Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
We are the 99 percent

Times Square, Dec. 6: Rise Up New York! Smash Austerity! Support Workers!

Posted 11 years ago on Dec. 5, 2012, 6:25 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: labor, austerity, fast food forward, nyc

Mass Rally at Thursday 5PM Times Square!

Direct Actions and Marches to Follow

RSVP on Facebook

Last week, 200 workers at Wendy's, McDonald's, Burger King, Domino's and Taco Bell went on strike and joined workers at Car Washes, Supermarkets, and Airports throughout NYC in demanding better pay working conditions.

On December 6th we’re standing up to protect the right to organize!

Too many low wage workers rely on public assistance to get by in our economy. While workers throughout the city are making near or below minimum wage or are fighting to protect their wages and benefits, CEOs are making record incomes and their lobbyists are pushing our elected officials to cut spending on social programs and extend tax cuts for the richest 2%.

We won't stand for this. We won't stand policies that prioritize tax cuts for millionaires over funding programs that working families rely on. And we are telling workers who are struggling at work that we've got their back.

Stand with workers as they come together to demand better wages and working conditions and economic policy that’s good for all of us.

More info: NY Workers Rising | @ny_rising | #fastfoodfwd | #riseupny



Read the Rules
[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23771) 11 years ago

Report Reveals CEOs Make 380 Times The Average Worker's Salary:


American workers are the only workers in the developed world to have zero guaranteed mandatory vacation days:


The rich get richer in America and the poor get poorer:


American wages have been declining for 40 years:


Reasons enough to get out and fight for workers' rights! Solidarity with the Occupiers!!

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

There needs to be a big push for a minimum wage increase!

To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage and to index future increases to such wage to increases in the consumer price index.


Why does this have less than a 1% chance of passing? Government Corruption.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23771) 11 years ago

Government corruption and sheer greed. The minimum wage needs to be increased to a living wage. That is they only way our economic system can even begin to be considered humane.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Or healthy.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23771) 11 years ago


[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Its should be 10.20 if adjusted for inflation. I think that would be a good starting point.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23771) 11 years ago

That is better than what we have now, but I think it should be based on geographical areas and the cost of living in each area.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

The problem with getting that detailed is that no matter what, there will never be 100% agreement on things, and there will always be groups that feel they got screwed. The more complex, the more problems.

The only ones that pay minimum wage are the multinationals. If people would stop shopping there, and support local, we could fix this problem very quickly.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23771) 11 years ago

I see your points, but 10.20 isn't gonna do it. Make it $15 then.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 11 years ago

Awesome. So heartening to see more and more people speaking out

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 11 years ago

Collective Workplaces Spell Job Security, Fair Treatment and Real-Life Democracy

Wednesday, 05 December 2012 00:00 By Graciela Razo, Truthout | Report


Amid the economic downturn in 2007, economist, professor, and Truthout contributor and advisory board member Richard Wolff laid out a vision for a radical reorganization of labor wherein employees had control of their workplaces. From choosing their work hours to coming to consensus about everyday business operations, employees would act together as their own bosses to combat inequality in the workplace.

The Story of Beyond Care

After facing insecure jobs, low wages and toxic unemployment, Susana Peralta and 19 other women turned that radical restructuring of the workplace into a reality. Their cooperative brainchild Beyond Care blossomed in 2008 as a new way to provide quality employment for their community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

The alternative workplace provides a necessary service of part- and full-time childcare where the women are their own bosses and chose their own hours and wages, a welcomed change from traditional workplaces.

"Not only did we create a space with fairer wages, but we found a way to employ our entire community," Peralta, the Beyond Care cooperative president said.

Peralta and her coworkers are exactly what Wolff and his new organization Democracy at Work, a collaboration with Truthout and several other partners, conceptualized for the future of employment. Democracy at Work was born in 2011 after Wolff's weekly radio show Economic Update, supported by Truthout, became syndicated in ten cities and listeners grew desperate for a solution to the abysmal employment and economic crisis.

"People wanted a solution, so we had to answer this demand," Wolff said. "The answer we came up with is democracy at work that would respond to the criticism we're making about the failures of the system to solve its own problems, to the failure of the old traditional socialism to be a model that attracts people and excites them." The fundamental idea of Democracy at Work is to create a society based on workers' self-directed enterprises. Fully egalitarian in every sense, workers run the business, share the assets and create a workspace that runs in harmony with not only its workers, but the entire community.

Wolff's argument is that workers in control of their own workplaces are much less likely to ship their own jobs overseas, underpay employees or pollute their own communities. As workers' enterprises become fully functioning, they benefit those who participate as workers as well as the customers and communities they serve. But before Beyond Care came into full operation, the women worked every day just to promote the business to get its first clients. Because they had to build up the daycare on an idea alone, with no money, it was completely up to them to gain momentum for the business. They put up flyers all over their neighborhood, trying to spread the word about their cooperative. After four years of word-of-mouth promotion and advertising, the collective got its first client. Now, Beyond Care has more clients than it can handle; the childcare center now has to turn down nearly seven clients each week because of its growing popularity. Parents love that their children are learning Spanish and that Beyond Care is entirely democratically run, Peralta added.

The women are constantly attending trainings and are currently working on expanding their services to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Unlike traditional workplaces, pleasing its customer-base is vital to Beyond Care's survival.

"If you work with an agency, you work to please your boss; when you work for a cooperative, you have more incentive to please the customers because your job depends directly on it," said collective developer Emma Yorra.

But perhaps most importantly, Peralta said, is the job security a collectively run workplace provides. No one worries about not having clients or being fired with nowhere to go. There are always clients and work to be done for the community, she said.

"We all have equal benefits and security now," Peralta said. "It isn't just for those of us who started the co-op; we're interested in something that benefits the entire community."

This "radical reorganization and democratization of enterprise," according to Wolff, gives workers complete control of their own workplaces, allows them to decide their wages and work fair hours, just as Beyond Care has been doing for the past four years. In a democratic workplace, no longer do bosses or agencies dictate how much employees should be paid - solving the issue of struggling workers barely able to pay for basic living expenses.

But job security would be the most beneficial outcome of worker self-directed enterprises, adds Jen Hill, co-founder of Democracy at Work. "When people are secure in their work-life, they have the freedom to participate in politics, home life and have time with their families, which would produce a more educated and creative society where everyone has a voice," Hill said. "Generations would be self-expressed, more equal and more secure. The opposite of what capitalism has done for us: insecurity and inequality."

Red Emma's Story

The freedom and democratic control of a cooperative gave the founding members of Red Emma's bookstore in Baltimore, Maryland, the freedom to expand further than a traditional business. Collectivized at the end of 2004, Red Emma's has flourished into a fully sustainable business, complete with a cafe serving fair-trade coffee, a space for political discussions, a free computer lab and a template for others to begin their own collective.

"We wanted to build an infrastructure that creates the world we want to see and a space that allows us to put our politics into practice," said Kate Khatib, a Red Emma's founding collective member. "Emma's is an experiment, a laboratory to see if these things we talk about in our literature actually work, and if not, why doesn't it work? What can we do instead?"

Owned and operated by 14 collective members and a group of volunteers, Red Emma's grew into a product of its own politics, giving each member a say in every aspect of the operation. But Emma's still has a few of the same obstacles many other independent bookshops across the country have. The collective still has times when it struggles with book sales or building repairs.

And although Emma's is an open collective, it takes six months to become a full member. After three months of volunteering for five hours each week and a series of checkpoints and reviews, the collective must come to a complete consensus before inviting someone to join. Then after three more months of working as a provisional member, they are eligible to become a collective member and officially added to Red Emma's ownership documents.

"Collectives offer a way to change the way we think of work," John Duda, another founding collective member said. "It's a space that changes people's expectations of what labor can look like."

Consensus becomes the basis of each workday. Every member and volunteer knows which lightbulb goes where, how much money was brought in that week and where the cooperative's produce comes from (local, family-owned grocery stores) and is encouraged to participate in each business decision.

Weekly collective meetings are run so every participant has a chance to speak. Each member focuses on a certain aspect of Emma's: public relations, book ordering, volunteers and logistics. Direct democracy developed Emma's into one of Baltimore's destination bookstores and into a worker self-directed enterprise that's able to be replicated by other business ventures.

"It's rewarding to see that it is possible to build something that is sustainable, that has a capacity to reproduce itself as an institution," Duda said. "It opens a space where people learn to live a little differently."

Democracy at Work is spreading this template to make it easier for collectives and cooperatives to sprout in cities where unemployment is deteriorating entire neighborhoods. The organization is developing informational videos to make these methods more accessible, and there are plans to organize a training institution where ideas are manifested into concrete business plans.

"We are developing a movement. We have the basic idea. We have a very enthusiastic audience," Wolff said. "It's growing, but the trick is how to find a way to glue people together, give them enough to do that they feel part of something because that's what they want."

Copyright, Truthout.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

CitiBank announces plans to lay off 11,000.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Tweeted - 4 a living wage 4 all.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 11 years ago

I love the image at the header of this article. It's very powerful.

[-] 1 points by rickMoss (435) 11 years ago

This is a worthy cause. And at least the people are getting enough backbone to stand up. The problem is as usual, we are lacking sorely in leadership and most importantly a vision.

"Where there is no vision the people perish"

The revolution has started! It's just waiting for you!


U.S. Citizens Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://revolution2.osixs.org )

Non U.S. Citizens Read “Common Sense 3.2” at ( http://SaveTheWorldNow.osixs.org )

How else can I say this? "We Are Free!" U just have to open your eyes. http://WeAreFree.osixs.org "Spread the News"

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 11 years ago

Anyone have any links to news on the success of this?

[-] 1 points by farzinvvv (1) 11 years ago

thank you! this picture is from green movement of IRAN

[-] 1 points by EricPitty (1) 11 years ago

I think of two things when supporting Occupy and workers in their fight for better standards of living around the nation: that this issue may come down as to:

1) whether we should have a say in the companies we work for (especially big ones, McDonalds, WalMart, etc.) because we’re entering a contract with them by becoming their employees, and therefore should strike/rally/picket/petition for better working conditions, wages, vacation; time, healthcare; or

2) whether we have a right to change how a company runs their business from the outside, by using the government and legislature to force CEOs and company boards to give up control of what began (and still is and should be?) their businesses.

I mean, as an individual you have the right to start a business and run it how you want – I know we have labor laws that prohibit certain things strictly, and rightly so, but I’m sure an argument on behalf of the large companies might be that if they don’t like the conditions they can quit and find more agreeable ones elsewhere, rather than forcing through legislature a change. Or! Start a cooperative like RE Emma’s I read about down below!

I agree with workers within a company exercising their rights for better conditions through strike/rally/picket/petition and so on, and supporting them. But I’m still on the fence about the inherent question on top of that (when wanting to bring the government into the picture) is allowing Washington to wave their hand over us and settle a dispute. It seems mitigating, penile; like telling on dad. I don’t want government legislature to be the first and last course of action.

But then again, we all live in the united states and have a say on how it’s run, and how the businesses within should be policed. But I feel that flexing our power and rights as individuals is more moral (moral as in whether it’s good to do something) than bringing the government in to police things – that shit doesn’t fly so well so often. Disputes should be able to be settled between employee and employer, I feel.

But on the other hand, super large business probably can muster the resources to scab and carry on as they are without changing a thing, and still make money. I know where I live and for most of my life that America kind of depends upon its Walmarts and McDonalds – culturally, they’re standbys, but perhaps that does need a changin’ too.

[-] 1 points by rottkamp (8) 11 years ago

full employment

7 hour working day

open admission, no grades, no diplomas

housing, healthcare, public transportation, education: free


[-] 0 points by Arab23 (0) from Long Island City, NY 11 years ago

Socialist freak show.