• Let Taxi Drivers Choose Their Employer
    Dear Mayor Euille, My name is Eyob Abay. I am an Ethiopian immigrant, but I have been living and working in Northern Virginia since 1988. I have been driving an Alexandria cab for Yellow Cab Company for six years. I am proud to serve my fellow Alexandria citizens in their transportation needs. Unfortunately, I work long hours to pay my high weekly dispatch dues and have money left over for me and my family. Each evening after work ends at 1pm, I go home, go to bed, and the next morning at 2am I wake up to do it all over again. My wife complains that I don't have time for my family and my kids are not getting the support they need from me. They don't need money, they need time with their father. I've been robbed multiple times, often by the same woman. If I were to refuse to pick her up, Yellow Cab would suspend me from work; every day missed from work is a day I can't make money to pay my weekly company dues and support my family, so suspension is not an option for me. People have run away from my cab without paying me, and my bosses do not care, not even enough lower my dues for that week. As hard as my work has been for me, I cannot change companies if I am not happy at Yellow Cab. My coworkers at different companies in Alexandria face the same struggle. We can only stay where we are, forcing us to accept whatever working conditions cab companies pass down to us. We cab drivers do all the work to make money for our respective companies, and yet we do not benefit--the companies do! I'm not saying the companies should not be paid, but it should be reasonable. My story is just one of nearly 800 in Alexandria. One of my coworkers, who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from his boss, is a single father of a four-year-old daughter. He undergoes dialysis three days a week to combat his kidney failure. He takes care of all this while working long hours, facing the apathy and lack of respect of his management. Even worse, as "independent contractors," we don't receive any health benefits or benefits of any kind! Another of my coworkers once was robbed at gun point in his cab. The thief stole his entire week's wages, but he still had to pay his company dues. Yellow didn't ask how he felt or if he needed medical attention. In fact, apart from asking for their portion of his stolen earnings, they did not respond to the event at all. But Yellow Cab Company is not the sole culprit. As long as the law is on their side, all the cab companies in Alexandria can and will continue to exploit taxi workers in this great city. I urge you, on all of our behalf, to grant us freedom of movement to provide us cab drivers with the basic rights and security to serve our families, communities and city safely and fairly. Sincerely, Eyob Abay
    258 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Eyob Abay Picture
  • Help Employees Save the Tabard Inn
    The Tabard Inn was established in 1922 in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. Neighbors and employees have played a major role in the survival and success of the Tabard Inn. Today, it's seen by many as a DC institution. Its infancy survived the Great Depression. During WWII, the Tabard served as a boardinghouse for Navy Women Accepted Volunteer Service (WAVES). In the 1970's, neighbors lobbied the zoning board and purchased minority shares to save the Tabard from demolition. And in 1975 Edward and Fritzi Cohen purchased the Tabard Inn, and it's been a beloved family-run business ever since. In 1993, the Tabard's owners (Edward and Fritzi Cohen) recognized the employee role in Tabard's success and created an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that granted employees 30% ownership. At that time (and as recently as spring 2013), they stated a desire for employees to eventually have 100% ownership of the Tabard. Unfortunately, a significant change in philosophy is threatening the Tabard's legacy, character, and very existence. In one month, the Tabard Inn lost eight hardworking career employees from its leadership team. * General Manager (20 years at the Tabard) * Hotel Manager (7.5 years at the Tabard) * Accounts Payable Clerk & Floor Manager (20 years at the Tabard) * Design & Project Manager (32 years at the Tabard) * Restaurant Manager (5.5 years at the Tabard) * Special Events Manager & Wedding Director (10.5 years at the Tabard) * Housekeeping Manager (13.5 years at the Tabard) * Special Events Coordinator (3 years at the Tabard) More than 110 years worth of institutional knowledge, experience, and vendor and patron relationships have been drained from the Tabard in just one month. This loss has left a significant void in Tabard's employee leadership. We, the employees, are proud to work at the Tabard Inn. However, we are deeply concerned with the decisions being made during this internal restructuring. Many of us go to work at Tabard every day in fear of losing our jobs. The new manager described firing as, "a favorite part of my job." We have expressed our concern, but received no reassurance. We have proposed a solution, which would increase employee ownership and allow the employees who treasure the Tabard to serve as its protectors, but for over one month we have not received a response. There has been no communication. Meanwhile, policy changes and terminations put the Tabard in an increasingly vulnerable position. Despite being shareholders in the company, the employees no longer have a voice. This is a dramatic change for a business known for valuing its employees. Employees believe the Tabard belongs in the hands of those who know it and love it. As employees who love the Tabard, it is with great consternation that we share this story. We seek to increase employee ownership to a majority in order to preserve the Tabard's character and reinstate the values as described by Tabard's mission statement: "The Tabard Inn provides attentive service in a relaxed environment where guests can feel comfortable in casual or formal attire. We strive to make every guest either a repeat customer or someone who will still recommend us heartily as a restaurant with great food, excellent service, and a romantic and charming atmosphere. We want to be everyone's favorite place to go in Washington, DC. We achieve this objective by working as a team whose primary interest is our customers' satisfaction. Rather than be interested solely in how much money we can make today or tonight, our team members actively determine whether their actions will help everyone profit in the long run. We take actions which nourish and clean the environment, and we support local businesses and charitable causes. Tabard Inn employees are career employees who strive for continuous improvement. We're proud and protective of our diversity, and we treat employees and guests with respect. We demand excellence from our employees and vendors, and we have fun at what we do." Already signed by the following current, recent, and former Tabard Inn employees: Erin Claxton Carolyn E. DeWitt Stephanie Granger Veronica Hunter Holly Learmouth Shannon MacDonald Irene Mayer Paul Michel Travis Miller Camille Smiley Janelle Treibitz Jared Wilyato We truly appreciate all your support! Thank you for joining our effort to preserve the Tabard. Sincerely, The Tabard Inn Employee Committee
    2,266 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Carolyn DeWitt
  • Return Partner sick days
    How would you feel if you had to choose between keeping your job to feed your kids, or staying home to take care of your kids when they are sick? Can you imagine choosing between getting fired or not being able to make rent because you stayed home to get well, or being forced to go to work and expose customers to germs, despite the fact that this is in direct defiance of Starbucks health code? Every day, Starbucks workers have to make choices like these because Starbucks has taken away our sick days, putting partners and customers at risk even though the company makes over $1 billion a year. Proper sick leave is not only a fundamental right, but an ethical necessity. Please sign our petition- tell Starbucks you want paid sick for all workers. Let's make Starbucks a healthy, family-friendly workplace for all!
    8 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Samantha Cole
  • Mia Birk, Play Fair: Bikeshare Owes Backpay & Benefits
    Mia, do you remember when you shipped us free copies of your book, Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet? It was inspiring to read that we must, "See the bicycle as a tool for empowerment and social change, not just sport or transportation." We couldn't agree more. However, the title left some of us wondering where we fit into that “healthier planet” as we worked without healthcare, doing dangerous jobs on busy streets and in a filthy warehouse by the Superfund section of Southwest DC. Given our situation, we were surprised to discover that Alta repeatedly signed a Federal contract with DDOT, agreeing to pay specific prevailing wages and health & welfare benefits to all Capital Bikeshare workers in compliance with the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act. These wages and benefits apply to all workers under the contract regardless of full or part-time status (29 C.F.R. § 4.176). We helped build Alta's flagship bikesharing program in DC and we're proud to see Alta landing big contracts all over the USA as a result of our hard work: Citi Bike in New York, Divvy in Chicago, Hubway in Boston; Puget Sound Bikeshare in Seattle; San Francisco, Columbus, Baltimore, Portland... It would be a shame to see bad labor practices pollute the growth of such a socially and environmentally important industry. Mia, it's time for Alta Bicycle Share to play fair and set an example as a leader in good green jobs. Here's how: 1) Honor the Alta-DDOT contracts and immediately pay full back-pay for all unpaid wages and unpaid health & welfare benefits. 2) Comply with the letter and the spirit of the Service Contract Act, from here on out. 3) Commit to paying strong living wages and benefits to Bikeshare workers at every Alta-operated Bikesharing program from New York City to the San Francisco Bay. We trust that you will take prompt action to address these challenges as we all pedal together towards a sustainable future. Capital Bikeshare Workers past & present, Samuel D. Swenson 9/2011-8/2012 Bernard F. Smith 8/2010-9/2012 Omar Estrada 10/2010-10/2012 Spencer Turner 10/2010-10/2012 Anibal Apunte 4/2011-7/2012 Scott Brumbaugh 11/2011-4/2013 Jamal Hicks 2011 Khalil Brown 2011 Jeff Bertolet 2012-present Fhar Miess 7/2011-present Greg Washington 2011-present Zeek Manago 3/2012-present John Farmer 6/2012-present Kermit Demus 8/2012-present Douglas Tyrone Jones 1/2012-present Robert Apunte 2011-present * 2 current long-time workers asked to sign anonymously Kevin Gordon, 4/2013-present Gerald Sinclair, 7/2012-present Veltrick Copeland, present Jason Frantz, Bike Checker, 2012-present Alejandro Fuentes
    1,632 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Samuel Swenson
  • Deaconess: Give Us Our Paychecks
    My name is Edith Kimbrough, and I love being a home care worker. Believe it or not, I’ve had twelve kids of my own, so I know a thing or two about taking care of people! As a home care worker for Deaconess Home Health in Milwaukee, I travel to the homes of sick and elderly folks and make sure they have everything they need. I took excellent care of people for Deaconess. But Deaconess has not taken such good care of me. On April 30, my coworkers and I were abruptly told that Deaconess had lost state funding and that we should all go home and not come back. The state tells a different story: that Deaconess is under investigation for fraud. We were all shocked and upset by this news. In fact, some of us even kept taking care of our patients, because we knew that if we didn’t show up, no one else would. Things went from bad to worse. Deaconess did not pay us for the second half of April, so I wasn’t able to pay my rent for May and lost my apartment. Now my 3-year-old daughter and I are staying at a friend’s house, sleeping wherever we can find the space. My coworkers are in similar situations -- we were already paid so little that many of us were one paycheck away from homelessness, and that last paycheck still hasn’t come. We’re not going to stop fighting until Deaconess gives us the backpay we are rightfully owed. Last weekend, we held a rally at Deaconess headquarters that was taped for the news. Deaconess is feeling the public pressure to meet its commitment to its employees, and we know that if thousands of people sign our petition, Deaconess will realize that we’re going to keep that pressure on high until we get what we need. Please sign my petition demanding that Deaconess Home Health pay me and other home care workers the backpay we are owed.
    4,960 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Edith Kimbrough
  • Stop Posting Illegal Unpaid Internships!
    *************UPDATE***************** In response to this petition, NYU has responded! After negotiating with NYU officials as a result of the petition, NYU has heightened its protections against illegal unpaid internships on its career site (all changes effective as of January 2014). Employers must now verify that their internship positions comply with the US Department of Labor guidelines before posting, among several other measures. (Read more here: http://college.usatoday.com/2014/02/20/nyus-new-internship-oversight-raises-questions-about-unpaid-internships/) Thank you for putting your signature on this petition and creating the first successful student-led movement against the university's involvement in contributing to illegal unpaid internships. More progress is on the way! To get involved in future campaigns on this issue, email [email protected] **************************************** Unpaid internships are illegal* and unfair; many violate federal and state labor laws. They deny people the pay they earn, the rights they are entitled to, and the opportunities they deserve. By posting illegal unpaid internships, the Wasserman Center is perpetuating issues in the following categories: --Economic: unpaid internships displace employees, take away jobs, and devalue work (unpaid interns at the average company receive only a 1% advantage in getting a job at that company than an applicant who has never worked there) --Legal: unpaid interns are not protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and therefore have no standing in court against discrimination or sexual harassment --Class: only those who can afford unpaid internships can have them --Race: minority groups are almost systematically at a disadvantage with lower economic support and face discrimination without legal protection --LGBTQ: face discrimination without legal protection --Gender: 77% of unpaid internships are held by women while more paid positions are awarded to men, which widens the gender income gap (women make $0.78 for every dollar a man makes) --Human Rights: if workers are treated as employees, they should be compensated fairly for their work. NYU’s Wasserman Career Center would never post positions that were not open to women, or LGBT people, or people of color. They should not post positions that are not open to people who cannot afford to work for free. Join us in our fight against illegal labor exploitation. Sign this petition to stop NYU’s Wasserman Career Center from posting ads for illegal unpaid internships. *Unpaid internships are illegal if the internship is FOR-PROFIT and does not follow the six criteria outlined by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Therefore, this campaign specifically targets unpaid internships in the for-profit sector that violate these provisions. The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination: 1.The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; 2.The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; 3.The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff; 4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded; 5.The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and 6.The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
    1,206 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Christina Isnardi
  • FIFA: The World Cup Should Be Played on Natural Grass
    ----2015 UPDATE--- In an interview with Julie Foudy, Abby Wambach broke news that FIFA leaders assured her that the Women's World Cup would never again be played on turf. She said, “[Valcke] assured us that the Women’s World Cup would never be played on turf again. He gave me his word, which for me, that’s a win. For me, that’s progress.” Original text: In 2012, the Women’s Gold Medal soccer match for the London Olympics was the NBC Sports Network’s most watched event in the network's history with 4.35 million viewers. More people around the world livestreamed the women's final than any other sporting event during the Olympics. And yet, still, professional women soccer players struggle to be given the respect they deserve. The latest insult to professional women soccer players comes with the decision by FIFA to hold the entire 2015 Women's World Cup tournament on artificial turf. When Abby Wambach -- the 2012 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year -- heard of this news, she noted, "The men would strike playing on artificial turf." And Wambach, who is known for her physical style of play, should be especially worried. The American Academy of Neurology recently reported that concussions appear to be more prevalent for certain athletes playing on artificial turf, and that women athletes appear more likely to experience concussions in soccer than in other sports. Artificial turf has been blamed for increased injuries on sporting fields, including more sprained ankles, concussions, turf burns, and an injury known as "turf toe." Overheating is also a health concern for athletes since temperatures can be hotter on artificial surfaces than on natural grass. Finally, turf is widely known to alter the speed and quality of play on the field. With all of this in mind, it's not hard to understand why many players feel that being forced to play their World Cup on artificial turf is gender discrimination. I'm a huge fan of women's soccer. I love going to Washington Spirit games -- where the team plays on natural grass -- and I'm excited to attend the upcoming CONCACAF qualifiers for the Women's World Cup. These women deserve respect for their athleticism and that's why I'm standing up with professional players from national teams around the world who have spoken out and signed on to this campaign as well. Some of the best soccer players in the world deserve to play the most competitive matches of their lives on real grass. FIFA has the power to modify the venues for the World Cup games to fields with real grass. Do the right thing, FIFA, and give professional women soccer players the respect they deserve. ----Signatures from Players---- More than 70 national team players from at least 17 different national teams have signed this petition to FIFA calling for natural grass in the 2015 Women's World Cup. Below is a list of professional players who've added their name to this public petition: Abby Wambach - USA Heather O'Reilly - USA Carli Lloyd - USA Shannon Boxx - USA Ali Krieger - USA Alex Morgan - USA Whitney Engen - USA Ashlyn Harris - USA Christie Rampone - USA 安藤 梢 (Kozue Ando) - JPN 大儀見 優季 (Yūki Ōgimi) - JPN Anja Mittag - GER Nadine Angerer - GER Annike Krahn - GER Célia Okoyino da Mbabi - GER Kim Kulig - GER Almuth Schult - GER Laura Benkarth - GER Melanie Behringer - GER Nadine Keßler - GER Lena Goeßling - GER Alexandra Popp - GER Babbett Peter - GER Melissa Barbieri - AUS Sam Kerr - AUS Caitlin Foord - AUS Natalia Gaitan - COL Melissa Ortiz - COL Nataly Arias - COL Stefany Castaño - COL Eugénie Le Sommer - FRA Camille Abily - FRA Wendie Renard - FRA Sarah Bouhaddi - FRA Élise Bussaglia - FRA Louisa Nécib - FRA Caroline Seger - SWE Lotta Schelin - SWE Kosavare Asllani - SWE Olivia Schough - SWE Sara Thunebro - SWE Malin Levenstad - SWE Sofia Lundgren - SWE Emma Berglund - SWE Charlotte Rohlin - SWE Hedvig Lindahl - SWE Nilla Fischer - SWE Annica Svensson - SWE Therese Sjoran - SWE Caroline Jönsson - SWE Anita Asante - ENG Faye White - ENG Nora Holstad - NOR Ingvild Isaken - NOR Maren Mjelde - NOR Arianna Romero - MEX Theresa 'Lupita' Worbis - MEX Jackie Acevedo - MEX Renae Cuéllar - MEX Ana-Maria Crnogorčević - SUI Noëlle Maritz - SUI Vanessa Bernauer - SUI Sandra Betschart - SUI Martina Moser - SUI Rahel Kiwic - SUI Fabienne Humm - SUI Shannon Smyth - IRL Ciara Grant (b. 1993) - IRL Veronica Boquete - ESP Erin Nayler - NZF Stefanía Maggiolini - URY Desire Oparanozie - NGA Indira Ilić - SRB Getter Laar - EST Michelle Akers - USA (Retired) Linda Hamilton - USA (Retired) Sandra Smisek - GER (Retired)
    22,963 of 25,000 Signatures
    Created by Sophie Vick
  • Juicy: Take Care of Your Workers
    My name is Duane, and I’m a proud father of my beautiful five-year-old daughter. I worked at Juicy Couture’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City for almost four years in the stock department. I started this petition with my coworker Darrell, because while we stock & sell Juicy Couture’s $200 jeans and sweaters, the company decided they don’t want to take care of their workers. Darrell was a successful full-time sales associate for two and half years, until the company started pushing full-time workers out. When I started, I also got 40 hours a week, but I struggled along with my coworkers as our hours were cut. Eventually, I was down to 14 hours each week. When I asked for more hours, they said they couldn’t give them to me because I didn’t have open availability – because of my daughter. When we began working at Juicy Couture, many of us were full-time. Now, only 19 of the store’s 128 employees are full-time! Not only are they firing full-time workers and replacing us with a part-time workforce, just this month Juicy capped all part-time workers hours at 21 hours per week. We quickly realized that Juicy Couture is doing everything they can to not take care of its workers. See, it was hard enough for us to make ends meet in New York City as full-time retail workers. But by keeping hours under 30 per week, Juicy Couture will no longer be required to offer their workers affordable health care – part of the Affordable Health Care Act’s plan to make sure more working Americans have basic health care. Further, we were told we’re only eligible for paid time off in case we’re sick or have other responsibilities if we work 1400 hours in one year. We did the math, and realized part-time workers reach that at 21 hours per week. This means that the vast majority of Juicy Couture’s workers will not ever get one single paid sick day. Darrell and I are just two of the full-time employees that have been forced out of Juicy Couture by having our hours cut or being fired. Now we’re speaking out on behalf of my coworkers who remain at the store, because we all deserve Just Hours. We know from experience that Juicy has loyal customers and dedicated employees -- if enough of us speak out and demand Just Hours, they'll have no choice but to act.
    4,726 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Duane and Darrell
  • McDonald's Must Pay!
    http://youtu.be/E8lKrbD2U84 Dear Mr. Thompson, My name is Jorge Rios. I’m a student guestworker from Argentina who came to the U.S. on the State Department’s J-1 Summer Work Travel Program, together with other students from Latin America and Asia. We paid $3,000-4,000 each to come to the United States on this program, expecting a cultural exchange and good work that would let us earn back this money over three months and travel a bit at the end. Instead, we became exploited workers at McDonald’s restaurants in Pennsylvania. We had terrible working and housing conditions. We faced threats, stolen wages, grease burns up and down our arms. We were only used to enrich our employer. We expected to have 40 hours of work a week, but we were given as little as four hours a week at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The employer knew we were desperate for more hours, and he kept us on call to come in with 30 minutes’ notice all day and night. I didn’t even have time to visit the public library. If we ever answered that we couldn’t work a shift—if someone was sick or exhausted when they got a call at 4 in the morning—the managers retaliated by giving us even less hours. We could not quit because we knew that if we did, our visas would be cancelled. One manager told us, “You better remember, all we have to do is make one phone call and we can deport you back to your country at any time.” Our employer Andy Cheung charged us $300 each per month to live in basement apartments he owned. As many as eight of us lived in a single basement. We slept on bunkbeds made for children that shook and squeaked. We had no privacy whatsoever. When we talked to the U.S. workers alongside us, we learned that they were being exploited too. They told us they also faced too few hours, threats from managers, and unpaid overtime. This is not the America we believed in. We believe America is a beautiful country, where everyone can have respect and fair treatment at work. We decided to stand up for ourselves, for other J-1 student guestworkers, and for U.S. workers. Today, with the support of the National Guestworker Alliance, my fellow students and I held a surprise work stoppage at the McDonald’s where we worked. We met with allies from the community, with local workers, and with unemployed people. We told our stories, and said that no one should have to experience what we did. We asked to meet with our employer Andy Cheung, but he refused. So we are respectfully asking you, as President and CEO of McDonald’s: 1. That McDonald’s pay us students back all the money we are owed, including the money we spent to come work for the company, unpaid overtime, and housing overcharges; 2. That McDonald’s offer full-time work to its U.S. workers, who are struggling with too few hours; 3. That McDonald’s reveal all the stores where it employs guestworkers, and sign an agreement with the National Guestworker Alliance to guarantee basic labor standards for them, including protections from retaliation when workers organize against abuse. Sincerely, Jorge Rios and the McDonald’s J-1 Student Guestworkers
    9,388 of 10,000 Signatures
    Created by Jorge Rios
  • Hazard Pay for Essential Variety Care Employees
    No one saw COVID-19 coming. The staff realizes that we need to see patients because the patients need us and our community needs us. We need Variety Care Administration to provide hazard pay to any and all staff that has duties considered to be essential. Housekeeping, Maintenance, Receptionist, Medical Assistants, Lab techs, Providers-- anyone that who must be in the front lines of COVID and directly impacts the care of patients should be given hazard pay
    3 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Variety Care
  • Starbucks please do not open dining rooms
    It’s not recommended to have prolonged contact with anyone without masks. Opening the inside cafe opens up not only prolonged contact, but prolonged contact, as people take their masks off to drink, eat, talk, sneeze, and cough. The CDC still recommends masks and no prolonged contact with people. Baristas are going to be put into a position to pick employment or risking their lives. Please keep inside dining closed down until there is minimal covid infections in the United States or a vaccine most Americans will get. It seems to be a greedy move to open cafes and subject baristas to illness or death. Please keep cafes closed to reduce the spread of covid! It is not time to let go of caution .
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    Created by Cynthia McGowen
  • McDonald's Should Not Be Allowed To Schedule Workers 8 Hours But Only Pay Them For 4 Hours work
    McDonald's is CHEATING their employees out of a full paycheck which they've EARNED and causing undo hardship by stealing living wages right out of their pockets. People are working full time so they can get a full time check not a partial paycheck. It is not right and has to be against the law to have someone work a 40 hour week and turn around and pay them for a 20 hour week. If you don't want employees getting paid for full time hours then schedule them to work 20 hours per week. It is the RIGHT of every employee to get paid for the ACTUAL hours they put in. McDonald's does not appreciate their employees and treat them like slaves. These are human beings you are dealing with. You cannot play around with someone's livelihood. Many of these people are over 30 and over 40 and have children they are trying to feed as well as meet their own obligations. McDonald's wants its workers to put in the hours and do the work but they don't want to pay them what they're worth. This is a very difficult job and no employee should be earning LESS than what they deserve while being overworked and undervalued. This is the true definition of overworked and underpaid. McDonald's is the most heartless, ruthless, stressful, unfair and highly disorganized organization I have ever been a part of. I will NOT be returning. It's so not worth the toil just to get a few dollars in your pocket.
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    Created by K. James