Friday, January 18, 2013

Top News from This Week:

Here are the top stories on our list this week:

The last time New York City School Bus Drivers were on strike was 1979.  On Wednesday, New York City Bus Drivers went on strike for one simple reason, job protection.  The growing trend in our country to  find a "better deal" and save money by tossing workers' rights and lives aside, is outright inexcusable.  President Both let NYC Mayor Bloomberg know, "There's more to life than the bottom line." Read more.

America's Productivity Climbs while Wages stay Stagnant 
For millions of workers, wages have flat-lined. Even while working for companies making record profits.  Take Caterpillar, who reported record profits last year, and shoved a six-year wage freeze for a majority of its blue-collar workers.  This trend continues to grow in our country as Steven Greenhouse of the NYTimes explains here.

Target Janitors Locked in Overnight, Untrained, File OSHA Complaint
25 cleaners working at Target filed complaints with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging they have not received training in handling cleaning chemicals & are locked inside the building when performing their overnight duties.  Read more. Join Target Change.

Whole Foods CEO Calls Obamacare Fascism , Regrets it
In an interview with NPR, Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey referred to President Barack Obama's Health care plan as fascism.  He later publicly refined his statement, regretting the use of the word, sorta.  Read or listen to the entire interview here.

Walmart to be Included in yet another Class-Action Lawsuit 
Walmart has a sneaky strategy of domestically outsourcing to avoid labor violations.  Meaning, they've contracted parts of its U.S. supply chain to other companies so those companies end up taking blame for poor labor practices while Walmart walks away squeaky clean...grimy, huh?  Well the U.S. courts have caught on and included them in the warehouse workers' class-action suit!  Read more at AlterNet.

Chicago Puts More Muscle into Wage Theft Laws
A new ordinance in Chicago will empower the city to strip companies of their business licenses if they commit wage theft and cut corrners on paying employees proper wages. According to a 2008 study, 68% of low-wage workers were victims of wage theft.  Read more.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated across our nation this weekend, we eternally honor Dr. King every day, for his courage and passion for fighting for equality in our country.  In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Saturday is the National Day of Service.  Millions of Americans will be volunteering in their community to make a difference.  Find one near you, here.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

We Support Striking Bus Drivers, You Should To!

The last time New York City School Bus Drivers were on strike was 1979.  Yesterday, New York City Bus Drivers went on strike for a simple reason, job protection.  The growing trend in our country to  find a "better deal" and save money by tossing workers' rights and lives aside, is outright inexcusable.  A heads up to Mayor Bloomberg, you're not saving money or doing your city any good when you try to implement policy that degrades the lives of thousands of New York City residents.  Allison Kilkenny of the Nation sums it up best:
Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, is asking for Employment Protection Provisions to be included in the new contract to protect workers from losing their jobs to newer, cheaper labor. 
It matters because how we treat those who care for certain children reflects how we value those children. It creates a system in which workers entrusted to be responsible for a child’s safety are utterly replaceable in the name of protecting the bottom line.

UFCW Local 1500 President, Bruce Both,  has called and written a letter to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, expressing our disgust and disappointment in the administration's actions.

Support striking Bus Drivers by signing the petition or heading to a picket line to stand with thousands of workers fighting to protect their jobs, livelihoods and families.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

UFCW Local 1500 Endorses Donovan Richards for New York City Council

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 announced today that they have endorsed the candidacy of Donovan Richards Jr. to represent the 31st Council District, which was vacated by now New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. after his election win in November of last year.

 “I’m honored to have been endorsed by UFCW Local 1500 today and look forward to joining them on the frontlines in ensuring that all New Yorkers can achieve the American dream.  During a time when my district is still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and many of our local supermarkets and workers were adversely affected, we need leadership that is ready to hit the ground running on day one,” said candidate Donovan Richards.

“Donovan will fight alongside UFCW members to bring good jobs and good food to underserved communities, demand that Walmart will be accountable for its unethical business practices, and continue to support and stand with those that have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy in the Rockaways. Donovan is the type of progressive leadership that is needed in the City Council to represent the working men and women of this city,” said Patrick Purcell, assistant to the President of UFCW Local 1500.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Westbury, New York represents 23,000 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by A&P/Pathmark, Fairway, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, D'Agastinos, Key Food, Dairy Barn, Shop Rite and King Kullen.


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