• 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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    Created by IBMPETITION. ORG
  • 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.
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    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
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    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.
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    Created by Vermont NEA Picture
  • Fight for Fighters
    MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world. Mixed Martial Artists should be treated like professional athletes. Fighters should have the right to know how much money a promotion is making from an event. Fans should have the right to see the best possible fights through independent rankings. Extending the Ali Act to MMA would help professionalize the sport & stop the conflicts of interests that currently exist in the sport.
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    Created by Brian Shepherd Picture
  • Tell Myer: clean up your act!
    My name is Susan* and I work as a cleaner at a Myer store in Melbourne. Cleaners like me work around the clock keeping Myer stores clean and hygienic. But dodgy subcontractors are underpaying us by up to $20 an hour. We are denied basic rights like sick pay, weekend rates and superannuation. If we complain we can be sacked at any time – many of us are too frightened to join our union and speak out. A few weeks ago a Myer cleaner was sacked when he asked about his rights. So was his sister – and his partner. And they weren’t even there! Myer threw out its last contractor earlier this year because cleaners were being exploited. Now it’s happening again. We should be paid properly, and be able to work without fear or intimidation. The system is unjust and is failing us. Please stand with me and my fellow cleaners and tell Myer it needs to clean up its act and demand we are directly employed and receive our full legal pay. *Not my real name.
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    Created by Susan Myer Cleaner
  • Bubbles Salons: Give employees a 30 day notice before being fired
    My name is Blanca de Leon. I started working at the Bubbles Salon located at 205 Pennsylvania Ave NW on March 9th, 2009 and worked there for 6 and a half years. I’m a stylist specializing in cuts and colors, as well as all areas relating to beauty. When I first started working at Bubbles, there were things about the company that I didn’t agree with but I stayed when I started to get to know the clients who are the best clients I’ve had in my whole career. One of the main issues was the way the management at Bubbles treated the staff, some better than others. Every time the Latino workers asked for something, they wouldn't listen to us. They even told us that we weren’t allowed to speak Spanish. There was also discrimination in who got the best appointments. Everyone except for the Latinos were given new clients, but they only gave us new clients when there were extra. But the hardest thing for me was that even though another non-Latino employee was allowed to use a mat under her styling chair, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to have one. I need the mat to help alleviate my back pain because I am on my feet all day. I told my managers about my back condition and the medication that I take to help it. I also asked them for something in writing about why I wasn’t allowed to have the mat even though another employee was, but they never gave me anything. On August 26th, I went to work and my managers called me in for a meeting. When I got there they said “We have bad news for you.” They told me that I hadn’t listened to my manager when I was told to remove the mat I used for back pain. Then they told me that I was fired. I asked if I could have 30 days so that I could look for a new job, but they refused. I wasn’t even allowed to finish the day with the rest of the clients I had scheduled. They only gave me half an hour to pick up my things and go. I filed a claim at the DC Office of Human Rights because I believe my employer discriminated against me. In six and a half years, I never had a single client complaint against me. I was a good coworker to everyone and I believe my termination was unjust. Being fired affected my life a lot. I am a single mother and I need to work to support my family. I suffered significant emotional distress after being so suddenly and unjustly fired. They must think that you don’t eat, that you don’t pay rent. Ratner Companies, which owns Bubbles Salons, owns over 1,000 salons in 16 states. I’m speaking out so that others won't have to go through what I did. Please demand that Bubbles establish a policy that requires that employees be given 30 days notice before being fired so that they can look for another job.
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    Created by Blanca de Leon
  • Hazeldene's Workers Want Secure Jobs
    All workers deserve to be treated fairly. That's what we're asking for here.
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    Created by National Union of Workers Picture
  • REINSTATE VICKI AND ALLYSHA!
    We strongly request that Allysha Almada, RN and Vicki Lin, RN be reinstated to their positions immediately and that the rights of the nurses of Huntington Memorial Hospital to free speech be fully respected. We ask that Huntington administration immediately stop the culture of retaliation toward those RNs who collectively voice concerns about patient care and speak out about the Hospital’s treatment of Registered Nurses who seek Union representation.
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    Created by Nurse Supporter
  • Keep secure jobs in Melbourne's North
    My name is Diana Beaumont and I am a teacher at a public High School in Broadmeadows. The recent announcement by Woolworths to close the Hume Distribution Centre and lay off 680 of their staff by 2018 has angered many teachers and parents in the area. Current and former students at our school have parents that work at the Hume Woolworths shed, and I hate to think about the strain this will place on their families. The outer Northern metropolitan suburbs of Melbourne are renowned for insecure jobs. Some families have to move suburbs to find stable work, and this has a massive impact on students both socially and academically. But parents don't have a choice as they must go where the work is. Broadmeadows is one of the most disadvantaged suburbs in Melbourne with 26.4% unemployment. But people want to work! At a recent public meeting at the Broadmeadows Town Hall, the local community pledged to support workers to keep the Hume Woolworths shed open. The Hume Woolworths shed is full of active, proud union members -- people Woolworths is no doubt hoping to silence.
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    Created by Diana Beaumont
  • National Whistleblowers Center: Do Not Enforce Gag Clauses
    We thought that working for the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) meant that we would be free to question our employer. We were wrong. We, attorneys Richard Renner and Lindsey Williams, along with three of our co-workers, were fired after questioning our bosses about the NWC’s finances and trying to organize a union. It all started when the NWC announced the historic $104 million award granted to UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld. Shortly afterward, the NWC founders told us that despite our hard work and the influx of cash, they were unable to afford the raises they had repeatedly promised. This did not make any sense to us. After our questions were ignored, we attempted to organize a union as a way to force them to be more transparent with their finances. Retaliation was swift and harsh. We were all fired on November 5, 2012, one by voicemail. To add insult to injury, the severance agreements they offered included an appallingly broad gag clause. The proposed agreements said if we accepted the money we could “not, criticize, disparage, or say or do anything that casts [the employer] in a negative light” to “any other person.” There is huge financial pressure on employees to sign these types of gag clauses. In fact, The Whistleblower’s Handbook written by one of the NWC founders, Stephen M. Kohn, has an entire chapter encouraging employees not to sign gag clauses. Apparently, he did not mean that advice to apply to his own employees. Three of our co-workers signed the agreements. We refused because we believed that the gag clauses violated labor laws and NWC’s stated mission. We filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January 2013. The NLRB investigated the charges and found enough evidence to proceed with prosecution against NWC for wrongful termination. We were finally able to reach a settlement shortly before the trial would have begun. As part of the settlement, the NWC agreed to remove all mention of our terminations from their records and post a notice to all employees that they would not be retaliated against for exercising their legal rights to work collectively to improve their wages and working conditions. We want the NWC Board of Directors to publicly state that gag clauses in severance agreements (or other employment agreements) are against the core mission of the organization, in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, and, therefore, will not be used by the NWC in the future. We also want NWC to commit that existing gag clauses will not be enforced. We don’t want what happened to us to happen again. Our case serves as a reminder that any worker can have his or her legal rights violated – even lawyers. It also reminds us that every employer should be held accountable when they break the law – even the National Whistleblowers Center. For more information visit: www.fearinghonesty.org.
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    Created by Lindsey Williams Picture