News in Brief: March 24, 2014
This is Open Media Boston’s News in Brief for March 24, 2014.
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union is stating that a suspended worker and a union member at Insomnia Cookies has been reinstated following protests. Tasia Edmonds was suspended by management in what she claimed was an attempt at union-busting less than a week after a settlement was reached at the National Labor Relations Board between the IWW and Insomnia. Edmonds was reinstated following a protest by member and supporters of the IWW outside her workplace on March 14, and just days before a second picket was due to take place.
Fast Food Wages
Fast food workers and their supporters protested outside McDonald’s opposite Boston Common last Tuesday, calling for an increase in the minimum wage, and the right to form a union. Around 50 people took part in the MassUniting-organized demonstration as part of an ongoing national campaign to improve pay and conditions in the fast food industry. It came days after class-action lawsuits were filed by fast-food workers in California, Michigan and New York claiming that McDonald’s has been deliberately and systematically stealing their pay.
The Massachusetts Trust Act has been given a favorable report from state legislators on the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. Supporters of the act gathered at the State House on Monday to announce the next steps in the campaign. The bill sets a standard for local government to deny requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain people for deportation who have otherwise been released by a court for an offense unrelated to their immigration status.
A rally was held in solidarity with President Maduro’s government in Venezuela at Park Street Station on Saturday. Organized by the Boston Bolivarianos, the demonstration hit out at US support for what the protestors say is a campaign to topple a legitimately elected government in an attempt to reverse progress in health, education, equality, and workers’ rights.
Following a 30-day cooling-off period, members of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) at American Airlines may strike to bring their pay in line with members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) reports Workers Independent News. Members of the IAM currently make ten per cent less money than TWU workers despite a merger between US Airways and American Airlines in December that brought the two unions under one employer. It is reported that the 22,000 members of the TWU will support the 14,000 member IAM in the event of a strike.