Thursday, April 12, 2012
A solidarity request from our friends at CIW:

Food WITHOUT Integrity 
Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 3:00pm
Chipotle at 39th St. & Walnut (3925 Walnut)

Come join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers Saturday, April 14th as we call on Chipotle to live up to its ethical image and help put an end to farmworker exploitation. Chipotle has refused to come to the table with farmworkers to sign a Fair Food Agreement, which would secure a living wage and basic labor protections for workers in the fields of Florida. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) — an internationally-recognized farmworker-led organization — has reached groundbreaking agreements with ten of the world's leading food retailers, including Whole Foods and Trader Joe's

Chipotle has built it’s 1163 stores and $2.27 billion revenue on it’s image of serving “Food with Integrity.”  They claim to focus on ensuring the products they use “are grown, made and shipped without exploiting people.” Yet they refuse to sign a Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and put an end to injustices in their tomato supply chain. Chipotle clings to a go-it-alone approach that lacks transparency, rejects worker participation and, most of all, demonstrates no lasting commitment to upholding the rights of farmworkers. The steps the company claims to be taking fall far short of the substantive, verifiable and enforceable standards that other companies have embraced,  consumers have come to expect, and the situation requires.

Join us in calling on Chipotle to make real a commitment to Food With Integrity by signing a Fair Food Agreement with the CIW!

posted by gwen at 3:49pm
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Along with the Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee and HIAS Pennsylvania, we here at Jobs with Justice want to invite you to join us this Thursday for an important panel discussion on the impact of local and state-level immigration reform on our Commonwealth’s economy and politics.
Where: Liberties Bar, 2nd Fl, 705 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
When: Thursday, Feb. 23rd, 7:00 pm
Babette Josephs, State Representative, 182nd District
Wendell W. Young, IV, President, UFCW Local 1776
David Bennion Esq., Immigration Attorney
Jessica Hyejin Lee, Dream Activist 
Moderated by Judi Bernstein-Baker, Executive Director, HIAS Pennsylvania
Across our country, states and municipalities have proposed and passed dozens of draconian bills and ordinancesthat target undocumented immigrants. Closer to home, Bridgeport and Hazelton have attempted to drive “illegal immigrants” away by giving local law enforcement agencies the power to check citizenship documents and requiring that landlords and employers check immigration status. State Rep Daryl Metcalfe has recently introduced a package of particularly odious bills.

Hope to see you there!

posted by gwen at 2:27pm
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

At 5:30 pm today, workers will be marching from 1199c (1319 Locust Street) over to Hanhemann to protest their overt union busting.

As many of you know, healthcare workers from AFSCME 1199c are under attack. Hanhemann, a for-profit hospital in center city, is threatening to completely eliminate 200 certified nurse aides and ICU aides, replacing them with non-union workers.

What do we do? Stand up, fight back!

Let's join them and show our support at this critical moment!

posted by gwen at 4:58pm
Friday, January 6, 2012

So, the struggle against Verizon's efforts to cut their employees' family healthcare continues. Verizon workers just received this video, shipped to their homes by the company.

I'm floored, mostly by how transparently awful this company is. Most corporations try and sell workers on cuts will at least fake the pretense of socially positive messaging (Walmart's "we're one big family, take one for the team" narrative, charter school corporations "can't you see that exercising your bargaining rights hurt the kids?" nonsense). In no way am I saying that messaging marks those corporations' true intentions, but they're a savvy marketing ruse.

What's fascinating about this video is how brazen Verizon is about its attack on family healthcare--not just plans for for Verizon workers, but workers in general. To say that other Americans pay over $4,000 per year while wireline Verizon workers receive healthcare from their company reads to me like an indictment of the failure of American employers, and a testament to the importance of unions like CWA in protecting workers' rights.

And by far the funniest part: long tirades and powerpoints followed by an earnest executive announcing, "you've recently worked through a hurricane, floods, even an earthquake"--I mean, if you were a worker who had dealt with those conditions, wouldn't your immediate response be, "yeah, I did all that, and now you want to take away my kids' healthcare coverage?"

Maybe my ideology is getting in the way, but I simply do not understand how the company would think this was an effective appeal to its employees. I could imagine this as a ploy to turn the public against unions by describing hard-won decent healthcare as "cadillac," but the company didn't put this up on Youtube--it shipped this out to workers' households.

I guess the best way to view this is as an object lesson in corporate smugness and the total disconnect between executives and the reality of working people on the ground. The idea that hearing that slashing healthcare could be justified because it allows Verizon to invest in speedy customer service through decentralization (read: moving call centers overseas) could only seem like a valid argument to an executive or cynical executive.

How the hell does cutting healthcare and shipping jobs to underpaid folks in India improve the lives of workers (East Coast Verizon workers, American workers who pay for Verizon's services, or for that matter, exploited Indian workers)?

Anyway, I'll close with a treat---CWA's parody of the video above.

posted by gwen at 6:28pm
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Labor Working Group of Occupy Philly is issuing the following collaboratively written statement on the issue of relocation from Dilworth Plaza.
We, the members of the Labor Working Group, stand with Occupy Philly, and respect the decision-making process of the General Assembly.
The Labor Working Group aims to represent the broadest unity in the Philadelphia labor movement, and is comprised of a diverse representation of union organizers and labor activists who have been regularly involved with Occupy Philly. 
The Philadelphia labor community has overwhelmingly supported the Philadelphia occupation. However, we are concerned by developments that may compromise our ability to unanimously defend Occupy Philly at its current location, and wish to articulate a clear position on the question of relocation from a labor perspective. 
We support relocation for the following reasons:
1) Jobs. We recognize that the construction industry has been devastated by the current recession, and right now suffers from over 40% unemployment. This unemployment is creating great hardships for many working families.
2) Access. We recognize that many of our differently-abled brothers and sisters have advocated and fought for equal access to the public transportation hub at City Hall for decades, and are finally seeing their efforts come to fruition through the planned renovation of Dilworth Plaza.
3) Framing. We are concerned that the city has recently been able to use the issue of relocation to divide our movement and distract us from our core message of economic justice and democratic principles. The key issues for Occupy Philly must be movement-building, democratic process, and economic justice--not relocation. We have changed the national discourse; we must continue to do so.
4) Defensibility. The Labor Working Group stands strongly in solidarity with the rest of Occupiers and strongly supports our right to occupy a public space. In order to successfully continue our support and defense of Occupy Philly, however, the entire labor movement must be able to remain united on this issue. If Occupy Philly remains at its current location, the issues of job creation and accessibility issues will make it impossible for labor to sustain that unity. Further, we fear that should the General Assembly choose to stay at Dilworth Plaza, and should a police raid at that location occur, the Occupy Philly movement may be damaged irreparably.
We again reaffirm our commitment to the Occupy movement, and to the decision-making process of the General Assembly. We propose relocation as a strategic act of movement solidarity.
In solidarity,
The Labor Working Group

posted by gwen at 7:03pm
Sunday, October 30, 2011

Below is the proposal passed by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly on Wednesday October 26, 2011 in reclaimed Oscar Grant Plaza. 1607 people voted. 1484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained and 46 voted against it, passing the proposal at 96.9%. The General Assembly operates on a modified consensus process that passes proposals with 90% in favor and with abstaining votes removed from the final count.


We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.

posted by gwen at 2:25pm | tags: occupy philly, solidarity
Thursday, October 6, 2011

In case you've been living under a rock: The Occupy Wall Street is spreading. And it's coming to Philadelphia.

At Tuesday's General Assembly, more than 1,000 people representing Occupy Philadelphia voted to begin occupation THIS Thursday, October 6th, at 9 am at City Hall.

After the meeting, I was walking back to my bus stop with an organizer I respect a whole lot. He said this:

"I don't buy this whole 'it doesn't count because there are multiple issues' crap. People are mad. We know what we're mad about. And the corporations and politicians that have something to lose, they know what we're mad about, too--and that's why they're trying to dismiss this as meaningless."

I couldn't say it any better. Listen: there is a lot to be mad about. Labor knows it. The unemployed know it. You and I know it. And I genuinely believe that this occupation has the potential to be the opportunity we need to connect together and build our movement.

Will you join us in realizing that potential for true solidarity?

posted by gwen at 2:24am | tags: occupy philly, solidarity