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Silicon Valley Tech Company Illegally Fires Cal Poly Student Workers for Unionizing

by Student Activists
Pomona, Calif - After being subjected an unannounced pay cut from $10/hr to $8/hr, Cal Poly student marketing representatives Austin Garrido and Sarah Doolittle were fired by their employer, Mountain View-based Uloop.com, for attempting to organize a worker's union. The students were fired from their part-time jobs 20 minutes after posting a message in an online inter-company form announcing their intention to form a union. Doolittle and Garrido have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
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Pomona, Calif - After being subjected an unannounced pay cut from $10/hr to $8/hr, Cal Poly student marketing representatives Austin Garrido and Sarah Doolittle were fired by their employer, Mountain View-based Uloop.com, for attempting to organize a worker's union. The students were fired from their part-time jobs 20 minutes after posting a message in an online inter-company form announcing their intention to form a union. Doolittle and Garrido have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

"My job with Uloop supported my education", said Sarah Doolittle, a former Uloop student rep. "It's disappointing that Austin and I were fired for choosing to exercise our legal right to form a union."

According to the National Labor Relations Board’s website: “The NLRA [The National Labor Relations Act of 1935] forbids employers from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of rights relating to organizing, forming, joining or assisting a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes, or engaging in protected concerted activities, or refraining from any such activity.”

Uloop.com is an online marketplace for college students currently operating in 50 campuses across America. The website hires two student representatives at each University who are in charge of promoting the site to fellow students.

"How can a company that caters to students, treat its own student workers so poorly?", asked Austin Garrido, a former Uloop student rep. "You would expect better from a Silicon Valley high-tech company."

The Poly Post, student newspaper of California State Polytechnic University of Pomona, reported on the incident. Uloop refused to comment in a related news article by the Poly Post, “Uloop has not addressed this situation specifically… 'We came back from winter break and signed onto the company's [Web site],' said Sarah Doolittle. 'We went to look at our paycheck, and it was dramatically lower than what we expected to get because they cut our pay from $10 per hour down to $8 per hour without even bothering to inform us.' ”

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 extends rights to many private-sector employees including the right to organize and bargain with their employer collectively. Employees covered by the Act are protected from certain types of employer misconduct and have the right to attempt to form a union where none currently exists.

Students, journalists and community members can reach Garrido and Doolittle via email at … marginalized.student.workers@gmail.com
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Thu, Apr 17, 2008 1:59AM
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