• Stop Sexual Harassment at Trader Joe's Brookline
    We, a group of crew members at Trader Joe’s Brookline (Store 501 in Boston) who wish to remain anonymous, have witnessed our coworker sexually harass female employees on a regular basis. On July 24th, a report of sexual assault and several sexual harassment complaints were filed against this person. We demanded the perpetrator’s immediate termination, as stipulated by the company’s zero tolerance policy toward sexual misconduct. We were confident that these statements corroborated by multiple crew members, both in terms of specific incidents against female coworkers and general patterns of behavior, would be received with due seriousness. We trusted the management team at Trader Joe’s Brookline to take immediate and appropriate action and remove these negative influences from our work environment. On August 5th, store management announced their decision to not pursue any action against the perpetrator. They claimed that multiple statements did not provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt and that the investigation turned into a “he said, she said” case as the perpetrator denied the complaints. The official website of the company states that at Trader Joe’s, “we value open communication and are committed to listening to our Crew.” “We structure our entire business around supporting the Crew Members” and “Behave with integrity—we treat others how we would like to be treated.” We strongly believe that Trader Joe’s decision to not terminate the perpetrator violates the company’s core values and sends us a message that sexual misconduct is acceptable in the workplace and our integrity is to be called into question; that we will be punished for addressing the issue, as evidenced by the fact that our coworker was fired immediately after confronting the perpetrator; and that we will face retaliation for working to make our store the best it can be for crew members and customers alike, should we run afoul of employees favored by store management. We stand against continuous sexual harassment at Trader Joe’s Brookline and believe that store management failed to listen, support, and act according to the golden rule. We demand the immediate termination of the employee that has both insinuated and instigated sexual behavior towards female coworkers and ask for your support in seeking justice for the immediate victims and other crew members affected by the offensive workplace environment at Trader Joe’s Brookline. We urge you to sign and share this petition at bit.ly/tjharassment, spread the word using #traderjoesharassment, and use your power as Trader Joe’s customers to talk to store management at Trader Joe’s Brookline about the company’s policies and actions taken to address the issue in person or over the phone at (617) 278-9997.
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    Created by 501 Crew Members Picture
  • Say the words! Solidarity means saying "Black Lives Matter"
    Recently Whole Foods workers have been sent home for wearing Black Lives Matter paraphernalia at work, on the grounds that they are somehow controversial. Respectfully, we beg to differ. As an Amazon employee, and a Black American descendant of enslaved peoples in this country, I must say, that anyone who believes that the words Black Lives Matter, are controversial suffers from an unfortunate delusional state induced by years of conditioning in white supremacist ideology. Workers should not be forced to choose between earning a living, and asserting that the lives of other human beings have value. Whole Foods is wholly wrong to have ever enforced this policy. Nothing short of a full throated apology and a sincere commitment to sit down, shut up, and LISTEN to us, will do at this point. This is not a request. It is a demand. Words have meaning, and you can't claim to be in solidarity with the Black community, and then show the reckless indifference to Black and Latinx lives that Amazon is demonstrating currently. While you're here sign our petition to shut down DSF4 for deep cleaning. We've had 3 confirmed cases of COVID 19 reported in the last month and management is lax about enforcing social distancing unless it's to get rid of an organizers like Hibaq Mohamed or myself. Workers should not be retaliated against for speaking up for the safety of themselves and their colleagues. Standing in solidarity in the fight against systemic racism and injustice means being willing to say that Black Lives Matter AND act on that truth by treating Black employees with the dignity and respect that we deserve.
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    Created by John Hopkins
  • Let Amazon MTurk Workers Unionize
    "Gig workers" and "crowd workers" are among the most underpaid and exploited workers in the twenty-first century. While there have been efforts to unionize gig-workers at platforms like Uber and Lyft, efforts to unionize their "crowd worker" counterparts have been rare. This is a petition that supports the rights of crowd workers at the world's largest crowd work platform - Amazon's Mechanical Turk - to unionize and collectively bargain for better wages, just like workers in any other industry. Under the National Labor Relations Act, all workers have the right to collectively bargain, and workers at MTurk should be no exception. Please sign this anonymous petition to voice your support for the rights of MTurk workers to unionize.
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    Created by Gagan Atreya
  • Open the Books on UCPD
    On June 10, President Zimmer announced austerity measures, including voluntary and mandatory furloughs and the suspension of University contributions to retirement plans. Union-represented staff have been asked to approve cuts to their retirement plans in order to avoid possible layoffs. This is on top of freezing all non-contractual raises across campus and cuts to our collections budget in the Library, which pays for resources like books and journals. The release of the budget is necessary to show how much has been spent, and is budgeted to be spent, on the UCPD. This information is needed to understand the fairness of the cuts to the Library and other units, and to understand the spending priorities of the University. Questions about police spending are more important than ever Much of the campus, city, and the nation understand this. We view the question of UCPD’s budget as directly relevant to the austerity measures that have been imposed upon us without our consent amidst calls from University administrators to embrace antiracism. If Provost Lee believes that “the Library reflects the University of Chicago’s aspiration to be the most dynamic research and learning environment in the world,” then we need a transparent budget to demonstrate that such professed priorities align with actual spending. If President Zimmer wants our community to do the work of “[a]ddressing racism and creating positive and sustainable change,” then we need immediate concrete steps to dismantle racist policies and policing on campus. We agree with #CareNotCops that UCPD has failed to create a safe environment on campus and the surrounding community. As library workers, we know firsthand the centrality of the library to research and education. We also know that many patrons consider the library a refuge from a toxic campus environment. But we acknowledge that the Library has failed to be a refuge for some. There must never again be a patron who is subjected to police brutality in the Library. Like #CareNotCops, we too want “the space to dream and build truly liberatory and collective safety for all.” As library workers, we are often placed in potentially dangerous situations. These situations are likely to be more common now that on site workers are responsible for enforcing social distancing regulations and patrons are more likely to be in heightened states of stress. We are not experts in de-escalation or mental health crises. Currently, if we are in immediate danger our choice is either to call armed law enforcement, who have a record of using violence and racial profiling, or to attempt to defuse the situation on our own, which could put ourselves or patrons in danger. We need a better option. We deserve a better option. For this reason, we also endorse the statement of the Maroon Editorial Board. The University must immediately transition to an unarmed, emergency management service that is aligned with anti-oppressive principles. If this University truly prioritizes research, education, and the safety and well-being of its community, then we demand that its leaders show this.
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    Created by Library Activist Network at UChicago
  • Calling For Diversity & Inclusion in LeadVenture Culture and Products
    Team members at LeadVenture have noticed that we provide our website and digital marketing services to a predominantly white, male industry. The images and marketing material our OEMs provide us with strictly reflects this. We believe this spreads the message that the outdoors (in recreation and work) only holds space for white men. Since we provide our marketing services to companies that encourage people to get outside, we are at the forefront of being able to advocate for inclusion in the outdoors. To better serve our clients and their customers, we need to ensure that all feel welcome. We believe it is of the utmost importance for LeadVenture to publicly and actively support the Black Lives Matter movement. We would like to see more diversity among our coworkers to help provide new insight, fresh ideas, and to offer a better overall product for the customers. We would also like to coordinate with our OEMs to provide us with imagery and material that feature people who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, and marginalized genders and sexualities with their products. Manufacturers (whose products we market) like Harley-Davidson, Polaris, Honda, and John Deere have already pledged their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. There is nothing that should hold us back from encouraging them as well as other OEMs to help us reach and embolden a more diverse audience in the outdoor industry. We need your support to help fight racism and discrimination in the industries that we serve. We cannot allow an opportunity for betterment to pass us by. Join us and sign our petition to have LeadVenture take action towards making a more inclusive and diverse workplace and outdoor space for all. For a few actions we’d like to see in particular, please see below. We Ask That: - LeadVenture commit to making an active, ongoing effort to improve hiring practices to promote a diverse team. - LeadVenture and sub companies publicly announce their support of BLM on social media and internal emails - LeadVenture match employee donations to NAACP when feasible - LeadVenture use their already established connections to OEM’s to request more diverse stock images and marketing material - LeadVenture sponsor voting day off for employees to go vote, or a ballot drop box in vote-by-mail states Sources: Harley-Davidson: https://www.visordown.com/news/general/harley-davidson-stands-george-floyd Polaris: https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/polaris-dealer-losses-store-racist-black-lives-matter-posts-200623145146510.html Honda (and other automotive brands): https://thenewswheel.com/auto-industry-response-to-black-lives-matter-protests/ John Deere: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/john-deere_together-we-will-create-lasting-change-activity-6677215397114064897-eNPo
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    Created by Mia L and Jesika L
  • Justice 4 Edwin Medina
    We are outraged over LA’s BEST’s decision to embolden bigotry and terminate Edwin Medina’s employment after 16 years of dedicated service. LA’s BEST fired an exceptional leader because he dressed in drag to our end-of-year Zoom costume meeting on June 12. Edwin’s termination completely contradicts OUR organizations’ values of “sparking curiosity, expanding horizons, and strengthening relationships”. This is especially unacceptable and inexcusable given the context: It is Pride month, and we are in the middle of a new wave of the Civil Rights movement. We have suffered loss, financial stress, and social isolation due to COVID19. LA’s BEST is in the middle of a budget crisis and making cuts where you can to the detriment of our organization’s values and mission. Pride, Drag, & Bad Bunny It was a “meaningful choice” for Edwin to show his PRIDE, especially when LA’s BEST has been startingly quiet on the social issues of the moment. Edwin dressed up in drag as Bad Bunny in “Yo Perreo Sola”. This music video was released March 27, and featured Bad Bunny in drag. Billboard describes the music video, and Bad Bunny’s drag, as “visually eye-opening (and) conscientious, talking about respect for women and highlighting the LGBTQ+ community, a departure for Latin urban music”. By removing one word from LA’s BEST’s BLM statement, the hypocrisy becomes clear: “Through our afterschool enrichment program, we strive to combat the disparities created by oppressive and systemic … inequities and work to prepare our students and staff to become changemakers in our communities. We are all deeply connected to each other, and we remain committed to strengthening those connections through compassionate, positive youth development.” That starts with how you treat your employees. “Drag” is borderline synonymous with “queer”, and we regret that our unnamed colleague and LA’s BEST decided to punish Edwin’s personal expression with termination. During this historical moment, the Supreme Court has ruled that an employer cannot fire someone for being homosexual or transgender. Gender identity and expression should now be protected in the workplace. Edwin Medina should not have been terminated. Leadership Edwin was a stellar leader at LA’s BEST. He did much of the “dirty work” during the COVID19 crisis, discussing budget cuts with us, giving reassurance, and helping us navigate the shift to distance learning. Moreover, relationships were Edwin’s specialty - with his staff and with our kids. He offered us guidance, and as his staff, we always knew we could go to Edwin. He supported us through short staffed days, taking on groups of his own. He advocated for our professional and personal development. Edwin Medina was one of the BEST advocates and leaders among us. Edwin was comfortable being himself, and he empowered us - adults and youth - “to explore and discover the opportunities in (our) lives”. He “inspired and prepared (us) to create lives full of choices”, and you fired him for his choice to wear drag to a costume party. Unfortunately, many of us do not feel safe at LA’s BEST anymore. We believe the actions of our unnamed colleague and of LA’s BEST are rooted in ignorance and bigotry. We do not feel comfortable working in an organization that emboldens ignorance. We especially share concern for the youth we work with, many of whom are or will be members of the LGBTQ+ community. Hate and discrimination do not belong in this organization.
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    Created by Jennifer McKenney
  • Starbucks Employees Support Black Lives
    The protests happening around the nation right now are trying to bring justice to the families affected by police violence and systemic racism. Starbucks can make a huge difference to the people in protest right now, including our own coworkers and family members. The requests in the letter may not seem to ask for a lot, but they would impact people in every city and would give Starbucks a legacy of supporting oppressed communities.
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  • Take a Stand with Crazy Mocha Workers
    We have dedicated ourselves to growing and sustaining Crazy Mocha because we believe in the value it brings to Pittsburgh’s communities. Many of us have worked for years to serve our customers with a high standard of customer service and care. We are valuable members of the business and should be treated as such. Instead, we have been ignored and treated as if we were of no importance to Crazy Mocha whatsoever. We haven't heard anything from the Company since March 26. Any information we've gathered has been from public news reports and social media. Our personal appeals for information are disregarded. Our comments are deleted from social media posts. We've already reached out to the Corporate team who is still working and received total radio silence. Even before this pandemic, when we've reached out to HR in the past, we've been told our concerns are invalid and to stop contacting them about our issues. Many of us have been manipulated by the company: we've been falsely promised benefits for which we weren't actually eligible, we've been told we'd make a higher wage for a shift and never paid that rate, we've been lied to about the nature of regular raises. We've had safety and security issues in stores and been told to just call 911. We have felt extremely disrespected and dehumanized, as if we're completely replaceable. We are a big reason that regular customers keep coming back and, first and foremost, would like this fact to be acknowledged. We look forward to being able to return to our jobs. We care enough that we would like to see changes so that we can continue to provide an excellent product and exceptional service like we always have. We just ask that our concerns are taken seriously and with heart.
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    Created by Crazy Mocha Employees
  • DLA Piper, Dump Forced Arbitration
    As a partner at DLA Piper, Ms. Guerrero alleges that she was sexually assaulted and harassed by another partner at the firm, then retaliated against for reporting this misconduct. [2] Ms. Guerrero is not alone in the treatment she has experienced while working for a law firm. A global survey found that one in three women report experiencing sexual harassment while working at firms. [3] Sex discrimination remains pervasive within the legal profession, and the upper echelons of the profession remain overwhelmingly white and male. [4] [5] Despite these shocking allegations, Ms. Guerrero is currently unable to take her claims to court. Instead, DLA Piper is attempting to force her into secret, binding arbitration in which the rules are stacked against her. Employees are far less likely to win in forced arbitration than they are in a court of law, and even when they do win, they recover far less than they would in court. [6] Despite the overwhelming evidence that forced arbitration enables workplace abuse and impedes access to justice for workers, DLA Piper remains unashamed of the practice. As recently as 2018, the firm proudly stood by their forced arbitration policy, stating that: “There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of dispute resolution process. It has been our experience as a firm that arbitration is a fair and efficient way to resolve internal disputes, and one that benefits all parties in what are often sensitive matters for everyone involved.” [7] DLA is one of only a handful of law firms that has continued to use forced arbitration for its own employees. Recent survey data shows that nearly 86% of law firms have rejected forced arbitration in employment contracts for all employees, making DLA’s continued use of the practice all the more troubling, especially for future lawyers considering their employment prospects. [8] Ms. Guerrero’s experiences at DLA Piper exemplify what is wrong with the legal profession. Rather than acting swiftly to protect its employees from workplace abuse, DLA Piper refuses to drop its harmful forced arbitration policy—perhaps because it is afraid of being held accountable for illegal behavior. Instead, it is forcing its employees to choose between the ability to vindicate their civil rights in a court of law and their job. As the future of the legal profession, we condemn DLA’s actions, and call on the firm to end its use of forced arbitration in employment contracts for all employees, including Ms. Guerrero, other lawyers, and all non-attorney staff. As Ms. Guerrero’s experience at DLA Piper vividly demonstrates, the legal profession is a long way from justice. DLA Piper can begin to rectify the harm it has caused by ending its use of forced arbitration, once and for all. [1] https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/people/d/de-verneuil-vanina/ [2] https://medium.com/@VaninaGuerrero/open-letter-womens-rights-at-dla-piper-1aaf2b330214 [3] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-14/third-of-female-lawyers-sexually-harassed-metoo-report-finds [4] https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/jones-day-accused-by-female-lawyers-of-sex-bias-unequal-pay-1 [5] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/27/us/paul-weiss-partner-diversity-law-firm.html [6] https://www.epi.org/publication/the-arbitration-epidemic/ [7] https://www.law360.com/articles/1105619 [8] http://www.peoplesparity.org/survey-says-law-firms-are-ditching-forced-arbitration-but-heres-how-to-avoid-the-ones-that-arent/
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  • Slack: Add a Block Button to Protect Victims of Harassment
    “Hey, do you know if I can block someone on Slack?” a friend texted me. Someone at her workplace had a crush on her, and he wouldn’t stop sending creepy messages over Slack—the platform she is required to use for many hours a day to do her job. She therefore couldn’t ignore it every time it pings her with messages, even though they were often from her harasser. Though she could attempt to avoid him physically in the office, as soon as she opened her computer, her dot would turn green. Because her coworkers need to know where she is, it meant he could see whenever she was online, too. He would immediately start messaging her; she felt like she had nowhere to hide. As it turns out, Slack does not have the functionality for a user to mute or block anyone. This is despite the fact nearly every social network now gives you the ability to block someone: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all offer easy ways to mute and block users, and they even have dedicated channels to help users through this process. But Slack technically isn’t a social network, even if it’s used socially. Slack views itself as a tool, an infrastructure for production and producing. From alumni organizations to conferences and meet ups, it helps businesses and employees plan, document, and work. The friend I mentioned earlier uses Slack as the main method of communication with her coworkers. Without it, she couldn’t plan meetings, share links, or document her progress for projects. You can’t simply choose not to use that tool without causing a significant workplace fallout. This is a scenario many women and marginalized groups suffer through: someone makes them feel uncomfortable, but if they raise the issue, it may reflect badly on them for overreacting. So they don’t say anything at all, and continue putting up with the microagressions. Online harassment can affect anyone, but it affects marginalized groups the most. On most social-media platforms, a victim can block a harasser and file a harassment report. But Slack doesn’t even mention harassment in their policies. In its “Acceptable Use Policy,” it only outlines that Slack cannot be used for inciting hatred or violence against individuals or groups. The company doesn’t have an official page—or even a blog post—on what to do when their product is used to harass people. Everyone should have the ability to mute, block, and generally augment their experiences online, because having the ability to tailor your privacy settings and how people can reach you creates safety. Ideally your workplace has a system in place to mitigate both online and offline harassment—but what happens if that person doesn’t stop? It’s time for Slack to catch up with other tech platforms and do more to protect victims of harassment.
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    Created by Caroline sinders
  • Demand the FMCSA take immediate action on Sexual Misconduct in Truck Driver Training Fleets
    On July 23, 2019 the FMCSA posted a request for comments to study what they called a “serious pattern of harassment and assault related crimes against female and minority male truckers.”. For over a decade, harassment and sexual assault in entry-level driver training programs has been well-documented and grossly overlooked by the trucking industry and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the regulatory agency that is tasked with overseeing safety in the trucking industry. We need a plan of action to address this pattern of abuse and bring about meaningful change NOW! The FMCSA has ignored widely available public information and extensive reporting on rampant sexual assault and rape long-endemic to the trucking industry. The FMCSA should immediately place carriers where sexual assault and rape continue to occur on probation—and disallow repeat offenders from recruitment to their driver training programs until they clean up their act. Without a meaningful and urgent implementation plan, the FMCSA’s request for comments is without teeth—a simple stalling technique and a free pass for the trucking industry. My name is Desiree Wood and I am the President and Founder of REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. (RWIT), a 501 (c) (6) organization. I am also a truck driver myself that experienced sexual misconduct and several potentially violent situations during my truck driver training from 2007-2008 at Covenant Transport, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a student truck driver, I was badgered to discuss sex with a co-driver and I also experienced intimidation, culminating in a violent altercation in which bleach was sprayed at my face. During this altercation, my wrist was badly injured while I tried to send an SOS message to the company over the Qualcomm, the only communication device available to me to seek assistance from my company. My co-driver forcefully yanked from my arms to prevent me from calling for help. I was left behind in New Mexico for several days, a place where I knew no one, while my violent co-driver that had sprayed me with bleach was permitted to continue driving the tractor-trailer. He was highly intoxicated after consuming five Long Island Ice teas and was permitted to operate the commercial motor vehicle on Interstate 40 while I was left behind. When I reported the incident to the Human Resources department at Covenant Transport, they told me they would investigate—but they never did. Even though the incident was likely captured by security cameras and I had filed a police report—the company instead turned their attention to me as a troublemaker. I formed REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. (RWIT) with other lady truck drivers as a protest movement and in a response to the ENABLERS IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY AND THE ABSENCE OF AUTHENTIC REPRESENTATION FOR WOMEN WHO WORK AS TRUCK DRIVERS. Our mission is to deliver highway safety through leadership, mentorship, education and advocacy. RWIT has formed into a growing community of women truck drivers that offers support to new truck drivers and we demand change in the trucking industry. RWIT is known as the “go to” organization when it comes to sexual assault and harassment in truck driver training; we offer support and resources to women entering the industry when they otherwise would have nowhere to turn, but it’s not enough. Over the past decade, I’ve personally received weekly distress calls and email from hundreds of women across the country who have had similar or worse experiences during their driver training. In just the past two years, distress calls to our organization have INCREASED at an alarming rate. SEPERATING GENDERS IS NOT THE ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM SINCE WOMEN HAVE REPORTED BEING ASSAULTED BY WOMEN BOTH PHYSICALLY AND SEXUALLY! The solution to this issue begins with removing rapists and harassers from truck driver training fleets along with the enablers that allow them to thrive. The FMCSA is directly responsible for overseeing entry-level truck driver training programs and they have blatantly ignored this issue long enough. No more paper tiger advisory committees and comment collections that deliver nothing and end up appointing known industry enablers to oversee the issues in these training fleets. Please sign this petition from the REAL Women in Trucking to call on the FMCSA to take immediate action.
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    Created by Desiree Wood Picture
  • Don't Let Law Firms Hide Harassment and Discrimination
    We believe these contracts are harmful because they shift claims related to mistreatment at work, such as discrimination, sexual harassment, or denials of family leave, out of court and into secretive proceedings that often unfairly favor the employer. Students who are expected to sign these agreements may have no notice of these policies until after they have accepted their offers. As a result, they have no meaningful power to negotiate these terms or seek alternative employment. NALP is uniquely positioned to gather and distribute this information to law students. We hope that NALP will use its influence to collect and disseminate this information, which is critical to us as we make important decisions about our futures. Specifically, we urge NALP to adopt the following questions: 1: Does your firm require any employees (including summer associates, first-year associates, paralegals, or other non-lawyer staff) to sign a mandatory arbitration contract, regarding certain or any types of disputes, as a condition of employment? 2: If yes, does this mandatory arbitration agreement include a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement which encompasses workplace misconduct? As the dominant organization in legal recruiting and career development, NALP’s leadership in this matter can effect meaningful change because it will empower students to make career choices that align more closely with their values. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue.
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    Created by Pipeline Parity Project Picture