Workers “Fight for $15” Spreads to Milwaukee, Detroit and St. Louis!

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Fight for $15 and a Union Spreads to Milwaukee as Fast Food Workers Strike in 5th Major U.S. City

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Milwaukee fast food workers took action last Wednesday calling attention to poverty wages and poor working conditions.  Hundreds of workers from fast food and retail stores including Burger King, McDonald’s, Popeye’s and Dollar Tree walked off the job in solidarity in the fight for $15 an hour and a union. 

http://wisaflcio.typepad.com/wisconsin-state-afl-cio-blog/2013/05/fight-for-15.html

D15 – Detroit fast food workers strike for $15

Posted by brittanysmith on May 14, 2013

Hundreds of workers from McDonald’s, Burger King, Popeyes, Subway and some 50 other restaurants made history Friday by going on the nation’s largest fast food industry strike, asking for a wage increase to $15 an hour and the right to unionize.

The first success came amid a heavy downpour at 6 a.m. at a McDonald’s on Detroit’s east side, where several workers walked off the job and caused the store to close. The action gained more momentum when management called in replacement workers who, unexpectedly, joined the strike line as well. With shouts of “we want our wages supersized” and a passion for the cause, the day would see more than 400 workers across the city at chains such as Popeyes, Long John Silver’s and Subway take part, forcing seven stores to close. Over the course of the day, the action garnered the support of more than 1,000 community leaders, including Congressman John Conyers and State Sen. Bert Johnson.

http://www.goodjobsnow.org/2013/05/14/d15-detroit-fast-food-workers-strike-for-15/

St. Louis:

These employees are being joined by dozens of more fast food workers Thursday across the St. Louis region in a push for higher wages, better working conditions, and the right to form a union without retaliation. A rally in Delmar Loop is planned for Thursday afternoon.

At least 100 people were picketing Thursday morning in front of a Hardee’s restaurant at Wilson and Hampton avenues about 8 a.m.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/organizers-say-st-louis-fast-food-strike-to-spread-to/article_7a0c248b-d7b4-5794-b11a-b8316462e9f2.html

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Walmart Workers Launch Strike Action in Three Cities

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Walmart  Workers Launch First-Ever ‘Prolonged Strikes’ Today

Josh Eidelson on  May 28, 2013 – 10:57 AM
Walmart employees are on strike in Miami, Massachusetts and the California  Bay Area this morning, kicking off what organizers promise will be the first  “prolonged strikes” in the retail giant’s history. The union-backed labor group  OUR Walmart says that at least a hundred workers have pledged to join the  strikes, and that some workers walking off the job today will stay out at least  through June 7, when Walmart holds its annual shareholder meeting near  Bentonville, Arkansas.

Organizers expect retail employees in more cities to join the work stoppage,  which  follows the country’s first-ever coordinated Walmart store strikes last  October, and a high-profile Black Friday walkout November  23. Like Black Friday’s, today’s strike is being framed by the union-backed  labor group OUR Walmart as a response to retaliation against  worker-activists.

Update (5:30 PM EST Tuesday): Dozens of Southern  California Walmart retail employees plan to join this week’s strike starting  Thursday. According to organizers, the employees will rally on Thursday morning  in Pico Rivera with supporters including US Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), and  warehouse workers employed in Walmart-contracted buildings in the region. The  retail workers will take part in the “Ride for Respect,” traveling from  California to Arizona and New Mexico before arriving in Arkansas. Their caravan  will also include two fired warehouse employees, David Garcia and Javier  Rodriguez, who allege that their activism cost them their jobs.

Read more: http://www.thenation.com/blog/174551/walmart-workers-launch-first-ever-prolonged-strikes-today

Enterprise Zone Scam Revealed – Yes Eureka is Infected

 

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Enterprise Zones: Killing the California Dream

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:

http://www.calitics.com/diary/15051/enterprise-zones-killing-the-california-dream

SeaTac’s $15 an Hour Wage Initiative Achieves Sig Threshold Quickly

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“Less than two weeks after filing a City of SeaTac initiative that would assure better wages and working conditions for thousands of low-wage SeaTac Airport workers, backers have announced that they have already surpassed the signature threshold.”

The initiative if passed will raise the minimum wage for these 5,000 workers to $15 an hour along with other reforms.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/05/21/backers-pass-signature-threshold-on-seatac-measure-to-require-living-wages-for-airport-workers

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https://www.facebook.com/itsourairport

About

There are thousands of poverty-wage workers at our airport. Let’s make every airport job a good job.
Mission

Let’s make every job at Sea-Tac a good job.

Description
These baggage handlers, fuelers, passenger service workers, ground transportation workers, taxicab drivers, and cargo workers do work critical to the successful operations of Alaska and other airlines at our airport. However, they do not actually work for these large corporations.
Instead their jobs are contracted out to the lowest bidder. Most of these airline contractors pay poverty wages.
Workers across the airport report that benefits, if offered at all, are usually unaffordable for workers bringing home at or near the minimum wage for the long and onerous hours worked. And most of these workers are immigrants that have come from Africa, Asia, and Latin America to pursue a better life in Seattle. Their work is vital to keeping Sea-Tac running and providing good service for the more than 32 million passengers that pass through our airport. They work hard – sometimes holding down two or three jobs.
They deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and to a make a living wage.
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SeaTac Committee seeks higher minimum wage, employment standards

“For the past several days, a proposal by an outside group to raise some minimum salaries almost $6 an hour above the state minimum and impose mandatory paid sick leave for transportation and hospitality workers in have caused some concerns in the city.

“The proposed ordinance would raise minimum wages from the state’s current $9.19 per hour to $15 an hour for all workers defined to be in the hospitality and transportation businesses inside SeaTac.”

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PDF of the Initiative:

http://www.ci.seatac.wa.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7321