Submitted on Sun, 05/29/2005 - 3:32pm
New York - On May 28th at 6:30pm Starbucks workers are demonstrating their right to join the Industrial Workers of the World - IU/660, also known as the Retail Workers' Union. Workers of Starbucks at 2nd Ave and 9th Street are demanding an immediate stop to all anti-union activity, reinstatement of Sarah Bender and Alex Diaz, affirmation of our right to organize, a living wage for all employees, guaranteed hours with the option for full-time status, consistent scheduling, an end to under-staffing, the right to organize, and respect from our bosses.
"In New York City we start at $8.25 an hour and are lucky to receive anything above 20 hours a week. Starbucks profits off our backs by depending on a low labor costs in the stores and from out sourced labor. They are the Wal-Mart of the coffee industry." Claimed Laura Deanda of 2nd and 9th.
Submitted on Sun, 05/29/2005 - 3:14pm
By John Nichols - The Wisconsin Capital Times, May 12, 2005
Six baristas at the Vox Pop coffee shop in Brooklyn went Wobbly in March.
When the people who make lattes and sell books at the shop joined the New York City Retail Workers Union Branch 660 of the Industrial Workers of the World - the Wobblies - they linked up with a union that is celebrating 100 years of radicalism.
There are not many unions that go out of their way to organize workers at independent coffee shops and bookstores these days, and there are even fewer unions that young people think of as cool. But the IWW has always stood out from the rest of the union movement.
Formed in 1905 by the likes of Mother Jones, Eugene Victor Debs, Big Bill Haywood and Lucy Parsons, the IWW declared from the start that it would stand "upon the basic principle that the way to unite the workers is to organize them as a class, upon class interests, and not for the purpose of securing for the present a paltry few crumbs from the table of Capitalism to a privileged few within the pure and simple unions, but that all may enjoy the fruits of their industry and the fullness thereof."
Submitted on Sun, 05/29/2005 - 3:05pm
By Peter Little - Bring the Ruckus
A month ago a call came into the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Hall in Portland. The front-end staff of a small, recently opened restaurant had struck the week before. The owner’s immediate response was to fire all four of the strikers. Although this was the IWW’s first contact with these workers, the union decided to support these workers in negotiating a settlement to the strike.
The negotiating committee of four workers and union representatives arrived at the restaurant at 9:15pm on a Sunday, approaching the owner on the sidewalk as he returned from taking an order on the patio. Catching his attention, they waited until he was through taking his order, and notified him that the IWW would now be representing the fired workers. When the union representatives requested a meeting be set up to discuss resolving the strike, the owner replied, "You are trespassing. If you don't leave my property right now, I’m calling the police." Although this response may seem typical, this was not your typical employer.
Submitted on Sun, 05/29/2005 - 1:02pm
By Chuck Munson / InfoShop News - Apr 26, 2005 09:46
Kansas City -- The sad state of the American labor movement has been the subject of much debate and discussion in recent years, but this weekend workers from around the Midwest gathered to talk about strategies to reverse that situation. Around 50 union members and workers met in Kansas City, Missouri this weekend for the Future of American Labor conference. The conference, held on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, brought together workers from Minnesota, Illinois, Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and the metropolitan Kansas City area. Unions represented by attendees included the UAW, ATU, IWW, NEA, IBEW, the United Transportation Union, PACE, and several others.
While the current state of American labor unions and the labor movement was the primary theme of the weekend, conference speakers and attendees also discussed: labor's role in the antiwar movement; the alarming state of the world's environment; the concerns of women, people of color, and lesbian/gay/bi/trans workers; labor imperialism; globalization; jingoism and nationalism among American workers; union-boss collaborationism; global business unionism; the lack of participation of workers in their unions; and new techniques being used to organize workers.