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Saturday, November 30, 2013

How foodies can become champions for workers' rights

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from

The FCWA estimates that almost 8 million workers throughout the food system would benefit from a national minimum wage boost, and that 29 million workers over all industries would get a raise. In a Thanksgiving-themed "menu" of ways to help improve the lives of food workers, the FCWA asks foodies to sign its petition to raise the wage to $10.10, to spread the word via social media, and to write their members of Congress to urge passage of the raise.
Food workers are also mobilizing to win on three more fronts: they want nationally guaranteed paid sick days, so that they are not forced to show up to work while sick, thus contributing to the spread of infectious disease. They are demanding the right to safe workplaces: Many agricultural employers could easily provide better protections from harmful pesticides for harvest workers. Finally, the workers are demanding their right to a voice on the job, protesting against the abuse and intimidation that frequently occur in the restaurant industry when workers try to unionize.
To push for these rights, the FCWA's member groups are reaching out to consumers with messages about specific bad-actor employers in each of these areas. These employers include Wal-Mart, which has allegedly stolen wages from workers and routinely quashed unionization drives at its stores; and the Darden restaurant group, which owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden and other family-style chains. Workers at Darden establishments are still denied any paid...
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