This Saturday is Workers Memorial Day, a time when working families across the country gather to remember the dead and fight for the living — as Mother Jones put it. Though we’ve made significant strides in workplace safety over the years, it’s clear that we’ve still got some work to do.
Fed up with the relentless attacks on workers from state legislators, Michiganders have launched a new campaign to protect collective bargaining rights. The Protect Our Jobs campaign has already begun collecting signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would ensure workers’ rights to form unions and bargain together for fair pay and better working conditions.
There’s no doubt that this initiative would be good for workers, but it’s also crucial for the state’s economic recovery. With the ability to bargain collectively, workers can regain their grasp on the middle class and pump much-needed consumer spending into the economy.
It’s a new year. And for many of us, that means new resolutions. People trudge to the gym, start doing the dishes right after dinner, or tackle their messy closets. But what about companies? Shouldn’t they be resolving to do a little self improvement too? In the case of Amazon.com, the answer is painfully clear. Read more »
In California right now, there’s a bill that would require hotels to give their housekeepers mops and other simple, common-sense tools that are proven to reduce injuries. Read more »
I’m a big fan of IKEA. They sell cool, affordable furniture and teach me a few Swedish words whenever I go to their stores. They’ve also made it their mission to be a responsible, innovative company that takes care of its workers. In Sweden, where almost all of IKEA’s workers are in unions, we’ve seen that mission fulfilled. The workers there earn about $19 an hour minimum and get five weeks of paid vacation.
So it’s incredibly disappointing to find out that those high standards aren’t true for their U.S. employees too.
At an IKEA subsidiary factory in Danville, Virginia, workers report they are facing pay cuts, mandatory overtime, racial discrimination, and dangerous conditions on the job.
It’s completely outrageous — and it needs to stop. Fortunately there is something you can do today. Write a letter to IKEA’s CEO and tell him to stop the intimidation and to let the U.S. workers have a fair shot to join a union! While we appreciate Ikea’s mission of corporate social responsibility, IKEA’s actions in its U.S. factory speak louder than words.
Today workers and their families gather across the country to remember and honor colleagues who were injured or killed on the job site last year. While we have made many improvements since workplace tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, research tells us more still needs to be done in order to protect the health and safety of America’s workers.
On Monday, the Restaurant Opportunity Council of DC (ROC) held an event to discuss their most recent report, Behind the Kitchen Door: Inequality and Opportunity in Washington, DC’s Thriving Restaurant Industry. And the findings were less than appetizing for the area’s food service workers.
The report took a detailed look at a wide range of topics, including racial discrimination, workplace safety, low wages, and public health. Restaurant employees reported facing tip theft by managers and owners, as well as wage theft—owners requiring workers to clock out before finishing work in order to avoid earning overtime. Similarly, the report found that many wait staff, busboys, and dishwashers are not given paid sick leave from work, exposing their coworkers and customers to illness.
Yesterday, American Rights at Work Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown and George Atallah, the NFL Players Association’ Assistant Executive Director for External Affairs, held a briefing call to discuss the implications of a lockout for all workers. Kim and George were joined on the call by a diverse group of non-labor organizations, coalitions, and think tanks, including: Center for American Progress , National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, Jobs with Justice, Military Saves, National Consumers League, Center for Economic and Policy Research, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
George began the call by reminding the participants that while labeled an “association,” the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is in fact a union. It was formed in 1956 with the rallying cry “clean socks and jocks,” in response to team owners refusing to provide clean uniforms. Ever since, the NFLPA has been fighting for many of the same workplace protections as workers in other industries—including health care, pensions, and safety on the job. And with the threat of a lockout looming, the NFLPA is standing with the hundreds of thousands of everyday workers – from the grounds crew in the stadium to the bell hops in the hotels – who would lose their jobs without a football season. Read more »