TUES 3/31, 5 PM, STOP HARVARD’S DISCRIMINATION!

paul casey

On Tuesday, March 31, starting at 5 pm, workers, students and allies will
picket to get justice for survivors of employment discrimination by the
world’s richest university. Please join us in Harvard Yard at Massachusetts
Hall, steps from the Harvard Sq T stop in Cambridge

We’ll expose three specific cases of workplace discrimination:

*Judy Rouse: *an active UNITE HERE shop steward, Judy worked in a dining
hall where managers called workers of color derogatory names. Judy was
written up for her union activity and even assaulted by a manager. When she
called the HUPD* to report the assault, Judy herself was terminated, and
slapped with a no-trespass order in a flagrant abuse of police power.

*Nassim Kerkache*: famous for his dedication on the job, Nassim became a union rep in HUCTW**, and stood up to a boss who made racist comments about him & his co-workers. Nassim’s reward was to have the boss tell him to pick between being laid off or demoted three salary grades! Denied promotion in favor of a less-qualified, US-born colleague (who made efforts to help management sweep sexual harassment under the rug), Nassim was fired after he took a disability leave.

*Paul Casey*: employed for 30+ years, Paul was targeted by an administrator
who perceived him as disabled and tried to get him to quit. After taking an
approved leave to have his hip replaced, Paul pushed himself to return to
his busy job. He came back to work only to be told a few weeks later that
he would be laid off due to “lack of work.” His job duties were simply
assigned to co-workers.

*PHONE/EMAIL ZAP:* Please call or email William Murphy, Harvard’s Director
of Labor Relations, any time at 617 496-9193, bill_murphy@harvard.edu.
Suggested message, “I am appalled by convincing narratives of
discrimination against terminated employees Judy Rouse, Nassim Kerkache and
Paul Casey. I call on you to use all your influence to see that their cases
are promptly resolved! Failure to do so will invite further consequences.”

For more information about workplace discrimination at Harvard, please
visit twoharvards.wordpress.com.

*Harvard University Police Department
**Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers

Posted in Boston GMB, community organizing, discrimination, harvard, Harvard No Layoffs Campaign | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

3/26/15, 6 pm, Community Meeting to Build May 1 in Boston

Every year since ’06, the Boston May Day Committee has organized an action in Downtown Boston on May 1st, to stand in solidarity with workers everywhere and to support local actions in the Boston Metro Area. Join us to break bread and plan an effective May Day 2015 action!

The Meeting will take place at encuentro 5, 9A Hamilton Place, Boston, steps from the Park St T and 2 blocks from Downtown Crossing.

Committee members include the Industrial Workers of the World, the ANSWER Coalition, Mass Global Action, Socialist Alternative, and many others. A light meal starts at 6 pm, followed by a brief organizing/planning meeting at 7 pm. For more details email info@bostonmayday.com or call 888 400-1225

boston-may-day-2013

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update on Jason’s court case

IWWmtg

On the cold march 18 morning fellow workers, supporters and friends came out to support Jason in what they thought was going to be the end of the year and a half long struggle against his trumped up charges. unfortunately Jason court case did not come to a close on march 18 because there was a older case before Jason’s that went to trial. the trial has got postponed till May 20. the trial has been “locked in” which means it will be the only trial that will happen that day.

Jason would like to thank all of his friends, supporters and fellow workers who came out to show him what solidarity means.

the struggle continues!

look for updates about the may 20 trial when the day comes closer.

Posted in community organizing, court case, Insomnia Cookies Strike & Union Drive, Police Brutality, workplace organizing | Leave a comment

Organizing Training 101! April 4th & 5th

101 Trainer's Manual v2.3

https://www.facebook.com/events/1550045265247643/

The Boston IWW is hosting a Organizing Training 101, a two-day workshop on workplace organizing.

Registration form coming soon! In the meantime, please RSVP on this event page.

Dates: Saturday 11 AM – 7 AM and Sunday 9 AM – noon, April 4th & 5th, 2015.

This is a two day course on building power in your workplace from the bottom up. It focuses on techniques for building a committee of workers who are confident and capable of addressing issues in the workplace, as well as overcoming obstacles like worker apathy, anxiety, and the bosses’ counter-organizing efforts.

This workshop is open to all workers, so please forward to anyone who may be interested. The skills built in this workshop are useful to anyone interested in building worker power on their job, whether it is in the context of an IWW campaign, an independent union, the mainstream labor movement or another formation.

Attendance for the full two days of the workshop is encouraged.

For additional questions or inquiries, please email Iww.boston@riseup.net

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IWW Delegate Facing Trumped-Up Charges Needs Your Help!

police-brutality-1On November 14, 2013, IWW members picketed Cambridge’s Insomnia Cookies. Insomnia workers had joined the IWW and gone on strike in August due to long shifts ending after 2 a.m. with no breaks, for pay below minimum wage. They demanded health benefits, $15/hr and a union, and were all promptly fired.* The cops had been trying to shut down our pickets for months, becoming ever more aggressive in their attempts to help crush the fledgling Insomnia Workers’ Union.

That night in November, scores of Cambridge and Harvard cops swarmed our picket and demanded we shut down our portable PA. We promptly turned it off. The cops surrounded the union member who’d been holding it, pushing him into the street. Concerned for the IWW member’s safety, Delegate Jason told the cops to let him go. Immediately four cops piled on Jason, one of them seizing him by the throat and covering his mouth and nose. They threw him down on the ground and pinned him partially under a car. None of the picketers could see what was happening as the cops roughed Jason up, punching and bloodying him. We started chanting against the brutality, only to be threatened with pepper spray by the goons in blue. Finally they dragged Jason away.

Predictably Jason was falsely charged with a variety of offenses including assaulting a cop. Bravely refusing to accept a disadvantageous “deal” that could limit his employment opportunities, Jason has held out for a trial. The fact that he has open charges means he cannot find work, and is now without any income.

Jason goes on trial starting March 18, 2015, after months and months of appearing in court due to the frame-up. Please contribute to our online fundraiser here and share the fundraiser and this message as widely as possible! All proceeds will go towards Jason’s living and legal expenses. Many great IWW and labor-themed perks await contributors. :) You can also send checks to: Boston IWW, PO Box 391724, Cambridge, MA 02139 (please indicate your check is intended to help Jason).

An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

*The union’s campaign ultimately won back pay and offers of reemployment for the strikers.

Posted in Boston GMB, Insomnia Cookies Strike & Union Drive, Police Brutality, workplace organizing | Leave a comment

On the Beaches of Santa Monica, Temp Workers Organize

Beach Bathroom Workers Clean Lifeguard Stations

There’s a hidden underside to Santa Monica, California’s idyllic exterior.

Santa Monica is a beautiful beachfront city: breezes from the Pacific Ocean, a year-round Mediterranean climate, 3.5 miles of beaches. Seven million visitors a year flock here—generating $1.63 billion.

But the workers who maintain the city are hired on an as-needed basis, earning poverty-level wages, lacking benefits and the ability to form a union.

I am one of them. I’ve been employed as a temporary employee in beach bathroom maintenance for four years. I struggle to earn a living and hold an extra job so I can earn enough money to survive.

The recession hurt many families in Los Angeles, including mine. My mother moved in with me when my family’s house was lost to a foreclosure. She had nowhere else to go, so I found a home big enough for all of us.

As the eldest child in my family, I support my mother and two younger siblings, but I can barely afford to pay the bills from the $2,000 monthly income I earn. Rent and utilities are $2,200 a month, groceries another $600-700.

A COLOR LINE

Though we do the same work, my coworkers and I earn half of what workers with permanent status earn. There are 10 of us temporary workers, called “labor trainees” although we’ve never received formal training from the city.

Some of us have been in this state of limbo for almost 30 years and were never offered a permanent job. We’ve also taken the civil service exam and passed, but this still didn’t result in a permanent job offer either.

A color line divides the temporary from the permanent workers in Santa Monica. All of us temps are people of color—five of us are Latino and five Black. Our counterparts who are classified as permanent employees of the city, enjoying health insurance and pension benefits, are mostly white.

The problem isn’t only concentrated in the Santa Monica beach, of course. There’s a whole new “permatemp” section of the economy, including workers like us who have been made into “as-needed” casual workers while still being directly hired, and workers who are outsourced to staffing agencies.

According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project and the National Staffing Workers Alliance, the number of workers in that second category of outsourced workers “has reached an all-time high”: “2.8 million Americans are currently employed in temporary help services, which constitute the majority of staffing industry jobs.”

For employers these are strategies to dodge unions, benefits, and labor laws. The National Labor Relations Board has gone back and forth over the years on whether temporary employees or contracted workers can form a bargaining unit. (Most of this is fought out in court cases. To read more, check out the Seattle-based Center for a Changing Workforce.)

And it’s not just private-sector employers anymore.

PERMATEMP ECONOMY

The public sector used to be a conduit to middle-class, union jobs for many Black and brown people. But state and local governments are increasing employment of permatemps like me.

The use of temporary workers has increased since the recession, as city budgets have been slashed. “Public-sector agencies are increasingly trying to minimize their obligations to workers by staffing through temp agencies—even for long-term jobs—and outsourcing to private contractors,” said Chris Tilly, Director of the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

We have a chance to stop the growing problem of the permatemp economy here in Santa Monica. If we don’t, I’m afraid that the city will take the next step and start outsourcing more jobs to third-party contractors.

To bring fairness to its beaches, Santa Monica needs to make all of us permanent workers. If we had permanent status, I might be able to support my family on one job—rather than juggling two and working 80 hours a week.

My co-workers would be able to get proper medical care instead of having to come in to work sick or with dangerous infections. We might feel more like dignified workers instead of expendable labor.

CITY HEARING ON TUESDAY

Last year my co-workers and I joined the Industrial Workers of the World and began organizing for change.

Now we are close to making that first step. This Tuesday, the Santa Monica City Council will discuss the status of its permatemp workers. We invite everyone to come join us and support our demands for dignity and justice at work.

Please take a moment to share your feelings about ending the permatemp economy with the Santa Monica City Council by signing our petition. We can build a movement to stop the permatemp economy before it swallows us all.

Shyolanda Montana is employed as an as-needed labor trainee for the city of Santa Monica since May 2011. She wrote this article with the support of Yvonne Yen Liu and Morgan Presta (a pseudonym), both members of Los Angeles Industrial Workers of the World.

– See more at: http://labornotes.org/blogs/2015/01/beaches-santa-monica-temp-workers-organize#sthash.YkIWGapZ.dpuf

sign the petition

https://www.coworker.org/p/beachworkers

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Starbucks Announces Record Year in 2014 While Workers Still Wait for Improvements

starbucks

Company Earns Profit of Nearly $11,000 per Worker and Enriches Shareholders While Paying Poverty Wages

December 2014

Starbucks recently announced record sales and profits for fiscal year 2014. A previous Starbucks Workers Union report, Low Wages and Grande Profits at Starbucks, summarized company performance over the past decade and showed how stores are now staffed at a lower level, and workers are working harder while bringing in much more profit for the company. Instead of paying a living wage to workers, the company has transferred billions to shareholders over the past few years. The 2014 results continue this trend in every way. The most crucial fact is that the company earned almost $11,000 in profit for every worker and this money could fund a significant wage
increase instead of being given to shareholders.

http://www.starbucksunion.org/

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