A blog devoted to anarchism, socialism, evolutionary biology, animal behavior and a whole raft of other subjects
Saturday, February 28, 2009
SUPPORT PAY EQUITY:
As long as we are talking about women's rights here's an example closer to home, from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). One of the things about Sneaky Stevie's new budget down Ottawa way that has been more or less lost in the swirling debate about where to throw the mountains of government money is the budget's effect on pay equity. CUPE would like Canadians to pay a bit more attention. Here's the story and appeal.
Controversial pay equity bill has no place in the budget:
Please take a minute to email your MP about the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act, a controversial law that would take away federal government workers' rights to file human rights complaints over pay equity.
The Harper government has made this law part of the federal budget, even though there's no proof it will save the government money.
But it will confine pay equity to collective agreement negotiations, where the federal government has shown its willingness to legislate wage increases and undermine collective agreements.
If this bill passes, women's rights to equal pay for work of equal value will be on the chopping block.
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following letter to your MP.
On February 6, 2009, the government tabled legislation that will radically change the rules governing pay equity in the federal public sector.
The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act - which has been included as part of the omnibus Budget Implementation Act - will remove the right of public sector workers to file complaints for pay equity with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. It will transform pay equity from a human right to an "equitable compensation issue" that could be traded away at the bargaining table.
Pay equity is a fundamental human right that must not be taken away at a bargaining table where the federal government historically holds the balance of power. The Harper government has already demonstrated its commitment to legislating wage increases and undermining collective agreements. Now, women's rights will be on the chopping block.
The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act will effectively eliminate women's ability to pursue pay equity complaints by forcing them to file complaints as individuals. This bill will also impose a $50,000 fine on any union that encourages or assists their own members in filing a pay equity complaint, leaving women to fight the system unaided. Since no individual can afford to do so, this will clearly be a mockery of justice.
The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act won't help the economy or save jobs.
Government officials have admitted that there's no proof it will save the government any money. However, it will prevent women in the federal public sector from receiving equal pay for work of equal value. It has no place in the budget.
I am extremely concerned that the government would table such a bill, and I call on you to put pressure on your party and on the government to ensure that the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act is removed from the Budget Implementation Act.
Urge Iranian Authorities to Release Women Human Rights Defenders:
UPDATE: On February 5, Nafiseh Azad was released on bail after being detained for six days.
On Friday, January 30, three members of the One Million Signatures Campaign, a grassroots campaign to reform gender discrimination in Iranian laws, were arrested while collecting signatures in northern Tehran.
The three activists, Nafiseh Azad, Bigard Ebrahimi, and a third person wishing to remain anonymous, were held for several hours at the local police station before being transferred to other detention centers. Of the three, Azad remains in detention and is being charged with "acting against national security."
The next day, on January 31, security agents came to the home of women's rights activist Alieh Eghdamdoost and escorted her to the Revolutionary Courts. She faces the imminent enforcement of a three-year prison sentence for participating in a women's rights demonstration in June 2006. While a number of activists were sentenced for joining that protest, none have been imprisoned to date. Eghdamdoost's imprisonment will mark a further escalation of repression of human rights defenders.
Join us in protesting these repressive actions against women human rights defenders in Iran:
Call for the immediate and unconditional release of Nafiseh Azad; and urge the authorities to suspend implementation of Alieh Eghdamdoost's sentence and release her from custody.
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following letter to Iranian authorities in support of these women.
I am specifically writing about the case of Nafiseh Azad, who, with two.
other persons, was arrested on January 30, 2009, for peacefully collecting
signatures for a petition to reform discriminatory laws. Although the two
other individuals arrested with Ms. Azad have been released on bail, I
understand Ms. Azad remains in detention and is being charged with acting
against national security.
I am also writing to convey my deep concern about Alieh Eghdamdoost, a women's rights activist whose home was visited by security agents on January 31, 2009, who escorted her to the Revolutionary Court so that the authorities could begin implementing a three-year sentence for participating in a women's rights demonstration in June 2006. That demonstration, organized as a peaceful demonstration in support of women's rights, was violently broken up by the authorities and resulted in dozens of arrests. I understand that Ms. Eghdamdoost is the first person arrested on that day whose sentence is now being implemented by the authorities. Her imprisonment marks an increase in the repression of
peaceful rights advocates, and I urge your office to stay the sentence and
release her from custody.
The rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of association are enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was endorsed by all U.N. member states, as well as the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory and which is binding on the Iranian government.
These arrests indicate that the recent closure of Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi's Center for the Defense of Human Rights is just the most visible indication of a broader campaign to repress and intimidate human rights defenders over the last few years. I ask that the government of Iran end this crackdown immediately and comply with its obligations to protect citizens exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of association and assembly.
I urge you to release Nafiseh Azad, and stay the sentence of Alieh Eghdamdoost and release her from custody.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter
Friday, February 27, 2009
MATERIALS FOR WORKERS' MEMORIAL DAY:
Worker's Memorial Day (April 28) is fast approaching. This is a day set aside for the memory of the myriad of workers killed and injured on the job. Molly has blogged on this day both in 2007 and in 2008 (see our archives), and I will undoubtedly do so again this year. But, until then, here's a little early bird announcement from the AFL-CIO Blog about what they are doing to commemorate this day. Workers' memorial day, by the way, is a Canadian contribution to the world. It was first initiated in 1984 by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the next year the Canadian labour Congress took up the idea. See the link above for other details.
Workers Memorial Day 2009 Materials Ready Now:
by Mike Hall, Feb 25, 2009
For many of America’s workers, going to work can literally be deadly. The most recent edition of the AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect shows that an average of 15 workers a day were killed on the job and each day, another 11,000 workers were injured or made ill in 2007. Overall in 2007 (the latest figures available), 5,488 workers died from workplace injuries and 4.0 million were hurt or made sick by their jobs.
Recent studies have shown that the workplace injury reports may miss as many as two out of three workplace injuries, meaning that the real toll of workplace injuries is much higher than reported.
On April 28, to honor those killed and injured on the job and to call for improved workplace safety, workers in the United States and around the world will mark Workers Memorial Day. The theme of this is “Good Jobs. Safe Jobs. Give Workers a Voice for a Change.”
You can start planning and organizing a Workers Memorial Day event in your workplace or community with materials now available online from the AFL-CIO. The materials include:
**Workers Memorial Day flier.
**Workers Memorial Day poster.
**Workers Memorial Day clip art in English and
Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living and
Good Jobs, Safe Jobs. Give Workers a Voice for a Change;
**Workers Memorial Day stickers.
**Workers Memorial Day events form.
**Workers Memorial Day proclamation.
**Safety and health update (February 2009).
The 2009 edition of Death on the Job, set for release in April, will examine workplace death, injuries and illness by occupation, state and cause. It will analyze trends and examine the federal government’s track record on developing workplace safety standards. It also will look at the enforcement—or lack of it—of current safety laws by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
The AFL-CIO Workers Memorial Day online tools include links to a collection of workers’ memorials in the United States and around the world and poems and other tributes to workers killed on the job.
The first Workers Memorial Day was observed in 1989. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the creation of OSHA in 1971 and the day of a similar remembrance in Canada.(As I said above the day actually originated in Canada-Molly) Trade unionists around the world mark April 28 as an International Day of Mourning for workers killed.
Click here to read how health and safety experts from the labor, scientific and academic fields say OSHA can be rebuilt after the Bush administration spent eight years tearing down the safety agency.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
* ESPORA (Grupo de investigación y difusión libertaria y popular)
* CILEP (Centro de Investigación Libertaria y Educación Popular)
* COLECTIVO CONTRACULTURA* COLECTIVO RES GESTAE
* COLECTIVO 6 DE MAYO
* CEALA (Centro de Estudios Abolicionistas por la Liberación Animal)
* COLECTIVO JUANA JULIA GUZMÁN
* RADIO DESPERTAR LIBERTARIO
* COLECTIVO SIN NOMBRE
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The Islamo-fascist regime continues its repression. What follows is a selection of recent articles, all taken from the website of the Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network, a site that Molly recommends highly, though it is certain that their politics and mine differ considerably. What they show is the breadth of the repression and the barbarism that it entails. Lest this be taken as an example of something far away, both in distance and culture, I remind the reader that despite the fact that the recent elections in the USA have put the development of an indigenous fascism in the most powerful country in the world off that such a thing is more than possible later. If the Obama Administration should fail in its project of halting American decline, something that is entirely possible, then all that stands between us and a victorious American fascism is the stupidity of American fascists. Make no mistake about it. Fascism will not come to America or any other country dressed in the robes of a nostalgic subculture hoping to recreate the Third Reich. Like most of classical fascism outside of Germany it will come dressed in anti-capitalist rhetoric (whatever the reality behind the words) and religiously blessed - just as it has been in Iran. We need to support the people of Iran who are struggling against their domestic version of fascism because such an ideology cannot be allowed to succeed anywhere, or it will threaten everywhere. All it takes is for the American fascists to extend their populism beyond their cultural obsessions and into economics.
On 5 August 2008 the 101st branch of the criminal court in Sanandaj sentenced the four to this brutal, barbaric and medieval form of punishment because they had taken part in the 2007 May Day celebrations in the city. The court sentenced Ms Susan Razani to receive 70 lashes and be jailed for nine months; Ms Shiva Kheyrabadi 15 lashes and four months; Abdollah Khani (Abeh Nejar) 40 lashes and 91 days; and Seyyed Ghaleb Hosseini 50 lashes and six months in prison. The defendants were given 20 days to lodge an appeal with the Kurdistan province court.
The Iranian regime is not carrying out this policy from a position of strength. The whipping of workers is a desperate attempt by the regime to dampen the combativity and high morale of the workers who, despite having no legal trade unions and suffering from the crippling economic situation, continue to fight for their rights.
Last year, weeks before May Day, the authorities began a campaign of intimidation and terror against the new labour movement so that 2008’s rallies and celebrations would not be as big and radical as those in 2007. In February 2008 three labour activists were flogged and a further eight were also sentenced to receive the lash.
The flogging of Ms Kheyrabadi and Ms Razani exposes the Iranian regime and shows the whole world its true colours. Despite the nuclear technology, the satellites and big rhetoric about scientific and medical advances, deep down this regime remains a medieval and reactionary beast with a cruel and dark heart. In flogging workers this regime is committing an act that has been banned in Britain since the reign of Queen Anne in early 18th century!
Please send a protest letter to put pressure on the Iranian regime to stop flogging labour activists and to release all class war prisoners immediately and unconditionally.
Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network21 February 2009
On Saturday 21 February Abdollah Khani and Ghaleb Hosseini were summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office in Sanandaj (in Iranian Kurdistan). The two labour activists were then arrested so that their sentences could be carried out.
The two activists were arrested last year for taking part in the 2008 May Day rally in Sanandaj. They were sentenced as follows: Ghaleb Hosseini, six months in prison and to receive 50 lashes, and Abdollah Khani, 91 days in prison and 40 lashes.
At 11:00 a.m. they were flogged and at 1:30 p.m. the two activists were taken by the security force of the Prosecutor’s Office to serve their custodial sentences in Sanandaj’s central prison.
The flogging of Abdollah Khani and Ghaleb Hosseini follows that of two female labour activists, Ms Kheyrabadi and Ms Razani, on 18 February. Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network utterly condemns this medieval and reactionary punishment that was carried out for the workers merely exercising what is their undeniable right. May Day is Labour Day for all workers across the world and they should all commemorate it without any harassment from the police and the courts.
Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
Over 70 students arrested after clashes at Amir Kabir University:
The Iranian regime's attempt to re-bury war dead from the Iran-Iraq War in the grounds of the university sparked protests from hundreds of students, clashes with the security forces and over 70 arrests.
Manoeuvres to prevent protest
During the past two days, after students objected to “burying the martyrs” (i.e., war dead) in the grounds of the University, the authorities changed the ceremony into a public one, so that they could easily bring in the Pasdaran and basiji forces into the campus. From Sunday (22 February) they even publicised this on billboards all over Tehran. On Sunday Ayatollah Khamenei published a statement welcoming the re-burial ceremony to stave off any protests (yet he did not send one for the re-burial at Kashan University on the same day).
In addition, Fars, ISNA and many other news agencies of the authoritarian faction, have published many reports about the advantages of re-burial at the University, trying to threaten the dissenting students. One of the latest cases was when a website published a report that basiji talebs (religious students) in Qom province had held a meeting to express their support for the re-burial.
The students’ protest
Click on the following:
Over 60 students were injured and around 20 were taken to various hospitals. Three of the injured are in a critical situation. Students have injuries consistent with the use of knives, knuckle dusters and fists on their bodies. As the students were taken to hospital, Intelligence Ministry agents were posted at the hospitals to prevent news of the injured students’ situation spreading.
Photos of a leading basiji attacking the students.
The students’ arrests
Then Intelligence Ministry agents, helped by the University’s security personnel, were present at the gates to stop anyone leaving the University. Even though many students wanted to stay on campus for a few hours because of the unsafe situation, the Chancellor announced that no one could stay after 7:00 p.m. and asked security to clear the University of all students. At the same time Intelligence Ministry agents, helped by security, checked the IDs of students and arrested those who had been protesting.
According to the latest figures over 70 students were arrested, with most of them being taken to police station no. 107 on Palestine Square. But there is no information about where some of the other students are being held. The University’s security personnel are present at police station no. 107 helping to identify the arrested students. All these students have been photographed and their student cards have been confiscated. The police and security forces have been abusing and swearing at the students; they were particularly angry about the “Down with the dictator” slogan. By Tuesday (24 February) over 40 students were released, with nearly 30 still under arrest.
This statement is based on a report posted on the Amir Kabir University students’ website.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network24 February 2009
Taha Azadi, a member of the Steering Committee of the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers was tried by the Revolutionary Court in Kangan on 15 February. The judge accused him of acting against national security and conducting propaganda against the Islamic system.
Taha Azadi was arrested on May Day 2008 because of commemorating Labour Day. He was imprisoned for 47 days, during which time he was subjected to physical and psychological abuse.
In addition to denying these charges, Taha Azadi said that commemorating Labour Day was his and every other worker’s right: “If you think that commemorating May Day, which is the undeniable right of workers, is an act against national security and propaganda against the Islamic system, then that’s your opinion.” In continuing his defence Taha Azadi, by pointing out the placards and banners that were photographed, said: “As you can see on these placards we want a better life and we workers see these demands as our right.”
At the end of this trial, which lasted 15 minutes, Taha Azadi was told that the court’s verdict will be sent to him. The Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers has condemned this trial.
Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network strongly condemns the baseless accusations of the regime’s court and calls for all Taha Azadi’s charges to be dropped immediately and unconditionally.
Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
AMERICAN LABOUR/AMERICAN POLITICS:
THE EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT-A WOBBLY VIEW:
Over the past few months Molly has received oodles and oodles and oodles of mail in her inbox from various US labour organizations about the 'Employee Free Choice Act'. To listen to its promoters this proposed bill is a cross between the Second Coming and free ice cream for all. To say the least I have been sceptical because, insofar as I can make out, the Bill would merely make labour organizing about as easy and as hard down USA way as it is up here in Canada. Hardly a Messiah in congressional robes. Here's another sceptical view, from the website of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
Can We Rebuild The Labor Movement With The Employee Free Choice Act?:
By Adam W. - Industrial Worker, January, 2009
Much has been said in the United States labor movement around the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bill many mainstream leaders tout as the solution to the decline of unions. With the recent election of Barrack Obama and the Democratic Party holding the majority of seats in both houses of the US Congress, these same leaders have their hearts set that their millions of dollars in campaign contributions will pay off with the passage of the bill.
The meat of the EFCA would amend existing labor law in the US to allow unions to gain official recognition in a workplace through a majority of workers signing authorization cards and avoid the perilous and employer-dominated election route. Once a union is certified, employers have to begin sitting down with the union within ten days. If no deal is reached government mediators can force employers to sign a first contract, even without the vote of workers. The EFCA also would drastically increase the penalties companies face for violating workers rights, such as with firing workers for organizing, which happen at record rates in the US compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Workers could receive up to three times the back pay owed and companies could be fined up to $20,000 for willful or repeated violations.
What are members of the IWW to think of this? We are a small but growing international union with a vision of a completely different world. Not the vague change promised by both sides in the US presidential elections, but a world without bosses, where everyday workers are in the driver’s seat, and where hopes and dreams for a better world can truly be realized. Will the passage of the EFCA move us closer to our vision of a new world? There is certainly a great deal of hope in the change that the EFCA could bring, but I think we need to look more critically whether substantial change will come even if the EFCA should pass.
Weighing the EFCA
Let’s lead off the discussion on the positives. With the harsh reality of unemployment, growing debt and long stagnant wages that many workers throughout the US are currently facing, mainstream news coverage of Congress merely debating workers rights is enough to make millions consider the idea of a union at their workplace. This could provide an opening in the narrow, pro-business discussion that dominates US politics. Should it happen, members of the IWW would be wise to seize this opportunity to talk with more workers and expand our organizing wherever we can.
Further, if the Act should pass in its existing form (as it could easily be watered down) the increased penalties could provide us with greater leverage over resistant employers. A prime example would be New York warehouse employer Handy Fat Trading, which has fired IWW members and defied several rulings by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Both a national debate around unions and workers right and greater enforcement of labor laws would help us in the IWW.
Now let’s discuss why I think we should see the EFCA in a critical light. Many labor leaders promote the bill in language that ranges from a ‘great step forward’ to a cure-all of sorts, which would usher in a new era of unionization such as the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) organizing drives of the Thirties.
I think these views have some serious problems.
First, I’m skeptical that it will pass and not just because Obama has appointed a centrist cabinet of former Clinton officials. Labor’s betrayal by Democrats and the game of “wait and see, they’ll deliver” every time a Democratic president comes to power is a river so deep, you may as well call it an ocean. Barring significant strikes or actions by workers that begin to scare business elites into wanting to offer labor a bone, I don’t see this history changing.
The largest issue with the EFCA, though, is the use of card checks to gain official union recognition. To join a union, a worker would sign a membership card. If more than 50 per cent of the workers signed cards, the employer would have to recognize the union.
While the bill would undeniably make this process easier, I don’t think this will lead to the huge membership increases we’re led to believe. Canada, for instance, has similar card check recognition and enforced arbitration laws yet it has a declining private sector union rate of about 17 per cent, compared to eight per cent or less in the US. Despite the laws, Canadian companies have continued to effectively use union-busting to prevent workers from organizing and to decertify existing unions at higher rates than new ones can be organized—exactly the same situation as in the US.
Mainstream labor’s embrace of this aspect of the EFCA is actually the most troubling in my eyes because it represents the same problem that has been plaguing mainstream unions since the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935: trading easier membership gains and labor peace in exchange for the shop floor militancy that can actually fight effectively to win against employers. If unions are able to gain recognition through card check that they wouldn’t have been able to do through fighting for voluntary recognition, this drastically increases the likelihood that the large, centrally controlled business unions will be meeting employers at the table with stacks of authorization cards and passive bodies of workers, rather than the well organized rank-and-file committees needed to win. These unions would rely on two year, government-imposed contracts that workers will not be able to vote down and which will bar workers from striking.
Overall, much of mainstream labor’s framing of EFCA promotes short cuts to rebuilding the labor movement, such as relying on government laws, rather than the hard work of organizing and fighting the bosses that is needed. This framing is a not an entirely subtle analogy drawn between the EFCA and the mass organizing of industrial unions in the 1930’s under the breakaway CIO that was allowed by the passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935.
But the analogy doesn’t hold water. The worker insurgency of the 1930s in the US was a mass movement of workers who struck and occupied factories largely without any leadership by unions and before the formation of the CIO. The government reacted to this development by passing the NLRA in 1935, whose purpose was to cool disruptive strikes through offering workers the legal right to collectively bargain. In the next several years, the CIO was then able to sweep the insurgents into its membership as the wave of sit-downs peaked in 1936-37. Over the next decade, the CIO worked to create its own “labor peace” through signing no-strike clauses, curbing the ability of workers to deal with grievances on the shop floor, and channeling workers’ energies into electoral politics (for more see Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward’s chapter on the CIO in Poor People’s Movements). This background should be kept in mind any time we hear arguments that federal laws and union officials make history and not workers themselves.
So, in what light should labor radicals who want to rebuild the labor movement and create a new world, see the EFCA? First, we should not hold our breath or hold back in any of our organizing efforts by waiting for its passage. Second, should the EFCA pass, we should take every effort to take advantage of the increased discussion of unions. This may be difficult in practice as workers may approach us wanting to organize, but under the false impression that it is suddenly “easier” under the new check recognition. We need to stick to our guns, though, and continue our practice of solidarity unionism, even when it involves strategically using the card check process.
Above all, we should remain critically cautious and skeptical around the promises of the EFCA and even more skeptical of those in the labor movement who promote it.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
IRANIAN SUGAR WORKERS AWAIT VERDICT:
The case of five Iranian sugar worker activists, summoned to a kangaroo court for their legitimate union activities, was mentioned a few days ago here at Molly's Blog. Here's an update on the case from the IUF and a call for further solidarity.
Iran: Verdict against five union leaders of Haft Tapeh expected in next few days:
Posted to the IUF website 24-Feb-2009
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To read more and help these brave workers click here.
The court hearing against the five union leaders of Haft Tapeh in the southern city of Shush concluded yesterday at 2.30pm local time. The Revolutionary Court said that the verdict will be issued in a few days. All five men are trailed for "propaganda against the government". During the hearing, the union's lawyer argued against this allegation citing that it is too vague and the court has not followed the proper legal procedure.
The verdict against Ali Nejati, Feridoun Nikoufard, Mohammed Heydari Mehr, Ghorban Alipour and Jalil Ahmadi were scheduled to be delivered on 17 February but was forced to be delayed after the defendants and the lawyer demanded the presence of the plaintiff who did not even bother to make his appearance before the judge that day. Nor was there any serious "evidence", they argued successfully.
After this session, another Executive Board member of the union, Rahim Beshag, was arrested on 22 February by the secret police and taken into the custody. His charges are not known. This is a part of the on-going attack by the authorities to crack-down the union activities at Haft Tapeh. Today, the Ministry of Labour pushed for an election of Islamic Labour Council at the factory. Much to their dissatisfaction, a small minority of the workers took part in the voting.
The IUF and the unions around the world have been supporting the Haft Tapeh workers union and this court case over the past few weeks. Upon hearing this brave news of the defendants challenging the Revolutionary Court procedure, they stepped-up their campaign by organising mass protest mails to the Iranian leadership. More than 8,000 people have accessed to the online protest sites set by the IUF and LabourStart in less than a week. Mailing lists by the ITF and Amnesty International were used to support the campaign.
In the past, the court has "issued" verdicts in other cases involving the leaders of independent workers' movement such as Mansour Osanloo but have often failed to produce anything in writing. In some cases, it has taken a few months for the verdict to be delivered.
IUF members stand ready to support our members in Iran and we will provide updated information as this case progresses.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Two weeks ago we told you about Simon San German, the brave farm worker who spoke up against the huge vegetable grower Tamimura and Antle. The company was abusing the H2A program by laying-off local farm workers at its Tres Picos Ranch, including Simon & others. They did this while bringing in foreign guest workers and not offering the laid-off the opportunity to apply for those jobs as required by federal law.
In response to the workers’ situation, the UFW had filed a complaint with the US Department of Labor, demanding that Tanimura & Antle be barred from the H-2A program for such blatant discrimination against local workers. Simon and several of his co-workers were eventually rehired.
The week after we sent you the e-mail Simon spoke up again during a worker meeting, when the company tried to unevenly reduce their work hours. Simon was fired immediately afterwards. When Simon asked why, he stated the ranch supervisor told him, “He was tired of me, that I caused him many problems.”
As a result, today we filed charges with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board for company retaliation.
Help us get word to the company that they are not above the law. Send an immediate message to Tamimura and Antle’s Vice President of Human Resources, Carmen Ponce, today and tell them to immediately rehire Simon.
Please go to the link above to send the following letter to Carmen Ponce in Tres Picos company management.
You are not above the law.
I call on you to immediately rehire Simon San German, a farm worker at your Tres Picos Ranch who was unfairly fired for standing up for his rights.
I'm exasperated by your company's arrogance. First you abused the H2A program by laying-off local farm workers, including Simon, and instead bringing in foreign guest workers without allowing them to apply for those jobs. Simon had the courage to complain and got the UFW to file a complaint with the US Department of Labor, demanding that you be barred from the H-2A program for such blatant discrimination against local workers. As a result Simon and several of his co-workers were eventually rehired.
However, your company still acts like it is above the law. The week after Simon's story came out in an e-mail the UFW sent to supporters, you unfairly fired Simon for protected concerted activity. Simon had spoken up during a worker meeting when your company tried to unevenly reduce hours. The law guaranteed him this right.
However, your company decided to disregard the law and instead immediately fired Simon. When Simon asked why, he said your ranch supervisor told him, "He was tired of me, that I caused him many problems."
Your response is not only against the law, it's just plain wrong. I join thousands of others in demanding that you immediately rehire Simon San German and pay him back pay for the time he missed.