But no worries they can all work at Walmart or McDonald’s. Right?
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mnemonic here: http://urlet.com/christmas.excerpt
Surrounded by about 100 police officers in riot gear and a helicopter circling above, more than 50 Walmart workers and supporters were arrested in downtown Los Angeles Thursday night as they sat in the street protesting what they called the retailer’s “poverty wages.”
Organizers said it was the largest single act of civil disobedience in Walmart’s 50-year history. The 54 arrestees, with about 500 protesting Walmart workers, clergy and supporters, demonstrated outside LA’s Chinatown Walmart.
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In twelve weeks, on the busiest shopping day of the year, Walmart workers will mount what may be the biggest-ever US strike against the retail giant. In an e-mailed statement, a campaign closely tied to the United Food & Commercial Workers union promised “widespread, massive strikes and protests for Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving. A Black Friday strike last year, in which organizers say over 400 workers walked off the job, was the largest and highest-profile action to date by the union-backed non-union workers’ group OUR Walmart, and the largest US strike in the company’s five-decade history.
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mnemonic here: http://urlet.com/read.overloaded
Wal-Mart says it will pull out of D.C. plans should city mandate ‘living wage’
By Mike DeBonis, Published: July 9 E-mail the writer
The world’s largest retailer delivered an ultimatum to District lawmakers Tuesday, telling them less than 24 hours before a decisive vote that at least three planned Wal-Marts will not open in the city if a super-minimum-wage proposal becomes law.
The ultimatum came a day ahead of a decisive D.C. Council vote on bill that would force $12.50 hourly wage.The company’s hardball tactics come out of a well-worn playbook that involves successfully using Wal-Mart’s leverage in the form of jobs and low-priced goods to fend off legislation and regulation that could cut into its profits and set precedent in other potential markets. In the Wilson Building, elected officials have found their reliable liberal, pro-union political sentiments in conflict with their desire to bring amenities to underserved neighborhoods.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) called Wal-Mart’s move “immensely discouraging,” indicating that he may consider vetoing the bill while pondering whether to seek reelection.
The D.C. Council bill would require retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour. The city’s minimum wage is $8.25.
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By Gary Cohn
“John Thomas and Hans Burkhardt have a lot in common. For more than 17 years each man had a good paying union job, with health and pension benefits, near San Francisco Bay. Thomas worked as a warehouseman for VWR International, a medical supply company with a warehouse in Brisbane, south of Candlestick Park. Burkhardt also worked as a warehouseman, for BlueLinx, a building products company with a facility across the bay in Newark.
The similarities don’t end there. Both Thomas and Burkhardt are now collecting unemployment, having lost their $22-an-hour jobs after their employers moved to take advantage of California’s enterprise zone plan, a controversial state program that is supposed to create jobs.
The enterprise program, established in 1984, provides $700 million in tax breaks for companies that set up business or move to one of 40 zones within the state. It is operated by the state but administered by local governments. The program gives companies tax credits of up to $37,440 per person hired in one of the zones, which are intended to create jobs and spark investment in economically-distressed areas. Yet interviews and public documents reviewed by Frying Pan News reveal that some of these zones are located in relatively well-off areas, including San Francisco’s Financial District and the city’s hipster-packed SoMa neighborhood, which is home to many software and technology firms. In Southern California, enterprise zone areas encompass parts of Hollywood and the corporate center of downtown Los Angeles.
Overall, 61 percent of enterprise zone tax credits were claimed by corporations with more than $1 billion in assets. People familiar with the program say that recipients include huge retailers such as Walmart. The total amount of enterprise tax credits received by Walmart is one of those facts cloaked in the program’s tax secrecy.”
the rest of the article:
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‘Large retailer’ living-wage bill is moving forward in D. C.
Posted by Mike DeBonis on March 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm
“Big box” stores like a Lowe’s planned for Northeast are targeted by Council Chairman PhilMendelson’s bill
A D.C. Council bill that would require the city’s largest retailers — including Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot and others — to pay higher wages is showing signs of life. The “Large Retailer Accountability Act,” introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) in January, will get a hearing next Wednesday before the council’s Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs committee.
The bill would require “large retailers” — defined as businesses operating an indoor store of at least 75,000 square feet and whose corporate parent has sales of at least $1 billion — to pay wages no lower than $11.75 per hour plus, benefits. That “living wage” would be indexed to the local consumer price index every year.
WalMart organizes opposition to big box ordinance:
February 25th, 2013. Over 200 workers and community allies came out for the opening rally of a one-day unfair labor practice strike of retail janitors calling on cleaning companies to stop retaliating against workers who have been organizing for fair wages and working conditions. Through the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning, not only have workers stopped the downward spiral in the Twin Cities, workers report that they have gained the first wage increase they have seen in the industry in quite some time.
via the Nation, Josh Eidelson
“Non-union janitors who clean Target stores in Minnesota say they’ll go on strike unless their employers agree by noon on Sunday to meet and discuss alleged crimes.
The workers are employed by three janitorial contractors—Prestige Maintenance USA, Diversified Maintenance Systems and Carlson Building Maintenance—and work inside Target facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The strike threat follows a series of OSHA charges alleging that employees of those companies were denied proper safety training and locked inside of Target stores, and National Labor Relations Board charges alleging that they were retaliated against for organizing. The charges and the strike threat were spearheaded by the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), a Twin Cities labor group that, as The Nation reported, has been organizing retail cleaning workers for two years.”
Published on Feb 9, 2013
Retail cleaning workers in the Twin Cities speak out, organizing for justice in their workplaces. Employees of Diversified Maintenance Systems, Carlson Building Maintenance, Eurest Services and Prestige Maintenance clean Target, Kohl’s, Home Depot,Kmart, Sears, JC Penney, and other stores.
Trabajadores de limpieza de tiendas en las Twin Cities se estan organizando para justicia en sus trabajos. Empleados de Diversified Maintenance Systems, Carlson Building Maintenance, Eurest Services and Prestige Maintenance limpian Target, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Kmart, Sears, JC Penney y otras tiendas.
Published on Jul 23, 2012
After over a decade of declining wages and increased workloads, retail cleaning workers in the Twin Cities metro area are organizing for fair wages and working conditions. September 29, 2012, CTUL is organizing a mass action at the Sears near the Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, calling on Sears Holding Company to contract responsible cleaning contractors. For more information: http://www.ctul.net
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha
The Center of Workers United in Struggle
Retail Cleaning Workers Set Deadline for Strike!
BREAKING: New coverage on the deadline for a strike:
- “Workers Cleaning Target Stores Threaten to Strike,” Josh Eidelson, The Nation, Feb. 22, 2013
- “Retail rebellion: The next big strike could begin next week,” Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC, Feb. 22, 2013
- “Target janitors threaten strike,” Natasha Lennard, Salon.com, Feb. 22. 2013
Janitors who clean big box chain stores like Target earn sub-poverty wages with almost no benefits. Workers have been organizing with CTUL for fair wages and working conditions for over two years – and now they’ve decided that enough is enough! Janitors have decided that if the cleaning contractors where they work won’t meet with them to address unfair labor practices by Sunday, February 24th, 2013, they will go on strike to protect their rights.
STAND WITH WORKERS:
- Mon, Feb. 25, 10pm, Rally with Striking Workers, 2511 E. Franklin Ave.
- Tues, Feb. 26, 6am – 10:45am, Picket with Retail Cleaning Workers, Target store in downtown (900 Nicollet Ave.) – Join us for 15 minutes or four hours!
- Tues, Feb. 26, 11am – noon, Rally with Take Action in front of Target Corporate HQ, 1000 Nicollet Ave.
Donate to the CTUL Strike Fund
-More actions you can take to support workers
-Images to help spread word on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
-Press coverage on the announcement of a deadline
We hope that retail janitorial employers will stop violating workers rights and meet with workers in sincere and meaningful dialogue, but janitors are prepared to go on strike to protect their rights if necessary.
Wal-Mart’s Honest Graft
Nobody knows how much the Arkansas behemoth and its founding family have given to local politicians, but it is obviously another Wal-Mart standard practice. In one of the more blatant examples, Wal-Mart—eager to open a new store in one of Chicago’s African-American neighborhoods—lavished campaign contributions on Alderwoman Emma Mitts and feted her at the gala held during its annual stockholders meeting. Mitts has become a prominent spokesperson for the company, flacking for Wal-Mart in a Washington Post op-ed and even referring to the company as “we” on a local Chicago television show.
Nowhere has the battle over Wal-Mart been as intense as in the Los Angeles area. Eager to gain a foothold in the area a decade ago, Wal-Mart proposed building a mega-store in Inglewood, a mostly African-American and Hispanic working-class suburb. In 2004 the company spent about $1 million to mount a ballot initiative that would change the city’s zoning laws to allow Wal-Mart to build its supercenter. Despite being outspent ten-to-one, a local community coalition defeated the ballot measure by a two-to-one margin. That same year, the Los Angeles City Council enacted a big-box law making it difficult for Wal-Mart to open new stores.
Wal-Mart retreated, but in the past year it has returned to Los Angeles with a vengeance, attempting to open a store in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood. It has hired three powerful lobbying firms—Ek & Ek; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; and Mercury Public Affairs (where former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez is a partner)—to help the company get the approvals it needed.
To gain the support (or silence) of community groups, Wal-Mart dramatically increased its charitable philanthropy, as it has done elsewhere. Its total giving in the United States rose from $270 million in 2007 to $873 million last year. In Los Angeles, the company hired the politically connected Javier Angulo—former employee at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials—to coordinate its local philanthropic program. Wal-Mart recently donated several million dollars to dozens of local nonprofits, including the NAACP, the Urban League, Homeboy Industries, California Charter Schools Association, Los Angeles Parents Union, Goodwill, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Union Rescue Mission, Meals on Wheels, Chrysalis, Children’s Hospital, and the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, as well as several Asian American organizations, including Little Tokyo Service Center, Korean American Coalition, the Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment, and Chinatown Service Center. Angulo makes sure that whenever Wal-Mart hands over a check to one of these groups, elected officials are there for the photo-op.
Earlier this month, the day before the City Council was to vote on an ordinance that would have put the construction on hold, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office pushed through permits to allow Wal-Mart to move forward on its Chinatown store. Hoping to stop the project, community and labor groups are fighting back. They’ve produced a “No Wal-Mart in Chinatown” video, lobbied council members to override the mayor’s efforts, and scheduled a large protest march for June 30 at a state park near Chinatown.
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Walmart may soon find it harder to avoid responsibility, as it has in the past, for the mistreatment of workers in its long supply chain.
Lawyers who sued temporary labor firms in a giant Walmart warehouse last year for violating federal and state laws with their abusive labor practices today took what they described as the “historic” step of adding Walmart as a defendant in the case.
They claimed that their investigation and depositions undertaken for the original suit filed in October 2011 show that Walmart really “calls the shots” at the warehouse and should be held liable along with its subcontractors for “stealing millions of dollars from the low-wage warehouse workers who move Walmart merchandise,” as Michael Rubin, an attorney for the workers, wrote to the Center for Public Integrity.
The updated charges included six theories supporting the claim that Walmart is legally a joint employer and shares liabilities with the contractors, arguing that the relationship is not that between an arm’s length provider of services or goods, like a painting contractor or bookkeeping firm that a small business might hire. The amendment to the lawsuit calls Schneider “closely-controlled” by Walmart—until last year most if not all Schneider managers had walmart.com e-mail addresses—and notes that a Walmart-owned security firm is responsible for protecting the warehouse.
Warehouse Workers United WWU http://www.warehouseworkersunited.org/