Sunday, December 18, 2011

Caroling for Workers' Rights at Verizon.

On Saturday morning, we learned that our crew has a knack for singing carols, especially when it's about justice for working families. Community members came out to send a message to the Verizon upper management: our community will not support companies that are trying to slash the wages, benefits and working conditions of thousands of its employees, while the company's profits are high. Great to have Atlanta JwJ coalition members including the CWA local 3204, CWA local 3250, Teamsters local 728 and the Metro Atlanta DSA out there working it.

We delivered our message in the form of song:

No More Cuts (Jingle Bells)

Slashing basic health
And cutting worker pay
The company’s not broke
Stop bargaining this way (Ow! Ow! Ow!)

Enough is enough
We are here to stay
It’s time to show respect
That’s what we’re here to say

Oh! No more cuts
No more cuts
No more cuts—no way!
We need all of our benefits
To make it through the day!
Oh! No more cuts

No more cuts
No more cuts—no way!
Until we get our benefits
Well make Verizon pay!


RUDOLPH THE UNION REINDEER

Rudolph the Union reindeer
Pulled the sleigh for old St. Nick
He signed a Union contract
He knew North Pole politics.

All of the other reindeer
Worked long hours around the clock
They paid no heed to Rudolph
They worked in non-union shops.
Then one year on Christmas Eve
They all came to say,
"We will do what you advise
Rudolph, help us organize!"
Then how the reindeer loved him
As they lined up with their sleigh
Now when they work on Christmas
They’re all getting premium pay.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fulton Foreclosure Auction Disrupted by Occupy Atlanta, JwJ and the CWA.

Every month, hundreds of foreclosed homes are auctioned off on the steps of the Fulton County Courthouse steps.  Yesterday morning, the auction was shut down by Occupy Atlanta, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and Atlanta Jobs with Justice (JwJ).

Auctioneers stand on the steps of the courthouse and read details about the foreclosed home including the name of the person(s) losing the home, the bank that is responsible for taking the home, the cost of the home among other information.

In a few cases, the previous homeowner was in the crowd listening while her home was auctioned off. The most common banks trying to auction off foreclosed homes today were Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Today however was not business as usual for the banks and their home auction.  As a gift to the city of Atlanta, the foreclosure auction was disrupted and a press conference hosted by Reverend Lowery declared the need for a national moratorium on foreclosures.

Atlanta Jobs with Justice has been working with Occupy Atlanta and Atlanta labor leaders to identify union members that are under the threat of foreclosure. The CWA came out in support of a retired member whose home was supposed to be auctioned off today.  The labor movement in Atlanta is taking steps to lift up working families not only in the workplace, but in our communities.  The war on workers takes place not only on the shop floor, but throughout our daily lives.  We will fight back on all fronts.


(The Jobs with Justice whistles got some really good use at this action)

"Dignity for the Unemployed?" Or Deception? Jobs Now Speak Out & Delegation to Gov Deal's Office


The recently filed Senate Bill 294, deceptively titled the "Dignity for the Unemployed Act" would require any individual trying to receive unemployment benefits to first volunteer for 24 hours/week before being eligible to receive the benefits.  This Act would inhibit our community members from searching for employment and highlights how out of touch some Georgia Dome politicians are with the realities facing our community: 11% unemployment in the city of Atlanta, the largest wealth gap between rich and poor for all cities over 100,000, threatened closure of post offices and thousands of middle class public sector jobs.  We need Jobs Not Cuts.

Atlanta Jobs with Justice along with a strong contingent of allies including members of ABLE (Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment), Occupy Atlanta, Interfaith Worker Justice, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Heroic Veterans of Georgia and more performed a delegation to Governor Deal's office to demand good jobs in our community and for policies that support community members that can't find jobs. (see 11% unemployment).

We then heard stories from Balewa Alimayu about the barriers that veterans face to finding employment.  We heard from George Kimbro Johnson about the power in having meaningful employment and health insurance, especially for disabled community members. 

We were then led by Jane DeJournette and La'Marcus Cook in lifting up our thoughts and prayers for good jobs and justice within our communities.  We lifted up the thoughts and prayers of the needed change in our communities and the organizing and coalition building that must happen to make it so.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

MEDIA ALERT: Unemployed Workers and Our Economy Need Help Now!

ATLANTA JOBS WITH JUSTICE SAYS UNEMPLOYED WORKERS AND OUR ECONOMY NEED HELP NOW, ESPECIALLY IN GEORGIA AND ATLANTA

WHAT:
Responding to new federal statistics for November, unemployed Atlantans and Jobs with Justice spokespeople will call for aggressive action to turn our economy around through a public hiring program and extending unemployment insurance benefits.

WHEN:
1 p.m., Friday December 2, 2011

WHERE:
Room 403, Georgia State Capitol

SPEAKERS:
Unemployed Georgians
Balewa Alimayu, director, Heroic Veterans of Georgia
Larry Pellegrini, executive director, Georgia Rural Urban Summit

SPONSOR:
Atlanta Jobs with Justice, a coalition of 19 labor, community, student and faith-based organizations.

WHY:
  • Deceptively named legislation pre-filed by Senators John Albers and  Chip Rogers called Dignity for the Unemployed would in-fact stigmatize the unemployed by singling them out for an unpaid community service requirement.
  • Georgia's unemployment rate of 10.2 in October was higher than the national average (9 percent) for the 51st month in a row.
  • Atlanta's October unemployment rate was even higher than Georgia's: 11 percent in the city, although it dropped to 9.9 in the greater metro area (Georgia Dept. of Labor).
  • Georgia is the fourth most distressed state in the nation, measured by unemployment, housing, credit, household budgets and net worth (CredAbility's Consumer Distress Index)
  • Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler proposes lowering the maximum unemployment insurance benefit from $330 to 300 per week and possibly reducing the number of benefit weeks, to make up for a shortfall caused by the Georgia legislature giving employers a tax holiday.
  • The United States Postal Service is under pressure to shut down needed community post offices in Atlanta and cut hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs, disproportionately impacting communities of color.
  • Atlanta Jobs with Justice demands an aggressive, large-scale public program to create good jobs, especially for the hardest hit populations: communities of color, youth, older workers, and the long-term unemployed, paid for by taxes on the most affluent individuals and corporations, and extension ­ not reduction ­ of unemployment benefits. Unlike budget cuts and layoffs, this would stimulate our economy, preserve vital public services and help families remain independent.
# # # #

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Community and Workers Stand Together to Say No to Verizon Greed and Home Depot Complicity

Atlanta Jobs with Justice teamed up with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) the Teamsters and Occupy Atlanta to first hit Home Depot with a flash mob over the efforts of their contractor Republic Services to undermine their workers union contracts. From the Home Depot we marched to the other end of the shopping center to the Verizon Wireless store. Normally the Atlanta Police Department asks us to leave right away. Because of our numbers and our spirits it was not feasible for them to do this. There were three Atlanta Police Officers watching us from inside of the store. Eventually, two large police vans arrived to the scene along with at least 7 Atlanta Police cruisers. The police officers had zip ties on hand and were ready to arrest folks. When we saw this we left for the front of the parking lot and picketed on the busy street for about 20 more minutes and heard speeches from the CWA, JwJ, Teamster reps and state senator Vincent Fort.

This marked a level of intensity and numbers that surpassed our events even when the CWA and IBEW workers were on strike. These are the events we need to stop the Verizon greed that threatens to undermine decent wages, benefits and working conditions for working families across our country and to stop companies like Home Depot from acting like they have no responsibility for the actions of their own contractors.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two Corporate Giants, One Saturday Morning.

Atlanta Jobs with Justice sent a message to both Home Depot and Verizon this past Saturday morning for their role in holding down working families across the United States. Home Depot contracts out to a company called Republic Services to haul its garbage. Republic Services is campaigning across the country to undermine the union contracts that keep their employees safe-employees who do hazardous work to protect the health of Home Depot customers and the public at large.

Verizon continues to demand huge concessions from their employees at the bargaining table. A report just came out revealing that Verizon had not paid taxes for the past three years. With the Occupy movement building momentum corporate giants that continue to disrespect their employees become obvious targets.

JwJ members passed out fliers to Home Depot customers and employees before heading over to Verizon Wireless to inform customers about Verizon's treatment of their employees. The Atlanta Police Department was called by Verizon and they asked us to leave the private parking lot.

Atlanta Needs Full Employment Now!

WE HAVE AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND INEQUALITY CRISIS.

WHAT:
Responding to new federal statistics for October, unemployed Atlantans participating in Occupy Atlanta and Jobs with Justice spokespeople will tell their stories and call for aggressive action to end out-of-control economic inequality and unemployment.

WHERE:
In front of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce headquarters
235 Andrew Young International Boulevard NW, Atlanta GA 30303

SPEAKERS:
  • Phillip Clark and Rob Call Unemployed Occupy Atlanta participants
  • Deacon Chester Griffin, Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Church
  • Roger Sikes, Organizing Committee Atlanta Jobs with Justice
  • Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort
  • Atlanta City Councilmen Julian Bond

SPONSOR:
Atlanta Jobs with Justice, a coalition of 19 labor, community, student and faith-based organizations.

WHY: 
  • Atlanta had the widest income gap between rich and poor of all major U.S. cities from 2005 to 2009 (U.S. Bureau of the Census). 
  • The top 1% of U.S. households received 59.9% of income gains from 1979 to 2007, while 8.6% went to the bottom 90% (Economic Policy Institute).
  • The Atlanta region lost more jobs last year than any other metropolitan area (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Georgia has the 3rd highest rate of poverty in the United States, with 1.83 million Georgians living in poverty. (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
  • Georgia’s unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for 50 consecutive months. Atlanta’s September rate was even higher than Georgia’s: 11.5 percent in the city and 10.5 in the metro area (Georgia Dept. of Labor).
  • Unemployment among African Americans nationally (16.%) was double the rate for whites (8%) in September 2011 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler proposes lowering the maximum unemployment insurance benefit from $330 to 300 per week and possibly reducing the number of benefit weeks, to make up for a shortfall caused by the Georgia legislature giving employers a “tax holiday.”
  • Atlanta Jobs with Justice demands an aggressive, large-scale public program to create good jobs, especially for the hardest hit populations: communities of color, youth, older workers, and the long-term unemployed, paid for by taxes on the most affluent individuals and corporations, and extension – not reduction – of unemployment benefits.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Remove the Ban on Undocumented Students.

Atlanta Jobs with Justice supports the campaign to remove the ban that prevents undocumented students from attending 5 prominent public colleges in Georgia. Education is a human right.

October 24, 2011

Office of the Chancellor
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
Suite 7025
270 Washington Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30334

Dear Chancellor Huckaby,

I hope this letter finds you well. I write to convey the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance’s request to appear before the Board of Regents, at the meeting scheduled for November 8-9, to propose that the Board re-address Policy 4.1.6.

Given the University of Georgia Student Government Association’s passage of Senate Resolution 24-04 urging the Board to repeal Policy 4.1.6, the Franklin College Faculty Senate’s unanimous approval of a similar measure, and the economic and ethical precedent said Policy creates, the following organizations publicly endorse this request to appear before the Board:

American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia
American Friends Service Committee
Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition
Atlanta Jobs with Justice
Dignidad Inmigrante en Athens
Economic Justice Coalition
Freedom University
Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
Georgia Students for Public Higher Education
Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance
Southern Center for Human Rights
Southern Poverty Law Center
Southerners on New Ground
University of Georgia GLOBES

We would appreciate a response by Monday, October 31.

Please address all correspondence to Allie McCullen, PO BOX 49706, Athens, GA 30604, and all electronic correspondence to a.mccullen@gmail.com.

Respectfully,

Allie McCullen
Representative, Georgia Students for Public Higher Education

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Union Power. Occupy Atlanta.

The following unions (rank and file members, shop stewards, organizers and union presidents) came out to Woodruff Park (Troy Davis Park) yesterday to stand up against arrests:
  • American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 1644 (AFSCME)
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732 (ATU)
  • Communication Workers of America Local 3204 and District members (CWA)
  • The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • The Teamsters Local 728
  • Fulton County Teachers
  • Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council
  • The AFL-CIO
  • Atlanta Jobs with Justice
  • Senator Vincent Fort
When it was clear that arrests were not going to take place, we had the chance to hear from each union member about why they came out to Troy Davis Park. Sam Howell from the ATU said that "Unions stand for unity. We must come together as a people for good jobs and respect." Eric Richardson from the CWA said, "These corporations have been outsourcing our jobs to other nations, slashing wages and benefits at home while receiving huge tax breaks and record profits. Corporations must be held accountable to our local communities, it's time we come together." Ben Speight from Teamsters Local 728 said that "if Kasim Reed sent in the police he would have to drag out the hard working union members that got him elected." Charlie Fleming President of the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council said, "Labor stands with Occupy Atlanta. Labor stands with the community."

Union members were eager to support Occupy Atlanta and engage with the people organizing at the park while Occupy Atlanta folks were overjoyed to feel union support. It was easy to see that corporate greed impacts all of the 99% and we must come together to get some justice in this city. Folks began discussing a unifying event to combine the power of Occupy Atlanta and labor. Details TBA.

Vicious anti-union campaigns and the outsourcing of good union jobs encouraged by a lack of governmental protections for working people have contributed to Georgia having the second lowest union density in the country at just 4% of employed workers. It comes as no surprise that Georgia also has the third highest poverty rate in the country at 18.7% or 1.83 million people. Our community needs good jobs now. Our local and state governments cannot cut budgets and lay off public sector workers that largely support jobs for communities of color. The USPS must not lay off 120,000 union workers that largely represent communities of color. JOBS NOT CUTS.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

iWon't Upgrade Action in Solidarity with Verizon Workers

TIME: Friday, October 14 · 7:45 AM

LOCATION: Midtown Verizon Wireless
650 Ponce De Leon Ave NE Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Jobs with Justice is taking action in solidarity with the 45,000 Verizon Workers fighting for a fair contract. We will be flyering at the Verizon Store on Ponce de Leon at 7:45 AM in conjunction with the release of the new iphone.


The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, joined by allies including MoveOn.org, the AFL-CIO, US Action, Jobs with Justice, and National People’s Action are launching the nationwide iWont Campaign, asking Americans to delay upgrading to the new iPhone 4s on Verizon Wireless until the company agrees to a fair contract with its workers.

Since August, 45,000 Verizon and Verizon Wireless workers have been fighting to protect their health care coverage and other standard employee benefits against company demands for massive takebacks that threaten tens of thousands of middle class families.

The coalition will also work to expose the “Verizon Tax Loophole” – the tricks and tax dodges Verizon and Verizon Wireless use to pay nothing at all in federal corporate income taxes even as they make billions in profits, pay their top 5 executives hundreds of millions of dollars, and undermine the American Dream of good middle-class jobs. As Congress considers ways to close the deficit, the CWA and its partners will lead a grassroots campaign calling on lawmakers to force companies like Verizon and to pay their fair share in federal taxes and respect workers’ rights.

Monday, October 10, 2011

JOBS NOW! Coverage and Report Back.

The Jobs Now Press Conference put out a strong message: our community needs jobs not cuts. On the day when the unemployment figures were released highlighting that Atlanta continues to face crippling unemployment and underemployment, especially in communities of color, we had the opportunity to hear the stories of our community members.




We heard from George Steed a working father that despite working two jobs still relies on federal assistance to support his family and to pay the rent. George says that we need quality jobs with decent wages. "I'm smiling but I'm crying on the inside."

Tonya Pinkston has been searching for a job for two years. Tonya wants to work at a job that doesn't put her in a position to have to choose between feeding her daughter or putting shoes on her daughter's feet. "We want to go back to work, we want to help restore America." Tonya wants to work so that she can pay off her student debt. Tonya asked, "am I being picky if I want a job that allows me to keep my lights on? Am I being picky to strive for a job that enables me to reach the American dream?"

Adam Valdez is a recent college graduate struggling with debt. He was turned away from a job because he was "overqualified." Adam believes we need jobs that offer a fair wage to their employees.

Kennith Beasley representing the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) spoke about the manufactured crisis for the United States Postal Service (USPS). The USPS receives no tax dollars from the US government. A Bush era policy forcing USPS to "pre pay" health care costs for folks not yet hired is the source of the Post Office budget issues. Our country needs good middle class USPS jobs, it is not the time to cut 120,000 USPS jobs. Support HR 1351.

Senator Nan Orrock highlighted the fact that local public sector jobs are being cut. Public sector jobs and USPS jobs largely support workers of color. During an unemployment crisis it is not the time to cut good public sector jobs, nor is it the time "for the labor commissioner to cut the unemployment check of those looking for work."

Senator Vincent Fort highlighted Bank of America's role in the economic and unemployment crisis. Just this morning he called Bank of America to stop them from foreclosing the home of a couple in their 80's. Fort says the Georgia Labor commissioner's solution to the unemployment crisis is to cut back on unemployment benefits to those looking for work. This is not the solution our community needs. "There is a war being declared on the dreams of working people."

Georgia State Professor Frederick Brooks III, spoke of the broader perspective of unemployment across various sectors and the reality of the situation: "The economists tell us that the recession ended 1.5 years ago yet in the real world of America, there's 14 million people looking for work"

Charmaine Davis the lead organizer for 9 to 5 Working Women and Atlanta Jobs with Justice co-chair facilitated the Press Conference, she highlighted that the Atlanta Metro Area had lost more jobs in 2010 than any other Metro Area in the United States. "Georgia continues to have the 3rd highest poverty rate in the country."

Ben Speight the lead organizer for the Teamsters local 728 and Atlanta Jobs with Justice co-chair spoke about the connection between Georgia having the 2nd lowest union density in the US to Georgia having the 3rd highest levels of poverty in the US. The Occupy Wall Street movement and other Occupy movements sprouting up in Atlanta and other cities that are shining a spot light on corporate greed, union busting and the banks foreclosing on working people must grow in strength and cohesion. Our communities depend on it.

Press Coverage:
CBS Atlanta

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

JOBS NOW! Press Conference and Rally.

ATLANTA JOBS WITH JUSTICE RESPONDS TO NEW UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS, DEMANDS ACTION ON JOBS CRISIS

WHAT:
Unemployed Atlantans will tell their stories; spokespeople for Atlanta Jobs with Justice will call for an aggressive jobs creation program and
protection of workers rights.

WHEN:
10:30 a.m., Friday, October 7, 2011

WHERE:
In front of the Georgia Department of Labor headquarters 148 Andrew Young International NE, Atlanta GA

SPEAKERS:
  • Adam Valdez recent college graduate, unemployed
  • Tonya Pinkston, 9 to 5 member, laid off for two years, unemployed
  • Alicia Newton, 9 to 5 member whose background has presented a major barrier to employment, unemployed
  • Kennith Beasley, President, American Postal Workers Union, Local 32
  • Frederick Brooks III, Ph.D., Associate Professor, GA State Univ. School of Social Work
  • Charmaine Davis, Organizing Director, 9 to 5
  • Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort
SPONSOR:
Atlanta Jobs with Justice, a coalition of 19 labor, community, student and faith-based organizations.

WHY:
  • The Atlanta region lost more jobs last year than any other metro area (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Georgia¹s unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for 49 consecutive months.
  • Unemployment among African Americans nationally (16.7%) was more than double the rate for whites (8%) in August 2011 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Georgia has the third highest poverty rate in the U.S. (1.83 million people), its highest rate of poor folks since 1983(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Georgia is tied for the second lowest union member density rate in the U.S.-- with only four percent of all employed workers being union members in 2010.
  • The recession has been declared over and many corporations are realizing record profits, yet millions of working people are unemployed nationwide - more than half for over 26 weeks - and many have lost their homes and become dependent on public support for the first time.
  • Further cutbacks of public jobs are planned on the federal, state and local level, crippling public education and health and social services for those most in need.
  • Tax cuts for the rich and corporations, attacks on collective bargaining, and austerity budgets will only contribute to our economys downward spiral.
  • We demand an aggressive, large-scale public program to create good jobs, especially for the hardest hit populations: communities of color, youth, older workers, and the long-term unemployed.
  • We also demand strengthening of all workers’ right to organize for better wages, working conditions, and legal status for undocumented immigrant workers.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

National Verizon Worker Solidarity Day of Action

Verizon executives just don't seem to get the message. Apparently they think that the people power we showed in solidarity for the 45,000 striking Verizon workers would go away simply because the workers are back at the table negotiating. In fact, Verizon management continues to insist on major 'concession' from the workers including the Company's ability to send unlimited union jobs overseas, reducing job security protections, raising the costs of health insurance, and eliminating paid holidays such our hero's day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Its time, once again, we show the Verigreedy corporation- Verizon- that we are prepared to support these workers 'As Long As it Takes' for them to get the fair contract they surely deserve. Agree? Then let's hit the streets!!

Join us for the CWA/JwJ National Day of Action in Solidarity.

Next Thursday, 9/29/11 at these locations and times. Spread the word!!

1pm - 2pm at the Howell Mill store located at Suite 700, 1801 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA

6:30- 7:30pm at the Ponce De Leon store 650 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast #660, Atlanta, GA

Check out this great website for fresh updates on the campaign - UNITY AT VERIZON - http://www.cwa-union.org/issues/entry/c/verizon

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Verizon Banner Drop and Action.

The Verizon Wireless store on Ponce is feeling the heat. They had two managers out patrolling around the store with security guards before we even arrived. Great visibility on Ponce! Top Verizon executives took home $258 million over the past 4 years yet the company is still trying to slash workers' benefits. Please don't shop at Verizon until they negotiate with the workers fairly. Stop Verizon greed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Atlanta Jobs with Justice Stands with Troy Davis! September 16th

Troy Davis March - Facebook Event

Atlanta Jobs with Justice is standing up with the Atlanta community to free Troy Davis! We only have a week left to make a difference and stop his execution. Troy's execution date is set for September 21st. We must unite and show the Board of Pardons and Paroles that our community will not tolerate the execution of Troy Davis, an innocent man. We need to make it clear to them that there is: TOO MUCH DOUBT TO EXECUTE!

This Friday September 16 is an International Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis. 

In Atlanta there will be a march to free Troy that starts at: 6pm at Woodruff Park, near the intersection at Peachtree and Edgewood.
We will march to Ebenezer Baptist Church at 407 Auburn Ave where there will be a prayer service for him at 7pm.

We will join the Georgia and national leaders of Amnesty International and NAACP, Larry Cox and Ben Jealous; Rev. Raphael Warnock (Ebenezer Baptist Church); Martina Correia (sister of Troy Davis); death row exonerees; and other guests for an evening of prayer, music and witness.

We will not tolerate the execution of Troy Davis, an innocent man.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Verizon Leaflet and March.

Great Action y'all!!! We had over 30 folks come out, handed out over 600 fliers and had great conversations with Verizon customers. We were eventually told to leave the private property of the shopping complex by APD so we moved out to the street and got great visibility on Ponce.  Good communication throughout the action especially throughout the police intervention.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Verizon Action. Justice for Verizon Workers

Action to support the 45,000 Verizon workers fighting for a fair contract.

Nationally coordinated community/labor action has pressured Verizon into negotiating with the 45,000 unionized workers but we must keep up the heat on Verizon until a fair contract is won.

Please be punctual and ready to work together as a community. We will be raising awareness to hundreds of community members and Verizon shoppers about Verizon's attempts to hold down working families. This is how we take back our communities.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Action to Support the 45,000 Striking Verizon Workers Saturday August 13 at 1:00 pm


Please join Atlanta Jobs with Justice (JwJ) this Saturday in a community led delegation and picket line at the Verizon wireless location in Buckhead. Make signs if you can and bring some friends.

Saturday August 13th 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Verizon Wireless Store-Buckhead
3275 Peachtree Rd. NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

None of the Verizon wireless locations are unionized in Atlanta, therefore any action in Atlanta will send a strong message to Verizon bosses that workers and community members everywhere are standing up to their union busting activity. We in the South will fight for workers in the Northeast. 

Join the Facebook Event:

---------------- 

45,000 Verizon workers went on strike on Sunday, August 7th. The largest strike in the United States since 2007. The reason? Despite record profits, Verizon is refusing to bargain and is demanding that its workers add to those profits from their own pockets. In the last four years alone, Verizon made more than $19 billion in profits and compensated their top five executives more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

But apparently that’s not enough. Starting on June 22 Verizon pushed proposals that would let them outsource more jobs, including sending jobs overseas, slash sick days, eliminate benefits for workers who get hurt on the job and cut the healthcare benefits they promised retirees. And they haven’t budged.

So on Sunday, 45,000 CWA and IBEW members decided to take a stand to force Verizon to abandon its Wisconsin-style tactics and come to the bargaining table and negotiate.

America has had enough of corporate greed. Now is the time for Verizon to do the right thing and come to the bargaining table in good faith instead of trying to kill the American dream for 45,000 middle-class workers.

For more information go to:
CWA - www.cwa-union.org
IBEW - www.ibew.org

Friday, April 8, 2011

Atlanta Voice Coverage of Speak Out:

Residents tell riveting tales of unemployment


By: Kalin Thomas
Contributing Writer
Atlanta Voice

ATLANTA – Thirty-seven year-old Tonya Pinkston was raised by her parents to get a good education, a good job and to contribute to society. But something happened while she was climbing that ladder to success – she was laid off three times.

"I have a college degree, but I never dreamed I'd be faced with no job security and wondering how I'm going to feed my family," said the single mother of an eight-year-old daughter.

It's becoming is a hauntingly popular refrain, some observers say.
Pinkston was just one of several panelists who testified at the Speak Out for Jobs event held recently to provide a forum for Atlanta's unemployed and underemployed.

Community activist and WAOK-AM personality Derrick Boazman said the forum – held at Trinity United Methodist Church – was an eye-opener for some observers.

"When you're used to eating three meals a day, you sometimes forget about those who can't," Bozeman said. 

"But now there are people who had big cars, big houses, and 401-ks who now find themselves in line at Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry," he said. "So we're all in this together."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

SPEAK OUT BY UNEMPLOYED INSPIRING, WELL ATTENDED

By Barbara Joye, Jobs with Justice and Dell MacLean, American Friends Service Committee

A Speak Out for Jobs Now held April 2 -- intended as a first step toward empowering Atlanta's many unemployed and underemployed people and also a kick-off event for the new Atlanta Jobs with Justice -- drew enthusiastic participants and dozens of volunteers. Their statements covered a variety of travails confronting the unemployed, but also repeatedly stressed that the problems are systemic and not the fault of individuals and that working and unemployed people of every race and ethnicity need to unite to fight for more jobs and a society that recognizes meaningful work at a living wage as a human right. Thirty-eight organizations co-sponsored the event with Jobs with Justice.

Speaking for Themselves 

A large number of people testified, many of whom said they felt desperate and at their wits' end. One young woman explained that she has been looking for a job since she was 12 but cannot get one because she is only 17 and has no work experience. One man testified about how hard it is to find a job with a criminal record.

Another man said he has skills and work experience, but spoke about the difficulty of finding a job with a homeless shelter as the only address he can put as his on job applications.

Another said "I spent time in jail, got out to a halfway house, but I had no work history so I couldn't find a job." Since he was not able to meet the employment requirements for the halfway house, he was sent back to prison.

One woman has worked as a home health aide and has her certified nursing assistant certificate, but reports that she still can't find a job despite good work experience, good resume, good references, and the certification. Another woman explained that she had worked in several different fields, including security and law enforcement and does not have trouble getting jobs -- but she cannot keep them because of anti-labor laws like Right to Work and laws that allow employers to fire employees at will for arbitrary reasons.

Still another woman explained that she had had a job but that someone else had been imprisoned with her name, saddling her with a felony record and causing her to lose her job. Now she is entangled in a bureaucratic snare of trying to get her name cleared and her record straight.

Two Progressive Legislators Speak Out 

State Senators Nan Orrock and Vincent Fort responded to the testimony. Orrock said "we must...rebuild a movement" of working people to demand fair treatment. She denounced the anti-labor laws of the recent legislative sessions and said public employees "are not harming the economy, they're part of the backbone of the economy." She spoke of the foreclosure crisis and the fraudulent mortgages millions of people were tricked into, and decried the fact that "the person who's losing the home gets the blame, not the people who caused the crisis." She also enjoined the crowd to stand up against the wave of anti-immigrant legislation that has been introduced this session, saying the bills "fuel hatred". She urged the crowd to call their voters' office and the Lieutenant Governor's office and demand that they "kill those anti-immigrant bills. State Senator Vincent Fort said the anti-immigrant legislation is an attempt "to pit black people against brown people ... trying to turn us against each other because they know if we came together there'd be hell to pay." He also spoke against the recent cuts to education passed by the state legislature, saying that they hurt workers because the HOPE scholarship will no longer pay for technical schools. He decried the changes to the HOPE scholarship that disproportionately target poor and minority students, who will lose their scholarship money more than wealthy white ones. Finally, he called on listeners to boycott the lottery, which has been used to fund the HOPE scholarships: "why should you pay to finance your oppression? ... Why should you pay to send a corporate executive's child to school?" He pointed out that "the lottery money comes from working neighborhoods" and goes "from Bankhead to Buckhead".

Many Hands Made the Speak Out Possible


A crew of Jobs with Justice coalition activists representing many labor and community organizations, plus individual volunteers, had worked hard for weeks organizing the event, which took place in Trinity United Methodist Church just south of the Georgia State Capitol -- where the legislature, like other Republican-dominated state governments, is ignoring the struggles of the unemployed and may even fail to draw down federal funds that would extend their benefits, despite the fact that Georgia's unemployment rate of 10.2 has exceeded the national rate for the 41st month in a row.

Popular WAOK talk show host Derrick Boazman moderated the Speak Out, which opened with an inspirational poem, "Rise!" by Alice Lovelace and closed with a reading of Chicano activist Corky Gonzales' poem "I am Joaquin" by Raul Cedillo of GLAHR All the speakers were videoed by Jess Bowling and other volunteers, and Jess continued to tape statements by attendees throughout the afternoon. The testimony will be edited and distributed through YouTube and other outlets. Spanish interpretation of the Speak Out was provided by South to North Communications. Kelli's Childcare Collective kept about 15 children happy throughout the day.
After the Speak Out, participants crowded into the church's Fellowship Hall, where they were offered a box lunch and a variety of services ranging from haircuts and massages to legal advice on housing issues and how to expunge an arrest record. Forty-one volunteers from 22 organizations supplied the services, including childcare, at no charge.

Next Steps

Many speakers also laid down concrete next steps for attendees to follow to demand jobs with justice --"not slave jobs, but jobs with a living wage, with benefits, and enough leisure time to spend with our families," said JwJ organizer Tony Romano.

Organizers called for everyone to join the We are One march that went from the King Center to the Capitol on April 4, the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, to demand respect for workers' rights. King was killed when he was in Memphis supporting striking sanitation workers who were demanding fair treatment. Where will JwJ and the many who responded to the call to speak out for jobs now! take their message next? As federal, state and local governments plan more layoffs and cuts in benefits and essential services, but no serious jobs program, their voice is needed more than ever.

Monday, April 4, 2011

We Did It! + We Are One Rally/March Today!

Atlanta Jobs with Justice would like to thank the over 250 people who came out to the SPEAK OUT FOR JOBS NOW on Saturday, April 2.

Especially, thanks to the over 50 unemployed and underemployed workers who gave their testimonies.  And the 25 service providers who provided free haircuts, legal services, massages, resume help, expungement support and more.
Stay tuned a VIDEO is coming!

Check out the TV coverage on WSB Channel 2--http://www.wsbtv.com/news/27409815/detail.html.  Also, you can hear coverage on NPR today and in the Atlanta Voice this Friday.

This is a beginning.  Workers put forward their stories, exposed barriers and shared good ideas for solutions.  It will take us uniting together to bring about the change we need.  Black, Latino/a, and White were all present.  We must keep building, challenging racism and attacks on immigrants and fighting for the human right of everyone to a FAIR JOB, one with a living wage, a union and benefits!

DON'T FORGET WE ARE MARCHING TODAY WITH WORKERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.  Fighting to stop the attacks on workers and people of color.  And Fighting for FULL and FAIR EMPLOYMENT!

We Are One Rally/March for Workers' Rights
TODAY, April 4 • 5:30pm - 7:30pm
The King Center
449 Auburn Ave. NE Atlanta, GA

Look for the Jobs with Justice signs at the rally and come march with us!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Speak Out for Jobs Coverage on WSB Channel 2 ABC

Unemployed Want To Know Where The Jobs Are

ATLANTA -- An event Saturday allowed people struggling to find work to share their frustrations. Dozens of organizations hope to help them do something about it. Two state senators showed up to the event to listen to the discussion. It started with a panel of unemployed workers, but organizers opened the mics up to those in the crowd. Their biggest question: where are the jobs? Dozens of people gathered inside Trinity United Methodist Church to share their frustrations.

See the remaining coverage at:

Friday, April 1, 2011

New URL for our Website: www.atlantajwj.org

We now have a new website url for Atlanta Jobs with Justice.

You can now go to www.atlantajwj.org and that will bring your to this website.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tonya is Speaking Out -- How about YOU?

"I am a single mother caring for my daughter, my parents and my cousin.  All I want to do is provide for my family, but I am not given the opportunity. I am tired of all the barriers that keep me from working.  This Speak Out is a chance for me and other unemployed folks to come together and share what we are going through."

--Tonya Pinkston
                                                   
Tonya Pinkston, a single mother who has been unemployed for 7 months, will be telling her story this Saturday at the Speak Out for Jobs NOW!.  We hope you come, tell your story and share your ideas on what needs to be done so we all can have good paying jobs with benefits.  A flyer is attached.  Please spread the word and bring a friend.

Speak Out for Jobs NOW!
Saturday, April 2
10am-5pm
Trinity United Methodist Church
265 Washington St SW, Atlanta

Childcare, free parking and translation provided
Free Services from noon-5pm


For more information call Tony at 404.593.5227

Organized by Atlanta Jobs with Justice

We Are One - ATLANTA - Rally/March for Workers Rights


When: April 4th, 2011 5:30 pm

Where: The King Center - 449 Auburn Ave NE Atlanta, GA

We will gather at the King Center and march on the GA State Capital to demand that governments across the country and corporate interests respect workers rights. In honor of Dr. King, we march to show that working people are united to defend collective bargaining and justice for all workers.

The event marks 43yrs since Dr. King's closing struggle in support of the striking Memphis sanitation workers and the Poor People's campaign.

Feat. Speakers: AFL-CIO Executive Vice President, Arlene Holt-Baker and Martin Luther King III

Invite: Working people throughout Atlanta and beyond (in unions and not), Congregations, Students, Community organizations, Civil Rights groups, social justice activists and allies.

http://www.aflcio.org/splash_weareone.cfm?continue=%2Findex.cfm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaIfDNQV5dM&feature=player_embedded

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Support Childcare Access!

Kelli's Childcare Collective of Atlanta is providing free childcare for the Jobs Now Townhall on April 2nd.  Please come and support their fundraiser!


Friday, March 25, 2011

A Week Away! Speak Out for Jobs NOW

Hi Atlanta JwJ supporters,

The Speak Out for Jobs NOW is a week away -- Saturday, April 2 at 10am-5pm at Trinity United Methodist Church!!  We have outreached to thousands at unemployment offices, Marta stations, rallies and job fairs.  We have also made presentations at unions, community groups and service providers. The response has been incredible and we expect a big turnout.  In fact, the turnout looks so great, we need additional donations to help including to purchase enough food for lunch.  Any amount will help!

The program is coming together nicely.  In addition, to the short speeches by workers, responses by progressive public officials and audience participation, there will be cultural performances. Radio talk show host, Derek Boazman, will serve as moderator.  And free services such as expungement support, foreclosure and eviction assistance, legal services and resume support will then be provided in the afternoon.   Translation and childcare will also be available for free.
 
We are most appreciative of the dues contributions already made to Atlanta JwJ  by the following organizations who are also among April 2nd's  36 sponsors. These include: Georgia State AFL-CIO, AFSCME 3, CWA 3250, Alliance for Retired Americans, Open Door, Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, Atlanta Grandmothers for Peace, Committee for Correspondence for Democracy/Socialism, and Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America. In kind services have also been given by the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council and other groups. National JwJ has also provided us with a start up grant.

Please keep spreading the word far and wide (copy of flyers are available on this site ).  Remember when you come bring someone who is un- or unemployed with you.  If you can make a donation or are interested in leafleting or phonebanking, call me 404-593-5227.

Best,
Tony Romano
Atlanta JwJ Organizing Committee