Submitted on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 2:11am
IWW Starbucks Workers Union Update and Call-In Day Aug. 1, 2005
Posted July 18, 2005
May 24, 2005- Starbucks terminates IWW member Sarah Bender, a worker at the 17th St. and 1st Ave. store in Manhattan, for her union activity. Fellow Worker Bender's termination marks the first time since the founding of the Starbucks Workers Union over a year ago that the company has fired a worker purely for union organizing. Starbucks learned that Sarah was associated with the Starbucks Workers Union after she hosted a party attended by Union members. Since then, the company has arbitrarily disciplined her to build a phony case for firing her. The pretext for her termination was that she allegedly came out six dollars short on her cash register. On the day in question FW Bender counted the money in her till, determined she had the correct amount, and placed the money in a sealed plastic bag. She then deposited the bag into the store safe. Sarah's store manager, Noura Glenn, subsequently unsealed the bag and falsely claimed there was a shortage. Please lend a hand in the national Call-In Day Against Starbucks on Monday August 1 to demand Sarah Bender's reinstatement. The details are at the end of this update.
Submitted on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 2:04am
Montpelier, July 18 - Dozens of Montpelier workers, formerly members of the MDWU (UE Local 221) are reorganizing their union into an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Local. Our union will now be organizing workers not only in the downtown, but also throughout the capital region. To reflect this expansion of our organizing scope, our union will now be known as the "Montpelier Workers Union." This union is no longer affiliated with the United Electrical Workers or the Vermont Workers' Center.
Our decision to merge with the IWW is based in part by the fact that this union has been organizing similar geographic unions throughout the continent for the past three years. In Philadelphia, the South Street Workers Union claims hundreds of supporters, and dues paying members in a many different city shops. In Wisconsin the Madison Downtown Workers Union is currently organizing across the city much like in Montpelier. We look forward to being in the same international labor union as these like-minded organizations. We intend on learning from each other, and therefore emerging as a strong and united voice of working people throughout Vermont, the U.S. and beyond.
Submitted on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 1:44am
In February of 2005, all nine Pizza Time workers in Olympia WA and theirmanager Alex Wentz went on strike to take a stand against racism and tostand up for their rights as workers. Shane Bloking, a previous managerat Pizza Time, bought into the business and immediately fired twocompetent employees. Shane has a history of uttering racist comments andit came to no surprise when Abara, the stores only African-Americanemployee, was the first to be fired Shanes second day. Shane started toreplace the workers with his incompetent brother and his friends.
Instead of watching our co-workers get fired for no good reasonone-by-one, we held a meeting at Alexs house that night. The remainingworkers didnt want to work at Pizza Time under these conditions. Wechose to take a stand on Feb 11th. We drafted a list of basic demandsthat night that had to be unconditionally met or we would stop making anddelivering pizza and go on strike. The demands were:
- 1) Abara and John get their jobs back Jeff Bloking (the owner's brother)has to go.
- 2) No workers are fired without Just Cause and without warning
- 3) No more racial slurs
- 4) A friendly, clean and safe work environment
- 5) Standardized breaks
- 6) Respect our right to unionize
The next day all the workers rode down to the shop in the bright orangepizza van. We gave each other high fives the whole way down to the shop. Shane arrived at work over 7 hours late and found his entire staff waitingfor him, except for Jesus who was out on delivery. Once he walked throughthe door we confronted him with our list of demands.
Submitted on Mon, 07/04/2005 - 8:23pm
The other day on InfoShop.org, there was an article on how the FBI now has Food Not Bombs on the terrorist watch list. Strange but true. I had a chance to think about it during our regular Saturday sharing in Hackensack today.
Every Saturday about a dozen of us, SPers, IWW members and some youth from the Bergen County area meet in our (Andrea & my) kitchen, and cook up vegan food which would normally be tossed by local markets. Food that's tossed because it's not perfect or (in the case of fruits or vegetables) slightly bruised. The idea is that there is more than enough out there already to feed everyone, and that this food should not be thrown away because theres no market for it. Food is a basic need that should be a right not a privilege.
This morning while setting up out table in Hackensack I noticed the same person (identified as a cop by the local homeless population) watching us, and I hear he has harassed some of the local folks that go to our sharings (whats your name, where do you live, etc.) Guess the word came down and we are now officially being watched.
Today's Subversive Activity
Submitted on Fri, 07/01/2005 - 6:57am
BERKELEY- Workers at the Ecology Center in Berkeley, known as Curbside, welcomed their new operations manager Friday July 1st, with a meeting to discuss their expectations of his conduct. As the new boss sat and listened, Fellow Workers Todd Miller and Dominic Moschella outlined their complaints.
Dominic handed over a maintenance sheet on every Curbside truck, filled out by the workers. “We want to see all the safety issue stuff taken care of within a week,” said Dominic.
Many of the trucks at Curbside have missing mirrors, broken turn signals, and bad rear view cameras. Many trucks are so old that they break down frequently, forcing the workers to complete their routes with fewer trucks.
“If there were an inspection, most of those trucks wouldn’t even leave the lot,” Todd told the boss.
The workers expect the safety issues to be corrected within a week, and non-safety issues to be cleared up within a reasonable time period.
The workers told the boss they wouldn’t tolerate management driving routes. “We voted unanimously,” said Todd. “Those are union jobs, and management should not be doing union work.”