Today, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that McDonalds is a co-employer, along with its franchisers, of McDonald's workers. Throughout the efforts to organize and the Fight for $15, McDonald's has stated that they are not responsible for setting employees' wages, pointing the finger instead at franchise owners. Today's ruling will have huge implications for the campaign to organize fast food workers in Boston and across the country. More importantly, it is a direct result of workers organizing and fighting back against corporations who refuse to take responsibility for injustices against workers!
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On July 2nd, Massachusetts passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, after 4 years of hard work and campaigning by domestic workers, organizations, and community partners. Massachusetts is the 4th state in the U.S. to have a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights! Congratulations to the domestic workers and partners who worked hard on this!
Check out video coverage here.
Friday, July 5th from 9:00 a.m. - 5: 00 p.m. For more information, check out the flyer below (attached flyer) or contact Lily at 617-599-6785 or email@example.com
Just last month, government regulators fined student loan provider Sallie Mae $97 million plus restitution for overcharging student borrowers, but the US Department of Education still refuses to end its contract with the company, placing debtors at risk of further exploitation.
Join us on Wednesday, June 25 to put Sallie Mae and the Department of Education on trial for perpetuating the student debt crisis. Hear testimony from student debtors and help us deliver our verdict to the Department of Ed! You can RSVP here.
For more information, contact Gillian: firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-524-8778
#Not1MoreDeportation Rally June 11th, Worcester City Hall
by Evelyn Sanchez Gonzalez
Every day hundreds of immigrant families are split apart. Students are graduating without their mom or dad not because they are ill or pre-occupied, but because the Obama administration has deported them. There are more single parents taking their children to school not only because of escalating cases of divorce, but because our government does not want to grant deferred action to all.
Mass. Jobs with Justice recognized the need for a real, comprehensive immigration reform as well as Obama’s administrative power give Deferred Action to all immigrants and took it to organize a #Not1MoreDeportation Rally in Worcester, MA when President Obama came to town to speak at a high school graduation. Natalia Berthet, immigration rights organizer for Jobs with Justice and Cairo Mendes, leader of the Student Immigration Movement, organized the rally near Worcester Technical High School where a group of 60 gathered with frustration and hope, but most of all conviction to say “Not one more!”
Each supporter, including myself, chanted at full human lung capacity in hope that President Obama, who would be congratulating Worcester Tech High graduates, would at least notice. I held a poster a fellow co-intern made with a poignant picture of a lonesome little girl saying, “Where is my daddy?” In solidarity, other local Worcester groups held posters saying, “Stop Racist Deportation” and “Release the Families.”
About 15 people shared their stories relating to immigration, most of which brought tears to my eyes. Though all of the speakers had varying life experiences, all had one common characteristic: They are hard-working tax-payers who just want to live and work safely. They are like any other American, Canadian, or Australian human being. Gonzalez, undocumented, pointed out that despite his situation he had nothing to lose in his fight because he had already lost it all. “Last year, I lost four family members – two cousins, my aunt and my grandfather,” he said. “It’s been 13 years since I’ve seen my daughter. I had to leave her when she was 8 months old. That’s why I’m here, fighting because I’m tired of this injustice.”
While some are losing everyone in their family to the deportation epidemic, others are simultaneously recognizing the arbitrary nature of documentation and citizenship status. I was lucky enough to be born within two border lines. But we cannot leave the safety and rights of human beings to serendipity. Neither can we allow our government to be ruled by a hypocritical rhetoric which deports human beings on the basis of not having a paper, when the founders of this country were in fact undocumented themselves. We have to do anything and everything in our power to grant deferred action for all.
June 12th #Wage Action, Boston
by Kristen Estabrook
On June 12th, I had the honor of attending one of three rallies in Massachusetts in support of low-wage workers. In Worcester, Springfield, and Boston, workers, activists, and allies took to the streets, in an effort to raise the minimum wage. I was one of 1,000 supporters who gathered in Copley Square. As the band played “Takin’ it to the Streets,” I mingled with people young and old, workers and professionals, many holding signs and banners that read “Raise the Wage,” “#WageAction,” “Fight for $15,” and “Stand Up, Live Better,” among many others. Workers told their stories of being undervalued and undercompensated, sharing their individual experiences of suffering from 9:00 – 5:00, or other, more burdensome shifts. The crowd of us was so vast that I could not see the beginning or the end of our activist parade as we marched, and that was exciting. We took up three lanes of traffic. I felt inspired by our numbers, and by the power of unification between workers and organizers. People passing by on sidewalks paused, and shoppers and business owners gawked, leaning their foreheads against storefront windows, on first, second, third, and fourth floors. They were curious enough about our commotion that they paused their hectic days to read our signs and understand our purpose.
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice’s own Gillian Mason concluded the march with a heartening speech about fighting for change, and resisting surrender despite intimidating and oppressive institutions. I am proud to have joined fast food, retail, university, transportation, homecare, healthcare workers, and activists and volunteers from Massachusetts Jobs with Justice and similar grass-roots coalitions, making our voices heard and vocalizing our support for one another. This gives me hope.
On June 12th, workers from different backgrounds along with labor, faith, and community groups hit the streets to let corporations and politicians know that Low Pay is NOT Okay!
This statewide #WageAction drew around 1,000 people out to Boston, as well as large crowds of workers and supporters in Worcester and Springfield. From fast food workers to Personal Care Attendants, workers from all walks of life came together to share their stories and demand fair wages.
Check out the attached press round-up for more reflections and information!
Please make sure you RSVP if you're planning to attend so we can order enough refreshments for everyone and keep you up-to-date on schedule changes.You can RSVP by e-mailing email@example.com or calling our office at 617-524-8778.
There's just 2 weeks left to collect signatures for Raise Up Massachusetts! Join Mass JwJ for signature-gathering by e-mailing Russ Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
At Walmart stores across the country, many employees are afraid to say they're pregnant for fear they will lose their jobs or be forced to take early leave they can't afford. Sign this petition and demand the company update its pregnancy policy now!
The community, labor, faith, and student groups in the attached letter have signed on to support fast food employees as they fight for $15/hour and a union! Will you join them in solidarity with the #FastFoodGlobal movement? Sign today!