• No one should get fired for speaking out
    My name is Shaheim Wright and I’ve been organizing with an amazing group of retail workers standing up for fair schedules in Philadelphia based on my own experience at PetSmart with last minute changes to shifts, no input on schedules from employees, not enough hours each week, and totally unpredictable and erratic hours every week. After I spoke to the press about my erratic work hours and why I support fair workweek legislation, I experienced retaliation for speaking out. My manager Kathy started to only schedule me for the 6:30AM shifts. There isn’t reliable public transportation available that early in the morning, so I had to take expensive cabs or leave at 5 AM to walk to work. I asked my manager if I could get any later shifts – and she told me she’d accept my “resignation.” I was nervous to lose my job but I knew I had an entire movement supporting me to continue speaking out for what’s right. That’s why I testified at the Philadelphia City Council about the impacts of these abusive scheduling practices on us and our community and why we need change. The day after the hearing, I showed up for my 6:30AM shift and I was not allowed to work. I’m completely devastated – I need this job. I support a household of seven. I did everything right, and I was fired simply because I stood up for what I believe in. I need my job back, but we also need a #FairWorkweekPHL because 130,000 fellow Philadelphians just like me shouldn’t be at the whims of our managers to get the hours we need. And I know we can win because we’re stronger together in a movement that’s unstoppable. Thank you for supporting our movement and continuing to speak out for what’s right. They can’t stop us.
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  • Matchbox: Respect Your Workers Rights!
    We would like fellow restaurant professionals (front and back of house) regardless of nation of origin, status, race, gender, age, or identity to know that you are not alone. You deserve dignity and respect at work: the law is on your side. Stand together and make your voices heard. We stand with you. (Nos gustaría que los profesionales de los restaurantes (igual los de enfrente y los de la cocina) sin embargo de su nación de origen, estatus, raza, genero, edad o identidad que sepan: usted no está solo. Todos merecen dignidad y respeto en el trabajo: la ley está de su lado. Permanezcan unidos y levanten sus voces. Nosotros estamos unidos con ustedes.) The company has declined to hear us. Please read our testimonies, and sign and share our petition in support. Thank you. (La compañía se ha negado a escucharnos. Por favor lea nuestros testimonios, y firme y comparta nuestra petición en apoyo.) Testimonies (Testimonios) ---------------------------------------- Maria D. I worked for the company for two years as a busser. I was paid $5.00 per hour plus $15-$20 in tips. This was my compensation regardless of whether I worked half day or a full day. When I was four months pregnant I was asked to move heavy boxes. I spoke up to let them know that those boxes were too heavy for me that far along in my pregnancy. They responded forcing me to move them and by shortening my schedule to two hours a week. The entire time I worked there they never allowed me to have rest or food breaks. I was never granted a paid sick day. (Trabajé para la compañía durante dos años como busser. Me pagaron $5.00 por hora más $15- $20 en propinas por día. Esta fue mi compensación independientemente de si trabajé medio día o un día completo. Cuando tenía cuatro meses de embarazo, me pidieron que moviera unas cajas pesadas. Les hice saber que esas cajas eran demasiado pesadas para mí a esa altura de mi embarazo. Respondieron con obligarme a moverlas y cortaron mi horario a dos horas a la semana. Todo el tiempo que trabajé allí nunca me permitieron descanso ni tiempo de comer. Nunca me concedieron un día de enfermedad pagado.) ---------------------------------- Maria O. I experienced a lot of discrimination up to and including verbal and physical abuse. On one occasion, I was working on the line with one other coworker making pizzas. The chef joined us on the line to help us because it got busy all of the sudden. He put the pizza into the oven using the wooden pizza peel and proceeded to throw it at me. He was obviously upset, so I just moved into a corner and kept trying to work. He would refer to me as a useless. When I was pregnant and I asked for a day off they would give me an unpaid day off and then take an additional day off my schedule for the week. On another occasion I was reprimanded for something I hadn't done. Because I was pregnant my blood pressure got so high I ended up in the hospital. Not once during my entire pregnancy was I allowed a break to eat. I honestly believe that the company takes advantage of people's need to work and discriminates based on gender and nation of origin. I started earning $11.00 per hour. I worked there for six years and never saw a pay increase, nor had a paid sick day. (Experimenté mucha discriminación e incluso abuso verbal y físico. En una ocasión, estaba trabajando en la línea con otra compañera haciendo pizza y el chef ejecutivo se unió a nosotros porque se puso muy ocupado de repente. Despues de haber metido la pizza al horno él procedió a tirarme la tabla que se usa para meter la pizza al horno. Porque el estaba obviamente muy molesto yo solamente me mudé a una esquina y seguí intentando trabajar. Él rutinariamente se referiría a mí como una babosada. Cuando estaba embarazada, si pedía un día libre para una cita con el médico, me daban un día libre sin pagar. Luego tomarían un día adicional de mi horario para la semana. Lo que de hecho me dejó dos días sin trabajo y pago en una semana. En otra ocasión, fui reprendida por algo que no había hecho. Debido a que estaba embarazada, mi presión arterial se elevó tanto que terminé en el hospital. Ni una sola vez durante todo mi embarazo se me permitió tomarme un descanso. Sinceramente, creo que la empresa aprovecha la necesidad de las personas de trabajar y discrimina en función del género y la nación de origen. Empeze ganando $11.00. Trabajé allí durante seis años y nunca vi un aumento en salario, ni tuve un día de enfermedad pagado.) ------------------------------------------- Santos M. I suffer from a disease that occasionally makes my hands and feet swell and causes a lot of pain. They never understood that some days the pain and swelling was so great I could not walk or hold anything without excessive pain. Instead of allowing me the time to treat the swelling so I could work better, the chef would pressure me to work faster while insulting me for my symptoms. I worked there for five years. The last day I worked there was because the chef told me I was of no use to him because of my disease. He told me to go home and he never wanted to see me again. (Yo padezco de una enfermedad que ocasionalmente hincha las manos y los pies y causa mucho dolor. Nunca entendieron que algunos días la inflamación era tan grande que no podía caminar ni sostener nada sin un dolor excesivo. En lugar de darme el tiempo para tratar la inflamación para poder trabajar mejor, el chef me presionaría para que trabaje más rápido mientras me insultaba por mis síntomas. Trabajé allí cinco años. El último día que trabajé allí fue porque el chef me dijo que no le servía para nada debido a mi enfermedad. Me dijo que me fuera a casa y que nunca más me quería volver a ver.)
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  • Pay Us What We're Owed
    My name is Michele Lindor and I am a former manager for BG’s Cowboy’s Saloon in Syracuse, New York. My experience working for BG Cowboy’s Saloon was short-lived but definitely memory packed. I was asked to join the BG team in February 2017. After 2 months of serving, I was promoted to service manager and then quickly took on the responsibility of bar management as well. My hours were strenuous and never ending; I even have slept in the restaurant before because my commute was too long for me to leave and then turn back for my shift in less than 3 hours. I was constantly left to deal with things quite literally by myself and received little to no help from the other management staff; i.e. continually being left as the only manager within the building on weekend nights with minimal training as a manager and no support. Many of my coworkers also experienced terrible treatment by the management team that was let go in July. Turnover is high in the restaurant industry, due to low wages, lack of benefits and strenuous work. Our turnover rate at BG Cowboy’s Saloon was no exception, especially for front of the house employees, where turnover was frankly astronomical and embarrassing due to the sub-minimum hourly wage, poor working conditions and the reputation acquired by the owner’s failure to pay bills rent and possibly even taxes to the State of New York. With the potential closing looming over our heads, instead of taking the easier route of calling it quits, leaving my coworkers behind and moving onto a new workplace, I worked extra hard to ensure that not only I had a job, but that my staff did as well. We banded together and collectively worked together to try and better the entire restaurant. For the last month, I was ensured that the restaurant had a future for the coming holiday season, so when I received the message through text on the morning of Saturday September 23, 2017 that our restaurant was indefinitely closing its doors and our “help” that was flown in from Florida was heading straight back to South Beach, I was shocked and outraged. Not only were our jobs non-existent, but so were our paychecks. Our paychecks dated 09/04/2017-09/10/2017 had bounced and we never received payment from 09/11/2017-09/22/2017. I personally am owed $1889.70. Because of the sudden change, I as well as many of my staff have had to apply for unemployment to receive some sort of repayment for the loss of wages from BG’s. Personally because of this job, I have taken hits to my own bank account by paying out of my own pocket for groceries and supplies for the restaurant because things with vendors soured when the employer failed to pay bills. As a result of going above and beyond, I have been living paycheck to paycheck. When the first paycheck bounced, I was left with $49 in my account and have been forced to live on credit. I, as well as everyone else, has had to scramble to find employment elsewhere. 4 weeks have gone by and we are still not paid for our time on the clock. It is all too common for people in our industry to be taken advantage of and disrespected. My coworkers and I from BG Cowboy’s Saloon went above and beyond for our employer. We deserve to be paid for the work we performed and to be treated with respect. Please join me in asking Bobby Genovese, the millionaire who owns BG Cowboy’s Saloon and BG Capital Group, to do the right thing and pay us the money we are owed and enter a dialogue about how similar situations at his other establishments can be prevented. Thank you,
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  • @ajmuste: Meet with the union about unjust termination!
    On August 17, program manager Jane Guskin was "terminated" on her return from vacation, after dedicating over 24 years of her life to the Muste Institute's social justice mission. Muste management claims the firing is justified, but has refused to discuss it with Jane or with our independent Muste Staff Union. Jane was active in the union and in our ongoing collective bargaining negotiations, and had recently been given a disciplinary "warning" related to her advocacy for a co-worker's rights. Her firing also came after she filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB on behalf of her co-worker, and after management suddenly told the union it was done negotiating over the collective bargaining agreement. In response to letters of solidarity with our union, management now says it will return to bargaining, but still refuses to discuss Jane's firing, claiming it's an "internal personnel matter." We disagree. The Muste Institute and our union are named for A.J. Muste, a labor activist and anti-war leader who was well-known for bringing people together in dialogue. What would A.J. do? We think he would meet with the union. By signing this petition, you can help us convince the Muste Institute board to meet with us. Your solidarity makes a difference!
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  • Stand for more than just profits
    We ask for these things to assert that Etsy's community, along with its board and senior leadership, should have a say in shaping Etsy's future. While a renewed sense of focus and experimentation is welcome, many of the abrupt and often disruptive changes over the past few months seem designed to address the demands of black-and-white capital, a hedge fund that owns around 2% of Etsy’s stock.[4] While black-and-white capital might buy or sell on Etsy (and we truly hope they do!), they do not represent the tens of millions of people that make up our community. It’s honestly hard to tell if they represent anything other than a desire to enrich themselves and their clients (their website, bandwcap.com, remained blank as of 7/28/2017). As employees of Etsy and members of the Etsy community, we believe that a business guided by a strong set of values, and in pursuit of an important mission, is worth fighting for. We value the long-term success of our sellers and buyers much more highly than the short-term profits of a hedge fund. Our goal is to give voice to the aspirations we have for Etsy as Etsy employees. We are calling for transparency from Etsy’s leadership, and asking for a commitment from the company that it will do right by its community for the long term, not just for the next earnings call. If you are a member of the Etsy community and you believe in this vision, add your name to support us as we deliver it to Etsy’s leadership. Links: [0]: https://www.etsy.com/mission [1]: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1370637/000119312515077045/d806992ds1.htm [2]: https://www.etsy.com/advocacy/economic-security-for-the-self-employed [3]: https://blog.etsy.com/news/2016/bringing-solar-to-the-etsy-community-and-running-a-carbon-neutral-marketplace/ [4]: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-05-18/the-barbarians-are-at-etsy-s-hand-hewn-responsibly-sourced-gates
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  • Uber/Lyft Corporate: STOP ABUSING DRIVERS!
    Labor Laws, protecting workers rights, were hard fought for and established long ago by organized labor workers - Many of whom gave their lives to establish the workers rights of today - However, despite the mistreatment of Drivers as LESS THAN EMPLOYEES and that legally UBER/LYFT should not be able to "dictate the manner in which we perform our services" - Despite all this, according to UBER/LYFT, Drivers are considered to be "Independent Contractors" if this is so then UBER/LYFT at minimal, must disclose to Drivers the full terms and conditions of each ride request, prior to ride acceptance by Drivers - A reasonable time period must be provided for Drivers to evaluate the details for each ride request being offered before deciding to accept (Offer & Acceptance -in contract law). If ride request is not acceptable to Driver then Driver has the right, as a true independent contractor, to refuse the ride request offered by tapping a REJECT button - To be included in the Driver App - with NO retaliatory threats of deactivation of Driver by UBER/LYFT. This REJECT feature would MAXIMIZE EFFICIENCY & PUBLIC SAFETY of App. BENEFITS - Saves valuable time for both Drivers and Riders by passing ride request IMMEDIATELY to next potential Driver. NO need to wait for ride request clock to timeout: • DRIVERS: IMMEDIATELY receive their next ride request much faster - Time is money - Practically eliminates cancellations - Better matching to desired Rider creates excellent ride experience - Reduced distracted driving & possible accidents by eliminating time delay to view their GPS • RIDER: - Greatly reduces wait time frustration and cancellations. - Better matching to READY, WILLING & ABLE Driver creates excellent ride experience It's a NO BRAINER how a simple REJECT BUTTON in App contributes to overall App Efficiency and Public Safety - Greatly reducing distracted driving and physically exhausted drivers causing accidents is a WIN-WIN-WIN situation for everyone! Implementing a smoother App platform functionality even benefits the environment by decreasing the overwhelming traffic congestion and resulting carbon footprint caused by inefficient operations of Rideshare vehicles.
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  • Matchbox: Respect Your Workers' Rights to Organize!
    Background: Ana Hernandez, Altagracia Reyes, Alejandro Roman, Lucas Efrain, and Angel Morales were all fired from their jobs at Matchbox throughout March, 2017. They believe that they were fired in retaliation for taking concerted action to protest unfair working conditions and have organized to take community and legal action. Read their testimonies below and add your signature in support! (Ana Hernandez, Altagracia Reyes, Alejandro Roman, Lucas Efrain, y Angel Morales salieron despedidos de sus trabajos en Matchbox en varias fechas en Marzo, 2017. Creen que han sido despedidos en represalia organizarse para protestar condiciones laborales injustas, y se han organizado para tomar acción comunitaria y acción legal. Lean sus testimonios aquí y agregue su firma en apoyo!) TESTIMONIES: Ana Hernandez: "I had been working for Matchbox in the kitchen for nearly 8 years when I was fired. I worked at Matchbox Chinatown for the majority of the time, until March 1, 2017, when they told me that I had to accept a transfer to Pentagon City or I would not have any more work. As soon as I started at Pentagon City, I saw the amount of abuses that there were there. There was no break, we didn’t eat all day, we didn’t even want to drink water because there wasn’t any time to go to the bathroom. The list of tasks for the prep workers is so long that I was never allowed me to leave on time to go to my English classes at night. I started a petition and asking my coworkers to sign to demand better working conditions. I had gotten eight signatures, when the sous chef asked my coworker Alta why I was asking for signatures. Three days later, the chef called me and said that he wanted to talk to me. The next day, after my shift, the chef called me over and fired me." Altagracia Reyes: "I have worked in the kitchen at Matchbox on various occasions since 2006, in Chinatown and Pentagon City. When I started at Pentagon City, they increased the amount of work and started being disrespectful. I signed Ana’s petition because I agreed with the goals. The day after Ana was fired, I had to defend my coworker, because she was being given too much work and she is a pregnant woman. I asked the chef to give us more staff to help us with the prep work. My coworker started to cry and explained to the chef that her doctor says the baby is underweight and that she isn’t allowed to eat all day. I stood up for her, but the chef said that it didn’t matter to him neither if anyone is pregnant or if we use the bathroom. The next day, I went with three coworkers from Matchbox to the corporate office. We told the president of the company about the abuses that we were experiencing in his restaurant. But the next day the chef sent me a text that just said, 'No más trabajo (no more work).'" Alejandro Roman: "I have worked in the kitchen at Matchbox Chinatown for seven years, without a break and without a vacation. In January, they started changing us around to different stations, without training us or asking us, and they started to fire people, reducing the amount of staff working at each station and increasing our total amount of work. On the Day Without Immigrants, on February 16, we all agreed to participate in the strike. The chef called us to him individually and asked us if we were going to work that day. It was my day off, and when he asked me to work that day I told him I couldn’t. Two weeks later, the chef changed our stations around again. He put my coworker, Angel, on the station making dough and on the oven. I helped Angel tell the chef in English that he couldn’t work at that station, because he didn’t have the necessary training and because the heat from the oven hurts his eyes. The chef said, “I don’t care.” I told him that he needed to be respectful of his people. I told him that I was going to go and speak with his superior, and he immediately gave me a punch card, and told Angel and I, and our coworker Efrain, that we were fired." Angel Morales: "I’d worked about two years in Matchbox before I was fired. When I heard about the general strike on February 16, I decided to participate with my coworkers. When the chef asked me if I was going to work that day, I told him that I couldn’t because I was participating in the Day Without Immigrants. Two weeks after the strike, they moved me to a different station, they sent me to make the dough and to put the pizzas in the oven. Besides that I don’t know that station, I also have a problem with my eyes and it’s damaging to them to be in front of the oven. I asked my coworker Alejandro to help me explain to the chef my problem in English, and the chef said that it didn’t matter and that I had to do it. I told him again that I couldn’t, and he fired me. That was when Alejandro argued with the chef, and they ended up firing all three of us." Lucas Efrain: "I started to work at Matchbox in 2012, left in June, 2014, and started to work there again in December, 2016. Before the Day Without Immigrants, the chef asked us individually if we could work that day, and I told him that I couldn’t. He asked me why, and I told him because I was going to support the Day Without Immigrants. “If you don’t work, I will take other measures,” he said. About two weeks later, when I got to work in the morning the chef sent me to work on the salad station, although I am always on the fry station. I told him that I didn’t know how to prep the things for the station, but that when all the ingredients were filled, I could take the tickets because I knew how to make the salads. He said that it didn't matter, that I had to work there. I can’t, I said. While this was happening, the chef was also arguing with Alejandro. He said “bye” to all three of us, and were were all fired together. We aren’t the first nor the last people suddenly fired unjustly. They have a pattern of firing people without any justification. Many people have been fired."
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  • IBMers to CEO Ginni Rometty: Affirm IBM values!
    Dear Ginni Rometty: In response to your open letter to Mr. Trump [1], we are disappointed that you did not reaffirm the core values which differentiate both IBM as a company and us collectively as IBMers. While we understand your willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with the president-elect, we believe our shared culture and values remain not only constant, but also central to our transformation underpinned by cloud and cognitive initiatives. As you know, more than 400,000 IBMers around the world work in environments where diversity—including diversity of thought—is the norm. IBM values this because our diversity helps create innovation that enhances every aspect of our business. Your internal memo to employees, advocating diversity and the open exchange of ideas, echoes IBM President Tom Watson’s Policy Letter #4 [2]. Watson’s letter reaffirmed IBM’s moral leadership by refusing to discriminate on the basis of race, resisting the prevailing attitudes of governors in the southern United States. In this instance, Watson sacrificed short-term business interests in order to be on the right side of history, something IBM takes pride in today. IBM’s leadership in this domain is more essential than ever. If we cannot boldly and openly affirm our commitment to diversity, then who are we? The right thing to do for IBM workers and our stakeholders—which includes every person on the planet touched by our technology—is to emphasize this in writing to public officials. Yet writing is not enough. We have a moral and business imperative to uphold the pillars of a free society by declining any projects which undermine liberty, such as surveillance tools threatening freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. The kinds of moral decisions you and our senior executives make in the next four years will define our corporate character for our next century. This will be your legacy. Taking a conservative approach has grave implications. Our own founder’s experience and the rest of history teach us that accommodating those who unleash forces of aggressive nationalism, bigotry, racism, fear, and exclusion inevitably yields devastating outcomes for millions of innocents. IBMers are members of a global family without borders. Hostile rhetoric towards immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, LGBT people, and others impinge on our core values of tolerance, diversity, and open exchange of ideas that are essential for innovation and our ability to recruit top talent. In this present context of insecurity and unpredictability, we also share deep concerns about recent reductions in benefits programs. This has consequences on the morale, retention, and well-being of long-term IBMers, especially those affected by our company’s transformation. For our mutual aid and protection, we petition you to do what is right for IBMers, our business, and society, on the basis of equitable treatment and fairness: (1) Respect our right to refuse participation in any U.S. contracts that violate constitutional and civil liberties. (2) Expand our diversity recruitment programs specifically targeting women, people of color, and LGBT people with the goal of doubling recruitment of these groups in 2017 and steadily increasing the share of these groups as a proportion of new hiring in subsequent years. (3) Prohibit perceived influence-peddling of elected officials by restricting IBM and its employees from using any Trump owned or Trump branded properties for business purposes, in accordance with the IBM Business Conduct Guidelines. (4) Treat established workers with dignity by restoring the 2015 Individual Separation Allowance Plan that provided severance based on years of employment instead of the current one-month severance plan for all employees, regardless of time served. (5) Make IBM retirement plan contributions equitable by restoring company 401k match contributions to regular pay cycles instead of a one-time, year-end contribution that is contingent on being employed as of December 15 of the calendar year, which is not fair to employees who are laid off before that date. As IBMers, we strive to be engaged citizens of the world; innovating how we think and work; collaborating across cultures, time zones, and borders; and, in doing so, we make a positive impact locally and globally. While our differences shape who we are as individual IBMers, our shared corporate culture and values remain central to our success. We petition you to affirm this identity, and we thank you in advance for your leadership and courage in the years ahead. Respectfully, Your fellow IBMers, past and present [1] https://www.ibm.com/blogs/policy/ibm-ceo-ginni-romettys-letter-u-s-president-elect/ [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PByaqDeBEzE
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  • Reinstate Julia to Whole Foods!
    My name is Julia Flores. I am a single mother of two from El Salvador. I have given fifteen years of my life to Whole Foods Market as a dishwasher. I have also fought many times for better working conditions for myself and my coworkers. However, in September I was fired. I am asking John Mackey to reinstate me to my job. I was fired by my store manager Victor Vasquez because they accused me of theft. I have worked there for fifteen years and would NEVER knowingly steal anything. I believe that they have fired me in retaliation for always standing up for the rights of my coworkers and for my pending workers’ compensation lawsuit for a torn shoulder ligament that I suffered in June. What I need is to work. I want to work. I have always liked working at Whole Foods. I want to be working there. That is my goal. I do not believe that it is not just for them to have fired me this way. Why wouldn’t they just give me a warning? I want to be reinstated to my job. I would also like for Whole Foods to change their policy about thefts. I am not the only one who has been fired after many years of work when accused of theft of a small product. Therefore, I also will demand that Whole Foods change their corporate policy so that theft of an item worth $10 or less to be covered under their policy for corrective action. To my coworkers still working at Whole Foods: Don’t give up on defending your rights! We cannot be silent. Thank you for helping me win back my job. ---- Mi nombre es Julia Flores. Soy madre soltera de dos hijas del Salvador. Yo he dado quince años de mi vida a Whole Foods Market trabajando como dishwasher. También he luchado muchas veces para mejorar las condiciones de trabajo para mi y mis compañeros de trabajo. Sin embargo, en Septiembre salí despedida por Victor Vasquez porque me acusaron de robo. Yo he trabajado allí quince años y NUNCA hubiera robado conscientemente. Yo creo que me han despedido en represalia por siempre defender mis derechos y los derechos de todos los trabajadores y también porque tengo una demanda pendiente por mi accidente laboral cuando me accidente el brazo en Junio. Lo que yo necesito es trabajo. Yo quiero trabajar. Siempre me ha gustado trabajar en Whole Foods. Quiero seguir trabajando allí. Esta es mi meta. No creo que es justo que me hayan despedido de esta forma. Por que no me hubieran dado solamente una advertencia? Quiero regresar a mi trabajo. Yo también quiero que Whole Foods cambie su póliza sobre los robos. No soy la única que ha sido despedida después de muchos años de trabajo cuando somos acusados de un robo pequeño. Entonces, también quiero exigir que Whole Foods cambie su póliza en su corporación para que los robo de minimis de productos que valen $10 o menos sea bajo su póliza para acción correctiva, en vez de ser una infracción mayor. A mis compañeros que siguen trabajando en Whole Foods: No dejen de defender sus derechos! No podemos quedarnos callados. Gracias por ayudarme a recuperar mi trabajo.
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    Created by Julia Flores
  • PMM Companies: Reinstate Me To My Job!
    My name is Deisy Velasquez, and I am a mother of three children originally from El Salvador. I was working at PMM Companies for a year and a half, cleaning classrooms at KIPP DC's Douglass campus. I was one of only two women working in the building who have children. They were very discriminatory towards us. If we asked for permission to take a day off to take our children to a doctor’s appointment, they would make us take off for a whole week in retaliation, without pay. The supervisor, Geovany, said many times that employees with children caused too many problems - and that he was no longer interested in hearing that we could not work when we couldn’t find childcare or for a doctor’s appointment. What interested him was the work, he acted like he didn't care about our families. Over the summer, I worked from 8am to 4pm. One day, I was told that they would immediately be changing my schedule to 12pm to 9pm. I told Geovany that he had to give me time to coordinate with my babysitter. He told me that if I didn’t like it, that I shouldn’t come back the rest of the week, or the next week. I called him the next Friday, and he didn’t answer. Geovany never answered my call - he told someone else to tell me that if he needed me that he would call me, and if he didn’t call me, then he didn’t need me anymore. He never called me, so I ended up being fired. I have tried to communicate with the central office of PMM Companies, but they told me that my complaints were childish and not important enough for them to handle. I tried to set up an appointment with them, and they canceled it without explanation and without any follow-up. It was devastating to lose my job right before my children went back to school. I did not have the money to buy them back to school supplies. My son's birthday is coming up and he is sad because I don't have money to celebrate. Now we are struggling to get by. I want PMM Companies to reinstate me to my position with my full time schedule, or for them to pay me a severance of two weeks’ wages for the harmful discrimination that I have faced. I also want PMM Companies to fully comply with DC’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act and not make employees take off for a whole week in retaliation for taking a sick day. I don’t want anything bad for the company, I just want my job back. I’m not asking a lot, just my job back for the well-being of my children and my family. --------- Mi nombre es Deisy Velasquez, y soy madre de tres niños y originalmente soy del Salvador. Yo estuve trabajando en PMM Companies por año y medio, limpiando las aulas en la escuela KIPP DC Douglass. Era una de dos trabajadoras no más en el edificio que tengo hijos. Nos agarraron una discriminación contra nosotras. Si pidiéramos permiso para llevar a los hijos a una cita, nos mandaron a descansar una semana completa como represalia, y sin pago. Dijo el supervisor, Geovany, varias veces que las trabajadoras con niños causaron muchos problemas - que a él no le interesaba más que dijéramos que no podemos trabajar cuando no tenemos babysitting o para una cita. Lo que a él le interesaba era el trabajo, que no le importaba asuntos familiares. Durante el verano, yo trabaje de 8am a 4pm. Un día, me avisaron que iban a cambiar mi horario, de 12pm a 9pm. Yo le dije al Geovany que me tenía que decir con tiempo para hablar con mi babysitter que cuidaba los niños. De allí, el mandó a decirme que si no me gustaba, que no me preocupara en venir toda la semana, ni la semana que venia. Yo le llame el viernes, y no me contestó. A través de otra persona, Geovany me dijo que si me necesitaba que me iba a llamar, y si no que ya no me necesitaba. Nunca me llamo, asi que salí despedida. He tratado de comunicarme con la oficina central de PMM Companies, pero me han dicho que mis quejas son cosas de niñerias y no tan importantes como los asuntos que ellos atienden. Yo puse una cita con ellos y me la cancelaron sin explicación y sin darme seguimiento. Fue un desastre para mi perder mi trabajo justo antes de que los niños regresaran a la escuela. No tuve el dinero para comprarles sus materiales de la escuela. Y ahorita mi hijo va a cumplir años y no tengo para celebrarlo. Es bien tristoso para mi hijo. Ahora no tenemos para sobrevivir. Yo quiero que me devuelvan a mi trabajo con mi horario de full time, o que me paguen una indemnización igual a dos semanas de pago por la discriminación y el daño que me han hecho. Tambien quiero que PMM Companies cumpla totalmente con la Acta de Días de Enfermedad Pagadas y no tomar represalias contra los trabajadores que toman un día de enfermedad. No quiero un mal para la compañía - quiero nada más que me devuelvan al trabajo. No es mucho que pido, sino que necesito mi trabajo de vuelta para el bienestar de mis hijos y mi familia.
    145 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Julia Flores
  • Let Your Employees Show Their Tattoos
    Why is it important? Sleeves get in the way of everything, doesn't matter if we are stocking or helping a customer get their perfect fit. We are your shoe experts and I don't see any other shoe company that I have been into other than Skechers that makes their employees cover up their tattoos. So why treats us differently when we are your experts when we chose your store, your company to work at. One thing I learned from when I worked at Gamestop is that the company is a family. I have that same feeling with Skechers, but why would you force family to cover up something that is who they are when it's not offensive that makes kids smile and that helps connect with the customers so much more? I know with the tattoo policy being looked at and done away with, as long as the tattoos aren't offensive, will being more customers in, will help employee moral, and will help us be over all better. Let us Show our Tattoos
    472 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Walter Burnie
  • Save Windsor Northwest School Staff Jobs
    The Bethel, Stockbridge and Rochester School Boards collected bids earlier this school year to hire private companies to run the food service programs and buses next year. In part citing state law (Act 153) and a need to cut costs, the school boards appear they may follow through and hire private companies next year instead of keeping the jobs employed by the school. Eliminating school-run programs to save a few dollars and in the process cutting the jobs of loyal food service and transportation employees is not fair. Act 153 does require individual school districts to move all transportation decisions for students from the districts to the Supervisory Union, but it does not require the hiring of a private company. Act 153 encourages Supervisory Unions to find ways to be as cost effective and efficient as possible with transportation expenses. Private companies cannot guarantee to offer to do the work for less than what the Supervisory Union pays as a direct employer without cutting corners, wages and benefits. Most of our school food service and transportation employees are long-term, loyal and committed employees. These staff members have played by the rules and worked hard for the districts. These employees often go above and beyond what they’re expected to do, especially for students in need. As members of the East Branch Education Association and Upper Valley Education Association, they’ve negotiated fairly with the school boards since a union formed over 15 years ago (Stockbridge 8 years ago). These employees are hourly workers. No one in these positions gets paid days they do not work during school year or receives unemployment over the summer. These people are our hard working neighbors with many not even making a livable wage. Farming out the work to a private company removes local control and authority over the hiring/supervision of employees who will be in our schools and driving our buses. Plus, using private companies to do the work currently done by the school districts does not guarantee that the work will be cheaper for the Supervisory Union. In fact, companies such as Butler Transportation, are in business to make money/profit. While a bid may come in lower to do the work, it usually means a cut in services or benefits/wages to the workers or both. Any short-term “deal” made with Butler or another company to hire current school-employed bus drivers (or food service workers) does not bind that employer long-term to keep the same wages/benefits for that individual. Again, these are businesses looking to make a profit, unlike our schools. If companies cut services or reduce the quality of school food program or transportation services, our students feel the impact. Private companies running food or transportation services in Vermont often offer no paid sick days or offer health insurance, making the jobs even less livable for working people, causing turn over in staff. High turnover in our kitchens and with our bus drivers hurts the relationships staff have with students. Ask the employees and/or parents of students in communities who use private companies like the Abbey Group or Butler Transportation. Low standards for the food program and transportation department and its employees are not consistent with our community’s values.
    177 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Vermont NEA Picture