#Honkfor15 Day of Action

honk-flyerJoin Us on Friday, October 10 from 3pm – 5pm as we take to the streets to #honkfor15!

Meet us in Downtown Crossing (corner of Washington and Winter Streets)

Together, we’ll raise our voices, beat our drums, and honk our horns in support of the national Fight for 15 movement. Workers across the country are organizing to win $15/hour and the right to form a union. From fast food to health care to transportation and beyond, workers across industries are uniting to Fight for 15! In Seattle, workers recently won a $15 minimum wage. The Fight for 15 is gaining momentum and on the eve of the annual HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands, we will band together (pun intended!) to oppose corporate greed and promote better wages for workers. Join us to #WageAction and #HONKfor15 on October 10!

 

Boston Fast Food Workers to Strike as Fight for $15 and Union Rights Intensifies

Media Advisory for: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Fast food: Reginald Zimmerman, reggie@massuniting.org, 857-399-3918
Home care: Jeff Hall, jeff.hall@1199.org, 617-281-8384

#StrikeFastFood
BOSTON FAST FOOD WORKERS TO STRIKE AS FIGHT FOR $15 AND UNION RIGHTS INTENSIFIES

Local McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s Workers Among Those in 150+ Cities Expected To Walk Off Their Jobs
Home Care Workers to Join Growing Movement For Higher Pay

BOSTON – Coming off a convention at which they vowed to do “whatever it takes” to win $15 and the right to form a union, Boston fast-food workers will walk off their jobs Thursday as their movement intensifies and continues to spread.

Workers, from Boston major fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are expected to strike. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines.

Inspired by the actions of fast-food workers, home care workers have decided to join the nationwide movement for higher pay and better rights on the job. In several cities, including Boston, both nonunion and union home care workers will join striking fast-food workers, as the Fight for $15 spreads to a new, fast-growing service industry.

Union and non-union home care workers, along with senior and disability allies, will host a “Speak Out for $15” at the Massachusetts State House steps at 10:00 a.m. before joining the fast-food workers at their 11:45 a.m. action on Washington Street.

WHO: Workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Dunkin Donuts; Community Supporters; Clergy; other low-wage workers including home care workers

WHAT: Home Care Speak Out for $15 and Fast-Food Worker Strike

WHERE / WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 4 @ 10:00AM
Home Care Speak Out: Massachusetts State House steps (Intersection of Beacon and Park Streets), Boston

Followed by: Thursday, Sept. 4 @ 11:45 AM
Fast Food Strike: Meet at the Irish Famine Memorial, Downtown Boston

BACKGROUND:

Thursday’s strike comes a little more than a month after the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel determined that, despite McDonald’s repeated claims, the company is a joint employer that exerts substantial power over its employees’ working conditions. For nearly two years, McDonald’s and other fast-food workers have been joining together and going on strike, calling for $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation. But time and time again, the company and other industry players have tried to sidestep workers’ calls, inventing a make-believe world in which responsibility for wages and working conditions falls squarely only on the shoulders of franchisees, not the corporations that control how food is served and priced.

As corporations push down real wages for average American workers, a growing number of economists warn that low wages are a barrier to growth that are harming the overall U.S. economy.

A campaign that started in New York City in November 2012, with 200 fast-food workers walking off their jobs demanding $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation, has since spread to more than 150 cities in every region of the country, including the South. The growing fight for $15 has been credited with elevating the debate around inequality in the U.S. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said that it has “entirely changed the politics of the country.” Since the campaign launched, nearly 7 million low-wage workers have seen their wages rise. What seemed like a far-fetched goal–$15 an hour—is now a reality in Seattle, where Bloomberg News said the city adopted “the rallying cry of fast-food workers.”

In Boston, workers and advocates who support the Fight for $15 have united through the #WageAction coalition which helped kick off the citywide Fight for $15 with rallies in June and August that drew low-wage workers from across multiple industries.

As it spreads, the movement is challenging fast-food companies’ outdated notion that their workers are teenagers looking for pocket change. Today’s workers are mothers and fathers struggling to raise children on wages that are too low. And they’re showing the industry that if it doesn’t raise pay, it will continue to be at the center of the national debate on what’s wrong with our economy.

Follow all of the nationwide action on strike day at www.strikefastfood.org and on Twitter with the #StrikeFastFood, #WageAction, and #HomeCare15 hashtags.

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Community Fair puts focus on low-wage worker struggle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2014
CONTACT: Jeff Hall, 617-281-8384, jeff.hall@1199.org

On behalf of the #WageAction coalition &
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

This release and courtesy photos available here: http://bit.ly/1teI9nM

Community Fair puts focus on low-wage worker struggle

Hundreds sign up to join “Fight for $15” during Dorchester event

DORCHESTER, MA – The #WageAction coalition, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Jobs with Justice, MassUniting, the NAACP, and other progressive organizations hosted a free community fair on Carson Beach as workers and advocates celebrated recent victories and gear up for a week of #WageAction around Labor Day.

Under blue skies on Saturday, August 16, the event at Carson Beach near the border of Dorchester and South Boston drew approximately 1,000 participants from the community throughout the course of the day. The August 16 event celebrated the successful launch of a low-wage workers movement in Massachusetts and attracted even more workers and community members to the Fight for $15 cause.

Families turned out in big numbers to enjoy free BBQ, raffles, kids’ games, dance contests, and other free family fun between Noon and 6:00 p.m. Free workshops were also held focusing on family budgeting, eating healthy on a budget, stress reduction, and yoga.

At 2:30 p.m., low wage workers and elected leaders staged a brief speaking program at the Gazebo off Carson Beach. Workers from across industries – including fast food, transportation, homecare and more – talked about why they’re joining the Fight for $15 movement and the struggles they face living on low wages.

“I have worked in homecare for 14 years. I am in the same situation as many low wage workers. I have terrible wages, no sick days, or vacations” said caregiver Eneyda Perez during the program. “As a single mother, I’m part of the movement of homecare workers who are joining the Fight for $15.”

On the heels of the national fast-food strikes, workers winning a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, and the #WageAction event held in Boston on June 12, advocates are planning a Week of #WageAction around Labor Day.

Candidate for Governor Martha Coakley, Candidate for Attorney General Warren Tolman, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, Candidate for Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Candidate for Register of Probate & Family Court Felix D. Arroyo, Candidate for State Representative Eric Esteves, Representative Dan Cullinane, Representative Gloria Fox, Representative Evandro C. Carvalho, and candidates for Lieutenant Governor Steve Kerrigan and Mike Lake were amongst those who stopped by the Community Fair.

Partner organizations with information tables or conducting workshops at the fair included: Boston Public Health Commission – Navigators, One Care, More Than Wheels, Health Care for All, Boston Medical Center, MassUniting, BPD Neighborhood Crime Watch Unit and Crimestoppers Units, City Of Boston Dept. of Neighborhood Development, NAACP, South End Community Health Center, Carney Hospital, Opportunity to Learn, 1199SEIU Training & Upgrading Fund, BPHC Entre Familia, Whittier Street Health Center, Roxbury Community College, Community Membership Program of Huntington Theater Productions, Sonnenschein Law, BPHC Mayor’s Health Line, MassCosh Teen L@W, Chinese Progressive Association, Sele-Dent, City of Boston Neighborhood Services, City of Boston New Bostonians, NY Life, ACE, and Jobs with Justice, amongst others.

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Wage Action: Low wage worker protests slated for Boston, Worcester, Springfield on June 12

FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2014
Contact: Jeff Hall, 617-281-8384, jeff.hall@1199.org or Laura Wareck, 978-660-9587}
On behalf of the Wage Action Coalition, http://www.WageAction.org

Wage Action: Low wage worker protests slated for Boston, Worcester, Springfield on June 12

Frustrated by growing wage inequality, inspired by fast food strikes and Fight for $15, workers in Mass. declare Day of Action

MASSACHUSETTS—Fed up with an ever-widening income gap and inspired by recent national strike actions, hundreds of low-wage workers from multiple industries will gather in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield on June 12 to demonstrate for higher wages and to protest growing wage inequality.

Who

Fast food, retail, university, transportation, home care, healthcare workers, and more

What

Statewide protests opposing wage inequality and calling for higher wages

When

Thursday, June 12, 2014, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Where

  • Boston: Rally at Copley Square, followed by downtown march and rolling protests
  • Worcester: Protest at Wal-Mart, 25 Tobias Boland Way, Worcester, MA
  • Springfield: Rally at Mt. Calvary Church, 17 John Street, followed by protest at McDonald’s

The statewide “#WageAction” protests come on the heels of major demonstrations at national shareholder meetings for McDonald’s and Walmart, the groundbreaking implementation of a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, progress on the Domestic Workers “Bill of Rights” legislation in Massachusetts, and a renewed emphasis on economic justice amongst social, political and religious leaders.

In a new development within the national wave of wage-related protests, the June 12 demonstrations will not be limited to employees of any one company or industry. Instead, Massachusetts home care workers, fast food workers, taxi drivers, adjunct university faculty and more will band together to raise awareness of what organizers are calling a crisis of low wage work in the United States.

Organizers say it’s important for the public and policymakers to recognize that the prevalence of low-wage work cuts across nearly all industries. Advocates have cited data showing that since the economic recovery began in 2009, 95 percent of economic gains have gone to the top 1 percent, and that now more than 50 percent of all income goes to 10 percent of the workforce.

Workers across Massachusetts and in several other states have been promoting legislation and ballot initiatives to increase the minimum wage and ensure earned sick time for workers.

Workers organizing for the June 12 protests support those initiatives, but also say more needs to be done to hold large employers accountable who don’t pay livable wages—or who engage in wage theft, union-busting, and other corporate tactics aimed at suppressing worker pay.

Workers are also frustrated by groups like the Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA) who have been lobbying against legislation to increase the tipped minimum wage. Legal Sea Food CEO Roger Berkowitz is reportedly amongst those who have weighed in with policymakers against a change in the minimum wage for tipped workers. Organizers say MRA affiliated restaurants in Boston could be subject to protests on June 12.

According to the National Employment Law Project, federal data shows that the market is generating an overwhelmingly higher percentage of low-wage jobs—and less middle income jobs—than it did prior to the recession.

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Supporters of the June 12 #WageAction events include, but are not limited to: Adjunct Action SEIU, American Friends Service Committee, Action for Regional Equity, Arise for Social Justice, Boston Workmen’s Circle, Brazilian Immigrant Center, Chelsea Collaborative, Chinese Progressive Association, City Life/Vida Urbana, Community Labor United, Fifteen Now NE, Fight for 15 and a Union, Greater Boston Labor Council, Hampshire/Franklin Central Labor Council, Jobs Not Jails, Just Communities, Living Wage Western Mass., Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, Massachusetts Nurse Association, Mass Senior Action Council, MassUniting, MCAN, Merrimack Valley Project, Neighbor to Neighbor, New England International Chaplaincy, New England Jewish Labor Committee, North Shore Labor Council, Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council, Pioneer Valley Project, Progressive Democrats of America-Western Mass. Chapter, Restaurant Opportunities Center Boston, SEIU 32BJ District 615, SEIU 509, UAW, UAW Local 2322, United Steel Workers/Taxi Drivers, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1459, SEIU 888, Springfield No One Leaves/Nadie Se Mude, Western Mass. Jobs with Justice, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East