Friday, July 20, 2012

Our blog has moved to!

Hey, Philly Jobs with Justice fans, supporters, and readers! Our blog has MOVED to

RSS Reader users, the feed is located here: feed://

Thursday, May 31, 2012

TODAY: 4pm, 440 Broad: Fight to save our public schools!

Protest at the School Reform Commission, Philadelphia School District headquarters, 440 N. Broad St 4:00 pm.

 Join the Philadelphia School District's unions and community partners in the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools for a rally at School District Headquarters as the SRC votes on next year's budget.  Let's stop the SRC's bare-bones budget and five-year plan to close, charter, and privatize schools and to outsource jobs.  Please note that the rally will start at 4:00, 30 minutes earlier than originally planned.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Protect our children--fight for schools

Tomorrow night is our Solidarity Awards Reception, and I hope you'll join us then.

In the meantime, however, I want to call on you to join us in putting our belief in solidarity into action around one of the most urgent crises our working communities face right now.

Our schools are under attack. Under Tom Knudsen, the School District of Philadelphia is threatening to:
  • Close 64 public schools;
  • Force 40% of students into private charters;
  • Turn all our schools over to outside operators;
  • Lay off twenty-seven hundred education workers unionized by SEIU 32BJ.
We can't stand for this. We ask you to join us tonight at Bright Hope Baptist Church at 6:30 (12th and Cecil B. Moore Ave.) for an emergency education community meeting hosted by our allies at Action United. Chief Recovery Officer Tom Knudsen and Mayor Michael Nutter have both been invited.

Tomorrow, we stand with 32BJ members and working families, fighting for the jobs of 2,700 bus drivers, janitors, bus attendants, engineers, and maintenance workers. These critical education workers have already received layoff notices from the School District, and we will be rallying with them in solidarity starting at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at MSB Plaza (15th & JFK), then joining them in marching at noon sharp.

Let's stand up for our children.

Let's stand in solidarity with the workers who serve our schools.

Let's stand up for education.

Daily Kos: Judge orders new union election at Target store, citing illegal intimidation

Unionbusting at Target:

Store management prevented workers from wearing pro-union buttons, threatened union supporters with firing, and said the store would close if workers voted for a union. In fact, the Long Island store in question is currently closed for renovation, a closure that Target claims had been long-planned and isn't related to the union effort, but which is the first time a Target has closed for renovation in several years.

Daily Kos: Judge orders new union election at Target store, citing illegal intimidation

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Open bar, good food, awesome people: Next Wednesday is our annual solidarity awards event, 5:30 pm at 1319 Locust Street!

Don't forget--a week from today, on 5/23 at 5:30 pm we celebrate our annual awards event! With an open bar, great awardees, and good food, it's an event you don't want to miss.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 23rd, 5:30 pm
WHERE: AFSCME 1199c Union Hall, 1319 Locust Street

We've heard from a lot of folks that price is a concern, and I want to make sure everyone knows: while we ask all who can to pay $75 a ticket, tickets are sliding scale for seniors, low-income, students, and the unemployed. While we ask everyone to give something, we do not want financial hardship to keep folks from the event.
Ticket payments can be made at the door, or mailed to: Philly JwJ, 1315 Spruce Street Ste 331, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

It'll be a great evening, and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the ways that the labor movement, Philly JwJ, Occupy Philadelphia, and other groups worked together last year to advocate for social and economic justice--and to celebrate the continuation of that work through projects like this month's crucial efforts to save our city school system.
As usual, we have a stellar slate of award recipients:

Henry Nicholas, President, AFSCME 1199c and strong Occupy supporter

Jody Dodd, Occupy Philadelphia Legal Collective organizer

Jim Savage, President, USW 10-1 and Occupy Philadelphia eviction night arrestee

Amanda Geraci, Occupy Philadelphia Safety Working Group and key Occupy organizer

Occupy Philadelphia, for its outstanding work in changing the local and national discourse

Come join us as we celebrate the hard work and audacity of these local activists. It should be a night to remember.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rally Tonght: Change Walmart Now!

On April 22, the New York Times reported that Walmex, Walmart's largest foreign operation, had passed more than $24 million in bribes to politicians to grease the wheels of its expansion in Mexico. The article described how, after discovering the corruption, the retail giant's U.S. management moved to cover up the scandal. A call for the resignation of the company’s top executives is mounting nationally.

What: UFCW Rally: Change Walmart Now!

When: May 9, 2012-- 5 to 7 pm

Where: Walmart Store #5891
2200 Wheatsheaf Lane (off Aramingo Ave.)
Philadelphia, PA 19137

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 23rd: Philly JwJ's 2012 Solidarity Awards!

It's been an amazing year of solidarity, reciprocity, and direct action. It's time to celebrate with an OPEN BAR, refreshments, and some fantastic honorees!

When: May 23rd, 2012, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Where: AFSCME 1199c Union Hall, 1319 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Join Philadelphia Jobs with Justice in recognizing the amazing organizing work of:

President Henry Nicholas (AFSCME 1199c; Occupy supporter)
Jody Dodd (Occupy Philly Legal Collective)
President Jim Savage (USW 10-1 and Occupy eviction night arrestee)
Amanda Geraci (Occupy Philly organizer)
Occupy Philadelphia

Individual tickets $75 ($10-30 sliding scale for low-income, fixed income, students, and unemployed). Mail checks to Philly JwJ, 1315 Spruce St, Philadelphia PA, 19107--or donate at door!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

4/13: CIW Rally at Chipotle for Farmworker Justice!

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!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tomorrow, 7 pm: Understanding the future of xenophobia in PA

Along with the Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee and HIAS Pennsylvania, we here at Jobs with Justice want to invite you tojoin 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!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5:30 pm today @ 1319 Locust St--March with workers protesting Hanhemann's union-busting!

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!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another example disproving the myth of the "selfish" public worker

Today's post is from our student intern, Zoe Cina-Sklar.

On the 5th of January, members of the teachers' union in Chester Upland School District voted to work for no pay because of their district's payroll deficit. They had already had a tough job: the area's graduation rate was only 44.8 percent in 2010, the average class size was over over 40 students, and student body was impoverished. The loss of $900 million dollars in federal funding last August further worsened the district's situation as 40 percent of professional staff and nearly 50 percent of support staff were laid off. Yet, even when they had far too few resources, they continued to work. And they plan to continue now, forgoing any monetary compensation for the sake of their students' continued education.

"I am not going to make any commitments to the teachers union to do anything until they do something that's other than in their own self- interest. And everything they have done so far is in their self-interests, and that's it." -Governor Chris Christie

Are these the unionized teachers who Christie claims act only in their self-interest? The ones who take from the state? Certainly not.

Across Pennsylvania and the entire United States, these public sector employees face increased class sizes, furlough days, pay freezes, lay offs, and, as in the case of Chester Upland School District, even a lack of pay all together. Yet, they continue their work (unless the have already been forced from their jobs). This is unfair and unsustainable. Soon, if no federal stimulus arrives in places like Chester Upland, the teachers will leave out of necessity in order to support their own families. And without these teachers, how will children get the education they need to be successful and a force of change for the better in this inequality-ridden world?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Verizon's Message to Workers

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.