In a statement e-mailed during the protest, McDonald’s announced that [franchise owner] Andy Cheung “has agreed to leave the McDonald’s system.” The company added that it was “also working on connecting with the guest workers on an individual basis to most effectively address this situation,” and providing franchisees with information about the J-1 visa program’s requirements. The National Guestworker Alliance did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the McDonald’s announcement.As the students insist, the way to address the kind of abuse they faced isn't one-on-one. This is a problem both with McDonald's more generally and with the J-1 visa program, and has to be addressed from the top.
McDonald’s did not immediately respond to a request for further comment regarding the strikers’ demands, which include providing full-time work for US employees, disclosing where guest workers are employed in its stores, signing an agreement establishing organizing protections for workers, and ensuring that the students are compensated for unpaid wages. [...]
In an e-mailed statement, striking students called the McDonald’s announcement “an important admission of labor abuse at its stores,” but said that, “a change of management at three stores will not protect the guestworkers and U.S. workrs at McDonald’s 14,000 other stores in the U.S.” The strikers reiterated their call for a meeting with the company’s CEO “to come to an agreement on how to protect all McDonald’s workers.”
- Unionized workers at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore have a new contract—but their fight isn't over. The contract is only for a year, and the next contract will have to deal with health coverage concessions the hospital is demanding.
- New Orleans cab drivers are "independent contractors," except they have no real control over their work or working conditions. They're organizing to change that.
- How do you know what's made in the USA and what just has an American flag on it? And what laws govern claims about being made in the USA?
- An in-depth look at women day laborers in a Hasidic neighborhood, and an effort to make sure they know their rights.
- The myth of the overpaid public worker, Illinois edition.
- This would be progress:
Voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico passed a city ordinance increasing the minimum wage by an overwhelming margin last November, and people we talk to across the state think it makes sense to extend an increase for all New Mexicans. Last Monday, the state Senate passed a bill to increase the statewide minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $8.50, and the state House is considering a similar bill this week.Presumably New Mexico's Republican governor would veto a minimum wage increase, but if she did, it would certainly be something that could factor in a future campaign against her.
In Minnesota, the state legislature is starting to consider an increase in the state’s minimum wage, with committee votes expected in the state Senate next week. We’ve found strong support among people we’ve talked to for a higher minimum wage—support that has been reflected in public polling as well.
- As more people pay for coffee and pastries with their credit cards, coffee shop workers are losing out on the loose change tips they used to get. The DipJar might be an answer to that.
- I've sort of been hoping I wouldn't have to fully learn about this whole Sheryl Sandberg "Lean In" thing, but this piece by Ellen Bravo on leaning together would be good either way:
What helps many women move past fear is not having to act alone. Support from other women in the same situation—and even more, taking action as a group on behalf of all of us as we address the external barriers—gets us on our feet, turning our personal struggles into power.
Across this country, groups of women, many of them in the most precarious and least supportive jobs, are already leaning in because they have been leaning together. [...]
More and more, these women are leaning together, in groups like the National Domestic Workers Alliance. NDWA brings together the women whose skilled and valuable work makes possible all other work—including that of corporate executives, as Sandberg acknowledges. Women working as nannies and housekeepers and home care workers are gathering to share their stories and their dreams. By recognizing each other's strengths, they begin to see, value and understand their own. And the needs that they experienced as individual struggles become something different: conditions they can change together.
- Graduate research assistants at Oregon State University voted to unionize by a nearly nine-to-one margin.
- Corporate-approved state bills kick low-wage workers while they're down.