Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fresh from the RSS farm: jobs news you might have missed

Okay, JwJ-ers. Here's some of the going-ons in and around the workplace that have caught our eye these past few days:

  • Immokalee Workers: McDonald's and Sudexo down, Wal-Mart and Publix to go. Coalition of Immokalee workers--the Floridian tomato pickers who visited Philly a few weeks ago with their chilling touring exhibit about contemporary slavery in the U.S.--recently had a victory in their struggle against mega-food company Sudexo. Next stop: big chain supermarkets like Walmart and Publix. (Via United Steel Workers' blog)

  • Everyone's getting psyched for the One Nation Working Together March on Oct. 2: CWA's Larry Cohen warns us not to miss the bus, and Mayor Nutter threw his weight behind it at a press conference yesterday (not to brag, but JwJ was definitely namedropped!). SEIU, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, NAACP, and a long and illustrious list of other allies are also on board.

  • UFCW continues its struggle up at Motts.

  • In the not-particularly-surprising department, a new report on the current economic situation finds that "New England states have too long viewed funding for public services and economic development as competing interests"--wrongly. In other words, we need to save our economy by targeting Wall Street, not by firing our librarians and social workers.

  • And finally, SEIU's fight for basic workers' rights at Express Scripts Inc. rages on. Says Express Scripts Inc. employee Ray Teachey:
    "We're not asking to be millionaires, we're just asking for fair wages, good healthcare and just a little bit of a better lifestyle," said Express Scripts Inc. employee Ray Teachey to the crowd assembled behind the Boilermakers Local 13 building.

Monday, August 30, 2010

9/15/2010 Day of Action

Demand fair jobs, full employment, and funding for public services.

September 15 is National JwJ's Jobs Emergency Day of Action.

Join Philadelphia Jobs with Justice as we demonstrate outside the Greater Phila. Chamber of Commerce. We need to tell big business that enough is enough: it's time for fair jobs, full employment, and funding for all of our essential city services.

When: 12:00 pm noon, Wednesday, September 15

Where: City Chamber of Commerce, 200 S Broad St. (NW Corner of Broad and Walnut, at the Bellevue)

Together, let's send a clear message to the millionaires and billionaires protected by the Chamber of Commerce: it's time to start hiring and end corporate tax breaks.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Target Ain't People

I never thought I'd say this, but... this might rival the Bad Hotel video from San Francisco.

Sign the petition and tell Target now: "I won't shop at Target until it stops spending money on elections. Companies like Target should stay out of elections, period."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things we found out from Google Reader today.

Here at Philly Jobs with Justice, we're gearing up for a pretty packed September: Labor in the Pulpit events, Labor Day, the National JwJ 9/15 Day of Action, and our work with Philly CES launching the direct action component of our campaign to raise funding for city services by making big business pay.

That doesn't mean, of course, that we aren't keeping our ear to the ground when it comes to labor issues in the news. Here are some pieces from today that we thought were interesting:

Sorry to be such a downer. Here's a video of penguins chasing a butterfly at the Philadelphia Zoo to make you feel better.

AFSCME Local 752 represents zoo workers, so it's totally relevant.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Freeloaders, Thugs, and Communists: Media Matters report on right wing media and union smearing.

If you haven't read it yet, you should: media monitoring group Media Matters just recently released a report on the systemic smearing of unions in right wing media.

Some choice material from the report:

  • Glenn Beck claims unions have "raped" police and firefighters. First of all, it would be remiss of me not to point out that this comment trivializes rape. Second, Beck's implication about unions and their relationship with public workers is is just wrong. Unions are the front line in the fight to preserve public funding for social services--and as we've seen in the fight against fire station brown outs this summer in Philadelphia, both the community and rank-and-file public workers support them.

  • Pretty much everybody on Fox seems to think unions are composed entirely of fat cats and thugs. Limbaugh's take on the Employee Free Choice Act, a piece of legislation that might have evened the playing field a bit for workers: "The Union Brass Knuckles Busting On Your Knees Act."

  • And my personal favorite, another Beck-ism: "even the Boy Scouts aren't safe from SEIU's thuggery."

Chances are that if you're reading this post, you've got at least a little bit of a workers' rights sensibility to you. If we want to win this fight, we need to be aware of the kind of virulent disinformation that the corporate-funded right wing media is spreading about the labor movement. Workers' rights are under attack. What do we do? Stand up, fight back.

But first, we need to know what we're up against.

link: Media Matters report on union busting in the media.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Idealists for Hire: Canvassing works, but is its success at the cost of its workers?

Gwen Snyder, Philly Jobs with Justice Executive Director - and formerly involved with area canvassers, was interviewed for an in-depth article published this week as the cover story in the City Paper. Click here for the complete story!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Paul Krugman: "I’m starting to have a sick feeling about prospects for American workers."

The New York Times--centrist liberal, sure, but hardly a bastion of radical economic thought--has finally begun to recognize the dire position in which American workers are increasingly finding themselves trapped.

Last week in a column titled "A Sin and a Shame," Bob Herbert detailed the ways in which corporations have exploited the economic downturn, using the recession as an excuse to take advantage of workers even as worker productivity has increased dramatically. Writes Herbert,

The recession officially started in December 2007. From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2009, real aggregate output in the U.S., as measured by the gross domestic product, fell by about 2.5 percent. But employers cut their payrolls by 6 percent.

Today, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman sounded additional warning bells. It's a bad scene, he says--1 in 6 unemployed or underemployed, average length of unemployment 35 weeks and growing. We can, and we have to, do something now--but he fears that politicians are biding their time until it's too late, waiting until a moment where they can call unemployment structural and unavoidable.

Concludes Krugman, "I’d like to imagine that public outrage will prevent this outcome. But while Americans are indeed angry, their anger is unfocused."

If ever there was a time for action, it's now. It's time to stand up and remind our elected officials that they are ultimately accountable to us, and that we, their constituents, demand aggressive action on job creation. Congress returns from recess September 10th, and the Jobs with Justice network is gearing up for a September 15th National Day of Action to let Congress--and our local officials-- know that America demands the creation of good jobs now.

Join us as we remind Congress: their bosses live on Main Street, not K Street.