• 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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  • 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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  • MARTA: Remove any/all management who puts employees at risk for COVID-19
    Yesterday, April 13, 2020, I came in on my first day as a new hire in MARTA's Customer Care Center. Before my first day, I asked the Senior Recruiting Officer in human resources what practices MARTA had in place for COVID-19. She told me that I could wear a mask, but she wasn't sure what the Customer Care Center's practices were. However, that is not what I saw when I showed up for duty. I got mean and nasty stares from several MARTA employees - even the front desk security guard. Worst, the Customer Care Center management - on top of stating they were not ready on how to go about training me during COVID-19, I had to endure rude and snide remarks where I was told I need to speak up and that this is a call center and I need to speak up. Mind you, I had to endure such insults and snide remarks despite the fact that I bring over seven years of experience in call center and customer service. Therefore, no frank and practical discussion was made to me about how my training would be conducted and whether or not I could wear the mask. The day culminated with the Customer Care Center director, Ms. De Jesus, accusing me of being "insubordinate" after I tried to speak louder to her and the other managers - because they repeatedly told me they could not hear me. I saw at the Customer Care Center that no one was wearing masks - including management. Their solution to comply with CDC guidelines was to rotate sending home some employees to work, and bringing them back into the office. However, my previous employer did not take such risks with our call center - they sent all employees to work virtually and did not place a requirement on us to return to the office. In sum, MARTA's management shamelessly had no issue with making false allegations of me being "insubordinate", so that they could wipe their hands free of being inconvenienced in having to allow me to wear a mask to work and/or make reasonable accommodations to protect its employees. Unfortunately, this is becoming a trend in many workplaces - where employers are not protecting their employees, and resorting to manufacturing incidents where they can remove someone under a subjective allegation of being "insubordinate"; and, with this pandemic - such illegal and immoral practices should be condemned.
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  • Sign The Petition: At Risk Drivers Deserve Sick Pay, All Drivers Do!!!
    Us drivers have been left alone, sitting for weeks in quarantine to save our lives with no pay and unable to work. We get cussed, hit, called names, guns in our faces and treated badly for you, so why arent you now there for us? We are losing homes, cars, all we worked for. Many dont have food, a safe place to stay. We for sure cant get the tests you require, many states there are none! As for a doctors note....we are quarantined and doctors are overwhelmed, and we shouldn't have to! We've toiled to make you billions! Please check out this amazing article to hear about other drivers in this difficult time: https://thehustle.co/coronavirus-uber-lyft-drivers/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
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  • Provide Shipt Shoppers with Hazard Pay and Expand COVID-19 Paid Leave
    Target-owned Shipt, a delivery service, is currently hiring thousands of new shoppers in cities across the United States to meet the rising demand for home delivery of essential goods during this crisis. Shipt workers shop for and deliver groceries, medications and household supplies from local retailers. During this global crisis, we shoppers are working on the frontlines and risking our safety. The current policy--providing 14 days of financial assistance to those who test positive for COVID-19--isn't enough. In many cases, access to tests is limited or unavailable. Shoppers may need to be--and some already are--under self-quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 or due to a sick or at-risk family member. Shoppers need expanded paid leave to provide us with the crucial support needed to make the safest decisions for ourselves, for Shipt customers, and for the community at large. Many Shipt customers are high risk populations--elderly, immunocompromised, and those with underlying medical conditions. It is imperative that Shipt shoppers have the support that they need to make safe, informed decisions that keep everyone as safe as possible. Grocery store retailers--including Trader Joe's and H-E-B--have begun making movements in this direction, implementing hourly pay raises, expanding paid leave, and introducing new safety protocols. On March 20th, Target, Shipt's parent company, increased wages, provided bonuses to team leads, and extended paid leave for higher-risk Target employees. With more and more shelter-in-place orders being enacted around the country, our work is vital. Shipt workers must not be left behind. **To any Shipt shopper who wants to join in this effort, you're invited to The Shipt List, a facebook community for Shipt shoppers.
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  • H&M workers deserve good schedules and free speech in the workplace without retaliation
    In August 2019, H&M management terminated sales associate Nick Gallant after he began exposing safety violations in the workplace and started educating his co-workers on their rights under the new fair work week laws in San Francisco and Emeryville, California. That’s why we need you to sign this petition and call on H&M to Bring Nick Back, to stop retaliating against workers, and to give all California H&M associates a Fair Workweek. **United for Respect (UFR) is a national non-profit organization. UFR is a multiracial movement of working people throughout the U.S. advancing a vision of an economy where our work is respected and our humanity recognized. UFR is not a labor union and does not intend or seek to represent retail employees over terms and conditions of employment, or to bargain with retail employers.
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • #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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