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Fabricio Rodriguez's blog
For Immediate Release CONTACT:
Fabricio Rodriguez – Jobs With Justice (215) 732-8318
Caresh Walker, SoulPurl 77 - (484) 557-2391
Peter Javian, SoulPurl 77 - (267) 312-2431
SATURDAY March 1 - ACTIVATE! will premier a new series photographic works by well-known Philadelphia documentary photographer, Harvey Finkle. The show will display a series of photographs by Finkle of the work of Jobs with Justice over the last 4 years including their efforts to reform low-waged employers Wal-Mart and AlliedBarton. The art show and party to benefit local community group Jobs with Justice will be hosted by SoulPurl 77 at their studio ‘The Purl’ located on South 9th Street in the Italian Market.
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ACTIVISTS WIN $1.5 MILLION WAGE AND BENEFIT INCREASE FROM TEMPLE AND PENN
Activists Plan More Efforts To Reform Industry, Local Company Will Remain Target
Philadelphia, PA, January 28, 2008 -- A year long campaign to raise wages and benefits for security officers at Philadelphia’s two largest universities has finally paid off. The Philadelphia Officers and Workers Rising Campaign (POWR) an effort of a coalition of students, community activists and faith leaders will bring at least $1.5 million in additional income to workers. The new contracts include up to 3 days sick-leave on both campuses and raises for roving security guards at UPenn from $9.70 to $15 per hour.
January 22, 2008, Philadelphia, PA- Temple President, Ann Weaver Hart, like many American’s on January 21 was ready to celebrate the legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King. In recognition of the civil rights leader President Hart planned a big event in the Student Activities Center on Temple Campus. Unfortunately, the one thing that she hadn’t planned on was real, live civil rights activists showing up at the event.
Activists from the community organization Jobs with Justice arrived early at the event and began leafleting and talking with people as they entered the auditorium. The activists claim that Temple University is responsible for the poor compensation, working conditions and workers’ rights abuses of 250 security guards on campus. The 95% African-American work force is subcontracted through the AlliedBarton company.
The activists have been waging a campaign since 2005 to win improvements for the workers.
Temple University Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) and Philly Jobs With Justice is asking for your support and solidarity.
On December 11, 2007 from 3:00PM-4:00PM at Temple University (Sullivan Hall, 1330 W Berks St).
Temple Student Labor Action Project will gather to recognize International Human Rights Day and continue the escalation of tactics aimed towards the Temple Board of Trustees and Temple President, Anne Weaver Hart.
We have yet to get a straight answer from Temple administration about our demand for 5 sick days.
Since then we have had a series of meetings:
"Temple University broke its longstanding neutrality in the fight between labor groups and AlliedBarton, the company contracted for campus security, when a senior university official met with the groups on Friday to discuss the security guards' conditions." http://media.www.temple-news.com/media/storage/paper143/news/2007/09/25/...
Jobs with Justice expects to hear whether Temple University will grant the first of our demands, five days of paid sick-leave for the guards on Friday, September 28.
September 7, 2007, Philadelphia, PA- 115 students, clergy, community activists and AlliedBarton security guards, the Philadelphia Officers and Workers Rising (POWR) Campaign, marched on the campus of Temple University. The rally gathered to demand a meeting with Temple University Administrators concerning the fact that more than 300 AlliedBarton security guards that work at the university lack any paid sick leave.
The clergy group was surprised to find when they went to deliver a letter about the situation to President Ann Weaver Hart’s office that Sullivan Hall had been locked and was guarded by armed Temple Police Officers. Though many workers were still in the building, and possibly in violation of Philadelphia Fire Codes, the main entrances to Sullivan Hall were locked and fortified.
I ran across an interesting article in the Sept 28 edition of the Olney News Gleaner about the next District 7, City Councilman, Dan Savage. In the article the 34 year old talks about how he has “earned his stripes.” The sense of entitlement that runs through that party machine is astonishing. But upon reading his background, you could almost see why Mr. Savage felt like it was just a matter of time before he ascended to the royal court.
“While this will be the first time that Savage will be running for city council, he is no stranger to politics … he is the son of U.S. District judge Timothy Savage, who also was a ward leader … and mother, who was a committee person, his grandparents were also committee people, and his great grandfather worked as a ward chairman.
…Savage started moving up the ladder, first being elected as a committee person at 22, and then being unanimously elected as ward leader in 2002. …he said. "I've earned my own stripes."
I am not sure if Mr. Savage really believes that he is a self made council-man, but if he does then, in the very least, he spreads the credit a little thin. I mean, had you had a U.S. District Judge to give you your first good job, your connected family get you your first political position and a sitting Congressman, cajoling and arm twisting ward leaders into appointing you to your first city council term (on NPR, Brady informed me that if the ward leaders that he made sure were elected, picked Dan Savage unanimously, with or without us pesky voters weighing in, then that was close enough to democracy for him), would you feel like you had “earned your stripes?!”
Four generations of cog-greasers have paved the road, while a sitting Congressman provided Mr. Savage with the golden bootstraps. By these resources, Mr. Savage will hoist himself upon the highest seat of power in the Philadelphia Seventh City Council District.
SEPTA workers have an uphill battle building public support for there fight to win a good contract. Over the past nine months I have talked about this fight with thousands of people in Philadelphia and my pleas for support have been meet with replies of “we have to pay for health care, they should too” and “SEPTA has terrible customer service, the workers are over paid and don’t deserve our support.” Surprisingly, these sentiment have most often been heard from “progressives” and from many working – class Philadelphians. These responses, however, are uninformed, oversimplified and lack a broader strategic prospective of what progressives should be fighting for. Click "Read More" to read the rest.