workers rights

cp24.com
Canadian GM workers vote to accept tentative deal: Unifor
Unifor, which represents the workers, says 64.7 per cent of the members who cast ballots voted in favour of the contract.

Unionized workers at General Motors have accepted a new contract with the auto giant.

Unifor, which represents the workers, says 64.7 per cent of the members who cast ballots voted in favour of the contract.

The agreement hammered out last week includes a two per cent wage increase this year and another two per cent increase in September, 2019.

There is also a $6,000 signing bonus plus lump sum bonuses of $2,000 in each of the next three years to most employees.

The deal also includes improvements to benefits, hiring practices and a commitment by GM to invest $554-million in its Canadian operations.

Unifor President Jerry Dias says it’s the best deal the union has obtained with one of the auto giants in the past decade.

Continue Reading.


BOYCOTT FOREVER 21

Retail company Forever 21 sent this letter to all full time/non-management employees informing them that they will be demoted to part time, they and their families will lose their health and dental benefits, and they will no longer qualify for paid time off. Employees believe the company is punishing them to retaliate against Obamacare.

We were asked to share this by one of our fans, and now we are asking you to do the same. Don’t underestimate the power of your SHARE. Two weeks ago, US Uncut was the first place to widely publish McDonald’s now notorious budget, and it went viral across mainstream media.

Thank you.

MAKE IT VIRAL

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Fast food workers struggling for a wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize participated in a nonviolent civil disobedience action last week. 

This is Emily Nguyen (ponytail) and Kalia Vang (visor). Emily is 20 years-old and a sophomore at Sacramento City College. She’s worked in fast food for a year and a half and makes California minimum wage ($9 an hour). She says, “I’m just working to breathe, to stay alive. I’m not really living life. We won’t stop till we meet our destination, till our wages go up.“

 Watch the emotional video of their arrest here, and be sure to support them on Facebook here!

-JS

FIFA, the international soccer organization, has long been seen as corrupt—and now U.S. and Swiss authorities are doing something about it. Nine FIFA officials were indicted Wednesday on charges of corruption in a $150 million bribery scandal, and more charges are likely coming. Part of the scandal includes the controversial decision to let Qatar host the World Cup in 2022. Construction of stadiums in Qatar has led to more than 1,000 worker deaths because of harsh labor conditions. At the current rate, at least 62 workers will have died for every World Cup game played.

WikiLeaks: Obama Administration Pressured Haiti’s President To Lower Minimum Wage

A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour.

Contractors for Fruit of the Loom, Hanes and Levi’s worked in close concert with the US Embassy when they aggressively moved to block a minimum wage increase for Haitian assembly zone workers, the lowest-paid in the hemisphere, according to secret State Department cables.

It started when Haiti passed a law two years ago raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. According to an embassy cable:

This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).

Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year … As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.

Thanks to U.S. intervention, the minimum was raised only to 31 cents.

The revelation of US support for low wages in Haiti’s assembly zones was in a trove of 1,918 cables made available to the Haitian weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté by the transparency group WikiLeaks. As part of a collaboration with Haïti Liberté, The Nation is publishing English-language articles based on those cables.

thinkprogress.org
The Drivers Behind Amazon’s New One-Hour Delivery Service Say They’re Getting Screwed
Amazon Prime Now will bring your stuff to your door within two hours, but the person who delivers it has little hope of making a decent living.

Amazon’s one-hour delivery option launched in the Bay Area this week, but the workers behind the scenes of the “Prime Now” service say they’re paying a steep price to make the super-fast turnaround a reality.

Prime Now drivers are suing Amazon over pay that amounts to less than the California minimum wage. Drivers in the Los Angeles market make $11 an hour, but buy their own gas, insurance, and auto maintenance service. Drivers who cover 120 miles in a day without being reimbursed at the standard per-mile rate “make $88 in pay for eight hours with $69 in expenses, and are left with $19,” attorney Beth Ross, who is representing the Prime Now drivers, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

cartoonbrew.com
On This Day 75 Years Ago, Disney Animation Changed Forever

“On May 29, 1941, 334 employees of the Disney animation studio walked out on strike (303 employees remained on the inside). The events that led up to the strike are too numerous to recount here, but suffice to say, tensions had been building at the studio since the runaway success of the studio’s first film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, and employees of the studio had a litany of grievances from low wages and salary cuts to arbitrary layoffs, arcane bonus distribution systems, and oppressively long hours (including mandatory work on Saturdays).

The strikers vowed to stay on the picket lines until Walt Disney recognized their union. With neither side willing to give in, the event lasted into the fall, turning uglier and lasting longer than either side had ever imagined. In the end, the workers won, and neither the Disney company nor the animation industry would ever be the same again.

The union is not a panacea for all of the animation industry’s labor ills. It is also not the strongest union in Hollywood, not by a long shot. But to this day, it remains the best option for artists who want to earn pensions and medical insurance, and ensure that they have basic workers’ rights. Union shops in Los Angeles understand that they can’t take advantage of their employees, which is why some of them like Titmouse try to skirt the system by launching satellite studios in other parts of the United States where they can pay employees less than a living wage.

The current president of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Ed Catmull, is staunchly anti-union, and has fought tooth-and-nail to keep the company he co-founded, Pixar, a union-free shop. As a result, even though Pixar is now owned by Disney, and even though Pixar has been the most financially successful animation studio in America for the last twenty years, the average starting wage for animators at the studio remains below unionized feature animation workers.

Seventy-five years after the start of the Disney strike, as we honor the sacrifices of the brave women and men who improved workplace conditions for themselves and tens of thousands of artists who followed them, we must recognize that there is still plenty of work to do and that improving the industry’s welfare is a shared responsibility passed from one generation to the next. As for Disney, let’s just say the strike worked out pretty well for them, too: the company today is worth $163 billion, making it the most valuable entertainment conglomerate currently in the world.”

A Message To Meat Eaters:

Why White People Should Stop Using Migrant Workers As An Argument Against Vegetarianism (Masterpost)

Introduction: During my time here on tumblr, I’ve often seen well-meaning Social Justice Warriors point to the (very real and unconscionable) suffering of PoC in the plant-based portion of the agricultural industry as a way to counter vegetarians’ and vegans’ claims of living “cruelty-free.”  The argument is that veg(etari)ans don’t actually have cruelty-free lifestyles, and are just being hypocritical.  The more radical anti-veggies even claim that veg(etari)ans ‘care more about animals than people’, or that by incorporating more plants in their diet (to supplement the lack of meat) ve(getari)ans are exacerbating the suffering of migrant farm workers, and perpetuating racism to a degree that is not present in omnivore lifestyles.

This is dishonest and inaccurate for many reasons. 1) Non-vegetarians also consume products resulting from this exploited labor force, so it’s logically inconsistent to imply that non-vegetarians are in some way morally superior to vegetarians.  2) Not only do non-vegetarians still eat fruits and vegetables, but the food that is given to the animals raised for livestock is also cultivated by agricultural workers, and clearly the amount of food needed to sustain an animal over its lifetime is greater than the amount of food garnered by the meat upon its death.  (The actual ratios can be found here for anyone interested.)  3) Most importantly, and the key lesson of this post, is that the animal production industry - known colloquially as “factory farming” - upon which Americans get the majority of their meat, is also largely dependent on exploited PoC laboring in inhumane conditions. Thus, there is no logical reason at all why you should use the abuse of Latinx laborers specifically as a counterargument to vegans/vegetarians.

Obviously raising awareness of the suffering that low-income PoC in the agricultural industry face IS fundamentally important.  It’s also true that it’s nigh-impossible to live a truly “cruelty-free” lifestyle under a capitalist system.  However, it is worth mentioning that it is incredibly offensive for white people to ignorantly misuse the suffering of agricultural workers of color in order to perpetuate their own political agenda against vegetarians.  Consciously or not, it is both disingenuous and exploitative, and ultimately does nothing to actually alleviate the suffering of these workers.  Furthermore, it completely erases the equally-legitimate suffering of workers of color in the meat industry, who are just as deserving of our advocacy.  *(Here are two posts I’m aware of where you can get PoC perspectives on this, since I’m whiter than Olaf tbh. If you have any other resources, please feel free to message me and I’ll add them in.)

So without further ado, here’s some knowledge.

The American Meat Industry - The Human Cost

  • 72% of farmworkers were born outside of the US, 68% in Mexico. The average education level of these laborers is the 8th grade. (x) If you’re thinking these stats are only for plant-based agricultural workers, you’re mistaken: “The Public Health Service Act provides the definition of migratory and seasonal agricultural workers for health center grantees, and includes those working in aquaculture and animal production. (x) (For that matter, any time you see something about “farmworkers” or “agricultural workers”, it includes the meat industry.  Agriculture includes animal production, as well as food cultivated from plants.) If you’re still skeptical, this 2014 survey from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics also confirms that over half of the people working in “animal slaughtering and processing” are black or Latinx.  (Additional details on demographics can also be found below.)
  • Just like you might expect from their treatment in the horticulture (plant) industry, these poor souls are desperate for work, so often have little choice but to accept mistreatment - especially because slaughterhouse workers are at-will employees (meaning they can be fired at any time, with no job security or protection against wrongful termination).  As a result, very few workplace hazards are reported to supervisors for fear they will lose their jobs or be replaced by somebody else willing to do the grueling and dangerous work. (x) Many workers have even been threatened with deportation. (x)  One study found that the large numbers of undocumented workers from Mexico and other parts of Latin America are almost half as likely to report an injury or job-related illness as their white counterparts.  Factory farms depend on these types of employees because they are thankful for the work - and, as a result, are unlikely to unionize, will endure horrible working conditions, tolerate long hours (sometimes 10-hour days or more), and be satisfied with very little pay. (x) and (x) They also aren’t necessarily forewarned of these conditions ahead of time, since most of them speak little or no English. (x)
  • Animal production is a dangerous job: among slaughterhouse workers who have been in the business for five years, 50% have experienced injury. (x)  The risks of workers in the meat industry could range from contracting diseases from handling the animal carcasses, to severe injuries from using the line equipment. During an average workday, employees inhale anything from ammonia to hydrogen sulfide, plus a number of other airborne bacteria. The air quality is so bad in these farms that nearly 70 percent of pig farm workers experience some sort of respiratory issue. (x) There are also long-term injuries to the employees’ hands, arms, shoulders and backs due to the physical and repetitive nature of the work. The health risks can even be deadly. (x) Remember that the overwhelming majority of these folks don’t have any form of health insurance, either.

  • Again, working conditions are terrible. Here are just some of the occupational hazards for those who work in aquaculture specifically (aquaculture = seafood and fishing): extreme temperatures, bacterial pathogens, heavy lifting, repetitive motions, chemical exposures, hazardous machinery, and all-terrain vehicles. Workers in the U.S. aquaculture industry are at an elevated risk of work-related fatalities. The agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry sector has the highest rate of work-related fatalities in the U.S. (x)  

  • Here are still more disturbing facts for the morbidly-inclined: The greatest risks for fatalities in aquaculture are inherently painful and violent deaths - namely, drowning, electrocution, head injuries, & gas poisonings. :| Non-fatal injuries and illnesses include work-related musculoskeletal disorders, slips, trips, & falls, hypothermia, heat stress, sprains & strains, respiratory illnesses, skin allergies, bites & cuts, poisonings & envenomation, and work-related stress. Exposure can also lead to the development of allergies. Prolonged exposure to both finfish and shellfish without personal protective equipment may result in itching, eczema, urticaria, and irritation. Workers in processing facilities with poor ventilation have an elevated risk of developing work-related asthma. (x)

  • As with the meat industry in general, immigrant workers often constitute a significant proportion of the worker population on poultry farms and in poultry slaughter and processing facilities - a field classified as predominantly “3D” jobs (dirty, demeaning, and dangerous) . (x)  About half of poultry processing workers are Latino, and a quarter do not possess legal documents to work in the US. (x)

  • These workers face similar challenges - extreme temperatures, stress injuries (one poultry plant in SC had a 42% rate of carpel tunnel syndrome in its employees), exposure to dangerous chemicals, and exposure to infectious bacteria. (x)  Poultry workers at each link of the production chain earn low wages and work long shifts, often 12-14 hours. Chicken catchers earn an average of $92 per day for a 12 hour shift, and even poultry growers live in poverty: 71% of poultry growers have annual incomes below the federal poverty limit. Chicken catchers are particularly vulnerable to wage and hour violations, as they are generally paid for the completion of catching a set number of birds, and will not be paid for overtime. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is often not provided by employers, despite frequent worker exposure to chemicals, blood, feces, mold, endotoxins, and sharp cutting tools. (x)

  • The dairy industry is also horrendous.  There are accounts of Latinx workers being denied overtime, and forced to sign contracts promising to pay a fine of $50/day for any sick days they take. (x) Such conditions are the norm for hundreds of workers in California’s dairy industry. Exploitative dairies pay workers barely enough to eat; force them to work 12 to 16 hours a day, six or seven days a week; deny workers meal breaks; and withhold overtime pay. Some dairies abuse workers both physically and verbally; many expose employees to safety hazards on the job, and house employees in rundown buildings onsite which have no windows or locking doors, and are infested by vermin.  (A word of caution, if you choose to read the article that talks about this, it contains descriptions of severe abuse, injury, and death to exploited PoC and is quite disturbing, though important.)  Here are some more facts too.

  • It’s just a fucking horrible job - gross and violent and unhygienic. (x) Here is a short (graphic and disgusting) quote from an article from The Guardian describing the work involved in meat packing: “Every hour, more than 1,300 severed pork heads would go sliding along the belt. Workers sliced off the ears, clipped the snouts, chiseled the cheek meat. They scooped out the eyes, carved out the tongues, and scraped the palate meat from the roofs of mouths.” (x)  It’s brutal and dangerous, and multiple reports exist of workers being permanently injured by distressed animals (e.g., cows).  It isn’t just hazardous, it’s fundamentally a deeply unpleasant line of work.

So in short, please stop using the abuse of seasonal farm workers as an excuse to rag on vegetarians.  It’s completely ignorant and you’re throwing thousands of vulnerable PoC under the bus.  By all means, speak out against the mistreatment of the PoC working in the fields.  It’s a desperately important issue.  But if you’re only doing it when you have the opportunity to chastise vegetarians you don’t like, you’re using their suffering as a prop, and doing absolutely nothing to end that abuse.

thinkprogress.org
This Store Just Cancelled Black Friday
Employees will get a paid day off on November 27 while most stores are open for holiday shopping.

Outdoor goods retailer REI announced that on top of being closed on Thanksgiving Day it will also keep its doors closed on Black Friday this year.

On Tuesday, the company announced that its 12,000 employees will get a paid day off on November 27 in an effort to get more people to go outdoors, and its website will feature a black screen.

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‘We’re a Movement Now’: Fast Food Workers Strike in 150 Cities (NBC News)

Fast food workers walked off the job nationwide on Thursday, as police arrested dozens who engaged in civil disobedience. Organizers said workers in an estimated 150 cities were expected to take part in the strike, which they said marked an intensification of their two-year campaign to raise hourly pay in the industry to $15 and to win workers’ right to form a union. Organizers said dozens of workers had been arrested in cities including Kansas City, Detroit, and New York.

Fast-Food Workers Turn Up the Heat (In These Times)

“Paddy wagon’s on its way,” announced a Chicago Police tactical officer over his radio early this morning. Shortly thereafter, a crowd of about 300 demonstrators—including over 100 striking fast food workers—began chanting “Take the street!” and proceeded to do just that. Marching between a McDonald’s on one side of the road and a Burger King on the other, the crowd blocked 87th street traffic on Chicago’s south side for about 20 minutes. The action was the latest escalation in the fast-food workers’ campaign for a $15 minimum hourly wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. Two dozen workers proceeded to link arms and sit down in the road in an act of civil disobedience, prompting the police to take them away in handcuffs.

Hundreds of Fast-Food Workers Striking for Higher Wages Are Arrested (New York Times) 

Hundreds of fast-food workers and labor allies demanding a $15-an-hour wage were arrested in sit-ins around the country on Thursday, as the protesters used civil disobedience to call attention to their cause. Organizers said nearly 500 protesters were arrested in three dozen cities — including Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York and Little Rock, Ark. All told, the sit-ins took place in about 150 cities nationwide, the organizers said.

Arrests as Fast Food Workers Strike Across the Country for $15 an Hour (Newsweek)

Thousands of workers at fast food restaurants across the country went on strike Thursday, demanding better wages and the right to unionize without retaliation. Organizers said strikes would take place is around 150 cities and would include workers from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, and more. In addition to the right to unionize, workers are demanding a $15 hourly wage. “There has to be civil disobedience because workers don’t see any other way to get $15 an hour and a union,” Kendall Fells, organizing director of the organizing group Fast Food Forward.

50 arrested in local fast-food wage protests (Chicago Tribune) 

Hundreds of fast-food workers held strikes and protests in Chicago and other U.S. cities Thursday, the latest step in their push for a $15 hourly wage. In the Chicago area, 50 were handcuffed and taken into custody in two separate events, one in the city’s Chatham neighborhood and one in Cicero. Cicero charged the protestors with disrupting traffic, a misdemeanor, while Chicago issued citations to the 19 it detained earlier in the day. The Fight for $15 campaign said that 436 fast-food workers had been arrested nationwide as of Thursday afternoon.

Police ticket, arrest 30 Detroit fast-food protesters (Detroit Free Press)

More than 100 demonstrators shut down an east-side Detroit intersection Thursday as part of a labor-organized national fast-food strike. Detroit police said they ticketed and released 24 demonstrators for disorderly conduct and another six arrested for outstanding traffic warrants. Officers said protesters sat in the roadway at Mack Avenue and Canyon and refused to leave. The protesters blocked traffic for about a half hour, police said. “They didn’t have to leave — they just had to get out of the roadway — and they refused,” said Detroit Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt. “As long as you’re peaceful, we’re good, but you can’t block the roadway.”

Little Rock police arrest 11 in McDonald’s wage protest (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

Little Rock police on Thursday morning arrested 11 protesters demonstrating for higher pay for fast-food workers. Officers got a call from protesters about 8 a.m. and responded to ensure order. By that time, demonstrators were blocking the thoroughfare at Seventh and Broadway, eventually moving to Third and Broadway, where some were arrested. “To my understanding they are protesting the minimum-wage law,” Little Rock Police Department spokesman Lt. Sidney Allen said in an emailed statement. About 50 to 60 were demonstrating peacefully, Allen said.

Fast-food protests lead to 8 arrests in Wilkinsburg (Pittsburgh Business Times) 

A strike by fast-food workers seeking $15 an hour in pay has resulted in arrests in front of a McDonald’s restaurant in Wilkinsburg. Kyndall Mason, a spokesperson for One Pittsburgh, a labor support organization that’s been working with fast-food workers in their ongoing fight for higher wages in the region, said that eight protesters were arrested Thursday when they sat down on Penn Avenue in front of the restaurant, disrupting traffic. “They were arrested and taken away,” said Mason, who participated in the strike, which she said started at 5:30 a.m. “The rest of the crowd was dispersed.”

Five arrested in Houston fast food wages protest (Houston Chronicle) 

Five protesters were arrested Thursday afternoon in front of a McDonalds in Southwest Houston as part of a one-day protest in 150 cities to boost the minimum wage of fast food workers to $15 an hour. In a scene that has become increasingly familiar, Houston police were standing nearly with an armful of handcuffs and as soon as the protesters flooded into the intersection and sat down in the middle of the roadway, the police began making the arrests.

Three arrested at Denver protest outside McDonald’s (Denver Post)

Three people were arrested Thursday for blocking traffic during a demonstration in favor of paying fast-food workers $15 an hour. McDonald’s worker Christian Medina, the Rev. Patrick Demmer, the senior pastor at Graham Memorial Community Church of God in Christ, and college student Tucker Plumlee sat down in crosswalk on busy Colfax Avenue during a lunchtime protest outside a McDonald’s. They were taken into custody to cheers from around 100 protesters after police warned that they would be arrested if they refused to leave.

Fast food workers strike outside McDonald’s in Gretna, kicking off day of demonstrations (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

At 29 years old, Shaunta Richardson looks back at more than a decade of working in the fast food industry, starting when she was 16. Richardson, a Burger King cook who moved back to New Orleans from Texas this year after fleeing Hurricane Katrina nine years ago, said something is familiar between her teenage years and today – the numbers behind the dollar sign on pay day. “It seems like the checks look the same from then, to now,” Richardson said Thursday morning. Richardson joined in a rally outside McDonald’s in Gretna early Thursday morning, as strikes, demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience unfolded nationwide, part of the “Fight for $15” movement seeking $15-per-hour for fast food workers and the right to unionize, without fear of retaliation.

Charlotte fast-food workers join national protest (Charlotte Observer)

Priscilla Hoyle says she is raising her three children in a hotel room. When she’s not working three days a week at Bojangles’, she supplements her income by asking strangers for money, she said. “The only thing I can do is get out here and panhandle just to keep a roof over my children’s heads,” said Hoyle, 22. On Thursday, she joined about 20 Charlotte fast-food workers who walked off their jobs and demanded higher wages as part of a national push that featured protests in dozens of cities. 

Solidarity protest in Cleveland with home health aides leading effort (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Customers got a little something extra when they ordered from the breakfast menu at a local McDonald’s on Thursday morning. Well, the super-size portion of protest wasn’t exactly on the menu. Still, it was offered – for free – beginning at 6 a.m. to anyone within earshot of the McDonald’s on St. Clair Avenue, near East 105 Street, in the city’s Glenville neighborhood. Cleveland was one of more than 100 cities participating in the latest effort to get a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers. Supporters in Cleveland protested in solidarity with those holding strikes for higher wages in other cities. This is Cleveland’s third protest since 2013.

Fast-food workers stage national protests for better pay (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) 

Protestors march up Ponce de Leon Avenue on the way to protest in front of a McDonald’s restaurant. Ten people were arrested for blocking Ponce de Leon Ave. as protestors participated in a nationwide protest and strike for better pay near a McDonald’s in Atlanta, Thursday afternoon September 4, 2014. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food chain workers and community supporters protested as part of a wave of strikes and protests in 150 cities across the U.S.

Labor’s New Groove: Taking the Struggle From Streets to Legislatures (The American Prospect)

The campaigns for minimum-wage raises aren’t confined to Democratic strongholds, however. Initiatives that would raise the state minimum wage are on November’s ballots in Arkansas and Alaska, where they may produce the kind of working-class turnout that would help the re-election bids of Democratic Senators Mark Pryor and Mark Begich, respectively. That’s largely why Democrats gathered signatures to put the measures on the ballot. But no such Democratic strategy is responsible for the presence of such an initiative on Nebraska’s ballot this November. Quite apart from political calculation, it seems a fair number of Nebraskans just believe it’s time for a raise. Similarly, in Kentucky, a measure to enact a minimum wage ordinance is before the Louisville City Council, where it’s favored to pass.

Why Labor Matters in the Fight for Racial Justice (In These Times)

This was a period when black workers still were relegated to the most dirty, dangerous and grueling positions in industry. They were frozen out of transfers and promotions to what were considered white men’s jobs, even at union plants. But, as Fred says, “Even the worst union in the world is the best for black folks.” He explains, “For the first time, you were in an environment where you could speak against the union and against the company.” In the union, black workers had the power of collective voice, and they used it to change the union itself.

Why I Support the Fast-Food Workers Strike (The Nation)

In Washington, the agenda of corporations too often trumps the agenda of America’s middle class. Corporate leaders call and politicians answer. But when the working class calls to tell its representatives about the jobs that have disappeared because of bad trade deals or the paychecks that are smaller than they were twenty years ago, no one answers. Workers have stopped calling. They know the only way politicians see the light is if they feel the heat. Today, thousands of fast-food workers will be out in the street demanding a higher wage, dignity and the opportunity for a better life. They’re doing it because they have families to feed, parents to look after and basic needs that can’t be met at $7.25 an hour.

Photos: 1 (Source); 2 (Source); 3 (Source); 4 (Source); 5 (Source); 6 (Source

cartoonbrew.com
Storyboard Artist Accuses 'Chipmunks' Maker Bagdasarian Productions Of Unethical Behavior

“Last night, Los Angeles-based animation industry artist Maddie Taylor posted a public Facebook message accusing Alvin and the Chipmunks owners Bagdasarian Productions of unethical industry practices.

According to Taylor, who is a veteran with two decades of experience in animation:

I will tell you that Ross Bagdasarian [Jr.] fired me AFTER I completed my board. In an incredibly offensive email, he told me the whole second half was unusable. He informed me, as per an agreement I didn’t read closely enough (that is on me), that he was only paying me half of what was agreed to. Upon seeing the finished animation later, HE USED MY ENTIRE BOARD SHOT FOR SHOT!

Taylor felt compelled to share her experience as a ‘warning’ to other artists, after seeing a notice online that Bagdasarian is currently hiring storyboard artists. Bagdasarian Productions most recently produced the TV series ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks, which airs on Nickelodeon in the United States.

In the comments of Taylor’s post, other artists who have recently worked for Bagdasarian Productions claim similar experiences in which they were paid less than initially contracted for.”

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54 arrested in LA during Walmart protest
November 8, 2013

Dozens of Walmart workers and activists were arrested last night protesting the company’s labor practices and retaliatory behavior in Los Angeles’ Chinatown last night in what organizers are calling the largest act of civil disobedience in Walmart history.

Workers, clergy and activists sat down in the middle of Cesar Chavez Avenue in a circle outside the company’s new Chinatown store last night. Some 825,000 Walmart workers make less than $25,000 a year, workers say. Richard Reynoso is one of them, despite having a rare-for-Walmart full-time position as an overnight stocker.

“I got arrested today because I believe that taking this step will encourage others to be brave and step forward and stand up to the world’s largest retailer,” Reynoso said in a statement. “Walmart can’t silence me.”

The civil disobedience followed a protest outside a Walmart store in the working class Los Angeles suburb of Paramount, where 100 people gathered. The actions are supported by OUR Walmart, a union-backed workers group which organized the first strike in Walmart history last year. 

Source

16 Reasons to Eat Vegan in 2016

1. Protect Animals From Abuse and Neglect

Animals on modern factory farms are subjected to extreme confinement, mutilations without painkillers, and a merciless slaughter.

2. Battle Climate Change

Climate change is easily one of the biggest issues threatening our very existence on the planet. By ditching meat and other animal products, you’ll significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Save Money

A vegan diet is loaded with inexpensive fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, beans, nuts, and more! Click here for seven tips for eating vegan on a budget.

4. Protect Endangered Species

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, reducing meat consumption is one of the best ways to save wildlife, including endangered species.

5. Prevent Disease

Many of today’s top killers are directly related to what’s on our plates. A vegan diet has proven helpful in preventing diabetes and cancer.

6. Help Feed the Hungry

To put it simply, there are over 800 million people who do not have enough to eat, while 90 million acres of land are currently used to grow corn to feed factory-farmed animals.

7. Save Water

It takes 576 gallons of water to produce one pound of pork, 880 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk, and a whopping 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.

8. Lose Weight

Last year, a study conducted by the University of South Carolina found that a vegan diet is best for weight loss.

9. Stave Off Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

The practice of cramming animals together on factory farms while pumping them full of antibiotics creates a breeding ground for dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

10. Protect Workers From Unsafe Conditions

Factory farm workers are exposed to countless workplace hazards, including injuries, respiratory illness, PTSD, and exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In fact, the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that 10 out of 22 workers who were tested carried potentially deadly bacteria.

11. Prevent Pollution

Animal excrement and other agricultural runoff from large-scale farms has polluted nearly one-third of rivers in the U.S.

12. Preserve the Rainforest

The World Bank reports that the majority of Amazon deforestation has been to clear land for cattle grazing and growing feed for farmed animals.

13. Respect Farmed Animal Intelligence

According to Christine Nicol, a professor of animal welfare at Bristol University, chickens are capable of mathematical reasoning and logic, including numeracy, self-control, and even basic structural engineering. These traits are not seen in children until the age of four.

14. Live Longer

According to a report published in Men’s Journal, a large-scale study of 73,000 Americans shows that eating a vegetarian diet promotes longevity.

15. Enjoy Delicious New Foods

With the wide array of delicious plant-based foods on the market, there’s never been a better time to ditch meat, dairy, and eggs.
For a list of meat and dairy alternatives, click here.

16. Create a Better World

Factory farms, and the widespread problems they create, are simply out of step with the values of the majority of Americans. We can all work towards a less violent, more compassionate (and sustainable) world just by eating vegan versions of our favorite foods.

So there you have it! 16 great reasons to eat vegan in 2016!

Click here to take the pledge to go veg in 2016, and we’ll send you a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide along with a bunch of tips and tricks to make the transition easy!

Click here for a list of things every new vegans need to know.