An employee of a public relations firm tied to the corporate giant Wal-Mart has been found to have posed as a reporter at a news conference about poor labor conditions at major retailers. Stephanie Harnett, a publicist for the company Mercury Communications, claimed she was student journalist “Zoe Mitchell” when she attended a media briefing on a recent report highlighting the practices of companies like Wal-Mart. The report, called “Chain of Greed,” singled out Wal-Mart for maintaining low wages and poor workplace conditions in a network of subcontracted labor. At the news conference, Harnett, posing as Mitchell, approached at least two workers and got them to reveal detailed information about themselves under the guise she was interested in reporting their story. Mitchell’s employer, Mercury Communications, claims neither it nor Wal-Mart authorized her stunt.
It begs the question as to how someone can directly support labor organizing at Walmart when management generates so much FUD?
You’re working, or just started work somewhere where there is no active collective workers’ organisation. What can you do to get organised? This guide will help you get started.
Nowadays many workplaces have no active workers’ organisation. Depending on whereabouts you are in the world and what sector you work in there may or may not be much of a trade union presence. And even if there is it may just be a skeleton organisation which only represents workers with individual problems, and is unable to win demands of management. Or worse, it could be actively in cahoots with management against the workers.
Hardly, surprisingly, therefore that one of the most frequently asked questions by workers is - “What can be done at my workplace to improve things? It seems impossible, the bosses are too strong.”
We would suggest that the following should be considered:
Another Walmart is, uh, popping up, in the San Diego South Bay.
This is what passes as progress in my neighborhood.
Here is a Google Map of the building they’re proposing to move in to.
Get up to speed with our picks from the holiday weekend. (Flickr)
Don’t worry if you were too busy over the holiday to keep up with the latest in immigration. We all need to do a little catching up. Here are our picks for top weekend reads to help get you get up to speed.
¿Como se dice facepalm en español?
Ever get any sick days from work? Assuming that you have a job that will pay for them, do you have to wait longer than 90 days on the job to get them? Yes, they are drying up — it’s not uncommon to see people chose to work even when it will do the business no good.
Now, the mega-gazillionaires who fund ALEC want to ban sick days all together. Even those who run fast food restaurant chains like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. I say that we tell YUM that staph is not something we want as a pizza topping, a chicken finger dip or an ingredient in refried beans in our community. We should picket at these places:
View YUM restaurants in the South Bay in a larger map
We would rather stick together and transform our industry from within. We deserve to be fairly rewarded and valued. That is why we have united to stage convoys, park our trucks, marched on the boss, and even shut down these ports.
It’s like our hero Dutch Prior, a Shipper’s/SSA Marine driver, told CBS Early Morning this month: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
The more underwater we are, the more our restlessness grows. We are being thoughtful about how best to organize ourselves and do what is needed to win dignity, respect, and justice.
Nowadays greedy corporations are treated as “people” while the politicians they bankroll cast union members who try to improve their workplaces as “thugs.”
“The Occupy movement struck a chord,” explained Stan Woods, a member of the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, a multi-union rank-and-file organization made up of ILWU members, teamsters, city train drivers and other similar blue-collars workers. “The union leadership doesn’t want to be left out, but they are hamstrung by their relationship with the Democrats, mayors and other politicians. They’re caught in a quandary.”
This explains the following explanations about tomorrow’s actions:
Which was followed up by…