Labor Loses Founding President of the UFCW

Feb 19, 2002

William (Bill) H. Wynn, retired president of the 1.4 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), passed away on Friday after a recent illness, reports Yahoo!

A primary architect of the modern labor movement, Wynn earned a place in labor history for crafting the 1979 merger that established one of the first modern multi-jurisdictional, mega-unions — the UFCW. As President of the Retail Clerks International Union, Bill Wynn brought together the Retail Clerks and the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen to form a million member-plus organization that gave workers a unified voice in the food industry, from the packing house to the grocery store.

He served on the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council and the executive boards of the labor federation’s Maritime Trades, Food and Beverage Trades, and Industrial Union Departments.

Moderator Comment: Has the retail industry benefited
from unionization?

The labor movement in the United States is significantly
weaker than it was when Bill Wynn became a union representative back in the
fifties. Many today question its relevance in a tight labor market where the
competition for competent staff is so intense that employers are required to
be associate friendly if they hope to succeed. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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