• 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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  • 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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  • Starbucks: Don't Limit Our Education to ASU
    More online degree options will give more baristas the opportunity to make a positive change to our lives. While ASU has many great programs, their online course selection is rather limited. They don’t offer degrees in many baristas’ chosen fields (such as Animation, Physics, or Neuroscience) or some of the certifications we need to find employment after completing our education (such as A+, Net+, and Security+ certification for Cybersecurity and Network engineering). By offering more online degree options, Starbucks can unlock the potential of every employee in every geographic location. In addition, more online degree options will make it easier on baristas’ schedules. We will have the flexibility to choose the program we want and the classes that will best fit with our working hours. Starbucks has always had a progressive company culture that encourages employees to achieve their future goals. While Starbucks’ partnership with ASU has opened up doors for many employees, it is time to expand educational offerings so that all employees can pursue their aspirations through education. Here are just some of the other online accredited degree colleges and universities I've found through my own research: Western Governors University Colorado Technical University Colorado State University Gonzaga University Online
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  • Restore 2015 rates
    Uber needs to start paying its fair share to the drivers and to the government counting that money as income for drivers when they never see a penny of it is cheesy to say the least even if it's legal it shouldn't be
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  • Reduce idle time, eliminate surge pricing!
    · These measures are extremely important to reduce idle time and to distribute available cars more evenly across served area and throughout 24-hour periods, and to compensate drivers more fairly--in particular those who drive the graveyard shift putting their lives in danger and sacrificing important family time. · These measures will increase Uber's total billings and profit margins, increase drivers' net take, and dramatically reduce riders' waiting time. · I have asked many riders how they would feel about higher-than-normal set prices at high-demand times, thus eliminating the loathed Surge Pricing system. Riders LOVE the idea, are in total agreement.
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  • The sixth star
    Many drivers, like me, provide really superior and above average service. (Like most Uber drivers did in the 'old days') Water, mints, chargers, and a real knowledge of the cities in which we drive. Often my passengers get what amounts to a bonus of a narrated tour as well as transport to their destination and concierge services like restaurant suggestions and assisting w reservations.
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  • Delete rating system
    Because people are different and if they have a personality conflict it shouldn't effect their work life. I also think that if a driver works in a distressed neighborhood they will not have as high a rating as if they work in a privileged area
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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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  • Let concession workers keep their tips!
    The US Cellular Center hosts amazing performers that draw big crowds of drinking patrons. Annual events like Warren Haynes Christmas Jam and the SoCon Basketball Tournament bring returning patrons. These visitors develop lasting memories based on their yearly trips to our scenic mountain town. The City of Asheville runs the US Cellular Center and the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Patrons of both arenas can order food, soda, cocktails, beer and wine at concession stands located throughout each venue. Alcohol sales are high during these big events and require responsible alcohol service and bartenders that know how to hustle. Ok, so imagine you’re at one of these shows and you find yourself thirsty for a cold one. You pay for your awesome, local craft beer. You leave $1 or $2 a for the person who poured your beverage. Do you assume your $1 is for the person who served you? Workers that are busy pouring beer, making change and managing the crowds are forced to tell you they can’t accept your kind tip. This holds up the line for service and patrons are often confused and annoyed. Sometimes guests insist and walk away. Workers were made to sign a document acknowledging that if they were caught accepting any tip, they could be fired. Of course, we know good folks still leave tips for direct service. Sometimes there are tip jars out, sometimes not. At the launch of this campaign, workers report they receive NO CASH TIPS even as they are being collected. It’s bad customer service if patrons want to tip and can’t. It is also a combative policy to workers that fear job loss if they accept a tip. We need tip transparency at the US Cellular Center/Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and these workers deserve their tips. Join our campaign by signing this petition for change. Thanks for your support!!
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  • Retail Workers need $15 and full-time
    Aaron Lawson, Dollar General, Williamsburg, OH I’ve worked at Dollar General now for eight months. I make $8.15 an hour and struggle to scrape enough money together just to eat each week. Because my hours fluctuate from ten to 25 hours each week I can only worry just about basics, keeping a roof over my head, my bills and making sure I have a frozen dinner waiting for me at home when I get off work. I walk to work everyday but if I made $15 an hour with consistent, fulltime hours the first thing I would do is buy a car and get a driver’s license. The freedom of having a car and being able to go anywhere would be amazing. ---- Regina Mays, Walmart, High Point, NC My name is Regina Mays and I make $11.05 an hour after almost 6 years at Walmart. Often, I’m only scheduled for 32 hours each week but I’ve gone weeks with no hours. Not knowing what I’ll get from week to week makes it almost impossible to budget. What’s more, I have two children with special needs that are my world and inconsistent schedules make it a constant struggle to be able to provide for them. If I made $15 an hour with consistent, full-time hours I would be able to afford a more reliable vehicle. My van breaks down on the way to work but I can’t afford a new one. All I want to be able to do is serve my community by working at Walmart and be able to provide for my family. Is that too much to ask? ---- Becky Lam, Victoria’s Secret, Texas I’ve been with Victoria’s Secret for eight months and I make $10 an hour. I like my job but it’s tough to get consistent schedules. They are changing all the time and often last minute. If you miss a shift you get written up. If I made $15 an hour and had consistent, full-time hours I would be able to pay off more student loans. I just completed my first year of college and already have a lot.
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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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