Organizing

RSS

Fast Food Global Day of Action Spreads Message of Higher Wages and Workers’ Rights

McDonald’s workers from around the world held a fast food global day of action to call on higher wages and better working conditions in the fast food industry.

McDonald’s workers from around the world held a fast food global day of action to call on higher wages and better working conditions in the fast food industry.

May 15 was a global day of  action for fast food workers. Building on the $15 per hour campaign, workers on every continent where McDonald’s operates participated in the action to take a stand for fair wages and the right to form a union.

In Geneva, Switzerland, the RWDSU joined the UNIA and IUF  affiliates in an action outside of a McDonald’s to fight for fast food workers’ rights.

More information on the fast food worker global campaign can be found at http://fastfoodglobalorg/. An online petition to support fast food workers is also available at http://lowpayisnotok.org/fastfoodglobal/.

Tyson Poultry Plant Sanitation Workers Join the RWDSU

Sanitation workers at a Tyson poultry plant came together to join RWDSU Southeast Council to have a union voice like the RWDSU members who currently process poultry in the same plant.

Sanitation workers at a Tyson poultry plant came together to join RWDSU Southeast Council to have a union voice like the RWDSU members who currently process poultry in the same plant.

More than 30 QSI Contract Sanitation workers came together for a union voice on the job and voted to join the RWDSU Southeast Council. The workers in Buena Vista, Georgia, work sanitation inside a Tyson poultry plant. Workers at QSI Contract Sanitation say they needed a voice on the job to address the lack of a grievance procedure and improve their jobs at the plant.

“Every one of us voted to join the RWDSU. We are looking forward to seeing improved working conditions and higher wages in the near future,” said Leon Burke, a five-year employee at QSI.

The poultry processing workers at the Tyson plant are already members of the RWDSU and played a critical role in assisting QSI Contract Sanitation workers win a union voice. After speaking with their RWDSU co-workers, QSI workers realized the only way they could resolve the lack of a grievance procedure and improve their jobs was by joining a union and negotiating a union contract.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of the RWDSU Tyson steward leadership and members,” Burke continued.

New York City Elected Officials Show Support for “Carwasheros” and Worker Justice at Assembly

New York City elected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, told RWDSU “carwasheros” that they support their right to join a union and their fight for economic justice.

New York City elected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, told RWDSU “carwasheros” that they support their right to join a union and their fight for economic justice.

Top elected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, told some 200 “carwasheros” and their advocates that they support their fight for economic justice and the right to join a union.

In the two years since the Wash NY campaign began with the support of New York Communities for Change, Make the Road New York, and the RWDSU, workers at eight car washes have voted to unionize and have won contracts at six locations.

The three-year contracts include wage increases, job security, fair scheduling, protection of their tips, personal days and paid holiday bonuses for Christmas and New Year’s Day. Workers have been motivated to organize by unfair labor practices and bad working conditions, which have been found at car washes across the city, including below-minimum-wage pay and wage theft.

This Car Wash Worker Assembly began because the carwasheros decided to have one day out of year to come together, celebrate the victories of the campaign and set goals for the year.
One topic of the Assembly was the recent $3.9 million settlement between Attorney General Schneiderman and car wash owner John Lage over unpaid wages, and underpayments of state unemployment and workers compensation benefits on his workers’ behalf.

The campaign won successful strikes at the Sunny Day Car Wash in the Bronx, and Jomar and Off-Broadway Car Washes in Queens, saved the jobs of workers at the Soho Car Wash, secured six union contracts and brought about significant change in how workers are treated, even at non-union car washes.

“We are here at our Assembly today because united we are stronger,” said Ernesto Salazar, an El Salvador native who works at Webster Car Wash in the Bronx. “We are here with the most powerful people in New York City to ask them to continue to support us and to show that we are not alone and we will win!”

Another worker, Miguel Portillo, who works at Jomar Car Wash in the Bronx, said, “This Assembly is very important to us. We want all carwasheros in New York City to come together and join our fight. When we have every carwashero fighting, I know we can win. We can win more than we can imagine.”

Organizers also spoke about the Car Wash Accountability Act, which Speaker Mark-Viverito has introduced in the City Council. It would require licensing, transparency and best-practice standards. Car washes would face stiff penalties for fraud, misrepresentation or other violations. Charitable groups and others that conduct car washing to raise money would be exempt.