Archive for January, 2011

IWW Workplace Organizer Training

IWW Workplace Organizer Training

  • Saturday January 29th
  • 9: 45AM – 6:00PM
  • UE Hall at 37 S. Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL, 60607 (Ashland and Monroe)

This one day training will cover the basics of organizing at your workplace. We will discuss how to chart your workplace, gather contacts, develop leaders and create an organizing committee. We will also introduce the IWW and talk about what a union is and how it can create positive change at your workplace. The cost is free for all IWW members and a $5 suggested donation for the general public. Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

More info email us at chicago@iww.org

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In Big Union Victory, Jimmy John’s Union Election Nullified Due to Employer Labor Rights Violations

Sandwich Workers Begin New Push for “10 Point Program” to Reform Fast Food Industry

Attached: Unfair Labor Practice Charges, NLRB Settlement Agreement, 10 Point Program for Justice at Jimmy John’s

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.

Based around benefits that workers in many other industries take for granted, the program is the response of Jimmy John’s workers to their most pressing problems on the job. Core demands include sick days, improved job security, guaranteed work hours, a reasonable pay increase and regular raises, improved harassment policies, other basic
job benefits, and the establishment of a system of shop committees giving workers a democratic voice within the company.

If franchise owners Mike and Rob Mulligan refuse to cooperate, the union has indicated a willingness to return to the trenches and continue the fight for union recognition, this time on terms that are much more favorable to the union due to the settlement agreement.

Under the NLRB settlement, Jimmy John’s must cease engaging in a wide range of unlawful anti-union activities, post notices informing employees of the company’s new commitment to obeying the law, and host a series of mandatory employee meetings in which a representative of the NLRB will read the notices in the presence of the company owner.
In 60 days, the Union will also be eligible to file for a fresh election at any point in the next 18 months, with an abbreviated “campaigning period” of 30 days, 12 days shorter than what is customary for NLRB elections.

Union member Ayo Collins said, “Mike and Rob Mulligan can either continue their losing battle against their employees, or they can work with us and distinguish themselves as leaders in bringing much-needed change to the nation’s fast food industry. For our part, we’re hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. We are more confident than ever that in the end, we will win, setting an example for 3.5 million fast food workers to follow.”

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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Jimmy John’s workers negotiating settlement on union

Minneapolis Jimmy John’s workers might still become the first officially recognized fast-food union in the country.

The National Labor Relations Board has found evidence that the franchise owners may have broken the law in the lead-up to the October vote in which pro-union workers narrowly lost by 87 to 85 votes.

Organizers brushed off the loss at the time, saying they didn’t need official recognition to pressure franchise owners Rob and Mike Mulligan for better pay and working conditions. The organizers are affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World, which has historically discounted the importance of recognition by the National Labor Relations Board.

But the workers also disputed the vote, filing a challenge with the board alleging that the Mulligans broke the law by pressuring workers to vote against the union in the lead-up to the vote.

The NLRB recently finished its investigation into the union’s allegations.

“It’s a mixed bag,” NLRB Regional Director Marlin Osthus told City Pages today. “There’s evidence to support that the employer violated the National Labor Relations Act in certain areas of its conduct. Other things that were alleged we didn’t find any support for.”

The findings have brought the Mulligans and union supporters back to the table, as the Labor Board attempts to broker a settlement. Osthus says he is optimistic that the settlement could be finalized as soon as tomorrow. One of the terms of the agreement, he says, is likely to be the nullification of the October vote, which would clear the way for another union vote in the future.

Union organizers declined to comment on the situation until the settlement has been finalized, and the franchise owners did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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