• It’s Time to Recognize the Kickstarter Union
    As Game Workers Unite co-founder and tech industry labor organizer Emma Kinema said in her recent XOXO speech, Kickstarter's mission to democratize the way in which people create art, music, games, tech, and writing is a noble and important pursuit, and it is only natural that it is at Kickstarter where we are seeing one of the first tangible signs of democratizing a tech industry workplace through unionization. Workers throughout tech, games, and many traditionally unorganized industries are watching, cheering on, and standing with the workers of Kickstarter in solidarity. Kickstarter United has sparked all of our imaginations and have our fullest support. Stand with them today!
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    Created by Game Workers Picture
  • 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
  • Plastic Bag Ban
    Because plastic bags and plastic, in general, are having a severely detrimental effect on the earth's ecosystems. We can all do our part of course in refusing plastic but our actions only go so far. We must demand businesses and corporations in leading the way to more clean energy and eco-friendly alternatives.
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    Created by Stefan Trimm
  • We Support a Just & Healthy Workplace at WE ACT for Environmental Justice
    Next to members and residents, staff are the organization's most important asset and the key way the organization fulfills its mission. Like non-profit workers everywhere, we are committed to serving this mission, whether on the streets of Harlem or the halls of government, with great pride. But our current working environment is needlessly unsustainable. It is leading to high turnover and poor staff health, and impacting our programs and partnerships. As a staff made up of predominantly women, people of color, low-income, and residents of Northern Manhattan, we draw inspiration from our co-founders bold action on the West Side Highway in 1988. Their courageous example demonstrates that taking a stand for justice can sometimes be uncomfortable, but it is always the right thing to do. Through a union, we are reaffirming our commitment to WE ACT's mission. Together with management, we will find solutions to common challenges and reinvest in the organization's long-term success. More and more non-profit organizations are recognizing the value that a unionized workforce offers -- and we are confident that WE ACT will join this growing list soon. After all, New York City is a "Union Town." In view of our present climate crisis and the continued exclusion of low-income people of color from important political and environmental decisions, our members, supporters, and communities everywhere deserve only the best and strongest WE ACT we can build. WE are WE ACT and THIS is environmental justice!
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    Created by WE ACT Staff Union Picture
  • #ThePriceOfRetail for workers during the holidays
    For an industry that brings in $250 billion dollars in profits in NYS/NYC each year, there is plenty to go around and the successes of the industry should translate to greater flexibility and share of the profits by the workers. With your support, we can bring these issues to our city and state lawmakers and show employers that their consumer base wants them to do the right thing by their workers.
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    Created by jedidiah labinjo Picture
  • Voices are louder together - Stop all harassment at Delta Air Lines, Inc.
    During my time at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) the culture was extremely tolerant of a sexual environment and acceptable harassment. Many employees across the company in all different departments have expressed similar situations and environments. Several employees including supervisors attempted to report incidents to the Station Manager and human resource department. After reporting incidents, employees were fired, harassed and/or retaliated against. When this action by Delta was acceptable, other employees have felt powerless to speak up for themselves and address the situation. HR does not do enough to protect employees from workplace harm. One employee cannot fight against these big bullies alone. Employees cannot be afraid to speak up. I personally have lost my career and my life stopped once I was subjected to sexual assault at work. This should not have to happen to one more person! Delta must be held accountable for its harassment problem and create a safe, respectful work environment. (these are views and opinions of the author based on personal experience)
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    Created by Jenny Dawson
  • Darden: Stop requiring employees to sign arbitration forms
    This is important because employees are not clear on what they're signing and are also not expecting to be harassed or discriminated against. Employees are completely unaware that they are signing away their rights to justice if ever they have negative experiences. Companies aren't creating an environment that will hold perpetrators for sexual harassment accountable for their actions, which makes them bold and fearless in their pursuits. I was an employee for 5 months at Longhorn Steakhouse. There were multiple of my coworkers that touched me inappropriately and spoke to me inappropriately. I was disgusted. But I was also not in a position to lose my job. There were times that I would be really aggravated with their continuous actions and speak up and I would be sent home early. Eventually my hours became shorter and shorter, to the point that I would be scheduled for only one or two days a week. If I would've known that when I signed those papers during orientation that I would not be able to get an attorney to represent me in court, and it exempts them from all legal responsibilities in such a case, I would have never signed. And I think anyone applying for a position at this company needs to know what they're signing.
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    Created by Former Longhorn Server
  • Protect Employees And Customers By Placing Needle Disposal Boxes In High-Risk Bathrooms
    *Added 1/21/19 The author of this petition ended up getting poked by a dirty needle themselves, after two other coworkers were poked in the same cafe, not long after starting this petition. Since then, the author went to local Seattle news crews, and only after their story aired did Starbucks put safe sharps disposals in six cafes in Seattle, but they were only the cafes that already had an L&I complaint and fine about this issue before. The author still has yet to hear directly from anyone at Starbucks Corporate. The author still fully intends on hand-delivering this petition to Starbucks HQ. The author is obnoxiously tenacious like that. Exposure to HIV/AIDS, Hep C, Hep B, etc. is a risk in Seattle where there is a heroin/hep c crisis--and an HIV outbreak in at the same time and in the same area that baristas were getting poked by used drug needles while at work. There is no vaccine for Hep C, the available treatment is not a 100% assured cure, and Starbucks refuses to comment to employees when employees mention this risk. Employees risk getting poked, and DO get poked, even when following "protocol" of using gloves and tongs to dispose of used needles left in bathrooms, tampon disposal boxes, and diaper changing stations. It costs almost two thousand dollars just for one round of after-exposure shots, not including other tests, shots, medications, etc. Employees have to pay out-of-pocket for this before being reimbursed until Starbucks's company insurance kicks in. Many baristas cannot afford that, instead resorting to loans and credit cards. Employees who are pregnant or already immuno-compromised have an added risk if poked by a used needle. Employees also have to then use added protection with their sexual partners/spouses for six months minimum/risk exposing them, too. Starbucks makes various excuses from "it looks bad" to "drug users will just take the boxes off the walls and steal the needles." Employees cannot legally be forced to remove needles, but when they ask to call hazmat, they're told "hazmat cost comes from the individual store budget" (a veiled threat of even less staff coverage on an already short-staffed floor because no money to pay them if it is used for hazmat). Making coffee should not come with this kind of easily detoured risk.
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    Created by Citizen Z
  • Cap the number of Uber/Lyft/Rideshare drivers based on the population of each city
    This promotes: 1. A sustainable wage for independent contractors working for ride-share companies. 2. Fewer C20 emissions in each city due to an extreme and unnecessary number of drivers in cities worldwide. 3. The integrity and respect of the drivers who do the majority of work for billion dollar companies. Overall, we all love our Rideshare companies. I, myself, have been both a driver and a passenger of Uber in particular. However, the work of these companies is not done, and this petition could help Rideshare companies prove that they not only care about their passengers well being, but the drivers well being as well, who help make their companies just what it is--awesome.
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    Created by Erica Dewaay Picture
  • 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
  • Starbucks: Commit to fixing your own racism!
    We each hail from Milwaukee – a city we love deeply. Yet every day, we're faced with the reality that systemic racism, police brutality, and a lack of good jobs have made our community home to both the highest incarceration rate for African Americans and the highest joblessness rate for Black men in the country.

 Roughly 40% of Starbucks' workforce are people of color – yet just 15% of its executives are of color. And in Milwaukee, which is a majority people of color city, African American employees are scarce in Howard Schultz's workforce. Clearly, there is plenty of work for Starbucks to do in its own house. We've each laid out some of our thoughts below.

 From Joe:

 I've worked at Starbucks for three years, and have lived and worked in Milwaukee for the past six months. My crew is excellent, and we support each other through tough days and busy shifts. The people in my store understand the challenges facing the patrons we serve. We are part of our community and we understand its needs. I also know that Starbucks – as a corporate entity – can do a lot more for its workers, customers and the communities it serves.

 During the week of March 16th, my manager distributed a roll of stickers and passed around a handout detailing the new "Race Together" initiative. I was shocked – it seemed so hypocritical when Starbucks employs thousands of baristas of color in jobs that pay poverty wages with too few hours to survive. Why not raise wages so that every barista makes at least $15 an hour and has access to stable, full-time work?
 If the company really cared about racial justice, they would look at the diversity of its workforce. Here in Milwaukee, it's hard to miss the fact that most of the Starbucks employees in this majority people of color city are white. Starbucks should be part of the solution by hiring more people of color in our city and giving these employees jobs that can support a family.

 From Nate:

 When we first learned of Starbucks' new "Race Together" campaign, we were kind of appalled. My brother, Dontre Hamilton, was shot 14 times by police after Starbucks employees repeatedly called the police on him. The people of Milwaukee have been protesting and petitioning for months for Starbucks to meet with us to discuss its role in the killing of my brother, and to help us heal and find a solution so that this tragedy never happens again. We've been asking the Starbucks CEO to speak out in support of our efforts, but have seen little in response.

 I've lived in Milwaukee most of my life and I feel Milwaukee can and must do better. What happened at the Red Arrow Starbucks is a symptom of the lack of investment and opportunity for black folks in Milwaukee. Starbucks has an important role to play here.

 By asking employees – without training or support – to engage in dialogue with total strangers about this deeply personal issue, you’re revealing just how little you understand about white privilege and systemic racism. My brother's tragic killing was an opportunity to initiate a frank conversation about the diversity of Starbucks employees, your policies and practices when dealing with diverse communities, and the impact racial bias, profiling and inequality have on your stores. Instead, corporate has done next to nothing but write #RaceTogether on a cup.

 Howard Schultz has announced that he's coming to Milwaukee on April 1st. I'd like Schultz to commit to real solutions during that visit – not gimmicks. The practices that led to the death of Dontre are being repeated in stores across the country. This isn't a Milwaukee problem, it's a company-wide problem. If Schultz wants to address racism he can start by making meaningful changes in his own business practices, by setting company wide protocols for dealing with diverse communities and by creating good jobs for our communities.
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    Created by Joe the Barista and Nate Hamilton
  • Bank of America: Provide adequate training that keeps jobs and customers safe
    We are Bank of America call center workers. Every day, we help customers with their daily account needs from handling deposits to opening credit card accounts. We are dedicated employees, and value giving our customers the best service possible. However, the bank often does not provide us with training that prepares us to adequately and ethically serve our customers. Much of the training call center employees do receive happens online with no facilitator and no opportunity to ask questions. At work, neither our team leaders nor company’s help desk are able to answer many of our questions that arise. What’s worse: our team leaders and managers are never held accountable when they give us inaccurate information which means that we’re the ones who end up being disciplined and even fired. Team leaders and managers should receive a higher level of training than the associates who report to them, so that they are experts in our policies and procedures. When we take leaves of absence, we’re not given enough time to be trained on new procedures to ensure we’re doing everything according to up-to-date standards. Not only is this frustrating for us as employees, it means that customers won’t get the best possible service. In fact, due to strict performance metrics for employees, we are encouraged to limit our time spent with clients instead of taking the time to answer all of their concerns. We want to be able to do right by our customers and keep our jobs. We have seen too many of our co-workers get fired for making mistakes that adequate training could have prevented. We are asking that independent, federally-guided training be implemented immediately for employees and managers alike. ** UPDATE (from March 2015)! Since we started speaking out about these issues, we’ve seen some improvements to our training. For example, Bank of America introduced a new online banking feature that allows employees to use their mouse to guide their client and navigate them through the online system. But we still need more improvements. Specifically, we would like to see more and up-to-date training on credit cards (that takes into account federal regulations and training); better online banking training; and diligent training and cross training of managers to ensure that they are fully prepared to assist us in handling any difficult situations that arise. We need this to be consistent and up to date so that it reflects the needs of customers and accountability of the bank.
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    Created by Rhode Island Committee for Better Banks