$32.00 donated in past month
On May Day 2013, the fight for a $15 "Livable Wage" is coming to Oakland. New York City led the way with two walkouts by low-wage workers in the fast-food industry, the first in November 2012, and the second on April 4, 2013. In November, about 200 New York fast-food workers at 30 stores went on strike for a $15 hourly wage. Then nearly 400 workers walked out. Next up was Chicago on April 24, 2013. Hundreds of fast food and retail employees in Chicago began a mass walkout, calling for the city’s minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour. Now it's Oakland's turn. Organized by the Livable Wage Assembly, an outgrowth of Occupy Oakland's Labor Solidarity Committee (the group which organized the December 12, 2011 shutdown of the Port of Oakland), their first action is a rally at Oscar Grant Plaza and noise demonstration through the streets of Oakland at 5pm on May 1
to raise awareness of the campaign. Organizers hope to enable the struggle of low-wage workers to challenge their bosses for a livable wage. The City of Oakland's minimum wage is just $8.00/hr, the same as California's, making life difficult for many as housing costs continue to rise. The noise demo will focus on companies like McDonalds, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Taco Bell and a host of other chains in the downtown area. The noise march in Oakland follows a Sin Fronteras march from Fruitvale BART station earlier in the day.
Immigrant rights and labor actions will be taking place in many Bay Area and Northern California cities on May Day including San Francisco, San Jose, Salinas, Watsonville, and Santa Cruz. On May 3, protests continue at the La Playa hotel in Carmel.
Marchers Speak Out For Justice
Anti-Capitalist March and Occupations
, 12pm |
LaborFest Screening of "Dreamwork China" At ILWU Local 34
May Day march for immigrant rights
Oakland Sin Fronteras Fruitvale march and rally
, 3pm |
Autonomous/Anarchist People of Color Contingent
, 3pm |
May Day: Fight for $15!
March for Immigrant Rights
May Day March - International Workers' Day
May Day march for Immigrant Rights
May Day Rally for Immigration Reform
May Day Rally for Immigration Reform
Rallying for Immigration Reform on May Day in Santa Cruz
May Day Rally for Immigration Reform
May Day: The Fight for $15 Comes to Oakland |
Call to improve wages and working conditions for restaurant workers! |
May Day (May 3rd) Rally at La Playa Carmel |
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Nationwide May Day General Strike Looms Large Locally with Diverse Actions Across Bay Area |
May Day in Santa Cruz: Creating an Ongoing Network of Solidarity
On January 10th, IWW members and community allies staged an informational picket and rally to build energy towards what organizers think will be a protracted contract negotiation with Berkeley's Ecology Center. Management at the non-profit recycling center is looking to offer minor wage increases over the next two years, impose a wage freeze for the remaining three years of the new contract, and remove any employer-related benefit contributions. Negotiations were also planned on January 15th, and workers have vowed to continue fighting against any and all concessions proposed by management of the company.
Marc Norton writes:
The IWW has had a contract with the Ecology Center since 1989, but it looks like it might be a fight when that contract expires on February 1. The San Francisco Bay Area Branch of the IWW may not have the clout of the venerable AFL-CIO, but they ain’t pushovers either. According to Bruce Valde, the Branch Secretary, the Ecology Center contract is the “oldest existing IWW contract in the known universe."
Berkeley Ecology Center vs. the "oldest existing IWW contract in the known universe" | Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
Previous Coverage: Berkeley curbside recyclers win IWW contract fight
|| Recylcing Workers say "NO!" to management's proposed cuts!
After more than a dozen labor demonstrations at La Playa Carmel this summer which followed the announcement of a boycott of the hotel, community members had new answers to the question, "Is this working?" At a rally at the hotel held on September 28, Mark Weller of UNITE HERE Local 483, the hospitality union that represents workers in the Monterey Bay area, cited the recent contract approval negotiated for workers at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley as a victory for La Playa workers also.
Communication between La Playa's management and the former workers has been spotty, though. Only three of the 113 former workers have been rehired since they lost their jobs last November when the hotel changed ownership and closed for remodeling.
"People are asking, is this working? This is a fight not just for La Playa workers to get their jobs back, but for the entire labor movement, for the entire hospitality industry in the Monterey Bay. I just want to let you know this has wide reaching effects. Maybe some of you saw that Quail Lodge earlier in the week signed a contract for the re-opening of their hotel. They didn't want this over there. So this is a victory and we will continue to fight here until we get the victory for all of the La Playa workers," Weller said.
Read More and View Photos and Videos | Quail Lodge Workers Ratify New Contract | See Also: Grand Opening Boycott Rally at La Playa Hotel was Summer's Largest Protest in Carmel
| Strong Turnout at La Playa Carmel Post-Labor Day Rally
| La Playa Hotel Boycott Rallies Continue Through Summer in Carmel
| La Playa Carmel Siege, Day Two: Increased Police Pressure
| Boycott in Carmel: La Playa Hotel Siege, Day One
Previous Coverage: Boycott of La Playa Carmel Announced at Hotel Workers Rally
| Carmel Becomes Center of Conflict in Monterey Bay Hotel Industry
On Friday, September 7th, members from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1021 blocked the entrance to the de Young art museum in San Francisco. Nineteen people were arrested, and the attendees at the museum's “Friday Nights at the Museum” event were greeted with loud chants, singing, and civil disobedience.
According to Anna Bakalis from SEIU 1021, the management at the museum is intimidating and using “anti-worker tactics” to make cuts to the salaries of the “least paid workers” employed there.
In response, members of the Service Employees International Union marched in on the Friday night event, and chanted and sang while blocking the museum entrance. SEIU members and supporters are urging management to stop withholding information used in collective bargaining, to stop lowering wages of the lowest paid workers, and to stop giving the managers raises.
Read More and View Photos | SEIU1021 Supporters & SF Museum Workers Occupy de Young To Get Contract Without Concessions | SEIU 1021 activists arrested barricading de Young Museum entrance
On August 4th, a roving dance party made its way through downtown Oakland behind a large banner that read “Fuck The Permits, F.T.P., Fuck The Police.” The dance-march was in solidarity with the vendors of Art Murmur, a street fair that takes place in downtown Oakland the first Friday of each month. Over the last few months, Art Murmur has grown into a carnivalesque block party, in which Oaklanders have taken over the streets and filled them with art, music, food, dancing, and general revelry. On July 6th, uniformed security officers had informed Art Murmur vendors that anyone without a permit would be ticketed, starting in August. According to a statement on a flyer passed out by demonstrators, “the [permit] process is inaccessible, unaffordable, and there are not enough 'officially sanctioned' spaces to go around.” Many vendors and artists ignored the threat of being ticketed, and set their tables in illegal spaces.
During the roving dance party, as demonstrators passed 19th and Telegraph Ave, a large section of the fence surrounding a former site of Occupy Oakland was pulled down. Many still remember the police raids of Occupy last fall, when protestors were beaten, tear-gassed, and had their belongings destroyed by police. The dance then continued down Telegraph, pausing in front of the Obama Campaign Headquarters, where the windows were smashed.
Occupy Oakland briefly resurfaces, Obama Headquarters Smashed |
FTP Street Party @ Art Murmur Communique
The third annual Festival del Nopal took place in downtown Santa Cruz on Sunday July 22. The festival featured many local food vendors using nopal, or prickly pear cactus, in a variety of cuisine such as pupusas, huraches, salad, tlayudas, baked potatoes, fries, and tacos. The event, founded and coordinated by City Councilmember Tony Madrigal, celebrates the significance of the nopal in Mexican cuisine and showcases the plant's versatility and healing properties.
Several hundred nurses demonstrated in front of the Alta Bates Medical Center which is operated by Sutter Health on July 3rd. The Berkeley hospital was one of seven Sutter hospitals in the San Francisco Bay area where nurses held a one-day strike. The strike was organized by the California Nurses Association (CNA) .
The CNA Medicare for All bus tour is crisscrossing the state with stops in nearly two dozen sites ending ending July 12. It features basic health screenings and town hall meetings where community members are invited to tell their healthcare stories. The focus of the healthcare tour is a call to step up the drive for guaranteed, universal, cost-effective health reform once and for all by expanding and updating Medicare to cover everyone regardless of age.
California Nurses Association
On Saturday, June 23rd, the Springfield Grange in Pájaro hosted the Festival of Tamales, a benefit for the Grange and Center for Farmworker Families
. The menu featured delicious sweet and savory tamales, made with GMO-free masa from El Aguila Foods, including turkey and chile verde, sweet corn, and ollalieberry pecan praline.
The Springfield Grange, an 80-year old institution on the corner of Werner and Elkhorn Roads in North Monterey County, remained inactive for the last several years, following decades serving as a social and political hub for farmers in the region. In 2011, 65 new members joined, making Springfield one of the fastest growing granges in California.
A flyer for the event explains the tamale's history: "The word 'tamale' derives from the Nahuatl language (tamalli), still spoken in many parts of West Central Mexico and sprinkling the vocabulary of the Spanish spoken in the Pájaro Valley. Corn being native to the Americas, countries throughout the western hemisphere have their own versions of tamales based on pre-Colombian recipes and customs."
The tamales were made by local community members using recipes from El Salvador, Mexico, Texas, and the Monterey Bay Area.
Read More and View Photos
The first recorded Father's Day commemoration was in remembrance of a mining disaster that brought attention to the plight of working people and unsafe working conditions across the US, when hundreds of fathers died in a mine in West Virginia in 1908. With the holiday's origins in mind, members of the San Jose and Redwood City Occupy groups performed mic check demonstrations at branches of various corporate entities on the San Francisco Peninsula that have a record of anti-labor practices.
Occupy protesters demonstrated at the Los Altos Whole Foods store and at Mountain View Safeway citing those companys' records of anti-union and anti-labor practices. In Palo Alto the group made a stop at Pizza My Heart, announcing to the crowd in the adjacent square that the store's owner has been working against efforts in San Jose to raise the minimum wage.
The tour of shame's final stop was at the Apple retail store on University Ave in Palo Alto, where Occupiers were joined by the Raging Grannies, who regularly bring attention to Apple's abuse of Chinese laborers by protesting at this location. Spokesperson for Occupy Redwood City James Lee said, "Nothing hearkens back to the first Fathers Day commemoration better than to highlight the unsafe and horrific working conditions Chinese workers have to face."
Photos: 1 | 2 | Father's Day Song for Justice
Hotel workers, community members, and friends gathered on June 7th for the "Carmel Hotel Workers Rising March" which was organized by Unite Here! Local 483
, and focused on La Playa Hotel and the Pine Inn in Carmel
Community members have held a number of demonstrations protesting the Pine Inn's elimination of all dependents (42 people) from medical insurance coverage, as well as La Playa Hotel's refusal to commit to re-hire workers who lost their jobs when the hotel recently changed ownership. In addition, a "Summer Solstice Street Heat Rally" is planned for June 20th
Representatives of Unite Here! Local 483, a labor union that supports hotel and restaurant workers in Monterey and Santa Cruz, has declared that Carmel is, "the center of labor conflict in the Monterey Bay hotel industry today."
Read More and View Photos | Videos
Occupy Wall Street in New York called for a nationwide May Day General Strike. Cities and towns across the United States are heeding the call. Workers will be striking, students will be leaving classes, and banks and other large corporations will be forced to close for the day across the nation. May 1st
, 2012, promises to be the largest American May Day since the Immigrant Rights May Day in 2006 and probably the most widespread and furthest reaching in decades.
Thousands of angry homeowners, immigrants, union members, Occupiers and community groups converged on the annual shareholders meeting of Wells Fargo Bank on April 24th. In a carefully choreographed protest, simultaneous marches left Justin Herman Plaza on the city's waterfront, site of the Occupy San Francisco encampment last fall. Demonstrators walked up parallel streets into the financial district, where they encircled the block in which the meeting was set to take place, in the Julia Morgan ballroom of the Merchant's Exchange Building. Beforehand, some demonstrators had moved into the building's lobby, while others chained themselves together, putting sleeves around their arms to make it hard for police to cut them apart to arrest them.
A group of religious, union and community representatives had purchased shares of stock in the bank, supposedly allowing them to attend the shareholders meeting. Some even held proxies, allowing them to vote the stock belonging to others. As the rally swirled outside, and speeches and songs filled the streets now vacant of their normal traffic, the police closed off the building and refused to let the shareholders inside.
Maria Poblete, from the housing rights organization Just Cause, and Cinthiya Muñoz, from Alameda County United to Defend Immigrant Rights, spoke from a flatbed truck in front of the bank, reminding the crowd of the reasons they'd brought their protests to the bank's doors. "Shareholders want to meet about how to best reap profits from foreclosures, for-profit prisons and detention centers, student loans, and tax evasion," Poblete shouted. "Today the bank can see that there's no more business as usual. We say no!"