Gay Rights Groups to Join Others in Condemning Stop-and-Frisk

    National gay rights advocates plan to join other civil rights leaders on Tuesday in calling on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to end the Police Department’s current stop-and-frisk policy, which they argue constitutes harassment of young black and Latino men.

    Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, who played a role in persuading gay rights groups to join the march, said the addition of gay advocates to the array of groups already pushing reforms of stop-and-frisk would bring new pressure on the Bloomberg administration.

    Read the full story by Kate Taylor from today’s New York Times.

    • 2 years ago

    New York Daily News: As Promised, Bloomberg Vetos "Living Wage" Bill

    BY Celeste Katz

    As vowed, Mayor Bloomberg vetoed the controversial “living wage” bill, slamming it as a measure that will cripple local businesses.

    Our Reuven Blau reports:

    “Passage of this bill will threaten some of the city’s most innovative and important economic development projects-the types that have stabilized and revitalized neighborhoods in all five boroughs,” said Hizzoner’s veto memo to the City Clerk.

    The City Council has the votes to override Bloomberg’s veto and is expected to do so soon.

    The measure would boost pay to $11.50 an hour, or $10 with benefits, for workers at companies that receive $1 million or more in city subsidies.

    Labor backers of the bill slammed the veto.

    “Bloomberg will be remembered as the Mayor of Inequality,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. “He forced taxpayers to line the pockets of a few wealthy developers while giving them nothing in return. On his watch, life has gotten worse, not better, for many New Yorkers—a shameful and alarming legacy to be sure.”

    Bloomberg has vowed to challenge the expected Council override in court.

    “While this bill could potentially result in higher wages for some workers, these increases would come at the cost of job creation,” his veto message said.

    Update: A number of other critics are chiming in on Bloomberg’s veto via The Living Wage NYC Coalition. Here’s a sample… - CK

    “With this veto, Mayor Bloomberg has cemented his legacy as the mayor of the rich, by the rich and for the rich,” said Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera, Director, Latino Pastoral Action Center. “He has missed his opportunity to support New Yorkers as they strive to be productive, contributing citizens.”

    “Mayor Bloomberg stands firmly on the wrong side of history. Clergy in New York City are saying, ‘The reign of the rich is over!’ A new day has dawned in New York City,” said Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, director, Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary.

    “Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy is one of disrespect: extending his term against the will of the people and now labeling honest working class people as Communist for wanting to earn a decent living wage so they can take care of their families. The Living Wage NYC Coalition will remain in this fight until all workers are treated fairly and paid justly!” said Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, President, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.

    • 2 years ago

    Bloomberg Subverts Peoples’ Will, Vetoes Landmark Living Wage Legislation!

    Supporters Condemn Billionaire Mayor, Urge Council to Override Veto and Implement Law

    New York, NY—Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act today brings into sharp focus his legacy as the billionaire Mayor who enriched his class of friends at the expense of the hardworking taxpayers of New York City.

    The Living Wage NYC Coalition urges the City Council to override the Mayor’s veto so the city can move forward with the work at hand, ensuring that tax dollars are used to create good paying jobs for New Yorkers.

    “With this veto, Mayor Bloomberg has cemented his legacy as the mayor of the rich, by the rich and for the rich,” said Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera, Director, Latino Pastoral Action Center and. “He has missed his opportunity to support New Yorkers as they strive to be productive, contributing citizens.”

    The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act grew out of a historic citywide campaign for living wage jobs and economic justice. It passed the New York City Council by a wide margin of 45-5 on April 30, drawing praise from elected officials, labor leaders, faith leaders, and business owners.

    “Mayor Bloomberg stands firmly on the wrong side of history. Clergy in New York City are saying, ‘The reign of the rich is over!’ A new day has dawned in New York City,” said Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, PhD., Director, Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary.

    The campaign spawned a highly visible and vocal movement that engaged thousands of New Yorkers and led to overwhelming support for the legislation across the political spectrum—74% of voters overall, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, with 60 % percent of Republicans saying it is government’s responsibility to ensure workers are paid a decent wage.

    “Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy is one of disrespect: extending his term against the will of the people and now labeling honest working class people as Communist for wanting to earn a decent living wage so they can take care of their families. The Living Wage NYC Coalition will remain in this fight until all workers are treated fairly and paid justly!” exclaimed Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, President, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.

    “We are proud to have played a lead role in building the living wage movement and shaping this legislation. The city needs to create higher-wage jobs, not poverty-wage jobs. An override of the Mayor’s veto will be a major triumph for working people, for democracy, and for our city. It will be a significant step toward reducing inequality and poverty in our city,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU, UFCW).

    • 2 years ago

    RWDSU Slams Living Wage Veto

    Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU,UFCW), made the following statement in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act:

    "This veto is a slap in the face to the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who support the living wage legislation. Across the city, New Yorkers have built a movement for fairness and justice because they know the mayor’s economic development policy has failed. Bloomberg will be remembered as the Mayor of Inequality. He forced taxpayers to line the pockets of a few wealthy developers while giving them nothing in return. On his watch, life has gotten worse, not better, for many New Yorkers—a shameful and alarming legacy to be sure. His policy of spending billions to perpetuate poverty-wage jobs has been an economic embarrassment and a moral outrage. Rest assured: we will work with the next mayor to implement the living wage bill, and put an end to this dark and disturbing chapter in the city’s history.”

    • 2 years ago

    Walmart Free NYC: Today: Pressure on Walmart Board of Directors grows as part of national action

    walmartfreenyc:

    Walmart associates, including employee-shareholders, and community activists have been confronting members of the Walmart board of directors in protests in the past several weeks, with escalating protests happening this week in the days leading up to the Walmart shareholders meeting Friday….

    • 2 years ago
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    Tell CEO Ron Johnson to stop elimination of commission jobs at JC Penney!

    Take a moment to sign the Retail Action Project’s petition against the elimination of commissions at JCP. Spread the word!

    • 2 years ago

    New York Amsterdam News: Walmart’s ‘bad neighbor’ actions in South Africa

    Walmart continues to try to claw its way into the New York City marketplace, but in 2012, its efforts to penetrate other markets have been creating the headlines.

    The New York Times has reported that Walmart paid bribes worth a staggering $24 million to win the permits it needed to expand quickly in Mexico, then shut down an internal investigation in an attempt to cover it up.

    And an ongoing story in South Africa shows that Walmart’s indifference to workers and the community is constant worldwide. Read the full column.

    • 2 years ago

    Politicker: Car Wash Politics

    washnewyork:

    Organizers have been ramping up their efforts to change the way car washes treat their workers in New York City, and judging from recent events, it seems that they’ve generated a bit of momentum. For example, earlier today, the New York Daily News reported a new federal lawsuit placed against a car wash business, and advocates involved in the effort told The Politicker they feel the tipping point is almost at hand.

    “I’ve been amazed by the number of elected officials that have reached out to us that tell us that they want to get involved, even elected officials without a lot of car wash workers residing in their districts,” the president of the RWDSU Stuart Appelbaum, said. “There’s a sense that this is more than just car wash workers but what sort of city we want New York to be.”

    The issue, labor and immigration advocates say, are the below-minimum wages paid to workers, unsafe working conditions, and lack of overtime pay, among other things. And, elected officials — many of whom are running for citywide office — are increasingly getting involved, even though many of those affected are undocumented and thus cannot vote for them.

    Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Councilman Dan Garodnick, candidates for mayor and comptroller respectively, recently trekked up to East Harlem to rally for the cause with various other officials, and the four other leading candidates for mayor have all taken notice as well.

    “We’ve had good conversations with both John Liu and with Bill Thompson and Scott Stringer, and I think Christine [Quinn] supports the legislation [to regulate car wash businesses],” Jon Kest, the executive director of New York Communities for Change, explained.

    “You don’t see issues that are so clear cut every day where you have thousands of workers so underpaid and exploited in an industry that’s totally unregulated,” he added. “I think organizations that they generally respect like NYCC, Make the Road New York and the RWDSU are doing the organizing, and they’re running for political office, so it just adds up.”

    • 2 years ago
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    NY Daily News: Bronx car wash workers file lawsuits against employer for unpaid wages as campaign targets dirty industry

    washnewyork:

    The New York Daily News reported last week on workers at the Xcellent Car Wash in the Bronx who are suing their employer for unpaid wages and overtime, and on the ongoing efforts of the WASH New York to reform the car wash industry in New York City. Read the full story.

    • 2 years ago
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    Local 184-L Steward Training in Kansas City (5/23/12)

    Local 184-L of Kansas City, Kansas held a Union Enhancement and Stewards Training, meant hone stewards’ skills so they can better serve members in the workplace. The class was taught by long time Labor Educator Judy Ancil of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. RWDSU Local 184-L members work at Kellogg’s in Kansas City.

    • 2 years ago