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Indianapolis Retail Workers, Allies, Mobilize for Bill of Rights

Lift-RetailOn June 17, members of the newly formed Lift Retail Jobs Campaign, held a press conference to highlight the economic plight of local retail workers and  unveiled a Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights. The Lift Retail Jobs Campaign is a coalition of retail workers, local businesses, and community groups who  have a vested interest in improving the quality of retail jobs in Indianapolis.

The newly launched campaign is challenging retailers in Indianapolis to be better corporate citizens and support a Bill of Rights for retail workers which  promotes workplace protections so that all workers in this growing industry have a pathway to the middle class. The workplace protections include full-time work and access to hours; fair scheduling practices; access to healthcare benefits; and paid sick leave for both full and part-time workers.

Debra Hill, a retail worker with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, addressed the media and the assembled crowd of nearly 100 workers  and community supporters.

“We’re finally seeing jobs being created in our city again, but they’re mostly in these low-wage industries, like fast food, retail, and service work,” Hill said. “Our city can’t recover while hardworking people are paid poverty wages.”

Hill presented members of the Indianapolis City-County Council, including Pamela Hickman, Monroe Gray, and Kip Tew, with a copy of the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights.

The retail industry in Indianapolis is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and a significant employer of women and people of color; but many of these jobs are low-wage, part-time positions with erratic hours that are preventing retail workers from climbing up the economic ladder. A recent study conducted by the research and policy center Demos and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) notes that, nationwide, people of color in the retail industry are often relegated to lower-paid positions and given fewer hours. Thirty percent of women in the retail industry live in poverty or near poverty.

Jessica Dixon has 16 years of retail experience in Indianapolis. “When you work in the retail industry, you sacrifice so much for so little. The pay is low, scheduling is unpredictable, we don’t share in the company’s success when they profit, and we’re treated like we’re disposable,” Dixon said.  “A Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights would protect our rights and make it possible for people like me to imagine a future in this industry.”

For more information about the Lift Retail Jobs Campaign and the Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights, visit www.LiftRetailJobs.org.

Support #UFCWDads by Shopping Union-Made This Father’s Day!

IMG_0184Haven’t got a gift for dad yet? No worries! We’ve put together some great UFCW-made ideas for your Father’s Day shopping list!

When you buy union, you’re supporting the men and women who work hard every day to make and sell these quality goods. You’re also supporting good union jobs, that enable working parents to support their families with good pay and benefits. Unions are also on the forefront of legislative pushes for policies that benefit working families, like parental leave. Together, union families are working to make jobs work for all families.

Spirits:

Jim Beam

Knob Creek Whiskey

Personal Care:

Old Spice products

Pierre Cardin Cologne

Shoes:

Naturalizer Shoes

Red Wing Shoes

The Union Boot Pro Boots

New Report Sheds Light on Walmart’s Overseas Tax Havens

Nancy-PayYourFairShareAmericans for Tax Fairness released a new report yesterday that sheds light on Walmart’s placement of at least $76 billion in assets into an elaborate, undisclosed web of 78 subsidiaries and branches in 15 offshore tax havens, which may be used to minimize foreign taxes where it has retail operations and avoid U.S. taxes on those foreign earnings.

The report, titled The Walmart Web: How the World’s Biggest Corporation Secretly Uses Tax Havens to Dodge Taxes, shows that the retail giant has made tax havens central to its growing International division, which now accounts for one-third of the company’s profits. Walmart’s network of 78 undisclosed overseas subsidiaries in tax havens have no retail operations and few, if any, employees. Twenty-two of these paper companies are in Luxembourg alone, a country that plays a central role in the company’s tax haven network.

The retail giant has avoided scrutiny of its international tax dodging in the past by declining to disclose its tax haven subsidiaries on Exhibit 21 (“Subsidiaries”) of the company’s annual 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Companies use tax havens to dodge taxes. It appears that’s the secret game Walmart is playing,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “We are calling on Congress, federal agencies and international organizations to determine if Walmart is skirting the law when it comes to reporting its use of tax havens, using various schemes to dodge taxes, and getting a sweetheart deal from Luxembourg that is the equivalent of illegal state aid. Average Americans and small businesses have to make up the difference when Walmart doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes.”