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Guitar Center Workers Stand Up for Their Rights to Join RWDSU

UFCW Women’s Network Members Hold Lobby Day at U.S. Capitol

Workers at Guitar Center are standing together for workers’ rights and to have a voice on the job with RWDSU.

Members of the UFCW Women’s Network participate in a lobby day at the U.S. Capitol.

A group of Guitar Center workers are standing up to Bain Capital to demand their rights to come together with their coworkers to fight for better wages and working conditions.

Last Wednesday, about a dozen members of UFCW Women’s Network traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby their Members of Congress on issues important to working families. Members lobbied in support of comprehensive immigration reform, the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights, and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Workers at the world’s largest musical instrument retailer are standing together for their rights in New York City and other areas across the country. Guitar Center workers at the flagship store in Manhattan have overwhelming support to file and hold an election to have a voice on the job and join the RWDSU. In 2007 Bain Capital, the world’s largest private asset management firm, acquired Guitar Center and since then has been steadily stripping away pay and benefits from workers. Workers say it’s getting harder for them to make ends meet on the low wages and so they are speaking out about their working conditions. Guitar Center workers started an online petition asking Bain Capital and Guitar Center to respect their rights and allow them to join a union without fear of retaliation or harassment. The petition can be signed at http://bit.ly/YdhKVt. Guitar Center is home to the world’s largest selection of popular guitars, basses, amplifiers, keyboards, workstations, drums, percussion, PA systems, DJ equipment, stage lighting, recording software, studio gear, and more. OP

April 16, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 6

They asked their elected officials to support the UFCW’s principles for immigration reform which include a path to citizenship for those already here. In addition, they asked Members of Congress to support the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights which would end the incentive for employers to drop workers from their health coverage and the Paycheck Fairness Act which would help guarantee equal pay for equal work. Members were also briefed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on the political landscape for 2014 and attended a reception with Emerge, an organization dedicated to electing more women to office. After their lobby visits, they joined tens of thousands of supporters on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol at a rally for comprehensive immigration reform. “All in all, it was a great day,” said UFCW Women’s Network International Chair Rhonda Nelson. “Both economic and social issues are important to women and this last election showed just how big our impact can be.” Nelson said the group plans on continuing to lobby in the future, adding: “When they don’t hear from us, that’s when bills pass that don’t reflect our needs and concerns.” OP

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April 24th National Day of Action on Hours and Scheduling at Walmart

In January 2013, after speaking out about the issue for more than a year, OUR Walmart members won a huge victory: Walmart CEO Mike Duke announced that Walmart would provide more transparency in scheduling and offer part time workers the opportunity to get the hours they so desperately need. Unfortunately, workers report that three months later Walmart has yet to make good on its public commitment to change. OP

OUR Walmart Members Speak at California & Oregon Conferences

The Making Change at Walmart campaign will hold a national day of action to call on Walmart to honor its public commitment to fair hours and schedules for workers.

The Making Change at Walmart campaign is calling on community supporters for a national day of action on April 24. OUR Walmart workers and allies will be calling on Walmart to keep its public commitment on hours and scheduling. OUR Walmart member Rose Campbell is a grandmother of 14 and has worked at Walmart for four years in Chicago. While Walmart considers Rose a full time employee, she is never scheduled 40 hours a week. Her schedule is erratic – some weeks she works 32 hours, others 38. Sometimes she will be scheduled for as few as 19 hours a week. With low pay and a fluctuating schedule, Rose struggles to cover her bills. She is unable to afford her own car or apartment. OUR Walmart members believe in the value and importance of consistent scheduling and adequate hours. Thousands of Walmart workers work fewer hours they want and need to make ends meet. Workers say their schedules are often inconsistent, varying in the number of hours they get, as well as the shifts they are required to work. This makes budgeting nearly impossible and limits workers’ ability to go to school or find a second supplemental job. The national day of action is a call for change at Walmart so workers like Rose can work the hours they need to get by. More information on the national action day on April 24 can be viewed at http://bit.ly/ZXUk5N.

April 16, 2013 Volume 18, Issue 6

OUR Walmart member Barbara Andridge (Collins) addressed more than 2,000 delegates at the Calif. Democrats Convention.

OUR Walmart members Mary Watkines and Pat Scott were invited to speak on a panel at the Labor Notes Troublemakers School last Saturday. Both Mary and Pat were greeted by over 200 people in attendance at the intensive day-long education workshop, in Portland, Oregon. OUR Walmart members shared their experiences on what it was like to strike the largest retailer in the U.S., but also why they decided to stand up and take such a bold action. On Sunday, OUR Walmart member Barbara Andridge (Collins) was invited to address the more than 2,000 delegates at the annual California Democrats Convention in Sacramento. During her speech Barbara spoke about going on strike on Black Friday 2012, the importance of standing up against Walmart, as well as the retail giant’s continued threats and retaliation against Walmart employees. Motivated by her courage and her fight against Walmart, the delegates congratulated Barbara with a standing ovation. Together, both events highlighted the growing support nationwide for Walmart workers standing up to Walmart. OP

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OnPoint Vol 18, Issue 6