By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams – A nationwide day of action and disruption is set to take place on Tuesday, as workers from around the country and across industries are set to take part in strikes to show their refusal to back down in the face of an incoming rightwing political agenda. The actions, organized by the Fight for $15 collective, will see airport baggage handlers, Uber drivers, fast-food cooks, cashiers, hospital workers, and others strike to disrupt the U.S. service economy.Continue reading
Workers Protest Sexual Harassment In More Than 30 States
By RT. Female workers at McDonald’s are sick of being treated like meat. They are accusing the Golden Arches of not protecting employees against sexual harassment. Backed by the minimum wage campaign “Fight for $15,” workers are taking to the streets to demand better treatment.
McDonald’s claims to have a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment, but over a dozen sexual harassment complaints against the fast food giant paint a different story. In the past month alone, 15 different sexual harassment complaints have been filled with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against McDonald’s.
As a result, workers in 30 US cities joined in a lunchtime protest to draw attention to what some believe is a widespread problem. Protesters held demonstrations outside of the restaurant.Continue reading
Newsletter: Labor Day Time To Build Worker Power
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Private-sector workers who are members of a union have fallen from 1 in 3 workers in the 1950s to about 1 in 20 today. Politics is about power and the loss of organized worker power has meant a loss in political power for all workers and a loss of wealth, income and benefits.
In recent years, there have been strong signs that labor is getting more organized and militant in fighting for worker rights. They have linked worker issues to other issues, e.g. racial injustice, climate change and creating stronger communities; and are showing signs of resurrection.
Recent years have seen aggressive attacks against workers: pension funds are raided, health benefits are cut or ended, the right to collective bargaining is destroyed and social services are cut. This is dramatic and needs to be reversed.Continue reading
Newsletter: #NoHoneymoon, A Presidency Of Protest
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The task of the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice is much bigger than the presidential election. Our job is to build people power to ensure that no matter who is the next president, the people’s voices are heard and our demands are part of the political agenda.
We urge organizers and advocates across the nation to begin to plan a campaign beginning in early 2017 and carrying on through the inauguration to ensure that right from the beginning the people’s voices are a dominant narrative. The #NoHoneymoon campaign will take various forms in communities across the country. Talk to your networks of activists and plan what would work best in your community. The creativity and energy that comes from diverse leadership has surprised the nation before and can do so again.
Fight For $15 Organizers Tell SEIU: We Need $15 And A Union
By David Moberg for In These Times – The start to this weekend’s Fight for $15 convention didn’t go as planned. As roughly 10,000 conference goers gathered in Richmond, Va., to talk about unions and low-wage work, organizers behind the nationwide campaign demanded a union of their own. On Friday, Jodi Lynn Fennell, a child care worker organizer from Las Vegas, attempted to deliver a letter from a Fight for $15 organizers asking the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to acknowledge it was their employer and to give them the right to organize.Continue reading
Newsletter: On To The General Election, Create Surprises
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The make-up of elections are almost complete with only a few primary races and the Green Party National Convention (August 4-7 in Houston), where Jill Stein’s running mate will be announced, remaining. Otherwise we know the candidates that will be with us for the next three months and the potential presidents who will almost assuredly be the focus of mobilizations for the next four years.
While Bernie Sanders is no longer running for office and has shifted his energy to working to elect Hillary Clinton, many in the Bernie or Bust Movement have shifted to Jill or Bust, with the initial goal to get Jill Stein into the highly restrictive (and anti-democratic) debates.Continue reading
Meet The 25-Year-Old Fighting For A $15 Minimum Wage
By Katie Johnston for Boston Globe – Darius Cephas didn’t realize he was about to help spark a revolution when a labor organizer walked into the Dorchester McDonald’s where he worked and told him about a campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and form a fast-food industry union. Cephas, now 25, was ready for a fight. Working low-wage jobs since he was 14 to help his mother, he had dropped out of trade school to take care of her when she had a stroke. He and his McDonald’s co-workers had just been talking about how little they were paid, with many trying to support families on $8 or $9 an hour.Continue reading
Burgerville Workers Aim To Take Fight For $15 To Next Level
By Shane Burley for Waging Nonviolence – Dressed in his work uniform, Jordan Vaandering looked like any other fast food employee heading into another long shift. But that day, April 26, was far from ordinary for the 25-year-old Burgerville employee. Since Vaandering makes under $10 per hour working at the drive-through, he had decided to come forward as a voice for a growing contingent of workers who want to see a real change in their workplace. Addressing the small crowd of supporters gathering down the street from Burgerville’s corporate headquarters in Vancouver…Continue reading
Newsletter: Living In A Post-2011 World
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The 2016 election has deepened the understanding of how out of step the establishment political parties are with the people of the United States. The parties have reinforced the rationale for the Occupy uprising, and the uprisings on racism, inequality, poverty wages, mistreatment of students and more that have occurred since 2011; and they have increased national consensus on the dysfunction and corruption of government, the unfairness and inequity of the economy and the lack of concern for the environment and climate change.Don’t Represent US
In order to understand the election’s relationship to the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice, we need to understand that the roots of this election come from the uprising of 2011. As Paolo Gerbaudo wrote in ROAR Magazine: “The 2011 protest wave will forever be associated with the slogan ‘they don’t represent us’ — a clear indictment of the present form of representative politics and the existing political class.”Continue reading
Fight For $15 To Verizon Strike: We Must Protect Workers’ Right To Walk Out
By Alex Gourevitch for The Guardian – Given the new politics of inequality, there is every reason to think that strikes will become more common. So long as the economy is as radically unequal and oppressive as it is, workers have a right to go on strike. This is an uncomfortable thing to say because of what it means to defend that right. The 40,000-person, Verizon strike on Wednesday and the Fight for $15 strikes on Thursday are just the latest examples of worker walkouts.Continue reading
Newsletter: The Corruption Of Money
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. As tax day approaches, there will be numerous reports about how US oligarchs – wealthy individuals and major corporations – do not pay their fair share in taxes. A GAO report released this week found “at least two-thirds of active U.S. corporations paid zero federal income taxes between 2006 and 2012. The report also found that large, profitable corporations only paid 14% of their profits in federal income taxes on average from 2008 through 2012, while approximately one-fifth of them paid nothing at all.”
This is not only due to tax laws that provide corporations with a wide array of loopholes to lower their taxes, but is also due to the intentional hiding of money off-shore. A 2015 report found that nearly 75% of Fortune 500 companies tucked away $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore to avoid paying US income taxes.Continue reading
Fight For $15 Continues To Build Power & Momentum
By Jack Temple for Fight for 15. After California and New York officially made $15/hour the law of the land on Monday, pundits and observers around the country turned their attention to the workers who made these historic wage increases possible: Two Fight for $15 leaders from New York and California – Manhattan McDonald’s worker Jorel Ware and LA McDonald’s worker Anggie Godoy – wrote in the Huffington Post this week about how speaking out on the job created real change in their states: “Since the time when we each first joined the Fight for $15, we have learned that the way working people win justice is by joining together and taking a stand. Our wins this week from coast to coast show more than anything the power of workers organizing.”
And in the LA Times on Monday, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry summarized how workers have flipped the politics of the country by going on strike and speaking out: “The fearlessness of the workers has made elected officials understand that there is huge wind at their back. We’re proud that it created a situation where both New York and California were dueling at the same time. […] It’s how the movement has created more than we even imagined possible before.”Continue reading
Newsletter – Building Toward Political Revolution
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Of course, we also know the Panama Papers leak is about just one tax evasion firm, and not a major one. This is a small tip of a massive tax evasion iceberg. Estimates are that $7.6 trillion in individual assets are in tax havens, about one-tenth of the global GPD. The use of tax havens has grown 25 percent from 2009 to 2015. Gabriel Zucman, author of The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens and assistant professor at UC Berkeley estimates that US citizens have at least $1.2 trillion stashed offshore, costing $200 billion a year worldwide in lost tax revenue and US transnational corporations are underpaying their taxes worldwide by $130 billion.
The Panama Papers will escalate demands for transformation of the economy as well as of government; continue to increase pressure on capitalism and result in the growth of the people powered movement for economic justice.Continue reading
Why The Delay? US Should Pay $15 An Hour Now
By Jonathan Rosenblum for AlterNet. Millions of workers across the country have won wage hikes under the banner of $15, and this week many more in California stand poised to join the parade. But three and a half years after the first picket sign was hoisted demanding $15/hour and union recognition, very few minimum wage workers are actually getting paid that much. That’s because among those crafting wage legislation, it’s become an axiom that increases must be phased in over time for the sake of business and economic stability. California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez reflects a prevailing establishment view that what’s needed is “a reasonable, measured approach that would prevent sticker shock for businesses.”
Newly adopted $15 minimum wage laws have been unveiled with great fanfare and media coverage. But lost in the headlines is the reality that because of phase-in schedules, workers won’t actually see $15/hour in their pay for three, five or even seven years.Continue reading
A $15 Minimum Wage Is Sweeping The Nation
By Bruce Covert for Think Progress. If 2014 was the year where the majority of states got on board with a higher minimum wage than the federal level of $7.25 an hour, 2015 was the year the rallying cry for a $15 minimum wage gained serious legislative traction.
This year, three California cities — Emeryville, Los Angeles, and Mountain View — all passedminimum wage increases that will eventually bring them up to $15 an hour. Meanwhile, New York State enacted an eventual $15 minimum wage for its fast food workforce, while Massachusetts enacted one for its home care workers. Those increases came on top of previous progress: SeaTac and Seattle in Washington and San Francisco in California passed $15 minimums in 2014.Continue reading