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Working In These Times

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010, 11:00 am

Weekly Workers’ Round-up: Continued Action for Sodexo Workers and Immigration Reform

BY Jennifer Braudaway

 

Week of action to clean up Sodexo

Workers, students and elected officials joined in solidarity across the country this week, as part of a national week of action in the ongoing fight to “clean up Sodexo.” The campaign addresses Sodexo’s worker abuses and union busting, from poor pay and working conditions to illegal firings, interrogations and surveillance. So far, Sodexo workers have filed 16 unfair labor practice charges against Sodexo with the NLRB.

Rallies and strikes took place in eleven states, many at universities that employ Sodexo workers, including Mass., N.J., Pa. (video above), Va., Md., Ohio, Ill., Colo., La., Georgia and Calif. Students were arrested at both Ohio State University (video below) and Clark University in Mass. for civil disobedience. To read more about the movement, visit SEIU’s campaign site.

City apartment workers demand living wages and benefits

Around 7,000 apartment building workers and their supporters marched from Central Park to Park Avenue in New York City on Tuesday, to demand a fair labor contract from the Realty Advisory Board (RAB), an organization that represents Manhattan building owners. As In These Times reported earlier the RAB is calling for reductions in both wages and benefits once the current contract expires on April 21. Workers are demanding that their benefits continue and wages increase.

The union, SEIU Local 32BJ, represents 30,000 workers including doormen, concierges, porters, property managers and superintendents, who provide services to more than one million residents throughout the city. A strike is authorized, should negotiations fail. Read more about it here and here.

Thousands continue to call for immigration reform

A month after the enormous immigration rally in Washington, D.C., thousands of people rallied again for immigration reform last Saturday in Las Vegas, Nev. (video above), Chicago, Ill. and Seattle, Wash. Protestors called for continued movement on congressional proposals to legalize millions of undocumented workers and create guest worker programs for seasonal workers. Read more here.

Farm workers stand up to Publix

Around 200 farm workers and supporters began a three-day march in Tampa, Fla. on Friday morning, to protest supermarket giant Publix’s refusal to give farm workers a penny more for each pound of tomatoes they pick. Other retailers, including four of the largest fast food restaurants, have agreed to the price increase, which is the first in 30 years for tomato pickers. Be on the lookout for Kari Lydersen's coverage of the march on this site during the next few days—she's in Tampa.

Jennifer Braudaway is a Winter 2010 Web intern.

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