Latest victory for low-wage workers, declared one McDonald’s worker, ‘has showed me what’s possible when people stick and work together.’
by: Jon Queally
Fast Food workers and economic justice advocates across the country, but especially in New York, had much to celebrate on Wednesday as a state panel announced its recommendation that all employees at chain restaurants should be paid at least $15 per hour by the year 2018.
The announcement by the New York’s Fast Food Wage Board followed an energized campaign by workers and progressive allies who said the $6.25 increase to the minimum wage was necessary to lift employees who work at McDonald’s, KFC, and other regional and national chains out of poverty.
“It’s a victory! We have been fighting, and today we have made history,” said Alvin Major, a 49-year-old cook at a KFC restaurant in Brooklyn. He said a $15 minimum wage would mean that he could stop relying on food stamps to feed his family of six.
“This will help me to take care of my kids, send them to the right school and put food on the table,” he said.
The bump to $15 an hour in New York, which would affect workers at chains with 30 or more stores nationally, would match recent increases in San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles. It would take effect over the next three years for the New York City, and over the next six years for the entire state.
“This is a historical moment. We did it,” Jorel Ware, a McDonald’s worker, told theGuardian at a rally celebrating the wage board’s recommendations. Wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with both “I can’t breathe” and “Fight for $15,” Ware said fewer people would live in poverty thanks to the wage increase. “It’s wonderful. I get to live on my own again. I am telling you it’s a wonderful thing. When I started the fight, I just wanted something better for myself,” he said. “The Fight for $15 has showed me what’s possible when people stick and work together.”
In an op-ed in the New York Daily News that appeared on Thursday, three members of the wage board—Byron Brown, Michael Fishman, and Kevin Ryan—explained why the personal testimony of people like Yancy Rivera, a single working mother, was emblematic of why they ultimately made their recommendation:
Yancy testified at the hearing of our board in Albany that after 11 years at McDonald’s, she makes $9.50 an hour. Her 17-year-old daughter is not home as much these days because she’s working, too, trying to help her mom pay the bills. Even with both incomes, the two of them and Yancy’s 5-year-old son are squeezed into a studio apartment.
Over four days of hearings in Manhattan, Buffalo, Albany and Garden City this May and June, these are the stories we heard-from hundreds of fast food workers. Women and men. Young and old. Black, white, Latino and Asian.
Their stories were sobering evidence that families across our state are hurting. Boosting pay for fast-food workers will strengthen their purchasing power, allowing them to afford basic necessities like food and rent, and put more money back into their neighborhoods. A stronger wage floor will put $1.3 billion into these New Yorkers’ pockets.
Yancy works as hard as any of us do. She wants the best for her children and the chance to get ahead that’s supposed to be part of the American bargain if you’re willing to work. But you can’t keep up when you’re choosing between rent and the electric bill or between bus fare and medicine. Our entire economy slows down when more and more hard-working New Yorkers are paid so little that they can’t afford the basics.
Coming on the same day progressive lawmakers in Washington, DC received applause for introducing a $15 minimum wage bill at the federal level and the University of California system announced an increase of wages for its employees to $15 per hour by 2017, the victory in New York was just the most far-reaching example of how the national ‘Fight for $15’ movement has not only captured the imaginations and aspirations of low-wage workers, but is actually winning tactical and tangible victories.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
Lawmakers, reproductive justice advocates, and the New York Times editorial board raise concerns about deceptive video
bySarah Lazare, staff writer
Lawmakers, fact checkers, and reproductive justice advocates sounded the alarm this week over a series of deceptive—and some say fraudulent—anti-choice videos aimed at slandering the not-for-profit organization that provides vital health services to millions of people a year.
Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Jerry Nadler (D-Calif.), and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) sent a letter on Wednesday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and California Attorney General Kamala Harris urging them to investigate “whether any laws were broken by individuals who participated in an elaborate, multi-year scheme to impersonate corporate officials from a fake biologics company, secretly filmed video of a Planned Parenthood physician in California, and make public portions of the video without her consent.”
The shadowy anti-choice group Center for Medical Progress last week released a heavily-edited, nine-minute video that claims to “Hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their illegal sale of baby parts.” Its hidden camera footage depicts Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s director of medical services, explaining the processes of collecting fetal tissue to individuals from the Center for Medical Progress who falsely posed as buyers. Another video released this week depicts a different staffer with Planned Parenthood discussing fetal tissue.
However, the full video provides no evidence that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit, as many—including the organization itself—have noted.
The full and unedited footage of the discussion shows Dr. Nucatola clearly stating that Planned Parenthood “affiliates are not looking to make money by doing this. They’re looking to serve their patients and just make it not impact their bottom line.” Moreover, nowhere in the video does Nucatola discuss selling fetal tissue for profit.
“We know the real agenda of organizations behind videos like this, and they have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women.”
—Sasha Bruce, NARAL Pro-Choice America
“Clearly, the shorter version was edited to eliminate statements by Dr. Nucatola explaining that Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue donation, which requires the clear consent of the patient,” wrotethe editorial board of the New York Times this week, slamming the move as “the latest in a series of unrelenting attacks on Planned Parenthood.”
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, declared last week that the organization “stands behind our work to help women and families donate tissue for medical research when they wish to” and assured the public that “our donation programs—like any other high-quality health care providers—follow all laws and ethical guidelines.”
Furthermore, Planned Parenthood lawyer Roger Evans sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee raising concerns about the group that launched the multi-year campaign aimed at deceiving the public:
The head of the Center of Medical Progress is David Daleiden, who previously worked for the discredited anti-abortion group Live Action, wrote Evans. Over the last eight years, Mr. Daleiden has participated in at least 10 separate attacks on Planned Parenthood involving gaining access to our health centers and offices under false pretenses, taping staff (and sometimes patients) without their knowledge on at least 65 occasions (not counting this latest fraud) and misleading the public with heavily edited tapes and flat-out false charges.
Meanwhile, public health and reproductive justice advocates around the country are taking to social media to declare: “I stand with Planned Parenthood.” However, public support is not stopping a political storm in Washington, D.C.—where anti-choice lawmakers are grabbing onto the video’s false claims to launch their own efforts to erode access to reproductive health services.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) introduced legislation on Wednesday to completely slash federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Republicans in the House of Representatives are threatening to subpoena a Planned Parenthood official unless she voluntarily appears to testify about the charges levied in the video. And Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined 49 Republicans in sending an open letter sent a letter on Tuesday to the Justice Department and Health and Human Services Administration urging a full investigation into Planned Parenthood.
The right-wing media is having a field day with the videos. As watchdog group Media Matters pointed out Wednesday, Fox News “devoted 10 segments on seven separate programs in one day to hyping a deceptively edited video purporting to show Planned Parenthood ‘haggling’ over the price of ‘baby parts,’ while mainstream media and fact checkers roundly discredited the video and its smears.”
Health advocates, however, say they are not fooled.
“The heavily edited videos recently released are further evidence of the manipulative lengths that anti-choice extremists will go to make sure every door closes on women who need reproductive health care, and ban abortion entirely,” Sasha Bruce, senior vice president at NARAL Pro-Choice America, said this week. “We know the real agenda of organizations behind videos like this, and they have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women.”This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
by: Kiikii Ann
Mainstream vs truth. How many times should we believe the lies of media corporations such as the BBC?
Over the years we have had contradiction after contradiction. We find cures they call lies, we find corruption, they twist it for the viewer. The control the media possess is absolutely gigantic, if 1000 regular joes posted articles about a 3 headed monster, no one would care, if the BBC released such article, it’s shocking how many would believe them. Here are some contradictions the media has caused controversy on. The demonising of medical cannabis, the cover up of corruption and outright lies that hold our populations under extreme brainwashing.
Cancer treatments, the reason cannabis oil and other forms of natural treatment are not researched is because YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SICK! It’s what they want, cancer is the most profitable organisation for big pharma, it would lose these corporations billions if we could suddenly eat and grow away the cancer they have given to us via junk food and water pollution. Here is how the media assist these sick corporations.
TRUTH: via alternative media
Diet and selenium https://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/nutrition/how-selenium-helps-protect-against-cancer
LIES: via mainstream media
For many years we have finally unsurfaced the extent of institutionalised child abuse within the media and political corporations. If it wasn’t for alternative media the BBC would have covered up the heinous crimes of jimmy saville forever. Not to mention the distasteful support for the McCann family and 1000s of historical and current abuse cover ups over the years. We know scape goats are used widely within mainstream media such as the hype they have caused by using Asian gangs as a way to remove blame from their own front door! Also you may like to know that children in need is one big lie! How many child abusers have formed from these sex traffickers? Child line, Jill dando!
TRUTH: via alternative media
LIES: via mainstream media
Not just the war on drugs and the paedophile ring within the UK establishment, but also the war on terror, the mainstream media has spent a lot of effort turning the UK population into a right wing mentality! Race hate and class hate is one of the many areas the media are to blame, countless bullshit stories claiming Muslims hate dogs, sharia law, Asian gang rapes, stories detailing women stoned in middle eastern areas. The hate campaign has been relentless and if we break into a race war then most of that blame lays at the feet of mainstream media.
The War on Middle East. Who are the terrorists?
his is some of many, the support the media offers Israel when it’s clear to see the war on Gaza is purely one of profit. That gaddafi died for a currency, sadam was part of one big lie, as Osama worked for the CIA! Same CIA that created Al-quieda and Isis!
So how about we ask ourselves what kind of media we want? Do we want the kind that hides truth and tells us what they want us to hear of do we actually fight for alternative media, one that is fair and unbiased, one that doesn’t have sex with children then cover it up? You decide.
Kiikii Ann is also a host on Wave of Action; a weekly chat/show on Activate Radio Thursdays @ 1pm eastern