Tag Archives: retaliation

Around the country, fast-food workers to strike on Sept. 4

Fast-food workers in more than 150 cities — including Milwaukee, Madison and Wausau — will walk off their jobs on Sept. 4 as their movement to build a union and raise the minimum wage intensifies.

A day after President Barack Obama praised their campaign during a speech at LaborFest in Milwaukee, workers from Oakland, California, to Opelika, Alabama, said they will strike at the country’s major fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC.

Obama, addressing the Labor Day rally, said on Sept. 1, “All across the country right now there’s a national movement going on made up of fast-food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity.”

Fast-food workers in Little Rock, Arkansas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Rochester, New York, are among those who will walk off their jobs for the first time, according to an announcement from organizers, who were still preparing a complete list of planned actions.

Fast-food workers in the St. Louis area will note strike onsite but instead will join workers on strike lines in New York City, Memphis, Nashville and Little Rock.

Fast-food workers from four continents are expected to travel to the U.S. to support strikers in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Raleigh, according to a news release from strike organizers.

Home-health care workers are expected to join in the demonstration demanding higher pay and better benefits. In several cities, both non-union and union home care workers will join striking fast-food workers in the Fight for $15, a campaign for a higher minimum wage.

Organizers also say there will be civil disobedience actions that coincide with the strike activity, including in Wisconsin, where fast-food workers are preparing for the day with coordination from Wisconsin Jobs Now, which on its website is asking people to stand with underpaid workers, demand fair wages and share support on Twitter at #strikefastfood.

The fast-food workers’ campaign 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. 

Many fast-food workers do not make much more than $7.25 per hour, or about $15,000 a year for 40 hours a week.

The National Restaurant Association, an industry trade group, said in a statement to the AP that the fast-food protests are attempts by unions “to boost their dwindling membership.”

On the Web…

Support Wisconsin workers at http://action.wisconsinjobsnow.org/page/s/workersunited?source=wp.

Walmart workers strike for full-time jobs, against retaliation

Walmart workers in several areas of the country walked off the job on May 28 to protest the retail giant’s efforts refusal to improve employment conditions.

The strikers in South Florida, the San Francisco Bay Area and in Massachusetts encouraged other Walmart workers in other areas to join them in the “prolonged” strike.

Also, the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, a national organization of Walmart associates, has been calling on the nation’s largest private employer to create better jobs.

With more than $16 billion in annual profits and executives making 1,000 times more than the average Walmart employee, a growing number of associates are calling for the company to publicly commit to providing full-time work with a minimum salary of $25,000 a year.

Workers also are demanding that Walmart cease retaliation against those campaigning for workplace improvements.

The company, according to a news release, “has attempted to silence these voices through illegal retaliation, meritless lawsuits and even firing workers.”

The retaliation has led OUR Walmart to file nearly 30 federal labor charges against the retailer.

“Walmart needs to address our concerns about hours and staffing, rather than trying to silence us with lawsuits and threats. We’re on strike and taking our concerns directly to Walmart executives and shareholders because we cannot continue to let Walmart try to intimidate and silence committed associates like Carlton and Vanessa,” said Dominic Ware, who has worked at Walmart in Oakland, Calif., for two years.

“Walmart can only do what we allow them to do and we need to stand up and let them know that what they are doing is not OK with us and we are taking a stand,” said Barbara Gertz, who works at a Walmart in Denver.

Man loses same-sex harassment case

The Los Angeles Police Department does not have to pay $2 million for firing a traffic cop who made unsubstantiated sexual harassment charges against a male supervisor, reports Courthouse News Service.

Officer Richard Joaquin said he refused to go on a date with Sgt. James Sands, so Sands retaliated against him in 2005.

During an Internal Affairs investigation, Joaquin described about 14 months of questionable interactions with Sands. Sands allegedly complimented Joaquin’s and other men’s bodies, and he often showed up to watch Joaquin at traffic stops.

CNS reports Sands also allegedly made flirtatious comments, such as asking Joaquin if he planned to take a shower or if they could talk on the phone when Joaquin had “desk duty.”

When Internal Affairs concluded that Joaquin’s harassment claims were unfounded, however, Sands filed his own complaint against Joaquin. The department then held a Board of Rights hearing, which found that Joaquin had filed a false complaint and recommended dismissal.

After the police chief accepted the board’s firing recommendation, Joaquin sought review in superior court, where a judge found in Joaquin’s favor.

The department reinstated Joaquin in 2009, but it reassigned him to a different division and has not promoted yet him to sergeant.

Joaquin in turn sued the department for wrongful retaliatory termination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. A jury ultimately awarded him $2 million for lost wages and emotional distress, but California’s Second Appellate District reversed the verdict this week, according to the CNS report.

Gay LAPD officer awarded $1 million for harassment

A jury has awarded $1.1 million to an openly gay Los Angeles police sergeant who said he was harassed and retaliated against because of his sexual orientation.

Ronald Crump sued the city last year alleging his supervisor at the police media relations section, Lt. John Romero, made derogatory remarks.

Romero, who has since been promoted to captain, allegedly described Crump as “the new Ruby minus the heels,” a reference to the woman he replaced in the unit.

On another occasion, Romero allegedly told him, “I was a religion major at Liberty University. Jerry Falwell would roll over in his grave if he knew I had hired you.”

Crump said he had made several attempts to voice his concerns and filed a written complaint. But these were determined to be unfounded by the LAPD’s Professional Standards Bureau and Crump was ultimately transferred from the media relations section to the Skid Row area.

He told the jury that the transfer was punitive.

The LAPD has come under recent criticism from an oversight agency over shortcomings in the way it investigates officers’ retaliation charges.

The decision against Crump is the second large judgment against the LAPD in as many months. Last month, a jury awarded $2 million to two Los Angeles police officers in a civil suit against the city and the department, alleging there was a “quota system” for writing traffic tickets on the city’s Westside.