The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that protects workers' rights to organize and demand better conditions, will announce a decision today to prosecute Walmart for violating workers' rights by firing, disciplining, and threatening workers who went on strike or attempted to unionize, according to OUR Walmart, the group that has been helping to organize the strikes. The group says the NLRB will prosecute the company for illegally firing and disciplining more than 117 workers, including some who went on strike last June. It also includes threats by managers and spokespeople meant to discourage workers from striking. Workers could potentially see back pay, reinstatement to their former positions, and the reversal of disciplinary actions. read more
David Sirota, Salon: Late last month, the Pew Center on the States began ratcheting up its now-infamous campaign to slash public employee retirement benefits. As damaging stories about its partnership with former Enron trader John Arnold swirled through the media, the organization convened a two-day conference for politicians, lobbyists and activists at the swanky Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. With pension-slashing politicians like San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (D) rallying the troops, the event's goal seemed obvious: to reinvigorate the Plot Against Pensions and gear up for yet another push for big retirement benefit cuts in the upcoming state legislative sessions. Yet, there was one big embarrassing problem: when the organization released its new poll at the conference in support of its pension-cutting agenda, the survey data showed that the American public is powerfully rejecting the right's anti-public-worker crusade. read more
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) announced earlier this month that state-owned National Guard facilities will no longer allow any married couples to apply for spousal benefits, regardless of whether they are same-sex or opposite-sex. The Supreme Court's decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act means that servicemembers with same-sex spouses are now eligible for federal benefits. Fallin's unusual tactic is designed to avoid having to recognize those couples, which she asserts would violate Oklahoma's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman: read more
Last week, Dayna Morales got a nasty surprise after waiting on a couple in a New Jersey bistro:
Dayna Morales, a former Marine and a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, New Jersey, didn't receive a tip on a $93 order because the patrons didn't agree with her gay "lifestyle," reports NBC Southern California.
The customer's homophobia was evident from the moment Morales first approached the table, saying "Oh, I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!"
And in place of a tip, the mother of two crossed through the line and wrote, "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle." read more
A Walmart store in Canton, Ohio, put out food drive bins for employees to donate food to other employees in need. "Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner," a sign on the bins read. "That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers -- to me, it is a moral outrage," said Norma Mills, an organizer with Stand Up for Ohio. Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said the food drive is proof that employees care about each other. "It is for associates who have had some hardships come up," he said.