -- at dclabor.org, where you can also find out how the Metro Washington Council’s Community Services Agency helps needy families.
Our weekend labor calendar includes eleven labor canvasses, a Coalition Labor Union Women’s luncheon with Prince George’s County Executive Elect Angela Alsobrooks, and the monthly NoVA Labor Lox & Bagels Brunch discussion group;
complete details at dclabor.org, click on Calendar.
In today’s labor history, on this date in 1980, the J.P. Stevens textile company was forced to sign its first union contract after a 17-year struggle in North Carolina and other southern states.
Today’s labor quote is by Diana Wilson, a young African American anti-poverty activist who testified at national labor law reform hearings in 1977. Diana Wilson, who said:
"People's concerns with union campaigns today are like what black Southerners experienced during the early civil rights days."