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Labor:   1 next page | single feature archives | weekly archives
Students at UCLA have gone on a hunger strike against Taco Bell to support CIW workers who pick tomatos for the fast-food giant. A boycott against Taco Bell has been in effect for three years, and the student support is the latest in a series of gains for the CIW, who broke the story about slave-like conditions at the farms, then called "sweatshops" in the field.

Tuesday, June 15th, is a national call-in day to support the strikers.

Read about the strike at the CIW site.

The Tarrant Apparal Group (TAG) is being targeted by Sweatshop Watch for violations of Mexican labor laws. The Tarrant worker justice campaign began in June 2003 when 800 workers from Tarrant's Ajalpan denim factory in Mexico held a work stoppage to demand payment of their legally-entitled benefits, improved health and safety conditions, and an end to forced overtime. When they formed an independent union, SUITTAR, to address these problems, 8 union leaders and over 250 supporters were fired.

The local demonstraton is at the shareholder's meeting at the Westin South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd, on May 27th at 10am.

The stock is doing lousy, so there will be pressure on the company to allow worker abuse to continue.

April 23, 2004
Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping" were in Los Angeles last weekend. What transpired was performance activism both in theatre and on the streets. Specifically, two Retail Interventions took place one at WalMart (4/18) the other at Starbucks (4/19), afterwards stage performances were held at the campuses of Cal State L. A. and Cal State Northridge. The Reverends potent persona easily made converts in the struggle to end corporate dominance and restore indy businesses with a people over things society.

Indymedia Coverage: Billy in Santa Cruz and From the IMC Archives - Buy Nothing Day 2003


Activists in Huntington Beach are initiating a campaign to break the Coca Cola soda monopoly on the beaches in HB. Coca Cola has been accused of hiring goons to assassinate seven union organizers in Colombia, and numerous other human and labor rights violations. Coke and Pepsi aggressively court municipalities and schools, strapped for cash due to budget shortfalls and cuts, to sign exclusive monopoly deals to vend their sugar water on public property. A typical vending machine is like a robotic fortress with several hundreds of dollars of "product" within, lit with advertising on the outside, no paid staff, save the vending machine operator and contract repair person, and open all the time.

Get Coke Off HB Beaches
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke


A postmortem from Indybay about the Oakland strike

Truckers are striking all over. For the past decade, truckers have been trying to get organized, and overcoming challenges. The primary one being their classification as independent contractors, not employees. Though they work the same job as a trucker who is an employee, the contractor status means that the employer doesn't compensated for Social Security and other benefits.

This issue of status extends well beyond truckers, but the current battle the Troqueros are fighting, and the way they are fighting it, are an object lesson in contemporary organizing. Atomized by the "market", they used cel phones and CBs to communicate, figure out demands, and meetings to self-organize.

Other jobs where people are considered "IC"s or independent contractors include strippers, bike messengers, sweatshop workers, high tech temp workers, and maids. Unlike true contractors, these ICs don't have multiple clients or market-established rates; the categorization is generally used industry-wide so that the owners can escape labor laws. It's a loophole that's been opened wide, and is being used to exploit workers.

The Troqueros self-organizing isn't uniqe, but is rare in recent years. Unions for independent workers exist all over Los Angeles: the Hollywood unions aren't entirely dissimilar, and organize people who are employed by multiple employers.

Labor:   1 next page | single feature archives | weekly archives
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