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  • Sector launches #YouMadeItHappen campaign to celebrate supporters

    first_imgParticipating charity bodies have taken to Twitter to promote it: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis94 Melanie May | 26 October 2018 | News Tagged with: NCVO thank you Sector bodies have joined forces to ask charities to join in a social media campaign in November to thank supporters for their help.NCVO, CharityComms, Small Charities Coalition, FSI, the Institute of Fundraising and ACEVO are asking charities to use the hashtag #YouMadeItHappen on social media on Monday 19 November. The idea is to thank supporters, and to show the difference charities and supporters make together. Charities are invited to think of their own message of thanks, and to share it across their social media channels with images and the hashtag. An email sent out from the NCVO to members suggested a number of examples, such as:This year, we helped over 300 homeless people in Manchester find permanent accommodation. We couldn’t have done it without your support #YouMadeItHappenThanks to your support, we re-planted 200 acres of forest last year #YouMadeItHappen Eve’s village now has access to safe drinking water because of your donations #YouMadeItHappenThe email from NCVO’s Aidan Warner says:“When we ask the public what they want to hear from charities, one thing comes through loud and clear.They want to know about the difference their support has made.They want to know how their donations, their volunteer hours, have helped.We know thousands of charities around the country make a real difference every day. And we know that between us the impact we have on the country and the world is massive.We want to remind people of everything that’s great about charities, and show them we’re very grateful for their support.” Advertisement Sector launches #YouMadeItHappen campaign to celebrate supporters  149 total views,  1 views today  150 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis94 About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.last_img read more

  • Pennies raises £1m for GOSH Charity

    first_img“We’re immensely proud of our partnership with Pennies and would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Pennies and each and every customer who has helped contribute towards this incredible milestone. Pennies really do add up and this fantastic £1million donation will make a huge difference to the seriously ill children who are treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital.” Melanie May | 20 December 2018 | News Digital charity box Pennies has now raised £1million for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.The money has been raised through donations that customers have made to the charity when shopping at a branch of The Entertainer, online at Hawkin’s Bazaar or eating at an ASK Italian restaurant across the UK. Pennies lets customers top-up or round-up their purchases to the nearest pound to donate a few pennies to GOSH Charity.Whitbread will become the latest business to use Pennies to fundraise for GOSH Charity when it rolls out the digital charity box across all of its restaurant brands in early 2019. CEO of Pennies, Alison Hutchinson CBE said: “We’re delighted that Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity are one of the first charities to receive £1million through Pennies. This remarkable milestone was made possible thanks to the retailers who have partnered with Pennies to support GOSH Charity, and of course to the customers across the country who’ve generously donated their digital small change in their millions since 2011. It’s a pleasure to support the GOSH’s wonderful work, and we look forward to helping raise many more vital funds through the digital charity box in the years to come.”The money will go towards the hospital’s most urgent needs from pioneering research, medical equipment and the rebuilding and refurbishing of the hospital to support services for families and patients including parent accommodation. Amit Aggarwal, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity said: Advertisement Tagged with: microdonations Pennies raises £1m for GOSH Charity  215 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis13  216 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis13 About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.last_img read more

  • Battersea doubles online giving targets with new donation platform

    first_img Melanie May | 28 January 2019 | News  132 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis26 Battersea doubles online giving targets with new donation platform “Battersea wanted to simplify and improve the online giving experience for its supporters with a more engaging donation journey, and offer greater choice using the latest payment technologies.“It was also important to give the charity the flexibility of deploying campaign-specific journeys, which goDonate delivers. We’re thrilled with the test results, particularly at such an important time of year for the organisation.”Lauren Rayner, Head of Digital, Battersea, added: “We are really pleased to have launched the new platform and receive such encouraging initial results. WPNC are great to work with, helping us create better experiences for people who wish to donate in new and innovative ways.” Tagged with: Digital online fundraising software AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis26 Battersea’s online giving income doubled recently in a trial that saw digital product studio Addition switch the charity to its online giving platform, goDonate.Battersea ran a three-week trial in December after Addition – part of agency WPN Chameleon (WPNC) – implemented goDonate Enterprise to boost digital pledges. The split test trialed the new donation service against the charity’s previous platform.Results included:63% more transactions than the old platform during the test period35% more income on the new platform compared to the existing platformMore people starting and completing a donationKey features of the platform include:The ability for the charity to create campaign-specific journeys with campaign messaging throughout, donation type, flexible fields and donation amount calls to action – rather than a requirement to involve WPNC in developmentSite visitors can be directed from online advertising or an email campaign straight to a donation landing page & journey featuring tailored messaging and content, used by Battersea in its In From The Cold appealThe charity is also currently using goDonate to manage monthly donations for its Sponsor a Kennel campaign. Supporters are sent follow-up emails featuring updates about their chosen kennel or kitty cabin with the platform integrating with Raiser’s Edge CRM, Rapidata and Adestra for email delivery.Vicky Reeves, Managing Director Digital at WPN Chameleon, said: Advertisement  131 total views,  1 views today About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.last_img read more

  • ‘Mic check’ solidarity with grocery workers

    first_imgNo business as usual at Golden Farm Grocery.WW photo: Anne PrudenOn Oct. 13, a 13-person multinational group from “99-Pickets” with Labor Occupy Wall Street and Brooklyn’s Kensington OWS took action to support Golden Farm Grocery workers in New York City. They delayed lines of store shoppers, customers who declined to boycott the store as the picketers requested. The boycott will continue until the boss negotiates the union contract and gives back pay — minimum wage and overtime — to these immigrant workers.The workers’ supporters offered payments in pennies to buy groceries, then couldn’t decide on purchases, and changed them at the last minute or stalled on paying. Others handed shoppers fliers about the workers’ plight. John Dennie and this writer insisted that seniors pay lower rates and offered pennies as payment. The irritated managers took their baskets off the cashiers’ counters.Finally, activists gathered near the cash registers for a ‘“mic check!” They left chanting, “We’ll be back and we’ll be stronger! We won’t take it any longer!”The “99-Pickets” members loudly explained why everyone should support the grocery workers’ struggle — which is getting daily support from Communities for Change and the union they voted to join: Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 238. Reportedly, owner Sonny Kim and the union will meet within days.<FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

  • Protests say: ‘Stop U.S. march to war’’

    first_imgTimes Square, N.Y., May 23.WW photo: G. Dunkel“No to fascism in Ukraine! No war with Russia!” was the theme of the International Action Center protest in New York’s Times Square on May 26, Memorial Day. The demonstrators’ determination to denounce U.S. aggression and the expansion of NATO into Ukraine contrasted with the general mood of the sunny spring holiday.Speakers at the rally demanded hands off the Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and expressed solidarity with the anti-fascist fighters there. Representatives of South American liberation struggles in Venezuela and Honduras spoke, aligning with those in Eastern Europe fighting against U.S. imperialism.Syrian community activists played a large role in the protest, drawing attention to U.S.-backed attacks on upcoming elections in their besieged country. Representatives of the struggle against U.S. intervention in the Philippines, Ecuador, Korea, Iran, Egypt, and other countries targeted by Washington also spoke, along with organizers of the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour here in the U.S.Anti-war soldiers denounced the Pentagon on Memorial Day and called for people to remember those murdered by fascists in Ukraine.After more than an hour in Times Square, the demonstration set off for CNN headquarters, about a mile away. Signs opposing the U.S. war machine and militant slogans got a great reception from many tourists and passersby as the demonstration moved up Broadway.A second rally was held in front of the CNN offices, with speakers expressing outrage at the many media lies blaming Russia for the crisis in Ukraine, rather than exposing the truth about the long-term U.S. strategy to encircle Russia and turn it into a U.S. colony. Some speakers raised the need for money for jobs, health care and social services, not a build-up for war in Eastern Europe.Buffalo, N.Y., pro-war media lies targetedIn cahoots with the most powerful business interests, the Buffalo daily newspaper has been publishing extensive articles about Ukraine, some on the front page posing as news. These articles have clearly been designed to create sympathy for the U.S.-sponsored coup in Kiev and create opposition here to the resistance against the fascist forces.As a response to the United National Antiwar Coalition’s call for emergency actions against U.S. intervention in Ukraine, the Buffalo/Western N.Y. International Action Center held a picket line on May 19 in front of the Buffalo News to say that the News’ propaganda about Ukraine is a lead-up to a new U.S. war, no different from what this newspaper did to get people to support the U.S. wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. The Buffalo IAC demanded that the News stop the lies and print the whole truth about the U.S. role in NATO’s moves in Eastern Europe, the benefits to U.S. and Euro banks and corporations of inflicting brutal austerity on the citizens of Ukraine, and the connection to U.S. and Euro oil and gas corporation profits.Sue Davis and Ellie Dorritie contributed to this article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

  • Former President Manuel Zelaya calls Honduras ‘ruled by USA’

    first_imgThis interview by Carlo Pereira of the German weekly Unsere Zeit (Our Time) was made during the International Seminar in Mexico City on March 12 and published in UZ on March 20. Translation and photo by John Catalinotto.Carlo Pereira: The 2009 coup in Honduras made big headlines around the world. How do you assess its consequences now after more than five years?Honduran President Mel Zelaya defends Venezuela.WW photo: John CatalinottoPresident Mel Zelaya: All indicators show that the situation in Honduras is deteriorating day by day. That means the social, economic, political and security conditions. Since the coup, poverty, debt, corruption and crime have all increased. The people demand real democracy and peace, but this is the last thing those who took power with the coup want to give the people.CP: How do you see the role of the U.S., the European Union and the individual European states in the preparation of the coup and after it took place?MZ: Following the coup, the U.S. virtually took over the leadership of the country. It runs the country; the [Honduran] president only manages things and follows the instructions of the U.S. State Department and the Southern Command. The European Union is no longer a defender of human rights. It represents the interests of entrepreneurs and banks; it promotes the free trade agreement. In this sense, the EU has lost much of its standing as role model for a Central American economic alliance that it once had with regard to democracy and human rights.CP: Do you see a parallel between the coup in Honduras and the current U.S. aggression against Venezuela?MZ: What these actions show about the U.S. is that it is an intolerant, anti-democratic empire, focused on interventions. The U.S. has no respect for our independence and sovereignty, no respect for the nation-state. The U.S. must correct its policy. In the Middle East, the U.S. has split up the peoples and set them against each other in civil war. Latin America calls out with one voice in defense of the sovereignty of all Latin American nations. The U.S. must stop looking at Latin America as its backyard and begin to respect the social processes that go on in Latin America.CP: How do you assess the situation and prospects of the progressive forces in Honduras?MZ: Throughout Latin America, there is a great effort being made. The historical reality moves with ups and downs and is sometimes cumbersome. Absolutely no one will be able to constantly keep humanity from fighting for equality, freedom and solidarity. No one can prevent the people from doing this. The movement can be delayed, but it is a mistake for the U.S. to try to stop the process of democratic socialism in Latin America.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

  • Black and Brown unity in Alabama

    first_imgBlack and Brown unity at Voting Rights March, Shelby County, Ala.WW photo: Minnie Bruce PrattColumbiana and Gadsden, Ala.“Forward ever, backward never! Not one step back!” shouted over 100 people in Columbiana, Ala., on the morning of June 20 at the first annual march for restoration of voting rights. The Alabama NAACP and the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice called the action.The Black and Brown unity crowd was protesting the U.S. Supreme Court strike-down of part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act last year, as well as the growing right-wing assault on voting access in the U.S. Speakers made clear these attacks are racist in intent. One said, “The Klan doesn’t wear white robes anymore. They wear black robes and they are in the courthouse.”Columbiana is the county seat of rural Shelby County, now a “white-flight” suburb of Birmingham complete with McMansions, horse farms and up-scale housing developments with names like “Old Ivy.”Its all-white Board of County Commissioners won the suit to gut the Voting Rights Act by removing Section 4, which had mandated that states with a history of racist discrimination in voting must have any voting law change OKd by the federal government.Marchers saw the attack on voting rights as an attempt to wipe out hard-won victories of the Black Civil Rights Movement, known worldwide through the Selma struggle, only 60 miles to the south.NAACP Shelby County President Rev. Kenneth Dukes had stated previously: “Shelby County has become the new Selma. Not because of the brutality. But because we’re still here fighting for the same things, fighting the same battle.” Dukes is a bus driver for the Montevallo school district.Ben Monterrosa, of the California-based, Latino/a-focused Mi Familia Vota, thanked all those who had “fought the fight” for many years for voter rights. He stressed: “We can not depend on the courts or elected officials — but on ourselves. Strength in unity!” Other speakers emphasized the importance of wresting back local community control of decisions about education, health care and jobs.As the march wound through the tiny town to the courthouse on a street lined with police cars, we sang civil rights protest songs updated to “Ain’t gonna let the Supreme Court turn us around” and “We shall overcome — today.” Marchers included American Federation of Government Employees members; the Montgomery Mu Nu alumni chapter of the traditionally Black men’s fraternity Omega Psi Phi; representatives from the traditionally Black Alabama Education Association; NAACP Women in Network members; and officers from Birmingham, Calera, Jemison, Montevallo, Troy and elsewhere.ICE out of Alabama!That afternoon, 90 miles north in Gadsden, over 50 people protested in front of the Etowah County Jail/ICE Detention Center. The demand was “No more cages in Alabama!” The county has a contract with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement to jail more than 300 men detained because of their immigration status.The protest, “Chant down the walls,” was part of a series of concerts and demonstrations at detention centers begun in Los Angeles by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. On the parking lot in front of the jail, Los Jornaleros del Norte (Day Laborers of the North), part of NDLON, played traditional Mexican ballads about worker struggles as well as spirit-lifting salsa.On this blazing hot afternoon, protesters sang and called out to the incarcerated men in spite of the phalanx of police in front of the fortress-like building. Caroline Earhart, a member of the Huntsville Visitation Committee, held up a sign with the names of those who are now her friends inside the jail, and was greeted by thank-you signs in one high-up window: “Caroline, thank you from Robelto.”The men have come from all over the world and all over the U.S.; some have been jailed for many years. At the Detention Center they live in extreme social isolation, in conditions among the worst in the U.S., including no access to exercise facilities, recreation or educational programs, according to Detention Watch Network. In addition to DWN, groups participating were the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, Southerners on New Ground and Birmingham Quaker meeting members. The Adelante Worker Center near Birmingham called the protest.Kenyan citizen and former Etowah detainee Sylvester Owino spoke at the rally, saying: “I spent nine years in immigration detention before finally winning my release in March. I am coming back to Alabama to let other detainees know that they are not alone, and we all must keep fighting. I also want the public to know more about the abuses that go on inside the Etowah Detention Center and the way those of us caught up in the immigration detention system are treated as less than human.”As recently as 2013, Gadsden was counted as one of the 10 poorest cities in the U.S., but the County Jail/Detention Center stands out on the aging street as impressively new and modern.The name of the street where the jail was built underlines how racism buttresses the U.S. prison system, both governmental and for-profit. The Etowah Detention Center is located on Forrest Avenue — named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan after the U.S. Civil War.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

  • Months of protest bring light to a neighborhood

    first_imgDetroit — The ugly face of banker-imposed austerity takes many forms. The world has watched in horror as the residents of Detroit, a city whose population is majority African-American, have been deprived of basic necessities such as housing, water and quality education. Last year, two United Nations rapporteurs concluded from their investigation that the mass water shutoffs constituted a human rights violation.What is not well-publicized is a public safety crisis, affecting many poor neighborhoods but not touching the downtown and midtown areas targeted for gentrification. The city has miles of broken street lights. Not only on side streets but on major thoroughfares there are wide areas — where people of all generations walk, bicycle, drive, catch buses and maneuver their wheelchairs — that are pitch dark when the sun goes down.The privately operated Public Lighting Authority originally planned to repair or replace only 10,000 of the 53,000 lights that have been out of service, reducing the total number of street lights from 88,000 to 45,000.Walkers win street lights in Detroit. Aug. 27.WW photo: Martha GrevattBut this crime of racist neglect has not gone unchallenged. Since June 5, the Dexter/Waverly intersection has been the scene of weekly “Light Walks.” Every Thursday at 9:00 p.m., people have turned out with flashlights and signs, chanting “No lights! It ain’t right!” Sometimes they hold the illuminated letters of the Detroit Light Brigade, flashing a simple message: “Turn on the lights.” Neighborhood children, with and without their parents, come every week. Due to complaints and protests from the people of Detroit, an additional 20,000 lights will be replaced, bringing the total to 65,000.Protestors were skeptical of the promise made by Mayor Mike Duggan to Light Walk organizer Cynthia Johnson that busy Dexter Avenue would be lit up by the end of August. But in fact on Aug. 27, Light Walkers witnessed the power of protest. When they arrived for another Thursday night action to demand basic public safety, they were nearly blinded by the brightness of brand new street lights on shiny new metal poles. Workers installing the lights had revealed that they were reassigned from other neighborhoods to Dexter Avenue “because of the Light Walks over there.”Neighbors walked and bicycled over to the protest site to express their elation and gratitude. Now they can get around safely, without fear of being hit by a vehicle or victimized by crimes of survival.Light Walk organizers will now target another unlit area — and another and another — until the entire city emerges from darkness.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

  • Southern workers converge to organize the South

    first_imgRaleigh, N.C. — Longshore workers from Charleston, S.C. Hospital workers from El Paso, Texas. Diesel engine parts manufacturing workers from Rocky Mount, N.C. State mental health workers from Petersburg, Va. Farm workers, union organizing committees and social movement activists from 10 states and over 30 workplaces.They all came from across the U.S. South to attend the first session of the Southern Workers School. Organized by the Southern Workers Assembly, the school took place March 4-6 in Raleigh, N.C. Seven more school sessions will take place over the next six months to continue to develop an action plan and give workers the opportunity to engage in joint study.This session of the school had several main objectives, including building a plan, with the worker leaders and rank-and-file activists gathered, to strategically organize workplaces across the region and begin the development of a committed core of activists. This core will study political economy and the organizing lessons of past union and Civil Rights campaigns in the region to inform a strategy where workers can best build unions and workers’ power.The school was also held to help develop social movement conditions and bottom-up worker activism in order to attract support from international unions and other sources and be able to challenge those among the world’s largest corporations that invest in the region. Net income from U.S. and foreign investments in the South now equals $3.7 trillion, making it the world’s fourth-largest economy behind Japan.‘For a broad fighting movement’“The Southern Workers School is not an event,” stated Saladin Muhammad, of Black Workers for Justice, in his opening remarks. Muhammad is a retired international representative of the United Electrical Workers. “It’s about building infrastructure for a broad, fighting social movement that exposes the capitalist system and to build workers’ power to transform the economy.” Along with Muhammad, Ed Bruno, retired southern director for the National Nurses Union, developed and presented the curriculum for the school.A school document reads: “The U.S. South is a region where forced labor and a system of racist apartheid were legalized. It shaped a culture of social, economic and political divisions that has made the U.S. South a region of low-wage labor, low union density and political conservatism. Because of the role of the U.S. South in fueling the growth of U.S. and global capitalism, particularly as a region producing the majority of the world’s cotton for the European textile industry during the 18th and 19th centuries, there was an acceptance of the conditions of forced labor and racist oppression in the European countries and developing global economy profiting from the international slave trade and forced labor.“Rank-and-file workers, especially in the South, need a new orientation and organizing forms that break with business unionism that demobilizes members, bargains concessionary contracts, and aligns with corporate-run political parties.”The school also sought to connect to the broader social movements, including the Black Lives Matter movement and against racist police killings. In the week before the school, a 24-year-old Black man, Akiel Denkins, was killed by a Raleigh police officer, and several demonstrations took over the streets.‘About more than getting paid right’“I lived through the 1960s,” stated Rolanda McMillan, a fast food worker from Richmond, Va., with Raise Up. “It’s about more than getting paid right. It’s about, am I gonna get killed tomorrow by a cop because of the color of my skin? Am I on a terrorist list because I am a Black woman?” McMillan also testified about being fired from McDonald’s for going on strike for $15 an hour and union rights, but later winning her job back after her co-workers, the community and Raise Up pressured the company.Professor Patrick Mason from Florida State University led two major sessions about the political economy of the South. Mason’s presentation focused on the role of chattel slavery in shaping the economy here, including the continued repression that Black folks have faced in the region since abolition: the counterrevolution after Reconstruction, Black codes, sharecropping, Jim Crow, segregation, mass incarceration and overpolicing.So-called “right-to-work” (for less) laws were enacted in the South to maintain segregation in the workplace and thus prevent the unity of workers organizing into unions and into a united working class that fights to bring about a society that addresses the human rights and needs of all. New York State alone has more union members than all 12 Southern states combined.“Right-to-work,” anti-union codes and stripping of collective bargaining have now spread outside the South to states like Michigan and Wisconsin. Workers from Detroit and Wisconsin attended the school to show solidarity and connection with the workers’ movements there. A strong delegation of day laborers from New York, who belong to the Movimiento Independiente de Trabajadores (Independent Workers Movement), also attended.The victorious Boston School Bus Drivers Union, United Steelworkers Local 8751, which recently defeated the global apartheid corporation Veolia/Transdev, led a session Sunday morning. Their two-year campaign to reinstate four unfairly fired bus driver leaders, win a just contract, fight hundreds of stalled grievances, take back their local union under progressive leadership and beat back criminal charges provided rich experience and lessons to share with Southern workers and inform future campaigns.Recently elected Local 8751 Treasurer Georgia Scott connected her experience as a young girl in Alabama, where she and others in the Civil Rights Movement were attacked in 1965 by police while marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, to her recent union efforts.President Emeritus Donna Dewitt, of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, told the assembled workers: “The Southern Workers Assembly was responsible for drafting the resolution that was adopted at the national AFL-CIO convention in 2013 to organize the South.” Yet the national unions and the two labor federations, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, have not engaged in coordinated efforts in many years to organize labor in the South.With few exceptions, unions organizing in the South tend to be trying to make up for the loss of union members elsewhere. They lack a long-term strategy, including allocating financial resources to organize Southern labor as a social movement. Dewitt continued, “This school was a critical step to move this plan forward.” At the end of the school, workers discussed a constitution for the Southern Workers Assembly and vowed to take it back to their locals for adoption and support.The struggle to organize the South just took a momentous leap forward. To learn more, visit southernworker.org.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

  • Low-wage workers go on strike, fight for $15

    first_imgDes Moines, IowaOn Labor Day workers in the Hawkeye State rallied for $15 an hour and a union.The Service Employees Union (SEIU) and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement are organizing Iowa workers in the Fight for $15 and preparing them for future battles in the class war being waged across the state. Earlier this year, a series of anti-worker laws enacted by the state was met with fierce opposition by workers.Two Des Moines rallies took place early on Labor Day — one for fast food workers and the other for health care workers. The demonstrations were part of a national day of action in over 400 U.S. cities. Iowa CCI Executive Director Hugh Espey told WW it was “a great day” for holding corporate power accountable and showing community support for Iowa’s workers and their right to organize. (tinyurl.com/y7ukjf9b)Fast food workersThe first demonstration was a strike at a Burger King. At 6 a.m., 42 fast food workers from Burger King, McDonald’s and Subway joined nearly 200 community allies in a solidarity demonstration.The night before at 11 p.m., BK workers in Ankeny, Iowa, went on strike. The workers are not being paid overtime while being short-staffed and forced to work in a hot environment with poor air-conditioning. Shift manager Jake Laun told the Des Moines Register that workers deserve better wages, better bonuses and better working conditions. (Sept. 4)Sonia Mae Sayers, who participated in the day of action, is a 54-year-old McDonald’s employee in Des Moines. Despite over 20 years’ experience in the industry, her hourly wage is only $8.50. In an op-ed in the Sept. 1 Des Moines Register, Sayers wrote: “We need to stand together and use our power in numbers to make sure that corporations and our politicians listen.” (tinyurl.com/y8zakjs8)Although she receives health care through the state, Sayers noted that many co-workers “fall through the cracks” and “millions of underpaid workers” receive no health care whatsoever. “Together, with our allies, we have the power to push back on lawmakers and corporations who have stacked the deck in their favor. We have the power to ensure every person can live a healthy life and dignity on their job.”Health care workersNearly 300 people rallied in solidarity with health care workers at the second demonstration at 8 a.m. Like many Midwest states, Iowa has seen a decrease in manufacturing while the health care industry has boomed.According to the SEIU, Unity Point Health with over 8,000 employees and Mercy Medical Center with over 7,000 are the second and third largest private employers in the region. In 2015 the hospital industry in Des Moines made over $236 million in profits.Health care workers are denied a living wage and adequate benefits despite the massive profits garnered by health care companies. The National Employment Law Project reports that while 1.3 million hospital jobs were added since 2011, 71 per­cent of those jobs pay less than $15 an hour.SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry stated: “Hospitals are the biggest employers in many cities and generate enormous revenues. There is no excuse for them to keep wages so low that thousands of their nursing assistants, housekeepers, and dietary workers live in poverty.” (USA Today, Aug. 31)Tacoma, Wash., hospital worker and SEIU Local 199 NW member Candy King said, “Some workers have to work one or two extra jobs in order to make ends meet because their wages are so low. That is really shameful and terrible for both the workers and the patients they care for.” (SEIU press release)The struggle must continueThe term “living wage” is not hyperbole. A 2016 report in the American Journal of Public Health found that “a $15 minimum wage could have prevented 2,800-5,500 premature deaths between 2008 and 2012” in New York City alone. The study concluded, “Most of these avertable deaths would be realized in lower-income communities, in which residents are predominantly people of color.” (May 6, 2016)Iowa’s $7.25 minimum wage is less than half a proper living wage. The struggle continues!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more