Fighting for better jobs in our communities

Article

Members help low wage workers organize

Local 1000 members advanced our fight to grow the middle class and protect all workers from the race to the bottom by participating in a global wave of strikes and protests on May 15 in 150 cities across the US and 33 additional countries on six continents.”As someone who cares about where our economy is headed and what kind jobs are being created in my neighborhood–this is my fight,” said Beth Snyder, a steward at the Department of State Hospitals who attended actions in Sacramento. “Plus, as a former fast food worker myself–and current state worker–I’ve seen first hand the difference a union makes. All workers deserve a voice on the job and a living wage.”

Snyder was one of dozens of Local 1000 members and staff who participated in a day of protests at fast food restaurants in Sacramento and Oakland on May 15. Nearly 100 workers walked out of more than a dozen restaurants in Northern California.

“I’m on strike today to help myself and my fellow workers get a raise and get a union,” said James Perez, 22, who is earning only $8 an hour after working at a Sacramento McDonald’s for a year and half. “The only way that we are going to receive a living wage and not be treated like dirt is if we have a strong union at work.”

Shrinking middle class

With seven of the top ten jobs being created today paying less than $15 an hour, last year, the Local 1000 Council voted to support low wage worker campaigns–including the early childhood education and fast food workers’ efforts, as part of our ongoing commitment to economic justice.

Currently, the top three largest US employers are Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and the corporation behind KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Standard practices in these industries include wage theft, firing women when they become pregnant, firing workers who suffer burns and firing workers for attempting to form a union.

“This trend toward low wage, no benefit, union-busting jobs represents the future of our economy and the kind of employment available in our communities– unless we do something about it,” Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker said. “It’s up to the labor movement to organize the low wage jobs of today into the good jobs of the future.”