On Wednesday, May 8, the New York City Council approved Sick-Day Pay (LINK) Please support our friends and colleagues who fought so hard for years to win this important victory!
JALSA needs your help with recruiting more business supporters who will come out to the Earned Sick Time Bill hearing to neutralize the big business organizations. If you own a business or know of one that supports providing earned sick time for their employees, please contact Barbara Gutman (email@example.com) as soon as possible.
The following appeared on Bostonglobe.com: Headline: Proposal to mandate paid sick days gaining momentum – The Boston Globe
Date: Apr 15, 2013 A nearly decade-long effort to require Massachusetts employers to offer paid sick days to workers is gaining new momentum as similar proposals get enacted into law across the country. At least five cities and one state, Connecticut, have mandated that employers provide the benefit in recent years with New York City poised to join them after the City Council recently reached agreement to enact legislation requiring businesses with 20 or more employees to offer five paid sick days a year. Similar proposals are under consideration in Philadelphia and Vermont. In Massachusetts, supporters say these victories are giving new life to legislation that was first filed in 2005, but has foundered in the face of opposition from businesses. Even opponents say the tide may be turning.
91% of Americans Support background checks. Yet 45 Senators blocked that legislation. How much did it cost to buy their votes?
Please visit http://DemandAction.org/Receipt, a website of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, to see a receipt of the campaign contributions paid to those 45 senators by the gun lobby, totaling $8,165,490. 91% of NRA members — support criminal background checks for all gun sales. But these senators ignored the will of their constituents and gave in to the money and influence of the gun lobby.
May 1, is International Workers Day across the Globe. Throughout the U.S., groups that consistently support the condition of workers highlighted immigrants this year because it is these workers that are often subject to exploitation in the workplace.
Action Needed: Write to Senator Marco Rubio (R FL), one of the members of the Gang of eight in the Senate who prepared S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and immigration Modernization Act”. Senator Rubio has ……….opened a comment page on his website to reach out nationwide to get feedback on the bill. This is a unique opportunity for JALSA members to reach out to him to reinforce our priorities in the bill. 1 – If you have a Florida address or can write along with a Florida resident, be sure to mention that. But, he is interested in people throughout the country, so don’t let your MA residency stop you from writing. 2. Thank the senator for his work on immigration reform. We want him to know that we think the bill goes in the right direction (Some of his constituents do not want any path to citizenship.). 3. If you have time to go further, please raise one of these issues of concern as ways to improve the bill as it goes forward: a. Under the conditions of the bill, undocumented immigrants could pay taxes for 10 years and still not have access to benefits like food stamps and preventive health screenings if needed. The extension of the current 5 year ban that keeps new green card holders from accessing means-tested federal programs plus the long road to citizenship in the bill makes this limitation on benefits too long. b. The exclusion of LGBT people from the definition of family means that bi-national same sex couples and their families can be separated for years because family unification laws won’t apply to them. c. The elimination of the sibling visa category is not right. Fill in your name, email address and comment directly on the Senator’s website.
Let us know you wrote and we can post your comments on our JALSA website. Let us know if you want to work on JALSA’s Immigration Reform Team. Click here.
The recent event in Bangladesh is an unfortunate reminder of the importance of government regulations for working conditions in factories. The collapse of the factory is the latest in a long line of disasters at Bangladeshi factories. Last year, more than 100 people died in a fire at Tazreen Fashions in the Bangladeshi town of Ashulia. M.T. Anderson, earlier this week in an excellent article in the NYTimes, reminded us of the similar tragedies in American garment factories until regulations were enforced. The collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh was not given the attention it deserved in the media due the coverage of the domestic Boston Marathon bombings and West, Texas factory explosion. But, it is important to reflect on the calamity that took place in the town of Savar in central Bangladesh where the death toll has now exceeded 500 according to Reuters. Much of the clothing we buy comes from places like Savar, and the conditions for the workers who make that clothing are dangerous and inhumane. We must educate ourselves and show as consumers that we are conscious of the treatment of those who make the products we buy.
Action Needed. The Gap and other American stores that buy from Bangladeshi garment factories should be pressured to join the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement to make immediate safety improvements in supplier factories. Writing to the CEOs of these companies is a very effective means for pressuring them into changing their policies on what working conditions they expect from the factories that they buy from. Loblaw (Joe Fresh clothing) and Primark have said they will compensate the victims’ families, (Boston Globe, May 1, 2013) but they, Benetton, Children’s Place, and Mango need to improve worker conditions. Gap products were involved in the earlier fire.
Here are corporate addresses listed for these companies. Primark Stores Limited Primark House 41 West Street Reading Berkshire RG1 1TZ ; Childrens Place Corporate Office Headquarters; 500 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ 07094 USA; Loblaw Companies Limited, 1 President’s Choice Circle; Brampton, Ontario, Canada L6Y 5S5 ; Mango Mercaders 9-11 Poligono Industrial Riera de Caldes Apdo de correos; 280 Palau Solità i Plegamans; Barcelona 08184 Spain; Gap; 2 Folsom Street; San Francisco, CA 94105; Villa Minelli (Benetton); Via Villa Minelli, 131050 Ponzano Veneto; Treviso, Italy
Sincerely, Sheila Decter, Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action
Listen to the program with Steve Grossman, Treasurer of the Commonwealth:
**Common Sense Gun Laws: Background checks on all gun purchases, including gun shows; Prohibition on sales or ownership of military style assault weapons and clips/magazines/drums that hold 30, 50, 100 rounds of ammunition; buy-back programs of guns. (Volunteers Needed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to help encourage state and/or federal legislation. )
**Protecting Immigrants: Protecting Immigrants from Attacks on Benefits and Civil Liberties (Help us move to comprehensive immigration reform. Call 617-227-3000 or email email@example.com to join our efforts to help immigrants have a path to citizenship.)
**Worker Justice: Working against outsourcing of sub-contracts to avoid paying benefits to long-time workers; Earned Sick Time Advocacy (Join our efforts to get business leaders to support our work for earned earned sick time. Write Bgutman.firstname.lastname@example.org)
**Food Justice: Improving Access to Nutritious Food for Low Income Populations. Implementing the Public Health Trust established by the MA legislature. (Help us get neighborhood groups to seek funds under the new Public Health Trust to improve access to healthy food in their neighborhoods. email email@example.com)
**Mortgage Crisis: Adequate and Improved programs to save homes during this mortgage crisis. (The resolution on mandatory mediation that passed the Brookline Town Meeting is a model for which needs to be passed state-wide. email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help.)
**Education: Supporting programs which enhance public education, equity of resources for disadvantaged communities, opposition to privatization of public education or diversion of public funds from public schools.(Legislation pending at the State House will help improve assessment and accountability with less impact from high stake tests. To help, write email@example.com.)
**Revenue: Closing of tax loopholes and increase of revenue necessary for the whole range of vital government operations, infrastructure, education, health. (Come join our Revenue Committee to work on federal and Massachusetts revenue issues. To help, write firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Want to Help make our communities more just?
Contact the JALSA office via email (email@example.com) or phone (617-227-3000) or Join our Mailing List.