Wisconsin Jobs Now!
Wisconsin Jobs Now is a community-based, non-profit organization fighting to bring economic justice to our communities.
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New Campaign Campaigns
Starbucks: Commit to fixing your own racism!We each hail from Milwaukee – a city we love deeply. Yet every day, we're faced with the reality that systemic racism, police brutality, and a lack of good jobs have made our community home to both the highest incarceration rate for African Americans and the highest joblessness rate for Black men in the country. Roughly 40% of Starbucks' workforce are people of color – yet just 15% of its executives are of color. And in Milwaukee, which is a majority people of color city, African American employees are scarce in Howard Schultz's workforce. Clearly, there is plenty of work for Starbucks to do in its own house. We've each laid out some of our thoughts below. From Joe: I've worked at Starbucks for three years, and have lived and worked in Milwaukee for the past six months. My crew is excellent, and we support each other through tough days and busy shifts. The people in my store understand the challenges facing the patrons we serve. We are part of our community and we understand its needs. I also know that Starbucks – as a corporate entity – can do a lot more for its workers, customers and the communities it serves. During the week of March 16th, my manager distributed a roll of stickers and passed around a handout detailing the new "Race Together" initiative. I was shocked – it seemed so hypocritical when Starbucks employs thousands of baristas of color in jobs that pay poverty wages with too few hours to survive. Why not raise wages so that every barista makes at least $15 an hour and has access to stable, full-time work? If the company really cared about racial justice, they would look at the diversity of its workforce. Here in Milwaukee, it's hard to miss the fact that most of the Starbucks employees in this majority people of color city are white. Starbucks should be part of the solution by hiring more people of color in our city and giving these employees jobs that can support a family. From Nate: When we first learned of Starbucks' new "Race Together" campaign, we were kind of appalled. My brother, Dontre Hamilton, was shot 14 times by police after Starbucks employees repeatedly called the police on him. The people of Milwaukee have been protesting and petitioning for months for Starbucks to meet with us to discuss its role in the killing of my brother, and to help us heal and find a solution so that this tragedy never happens again. We've been asking the Starbucks CEO to speak out in support of our efforts, but have seen little in response. I've lived in Milwaukee most of my life and I feel Milwaukee can and must do better. What happened at the Red Arrow Starbucks is a symptom of the lack of investment and opportunity for black folks in Milwaukee. Starbucks has an important role to play here. By asking employees – without training or support – to engage in dialogue with total strangers about this deeply personal issue, you’re revealing just how little you understand about white privilege and systemic racism. My brother's tragic killing was an opportunity to initiate a frank conversation about the diversity of Starbucks employees, your policies and practices when dealing with diverse communities, and the impact racial bias, profiling and inequality have on your stores. Instead, corporate has done next to nothing but write #RaceTogether on a cup. Howard Schultz has announced that he's coming to Milwaukee on April 1st. I'd like Schultz to commit to real solutions during that visit – not gimmicks. The practices that led to the death of Dontre are being repeated in stores across the country. This isn't a Milwaukee problem, it's a company-wide problem. If Schultz wants to address racism he can start by making meaningful changes in his own business practices, by setting company wide protocols for dealing with diverse communities and by creating good jobs for our communities.2,642 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Joe the Barista and Nate Hamilton
Deaconess: Give Us Our PaychecksMy 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 SignaturesCreated by Edith Kimbrough