Saturday, September 04, 2010

[olympiaworkers] Fast food workers form union, hold action in Minneapolis Sept 4 2010

Workers at the fast food chain Jimmy John's have formed and IWW-affiliated
union, presented demands for better wages and more control over
scheduling, and held large pickets in Minneapolis.

Jimmy Johns Labor Dispute Bursts onto National Stage with Coast-to-Coast
Actions Planned for Labor Day

More information can be found at

MINNEAPOLIS- Faced with the refusal of Jimmy Johns franchise owners Mike
and Rob Mulligan to meet with their employees to discuss demands for
improvements to working conditions, the IWW Jimmy Johns Workers Union
announced today that it will coordinate a nation-wide Week of Action
beginning on Labor Day at Jimmy Johns locations across the United States
to pressure the Mulligans to come to the table.

"If Mike and Rob won't just sit down and meet with us, we feel we have no
other choice but to put pressure on them to listen. We are going to show
Jimmy John's corporate that if they don't ensure that their franchise
owners are respecting their employees, there will be consequences at the
national level," said Emily Przybylsky, a union member in Minneapolis.

The Jimmy Johns Workers Union will draw on the extensive network of the
Industrial Workers of the World labor organization to coordinate the
actions. Informational pickets and leafleting are planned so far in 32 of
39 states in which Jimmy Johns operates, with more to come.

In Minneapolis, the Union plans a series of actions over the weekend
culminating in a Labor Day Rally and free concert featuring local Hip Hop
icons Guante and I Self Divine.

The national corporate headquarters of Jimmy Johns has yet to respond to
the unionization campaign, the first at the expanding sandwich empire. The
union effort could have profound implications for other employers in the
fast food industry, a sector known for the lowest rate of unionization–
and lowest wages– in the United Sates. Only 1.8% of food service workers
were represented by a union in 2009, far below the nation-wide figure of
12.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The question of
unionization of the food and service industries is assuming greater focus
as employment in these non-union sectors increases, while manufacturing,
the traditional stronghold of unionization, continues to decline.

The demands of the IWW Jimmy Johns Workers Union include a pay increase to
above minimum wage, consistent scheduling and minimum shift lengths,
regularly scheduled breaks, sick days, no-nonsense workers compensation
for job-related injuries, an end to sexual harassment at work, and basic
fairness on the job.

The Jimmy Johns Workers Union, open to employees at the company
nationwide, is affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World labor
union. Gaining prominence in recent years for organizing Starbucks
workers, the IWW is a global union founded over a century ago for all
working people.

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