Services & FAQ

Services & FAQ


Why should I belong to the union and pay union fees?

Members ask this question often. This question is best answered in the "Union Security" section of the union contract. Every union member working under a United Food & Commercial Workers contract is guaranteed the benefits and services of that contract which secures the member's position at the work place. Union fees are applied toward sustaining these benefits and services provided to you and your co-workers by the union. The more members there are in the union, the stronger your union is. If you work at a unit under contract with Local 431 and would like to join you may print an application online and mail it to:

UFCW Local 431
2411 West Central Park Avenue
Davenport, Iowa, 52804

Depending on your contract, benefits provided may include:

  • Higher wages
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Paid Holidays
  • Health & Welfare Insurance
  • Grievance Procedures
  • Seniority provisions
  • Job postings
  • Protection from termination through required disciplinary steps Arbitration

When should I obtain a withdrawal card?

If your employment has ended, you may request a withdrawal card from the union. Your request must include the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • Your exact termination date
  • The last 4 digits of your social security number

Your request will be processed after your final dues have been posted to your record. You will then receive your withdrawal card by mail. This may take up to 6-8 weeks. Only members in good standing at the time of termination of employment are eligible to receive withdrawal cards.

What do I do with my withdrawal card?

You should keep your withdrawal card until you obtain employment under another union employer. Once you obtain employment with another union employer, you should turn in your withdrawal card to the union you are working for within 30 days of your hire date. If you have a withdrawal card from another UFCW Local or from another Union and recently obtained employment under an employer represented by UFCW Local 431, please send your withdrawal card to our Davenport office within 30 days of your hire date.

What if I have a grievance or a problem?

The Union Contract provides procedures for resolving disagreements with your employer. Never take matters into your own hands. Notify your Union Steward or your Union Representative when you have a problem. They will instruct you on the best way to resolve your issue. If you don't know the name of your Union Representative, check our Unit Listing.

What is a Steward?

The Steward is selected by the union members to represent you. The Steward maintains communication with the union and can provide you with information regarding the union contract or answers to some of your questions. It is very important to know who your Union Steward is.

What is a Union Representative?

The Union Representative is a Representative from the union who is assigned to service your facility. Your Union Representative negotiates for you and your co-workers regarding benefits that are important to you and your family. Your Union Representative also handles grievances, complaints, and other important issues, so you should get to know them. Please keep in mind that Union Representatives work out in the field. If you call your Union Representative at the office and they are not available, you may leave a message in their voicemail and they will call you back as soon as possible. If you don't know the name of your Union Representative, check our Unit Listing.

How do I reach a Representative? 

Our Davenport office can be reached by dialing (563) 323-3655 or (800) 292-7293. Office hours are 8:00 am - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Our voicemail is available 24/7.

Each facility is assigned to a specific Representative. Please contact the Representative for your facility. If you don't know who your assigned Representative is, please check our Unit Listing.

Our Waterloo Office may be reached by calling (319) 233-3397 or (800) 225-8329.

Our Beardstown Office may be reached by calling (217) 323-2358 or (800) 442-8329. The JBS Plant Representative may be reached at this office.

You may reach the Tyson Waterloo Plant Representative at (319) 236-9462.

What is the Voluntary Death Benefit? 

The Voluntary Death Benefit program was established in 1947 for the purpose of providing available cash to the families of members upon their respective deaths. The plan provides benefits to the families through a system of contributions made by those members who agreed to participate in the plan. Participating members are billed a $1.00 upon joining the Death Benefit program. Thereafter, participating members are billed monthly in accordance with the number of deaths which occur among the members at a rate of $1.00 per death.

All UFCW Local 431 members in good standing who are under the age of 60 are eligible to join this program and may remain in the program for as long they remain a member in good standing.

For the current benefit amount, check our Death Benefit Program page.

How do I join the Voluntary Death Benefit or change my beneficiary?

If you would like to join the Death Benefit program, you may obtain an application from your Union Steward, your Union Representative, or the Davenport Union Office. Or, you may print the DB application form online. Please remember to update your beneficiary following marriage, divorce, or the death of your named beneficiary. To change your beneficiary, you may request a Change of Beneficiary form from the Davenport office, or print the DB Beneficiary Change form online. Please remember that beneficiary designations need to be signed, witnessed (by someone other than the named beneficiary), and dated. It is vitally important that your beneficiary be up to date. If you are unsure who your current beneficiary is, call the Davenport office.

To cancel your participation in the Voluntary Death Benefit Program, you will need to sign a cancellation form. You may print the Cancel DB form online.


RETURN APPLICATIONS AND OTHER FORMS TO OUR DAVENPORT OFFICE:

UFCW Local 431

2411 West Central Park Avenue

Davenport, Iowa 52804

How can I contribute to COPE?

Members wishing to contribute toward political campaigns on a per-pay-period basis may do so by completing the form for Political checkoff. You may contribute any amount of your choosing per pay period. If you wish to discontinue your COPE contribution, you simply need to complete another form for Political checkoff indicating a zero amount. Be sure to date the form and send it to our Davenport office. To join, change, or cancel a COPE deduction, you may print a COPE form online.

How do I update my address or name?

To update your address or name with the Union, contact the Davenport Office location by phone or mail.

What are my union dues used for?

First, about one third of the dues money goes to our International Union. In return, the International Union provides needed resources for research, organization, health & safety programs, strike funds, and other programs to benefit UFCW members. The remaining portion of your union dues is used by the Local Union in serving our members. The primary function of your union dues is to pay for the cost of negotiating contracts and enforcing contract issues. Our staff members spend a lot of time negotiating the best contracts possible for our members. Once your contract is in place, our representatives work with union members and employers to enforce contract issues and grievance handling. Another vital role in the union is the education and training of stewards. To that end, union dues are used to fund labor education classes and conferences that educate our stewards in the workings of labor organizations and in their role as steward.

In addition to servicing our current members, it is vital to organize new members. As the union grows in number, it also grows in strength. A portion of your union dues organizes drives to ensure the growth and strength of the Local which benefits each and every member. Some of your union dues must be used to pay for the technology needed to maintain the records of our members and to maintain the office buildings of Local 431. Due to the size of our jurisdiction, Local 431 maintains offices in multiple locations for the convenience of our members. Your union dues are also put to work so that we can better communicate with our members through various means like newsletters, bulletins, mailings, meetings, and our website.

What is the benefit of all of this to you? Your union serves you in providing job security, grievance procedures, fairness at work, a voice on the job, wage increases, and other negotiated benefits (such as a pension or 401k plan, health insurance, paid vacations and holidays, sick leave, etc.) The sum of all that you gain from the union dues you pay is without question far greater than the cost of your union dues. It would be hard to find a better bargain.