In 2012, a group of 200 fast-food workers walked off the job in New York City and demanded a $15 hourly wage and a union. In the decade since, the “Fight for $15,” as the movement came to be called, has secured higher wages for more than 26 million workers, lowered the racial wealth gap in many states and pumped more than $87 billion into local economies, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Employment Law Project (NELP).
Last month, workers at a Chipotle in Augusta, Maine, announced that they intended to form a union — the first of the chain’s roughly 3,000 locations to do so. This week, Chipotle said it will close the store permanently. The move came the same week that Amy’s Kitchen, the vegetarian frozen-food company that has reportedly been fighting attempts by its workers to unionize, announced that it’s closing the San Jose, California, factory where workers complained of “unrelenting managers, poor working conditions, and demanding production mandates.” (No paywall)
After several weeks of strikes by workers at six fruit-packing facilities in Yakima, Washington, and a number of outbreaks of Covid-19 in food production and processing plants, the state will require stronger protections for agricultural workers. The new protections, which Gov. Jay Inslee announced on May 28 and which take effect June 3, require agricultural employers to provide all workers with personal protective equipment at no cost, ensure physical distancing or barriers between workers when distancing is not possible, place hand-washing stations at regular intervals among workers, and implement sanitation and distancing on employer-provided transportation.(No paywall)
Environmentalists, labor groups, and animal rights advocates on Tuesday condemned President Trump's planned executive order to keep meatpacking plants open, despite reported outbreaks of Covid-19 at more than 60 of these plants across the country.
From wildfires and drought to lost work days due to soaring temperatures, the changing climate is fast becoming another issue that farmworkers must contend with. One way they're doing that is by organizing, according to FERN's latest story, published with The Nation.(No paywall)
For the first time in it’s 164-year history, the California state fair will includes a farmworker exhibit, celebrating the people who have keep the state’s $47-billion industry running. “The exhibit features the stories of pioneers who founded the United Farm Workers of America: Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Filipino union leader Larry Itliong,” along with information on modern-day labor laws like the one signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, guaranteeing overtime pay after an eight-hour workday for farmworkers, says Lake County News.