Submitted on Wed, 03/23/2011 - 12:38pm
Sandwich Chain Seeks to Suppress Educational Poster on the Risks of Eating Food Prepared by Sick Employees
Jimmy John's Workers Union - Industrial Workers of the World
Contacts: Micah Buckley-Farlee, 612-845-9290 Mike Wilkow, 612-807-6633
March 23, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS- In an effort to silence employees who have blown the whistle on serious food safety hazards at Jimmy John's, the company fired six workers yesterday for putting up posters demanding the right to call in sick and paid sick days in order to avoid exposing customers to infection. Under current policy, Jimmy John's workers are disciplined for calling in sick if they cannot find a replacement, forcing many workers to make sandwiches while ill.
"It just isn't safe -- customers are getting their sandwiches made by people with the flu, and they have no idea," said Micah Buckley-Farlee, one of the fired workers, "and now we're getting fired for blowing the whistle on this disgusting practice. Rather than safeguard public health and do the right thing for their employees and their customers, Jimmy John's owners Mike and Rob Mulligan are trying to silence us. These illegal and offensive firings will not stand."
In addition to the threat of discipline for calling in sick, many workers are unable to afford to take a day off if they are ill because wages at the sandwich chain hover around the federal minimum of $7.25 and the company offers no benefits. The result of these pressures is that sandwich-makers often have to work while sick, creating an enormous public health risk. The issue of working while sick in restaurants has assumed increased concern from the public in recent years. A recent study performed by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy shows a marked increase in workers unable to take sick leave noting that of the 793 employees surveyed 72% said they worked while they had severe flu symptoms.
Submitted on Tue, 01/11/2011 - 1:59am
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Jimmy John's Workers Union; Industrial Workers of the World
- Micah Buckley-Farlee, 612-845-9290
- Erik Forman, 612-598-6205
Sandwich Workers Begin New Push for “10 Point Program” to Reform Fast Food Industry
MINNEAPOLIS– The National Labor Relations Board approved a settlement today nullifying the results of the historic October 22 union election at Jimmy John's, putting victory back on the table for the nation's first-ever union in franchised fast food. The settlement validates workers' claims that franchise owners Mike and Rob Mulligan were able to squeak out an 87-85 victory in the election only by resorting to unlawful tactics including threatening a wage freeze, intentionally fabricating rumors that the union engaged in sabotage, retaliating against union supporters, and numerous other labor rights violations.
With the tainted election results nullified, the union is asking the franchise owners to negotiate over its "10 Point Program for Justice at Jimmy John's," a comprehensive package of reforms that will bring respect, dignity, and democracy to the fast food workplace.
“There can now be no doubt that our rights were severely violated, but we're willing to put the past behind us. We are calling on Mike and Rob Mulligan to make a fresh start and work with us, rather than against us, to improve the lives of Jimmy John's workers and their families by negotiating over our 10 Point Program for modest but urgently needed changes,” said Micah Buckley-Farlee, a delivery driver at Jimmy John's and active member of the union campaign.
Submitted on Sun, 01/09/2011 - 5:17pm
The IWW Nebraska General Membership Branch (GMB) files Unfair Labor Practice charging Starbucks Coffee Company with violating Labor Law.
Starbucks Workers Union (Industrial Workers of the World) contact: Samantha Cole (402)669-8479
Omaha- The Starbucks Workers Union is demanding the reinstatement of former employee and union member Tyler Swain after being unjustly terminated.
On Thursday December 30, 2010 Tyler Swain was terminated from his position as a shift supervisor by the downtown Starbucks store manager Scott Creed for ‘insubordination’.
Co-worker and union member Samantha Cole argues otherwise and says that the Starbucks Coffee Company has had a bulls-eye on Swain since they formed the Nebraska Starbucks Workers Union in August. Cole stated, “Tyler has always been a model employee and takes great pride in his job and his relationships he’s developed with our regular customers. Starbucks has been desperately trying to find a reason to get rid of Tyler since we went public with our union and started organizing our district.” She added that, “Customers have noticed and asked where he is. When I tell them that he was terminated they are surprised and say that he is always so friendly and never would have guessed he would be fired for being a bad employee. However, one customer who comes in on a regular basis and had made negative remarks to us when we went public with our union said ‘that’s what he gets for trying to start a union’”.
The Nebraska Starbucks Workers Union went public with their union and organizing drive on August 6th, 2010 by walking off the job and presenting then District Manager Jennifer Rojas with a list of demands which included increasing wages above poverty rates, an inclement weather plan for the district, consistent scheduling and fully stocked First Aid kit in the store as per OSHA regulations among other things.
Union member Sasha McCoy says that Starbucks has been focused on causing discontent among the workers at 15th and Douglas Starbucks by manufacturing lies about Swain. “Shortly after we presented Jenny with our list of demands and went public with our desire to organize a union, Starbucks has been actively trying to accuse Tyler of a number of unethical charges. The Human Resources Department was even accusing Tyler of sexual harrasment when there was nothing like that going on. These charges were absolutely absurd. They were trying to take the focus off of our demands and desire to organize a union and onto make believe charges against Tyler,” said McCoy.
Submitted on Tue, 01/04/2011 - 8:37pm
In the midst of organizing in a southwest Oklahoma casino, we were hit hard with the sudden death of a fellow worker to lung cancer. Colin "Corky" Brous. Corky was beloved friend, father and fellow worker. He was for the union 100% and helped put a lot of good ideas on the table. Corky defended fellow workers and stood tall in the face of management. His presence, dedication and ideas to bring solidarity to our shop floor will remain in our hearts and minds forever.
Submitted on Mon, 12/20/2010 - 2:41pm
Jimmy Johns Workers Union (Industrial Workers of the World)
Contact: Micah Buckley-Farlee, 612-845-9290
MINNEAPOLIS- Jimmy John's workers will call on Minneapolis franchise owners Mike and Rob Mulligan today to honor the spirit of the season by offering holiday pay to their employees on federal and major religious holidays. Workers plan to ask customers to sign 'Holiday Cards' asking the Mulligans to open their hearts and their wallets for workers who will spend Christmas Eve, New Year's Day, and other holidays selling sandwiches rather than enjoying the company of their families.
Although time and half pay on holidays is a standard benefit in almost all workplaces, Jimmy John’s falls short of industry standards by paying most workers minimum wage to work through the holidays.
“The Mulligans expect us to come in to work for minimum wage on Christmas Eve and New Year's Day instead of spending time with our families. It's not like time and a half is even that much money when you are making $7.25 an hour. This is really about respect. It feels like we're working for Scrooge,” said Brittany Koppy, a worker at the Dinkytown Jimmy John's.
For bicycle delivery drivers, the pressure to work through the holiday season carries additional risk.
“Everyone is stressed during the this time of year and the roads are brutal. I fell three times and injured myself while working on Christmas Eve last year,” said Micah Buckley-Farlee, a bicycle delivery driver at the Dinkytown store, adding, “Holiday pay is an issue of both safety and respect.”