November 30, 2012
Volume 1., Issue 255
Thousands Join Historic Black Friday Walmart Action in More Than 100 Cities
On Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, thousands of Walmart employees walked off the job to speak up for themselves and their co-workers in more than 100 cities across the country. The action, which stemmed from the first-ever walk-out at a Walmart store this fall in Mira Loma, received widespread attention from coast to coast, with thousands of supporters coming out to march and rally with the workers.
These brave workers took a stand in the face of extreme hostility and threats of retaliation and firing. According to Human Rights Watch, "Walmart has repeatedly used tactics that run afoul of U.S. law and directly infringe on workers' right to freedom of association." Last week in Fairfield, a store manager allegedly warned employees: "If any one of you walks off the job or participates in an action on Black Friday that results in the loss of store sales, you will be fired and sued."
NYC Fast Food Workers Walk Off The Job To Stand Up for Their Rights
In the wake of the monumental Black Friday strike at Walmarts across the country, another often-overlooked group of low-wage workers who work in fast food chains in NYC walked off the job this week to stand up for decent wages and their rights at work. The workers, who are employed by McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s and Taco Bell, are coming together to form a new union, the Fast Food Workers Committee, in what may very well be the largest union organizing drive of fast food workers in US history.
While fast food workers in NYC earn on average $11,000 a year, the CEOs at those companies earn more than twice that every single day. While their employers rake in $200 billion in profits a year, the workers make only 25% of what they need to survive in the city.
Tell Congress: Don’t Cut the Social Safety Net to Pay for Tax Cuts for the Rich
If Congress passes the GOP’s budget plan to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for tax cuts for the rich, millions of Californians would be left out in the cold. Nearly 5 million Californians could be negatively impacted if Congress attempts cuts to Social Security, including 662,232 people with disabilities and 364,365 children. Of the 11 million Californians who get their health care coverage from Medicaid, 4.4 million children and nearly a million seniors could be affected if the lame duck Congress makes cuts to Medicaid benefits.
“We can’t afford to let lame duck legislators in Washington play politics with our social safety net,” said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. “We need to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits for those among us who need it the most. Retirees, people with disabilities and children shouldn’t have to suffer because some in Congress want to give more tax breaks to the richest 2%.”
Sunday: Picket Carmel’s “Inn of Distinction” Tour with Fired La Playa Hotel Workers
When La Playa Hotel in Carmel changed ownership over a year ago, the new management promptly fired 113 workers, and since then, only three have been rehired. After a lengthy fight, the workers and their union, UNITE HERE 483, called for a boycott of the hotel, and have been dedicated to spreading the word about the hotel management’s unjust practices every day since.
This weekend is the popular “Inn of Distinction” tour in Carmel, an annual self-guided tour of historic hotels in the popular tourist town. Show your support for the fired workers by joining the picket line to let participating residents and visitors know that La Playa Carmel is nothing to celebrate. The action will take place on Sunday, December 2nd from 2-5pm at La Playa Carmel (Camino Real and 8th Ave.)
For more information, contact Mark at (831) 375-2246 x17.
This Week on “Labor’s Edge”
- “After Black Friday's Day of Action, What's Next for Wal-Mart?” by John Logan, SF State University
- “State-by-State: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid” by Jackie Tortora, AFL-CIO
- “Who’s Running for the Exit Now?” by Charlie Costello, Operating Engineers local 3
- “Groundbreaking Study on Domestic Workers Finds Widespread Mistreatment and Systemic Low Pay” by Jennifer Angarita, AFL-CIO
- “Lame-Duck Session of Congress: Myths and Facts” by Kenneth Quinnell, AFL-CIO