• Darden: We Want a Seat at the Table
    Having worked at restaurants for 15 years -- including at the Olive Garden for six years -- I know the industry well. Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, can do a lot more to make its restaurants better places to work, but first they need to listen to their employees. For example, in January, the company got rid of automatic gratuity for large parties. It might not seem like much, but when a large party takes up a lot of your shift, those tips make a big difference. Managers told us it was for legal reasons, but I later learned it was because Darden wanted to save a little money on its taxes. I wish the company would've first considered the impact on its servers. We depend on those tips to pay our bills. Another issue is what I call "stuttering breaks." We are told to take a 30 minute break, then asked to wait another hour before returning to work -- all of it off the clock. This seems like a terrible way to run a business, and it takes its toll on staff. How can we make a living when we're not sure how many hours we'll work from week to week? In six years of working at Olive Garden, I've noticed that it's getting harder and harder for employees to make ends meet.  I've had to move back in with my parents in order to afford to finish my college degree in software engineering. I can't imagine how my coworkers with kids -- coworkers who I care deeply about and spend much of my time with -- are able to make it. I want to see the Olive Garden, and all Darden restaurants (which also include LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's, and Yard House) become great places to work.  Darden is such a large employer that if they do more to support employees like me, they can set a standard for the industry -- and they'll get to have their pick of the best employees, too. Now is the time for company leaders to meet with the staff at their restaurants. We all belong to this company and we've got a stake in its survival. At the end of July, longtime Darden CEO Clarence Otis announced that he would be stepping down. As our company faces a leadership vacuum, Wall Street hedge funds are playing a much bigger role in deciding the future of this company. They called for the ouster of Otis and have lobbied for a potential scheme to sell off Darden's assets. These outside firms must consider the concerns and challenges facing the staff at their restaurants. These restaurants are not just assets to be sold off but are how 130,000 workers feed and care for their families.   
 Customers, shareholders, and fellow employees -- please join me in calling on Darden leadership and hedge fund stakeholders to meet with employees and hear our concerns. It's time we had a seat at the table when it comes to deciding the future of this company! Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/people/jeepersmedia/
    7,685 of 8,000 Signatures
    Created by Steve Gazzo
  • We are The Met Opera: Save Our Season!
    A lockout and a cancelled Met Opera season would be devastating to the artists, craftspeople, and other workers who make the Met Opera one of the world's finest cultural institutions. It would also harm businesses in New York City's cultural sector and the Lincoln Center area that depend on the Metropolitan Opera for their livelihoods. We believe the Met’s problems are solvable without a cancelled season. We wish the Met to remain an engine of the NYC cultural and tourism economy—and to continue to thrill audiences young and old for decades to come.
    12,114 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Nick Porter
  • Living wage rises for Lite n Easy workers
    Lite n Easy workers are paid significantly below food processing industry standards in Australia, and the company has so far refused to offer a guaranteed annual pay rise for more than 1 year. Instead, Lite n Easy are promising to pass on any increases in the minimum wage (if there are any). This has real impacts on our life. Many of us just can't afford to be sick. Many of us don't have anything left after we have paid for rent, bills and food at the end of each week. We don't get to keep enough of the value we create to lead a decent quality of life.
    427 of 500 Signatures
    Created by National Union of Workers General Branch
  • Stop Walmart & Whole Foods from Sourcing Forced Labor
    My name is Olivia Guzman. For 17 years, my husband Fausto and I have been coming to the U.S. each season from our hometown in Mexico as H-2B guestworkers. We worked with thousands of other guestworkers who process and pack seafood for big retailers like Walmart and Whole Foods. The guestworker visa requires us to work for only one employer. The name of our boss is inscribed in our passport, and if we are fired or leave to seek work somewhere else we can be detained and deported by ICE. Our employers paid us a piece rate—by the weight of seafood we cleaned—that often came out to be less than the minimum wage no matter how fast we worked. They housed us in decrepit labor camps on company property where snakes crawled up through cracks in the floor. Bosses and managers surveilled us in the camps, humiliated us, and even physically abused us. To keep us silent, they constantly threatened us with firing, deportation, and blacklisting so we could no longer find work as guestworkers. There comes a time you can’t take the abuse any more, and in spite of the threats, you have to speak up. I did that when I became of member of the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA). I traveled across the Gulf Coast and organized my fellow guestworkers into committees to try to change conditions in the industry. I traveled to Washington, DC, and Mexico City to tell political leaders about the abuse. But when I hosted NGA meetings in my house, the recruiter spied on us. She said we were all trouble makers and threatened to have us blocked from coming back to the United States. And I learned that the threats were real, because this year, my employer blacklisted me in retaliation for my organizing. I was removed from the employment list, accused of being a trouble maker, and blocked from coming back on an H-2B visa to my employer. Walmart says it wants to stop forced labor on its supply chain, but continues to buy from suppliers who abuse guestworkers every day. Whole Foods tells customers all about where its fish were caught, but not that the fish were packed by workers who were trapped in severe labor abuse. Walmart and Whole Foods set the standards that thousands of suppliers follow. My fellow NGA members and I are calling on them to sign the NGA’s Forced Labor Prevention Accord. The Accord is a binding agreement that would ban retaliation and blacklisting, ensure basic labor standards, and create a binding dispute resolution process that includes employers and workers. We are urging retailers to sign the Accord to ensure that their suppliers don’t trap guestworkers in exploitation and forced labor.
    7,606 of 8,000 Signatures
    Created by Olivia Guzman
  • Before Buddy Passes & priority on our own metal!
    As it stands, active non-wholly owned crew members will go after Buddy Passes on stand-by. Be it wholly or non-wholly owned, we all operate under the American banner. It is important to the integrity of the entire operation. Commuting crew members need to get to work so they can operate American flights. In the past American Airlines hasn't had very many non-wholly owned employees, so this hasn't been much of an issue. The new American Airlines now has thousands of non-wholly owned commuting employees. It is to everyone's benefit that working crew go ahead of friends traveling on a pass. This is our Livelihood! Also, having priority on one's own metal has always been accepted as an industry standard. Under the new rules we will lose this. We ask that we retain the right to have priority on our company owned and operated aircraft.
    958 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Elisabeth Vance Picture
  • Zara: Treat retail employees with respect
    UPDATE: Thanks to you, our efforts are starting to #ChangeZara! In December, Zara workers in NYC received a letter from the US Managing Director, Dilip Patel, saying that workers will receive raises of up to $3 an hour and access to full-time positions. This is a major victory for our campaign and demonstrates that when workers come together, we can make real changes! Our campaign is gaining great momentum, but we still need your support to help bring Dilip Patel to the table and hear our concerns. Please read our petition below and sign and share! ***** First off, let me introduce myself. I’m Jedidiah Labinjo and I work at Zara in New York City. Sharlene Santos, one of the original leaders of the campaign, recently moved out of state so I’ve been inspired to step up and help move the campaign along with my Zara coworkers -- and you! I’ve worked as a sales associate at the Zara store in SoHo for a year. I have been commended by my supervisor for my work ethic and customer service skills, but I’ve yet to see an increase in my pay of $10.50 an hour. I live with my mother and contribute to my family’s bills. I’m also in school full-time studying pre-law, which has helped me think about my rights at work. It’s hard to juggle my priorities of work, school, and family when I have a constantly changing schedule at Zara. Managers are full-time, but we sales associates have a very hard time getting more hours, even though Zara continues hiring more part-time associates. Many associates feel that there is a lot of favoritism in determining who gets the promotions that would make us full-time. Many of my coworkers are students or parents with young children. We all work hard to get by. We earn so little at Zara that many of us can’t even afford to buy the clothes that we sell. With these kinds of poverty schedules, we are forced to choose between bills, rent, and food. So my coworkers and I circulated a petition to address our issues at Zara: low wages, not enough hours, favoritism, and disrespect. When we presented our concerns to a store manager, she said there was nothing she could do. Since we first launched this petition, a delegation of Zara workers from the US traveled to Spain to take our concerns directly to the top company executives as US Management has not agreed to sit down with us collectively for substantive discussions. We’ve been told to discuss problems at work on a one-on-one basis with our managers. But these issues aren’t individual -- they are company-wide. We want Zara’s management to come to the table to hear our #ChangeZara committee’s collective concerns about scheduling, wages, and opportunities for advancement. Zara's hugely profitable parent company, Inditex, is proud of its reputation as a socially responsible business. Zara workers in Spain have a union that grants them a voice at the table -- don't we deserve the same respect here in the US? Join us in our fight to #ChangeZara.
    2,140 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Jedidiah Labinjo
  • Protect MVU Jobs
    Last fall, rumors of privatizing (also called sub-contracting) the MVU cafeteria to The Abbey Group circulated. The MVU cafeteria staff and many other staff are concerned that the school-run program may simply be “eliminated” to save a few dollars. This is not fair. The food service employees are long-term, loyal and committed employees. They have a collective 66 years of service to the school, performed high quality work, and often go above and beyond what they are expected to do, especially for students. All the staff at MVU bring the same level of commitment to the school and the students. The MVU cafeteria workers are being proactive and are asking the MVU Board for something very simple – to adopt a policy that it will not privatize the food service jobs at MVU or any of the work currently being performed by its staff. This is perfectly legal. It doesn’t violate the existing union contract. It doesn’t violate the Municipal Employees Labor Relations Act. It is well within the rights of the Board to pass such a policy. The policy wording we propose would be as follows: “It will be the policy of the Missisquoi Valley Union School Board of Directors to not sub-contract any work currently being performed by employees of the Board.” Contractors, like the Abbey Group, are in business to make money/profit. If they’re going to make money from the school, they will have to cut corners somewhere. Either they will cut services, or the wages they pay to workers, or both. If they cut services, the quality of school food program, in this case, goes down. And if they cut wages, they will get people in to work who are not very qualified, or who will leave as soon as they get a better job. Contractors like Abbey Group often offer no paid sick days or benefits, making the jobs even less livable for working people, causing more turn over in staff. High turnover hurts quality of the food program and it hurts the relationships staff have with the students. Low standards for the food program and its employees are not consistent with the MVU’s values. We encourage you to add your name to encourage the board to adopt this policy. Thank you.
    434 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Vermont NEA Picture
  • Help Us Change MSP Airport: Dignified Jobs Not Poverty Wages
    The MAC’s goal is to provide travelers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport “the best airport experience in North America,” and we are the workers who make that experience possible. We take pride in our work, doing important jobs like providing wheelchair and electric cart service to passengers with disabilities and senior passengers, yet we are struggling to survive on poverty wages with no benefits and little training or support. We are calling on the MAC to ensure the workers who provide essential services for rich corporations like Delta are allowed to form a union so they are can get proper training, increase staffing levels, and get paid a living wage and benefits. Please join with us in our fight to end poverty wages at MSP so we can make it an Airport that Works for ALL of Us.
    622 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Alemsaged, Darcy and Ali
  • Fair Wages and Working conditions at Logan Airport
    This is Massachusetts. We are the "Athens of America" and "A city on a Hill." How can our first-rate airport treat its workers as second-class citizens?
    18 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Joseph McHugh Picture
  • Your Payroll Cards Are Rip-Offs
    When I started working at Burlington Coat Factory in 2013, the company recommended that I get paid with their payroll debit card. They made it sound like a good deal for me -- so I was shocked when I realized the card included hidden fees. It turns out there was a lot I didn't know about the card. We never got paper pay stubs. If we wanted them for any reason, we had to pay $3 per stub to have a hard copy sent to us. That's a lot of money when you just make $8.55 an hour like I did. Burlington uses an online payroll system we can log on to, but many of us can't afford a smartphone, a computer, or internet access. We also had to pay a fee to use an out-of-network ATM -- so the ATM would charge us a fee, then the card company charges another fee. You could pay $7.50 just to get your own money! People shouldn't have to pay just to get paid! Employers shouldn't be able to push their employees to participate in a payroll system that doesn't always work. We ought to have a choice about whether to get paystub records, paper checks, direct deposit or payroll cards. We ought to receive all the information about any fees associated with these cards. And when things go wrong, we need to know who we can hold accountable. And things do go wrong -- it took a month for me to get my first payroll deposit, and instead of getting help resolving the issue I just got the runaround. The card company said to talk to Burlington Coat Factory. My supervisor at Burlington Coat Factory told me to talk to the card company. No one accepted responsibility for getting me the money I had earned. I borrowed money for a month just to get by. I couldn't even help my godmother pay our rent. When there's no accountability, workers like me are caught in the middle. Thing is, more and more employers are switching to these payroll cards every day, and some of these cards have even worse terms than the ones we got from Burlington Coat Factory. This madness has to stop somewhere. It's time for us to take a stand. I'm calling on Burlington Coat Factory to lead the industry in implementing a fair and transparent pay system. Whether you shop at Burlington Coat Factory or work in retail, please add your name. Together, we'll convince Burlington to do what's right and begin changing this industry-wide practice. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/people/jeepersmedia/
    571 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Melvin J. Picture
  • American Airlines Employee Travel Benefit Changes
    This issue is vitally important to our future travel planning. Please sign our petition.
    2,421 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Russell Adams
  • McDonald's: Stop Theft of Worker Pay in the East Bay
    “Wage theft has been going on at fast-food restaurants for years but no one has had the courage to speak up about it because they’re afraid they will be let go.” Rhonesha Victor, Oakland resident, East Bay Fast Food Worker On top of paying thousands of workers an hourly wage of just $8 -- McDonald's appears to have routinely stolen their employees' pay. A class action lawsuit filed by employees in the state of California alleges that McDonald's engaged in "altering or condoning the alteration of time records to avoid paying [employees] for time they work and for overtime premiums they earn." The lawsuit also alleges McDonald's failed to pay workers wages for missed meal breaks and rest periods as required by California law. We already know that fast-food workers can barely get by on the low wages they are paid -- with over half needing some kind of public assistance to make ends meet. We will not tolerate corporations like McDonald's -- with 5.5 billion in profits last year -- adding to these workers' struggles by stealing their pay. We're calling on community members, elected leaders, and crew members from McDonald's locations across the state to come together in opposing wage theft from California food service workers.
    89 of 100 Signatures
    Created by East Bay Fast Food Workers