James Araby is currently the Executive Director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Western States Council. The Western States Council is composed of 185,000 UFCW members who work in the states of California, Arizona and Nevada. Mr. Araby leads the UFCW’s political and legislative efforts in the states that are affiliated with the council.
Since joining the UFCW, Mr. Araby has helped lead coalitions in California to pass first in the nation laws on: paid-sick days, banning plastic bags, worker retention in the grocery industry and regulating medical cannabis. In 2018, UFCW helped pass laws that created higher health & safety standards in the cannabis industry and worked with the retail drug industry to solve staffing issues in retail pharmacies.
Prior to working with the UFCW, Mr. Araby worked for the American Federation of Teachers in California. In 2010 he led efforts to pass Proposition 25, the On-Time Budget Act. This ballot measure reduced the requirement to pass a state budget from a 2/3 vote to a simple majority. Proposition 25 has been credited with helping improve California’s credit rating. In 2012, Mr. Araby organized a coalition that worked with Governor Brown to pass proposition 30, which helped stabilize California’s budget since 2013.
Mr. Araby started working in the labor movement in 2001, at SEIU. He worked in Southern California, and was a part of one of the most successful organizing campaigns in recent labor history. The campaign helped organize 30,000 hospital workers into the union in Southern California.
In addition to the work for the UFCW, Mr. Araby serves on the board of directors of CORO Northern California, on the advisory board for the technology company Organizer Mr. Araby is married to Trina Araby and they have two daughters, Malia and Leilani. They live in Briones, CA.