Submitted on Wed, 05/11/2005 - 2:52pm
By Jon Bekken - Industrial Worker, April 2005.
The IWW-affiliated South Street Workers Union is organizing retail and
food service workers along Philadelphia's South Street corridor,
implementing a model of solidarity unionism focused on helping workers
create their own shop floor and district-wide organizations to confront
low wages, poor working conditions, and the lack of workplace rights.
Since the union began organizing in August 2003, the South Street Workers
Union has organized health, tax and workers' rights clinics; social
events; a district-wide grievance committee that has helped workers claim
unpaid wages and develop strategies to improve working conditions; and
organized a campaign against proposed mass transit fare increases and
Submitted on Wed, 05/11/2005 - 2:51pm
Starbucks Workers Union News - March 27, 2005
My name is Sherry Brown and I would like to share with you the humiliation I experienced at the hands of Starbucks. While I know people are wrongly fired from their jobs every day in this country, I am not going to take this lying down and I am asking for your help.
First, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a 56 year-old African-American resident of Washington D.C. and I have been working on community issues for over 30 years. When I was 21 years old I was feeding 300 kids a day in the Black Panther Party's Free Breakfast Program in Baltimore. Since my days as a college activist in the sixties, I have worked on various projects including training young people to advocate for the hungry and forming a coalition to oppose the closing of Washington's only public hospital.
Because of the gentrification taking place in Washington D.C. and the loss of my job at the Capitol Hill Starbucks (serving politicians and lobbyists), I am currently being displaced from my modest apartment. I have lived there for 11 years and now it is being converted into a high-priced luxury condominium.
Starbucks fired me because I asserted myself to a customer who was threatening my life. On a Sunday last December, a customer I was serving became extremely belligerent with me because I was not sure what drink he had ordered. I asked the shift supervisor to help the customer so that I could wait on other guests and avoid any further problems. The customer began yelling names and accused me of being "retarded". He also said I was the kind of person who makes other people go postal and that "he was always right." I told the customer his comments were offensive and that I did not have to tolerate verbal abuse.
Submitted on Wed, 05/11/2005 - 2:50pm
From mediaisland.org - March 26, 2005.
Olympia Pizza Time franchise owner Richard Kelley locked out all nine striking workers by closing the store on Feb 21st. The last negotiations between Pizza time workers and Kelley broke down when Kelley insisted he would open the store if workers accepted wages below state law. Pizza time workers refused Kelley.s unreasonable condition.
Pizza Time workers took their case to the National Labor Relations Board. A federal investigator interviewed the workers and Kelley. The investigator informed the workers that federal labor law offers no protection from owners who close their own stores. Pizza Time workers are in need of a labor lawyer.
Submitted on Wed, 05/11/2005 - 2:49pm
By Emmy Gilbert - March 1, 2005.
For related information, please visit our Starbucks Campaign page.
New York, NY - Workers at the Vox Pop coffee shop in Brooklyn unanimously joined the Industrial Workers of the World last week. The employees join a growing movement of NYC retail workers, including Starbucks baristas, who are striving to increase union membership in the industry.
Submitted on Wed, 05/11/2005 - 2:48pm
February, 15, 2005
The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint last week against Wild Oats Natural Foods for the firing of union organizer, Tom Kappas. The Industrial Workers of the World has been struggling to re instate Kappas for the past seven months in a campaign aimed at restoring fairness to how the company deals with union organizing. The campaign has turned out several nationwide pickets, a petition with over 500 supporters, and now a complaint from the N.L.R.B.
Kappas was fired on July, 10, 2004 for discounting less than 2 pounds of rotten produce. The produce manager gave permission to discount spoiled produce to all produce employees and then during the firing interview said he never approved discounts. The store director, Fred Meyer, then fired Tom for the discount even after Kappas produced a receipt for the produce. Meyer initiated a random bag search the night before.