THERE ARE LOTS OF POLITICAL ACTIONS COMING UP THESE FEW WEEKS SO GET INVOLVED AND REMEMBER-----WE NEED DEMOCRACY NOW GROUPS IN ALL COMMUNITIES WITH NEWSLETTERS AND ISSUE MEETINGS.
SHAKE THE BUGS OUT OF THESE NEO-LIBERAL CORPORATE MACHINES BY RUNNING AND VOTING FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!!!
Our 2014 Strategic Dialogue Is Tomorrow! Saturday, January 18th
11:30 pm - 4 pm
James McHenry Rec Center
911 Hollins St, Baltimore
This Saturday, the United Workers, together with leaders from across the state will join together in an in-depth analysis of the way commodification of public goods—i.e. healthcare, housing, our environment—has negatively impacted our fundamental rights. The dialogue will also reflect on the 50 year anniversary of the ‘War on Poverty’ and Dr. King's transformative vision. Afterwards, members of our campaign will engage in an overview of our campaign timeline for the coming year. Last year's event was a great success and this year's will be a perfect opportunity to get plugged in! We hope you can make it! Here's the event page.
For more on the 'War on Poverty,' United Workers Leadership Organizer Luis Larin and others from the Fair Development Campaign were on the Marc Steiner Show on Monday. Check it out at UnitedWorkers.org.
MLK Day March Contingent
January 20th, Monday at 11:40 am
Eutaw and Preston St. - Baltimore
Healthcare Now! and Baltimore members of Healthcare is a Human Right - Maryland will be participating in the 2014 MLK Day Parade this Monday and are inviting fellow members and allies to join. Meet at 11:40 am at the Intersection of Eutaw and Preston St. Please wear your Healthcare is a Human Right shirt, United Workers, or a yellow or black shirt, and feel free to bring your own handmade signs! The march will begin at Noon and head down MLK Blvd, ending on Baltimore St & MLK. You can download a map of the the parade HERE.
(VIDEO) Healthcare Justice Play
The play of our Healthcare Justice Play is now live. You can watch it either on Vimeo or YouTube. Definitely check it out and spread the word. The play was performed by members of the Healthcare Is a Human Right - Maryland campaign, the United Workers, and other allies and supporters across Maryland. Many thanks to everyone that participated in the play and in filming and producing the video. The play took place on October 26, 2013, during our first state-wide action of the Healthcare Is a Human Right - Maryland campaign. It was a huge success and a powerful testament to the grassroots movement that is growing across the state to demand universal healthcare. Filmed and edited by the United Workers and Healthcare Is a Human Right - Maryland media teams.
- United Workers
With a new release from Wikileaks and a warning from members of Congress, the pressure to oppose Fast Track is growing. View this email in your browser
This morning, Wikileaks released the TPP's long-awaited environmental chapter – and it's even worse than we thought. According to Professor Jane Kelsey of the University of Auckland, "the leaked text shows that the obligations are weak and compliance with them is unenforceable...The corporate agenda wins both ways." Add that to members of Congress recently warning President Obama of their frustration with his lack of transparency, and the increasing pressure to oppose Fast Track is clear.
Meanwhile, communities across the country have more than stepped up to the task of mobilizing against this dangerous bill – from a creative rally focused on Rep. Beccera to the growing list of participants in the upcoming Inter-Continental Day of Action. With members of Congress home in their districts on recess next week, now is also a perfect time to request personal meetings, attend and ask questions at any town hall events, and continue raising our voices against the TPP. In the meantime, stay tuned for more about an online week of advocacy, call-in days, and social media to help spread the word in the final push against Fast Track. Though our work is far from over, this week’s news shows us just how necessary resistance to this terrible treaty is – and that it's making a difference.
With thanks for all you do,
The Flush the TPP Team
Reclaim Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream -
END POVERTY & INJUSTICE! SUPPORT SUPERSHUTTLE DRIVERS!
PROTEST VEOLIA’S SYSTEM OF WORKER SLAVERY
Monday, January 20, 3 P.M. to 4 P.M. at Veolia’s Baltimore transportation HQ, 2100 Huntington Ave, Baltimore, MD (21st St. & Huntington Ave. right off of Howard Street near the car wash and Jiffy Lube)
If Dr. King Jr. where alive he would be protesting and picketing Veolia for their outrageous treatment of their workers. There is no better way to commemorate Dr. King’s birthday than to join the January 20th protest to demand justice for these workers.
Did you know:
*That the SuperShuttle workers at BWI and Dulles airports make less than minimum wage and that Veolia, a billion dollar International Corporation, which has distinguished itself as a union busting company from Boston to Baltimore, has just fired 2 workers for speaking out.
*That the drivers want to join a union, UFCW Local 1994, to protect their rights as workers; and they desperately need this because Veolia has created a company system of indentured servitude that has impoverished these mainly immigrant West African workers.
How does the “evil” Veolia system work:
*Veolia forces drivers, to agree to pay an initial $35,000 fee, payable in installments for a ten year period with 15% interest. (The company that leases the vans is also owned by Veolia.) These installment payments are just one of the deductions from the payout to the drivers – included are operating expenses, fees to the airport authority, dispatch fees, insurance fees to a company owned by Veolia, the lease payment, and franchise fees. These fees total from $1,200 to $2,100 per week. Many drivers can’t even break even under such a system and most make below the minimum wage after working 18 and even 24 hours.
*Veolia has worked out an “evil system”, as one worker described it – the company claims the drivers are not workers but owners, though Veolia owns and controls almost every aspect of their working lives – forcing them to buy insurance owned by Veolia, determining a dress code, random and unannounced inspections, forced drug testing, and much more including hiring and firing.
*Under this “evil system” Veolia can skirt paying unemployment insurance, payroll taxes, sick leave or any other benefit. Veolia actually makes more money from the driver’s fees than from customer fares. *The DLLR has ruled that SuperShuttle drivers are indeed employees so SuperShuttle must pay unemployment.
This is a system of humiliation and near slavery. Once these drivers, who mostly come from West African countries, have invested through back breaking hard work, paid into the fees and signed for loans to pay the original fee, they feel too deeply invested to actually leave.
To illustrate how humiliating the drivers are treated – the SuperShuttle drivers are the only drivers not permitted to use the bathrooms inside the terminals and must leave and go off airport property. The hotels are also closed to them. No bathroom or waiting facility has been made available for drivers at the holding lots requiring the drivers to stay in their vehicles both winter and summer to maintain their place in line. There is no holding lot at Dulles/DCA, but there is one at BWI. The drivers have a trailer there but no bathroom (only a port-a-pot).
Multiple drivers have been terminated for speaking out. As outrageous as it sounds, the company refuses to allow the drivers to sell or transfer their franchises when they are very sick, including one driver who had his legs amputated due to diabetes and another who was being treated for multiple myeloma, a form of cancer.
SUPPORT SUPERSHUTTLE WORKERS AND ALL LOW WAGE WORKERS
There is a new low wage workers movement from Walmart to McDonald’s. The SuperShuttle workers are a part of this. They need and deserve our support. We are calling on everyone – community, civil rights, student, and union activists to come out on January 20, 2014. Tell Veolia, to hire back fired workers from both Baltimore and Boston (Boston School Bus Drivers 5, USW 8751) and to recognize the workers’ rights to a union and fair treatment.
January 20th will be a full day of activities.
In the morning we will participate as a group and March in the parade with Women in Black. During the parade volunteers will distribute hundreds of flyers to onlookers and carry signs.
Following the parade we will immediately begin our picket at Veolia’s transportation headquarters in Baltimore from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Following this we will be caravanning by to car to Washington D.C. to take part in a postal worker’s March against the work conditions that contributed to the death of postal worker, Tyson Jerome Barnette, and that put many other postal workers at risk, who have been unsafely forced to work into the night hours. Call: 410-218-4835.
"We Deserve Better" Workers Assembly -- Call 410-218-4835