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Fight for $15 in LA

by johnk Thursday, May. 15, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Fight for 15 in LA has been hitting stores along Crenshaw

Fight for $15 in LA...
bnsidnqiyae69ab.jpg_large.jpg, image/jpeg, 800x513

Check it out. They're hitting up stores along Crenshaw.

Their message is hitting wage theft. Wage theft encompasses a lot, but probably the biggie for fast food is when workers aren't given breaks or work off the clock, and management are lax about it. You're entitled to a break every four hours, and a lunch within any 8 hour period.

Also, working off the clock is illegal, especially at the low wages they get paid.

Recently, another group of poor workers, car washers, gained a lot of unions in Los Angeles. The reason why is because of wage theft, which is a huge problem at car washes. The workers are even worse off in many ways than fast food workers.

The Steelworkers union for over five years has been organizing car washers in Los Angeles, and recently made a tremendous legislative gain, where carwashes have to put up a $150,000 bond against potential wage theft. One loophole is if the workers have a union and a contract, and a procedure to deal with wage theft grievances, then the bond is not required. As you can imagine, car wash owners become more amenable to an organized workplace when the bad actors in the business are punished.

Today, there are 14 organized carwashes in LA, most in working class communities. This creates a base for more organzing.

This combination of a horrible reality of exploitation in LA's working class, an old union's legislative muscle, and on-the-ground organizing power has won the poor working class this gain.

Will the SEIU be able to pull off organizing victories for fast food workers?

It's entirely possible: the everyday criminality of the rich elites who own McDonalds and other fast food franchises knows few bounds. When they find a way to rip off the workers, they work it into their business plan.

Stand with the fast food workers. We're all the victims of capitalism.
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