@OWSLOC

More info to come!

http://labor.nycga.net | labor@nycga.net

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[accordion_panel title=”Retail Action Project call-in action for May Day”]

Posted May 1st, 2013 by FPM • permalink

Join the Retail Action Project’s #JustHours May Day action! In NYC, over 1/3 of retail workers must be available for “on-call” shifts – where they must call the store to know if they are scheduled that same day – wreaking havoc in their lives and making arranging for childcare or going to school nearly impossible. That number is increasing every day, as more companies implement this low-road strategy, and prioritizing profits over workers’ lives. Show retailers that hundreds of thousands of NY retail workers are tired of waiting by the phone and deserve work! B

Between 10am and 11am and 2:30pm and 3:30pm on Wednesday, May 1, please call all three stores. DIAL *67 to block your number. Urban Outfitters 526 Avenue of the Americas, NYC *67, (646) 638-1646 (you will hear the automated system, press 3, and ask for the manager)

Abercombie and Fitch Scheduling number: *67, (212) 381-0110 720 5th Avenue, NYC DSW Shoes *67, (212) 674-2146 (you will hear the automated system, press 0, and ask for the manager) 40 E 14th Street, NYC You can use the below script as a guideline for your phone call, but please end with the LAST LINE: ·

 

Hi, it’s _YOUR FIRST NAME_. I’m calling to see if I’m working today. o [If they ask what position, pick one: cashier, sales floor, or stock. They will not have you on the schedule.] · How am I supposed to pay my bills when I don’t know how many hours I’m getting or how much my paycheck will be? · Retail workers deserve the right to know when we work. · On-call shifts are unfair and unjust and this abusive practice needs to stop at this store now!!!

 

Hang up.

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[accordion_panel title=”Interns, take a break on May Day and join us!”]

Posted April 30th, 2013 by internavengerY • permalink

Image

Interns! take a break on May Day and join us to stand in solidarity with students citywide to fight for the right to fair labor and free education for ALL. We will be there starting 3 p.m. Check out the schedule here.

Filed under: Home Tagged: may day

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[accordion_panel title=”May 1 Action in Solidarity with Bangladeshi Workers”]

Posted April 30th, 2013 by FPM • permalink

In light of the mounting death toll — 380 — from last week’s Bangladesh garment factory collapse, 99 Pickets stands in solidarity with Bangladeshi workers, the Int’l Labor Rights Forum and United Students Against Sweatshops calling for a week of action targeting Gap Inc – one of the largest buyers in Bangladesh.

On the #99PKTS Solidarity Swam tomorrow, we will visit Banana Republic (owned by Gap Inc) and demand that Gap sign on to the binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, which would give workers the right to refuse dangerous work and would require brands to put money on the table to renovate their supplier factories in Bangladesh to come into compliance with the country’s own fire and building safety code. Join us!

FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/351594428296494/

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[accordion_panel title=”#99PKTS May 1 Solidarity Swarm”]

Posted April 30th, 2013 by FPM • permalink
Join 99 Pickets, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, and allies as we march on employers near Union Square to demand fair pay, justice and safe working conditions for workers around the world.
Gather at 2:30pm in the NE corner of Union Square; we’ll leave at 3pm. Look for Rude Mechanical!
Swarm targets include:
BANANA REPUBLIC, 89 E 5th Ave. Since 2005, more than 1000 workers have died in fires and building collapses while sewing clothing in Bangladesh for companies like Gap Inc (which also owns Banana Republic), including a rising death toll of 380 from a tragic garment factory collapse last week. These deaths could have been prevented, but Gap, Walmart and others are refusing to pay for reforms and to work with workers to put an end to the killing and corporate crimes. Gap Inc: Sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement–pay 10 cents more per garment.
FRIEZE NY ART FAIR, 41 Union Square W.: Next week, Frieze is erecting the “largest temporary structure in the world” on Randall’s Island. Rather than pay New Yorkers fair wages, they’re shipping in non-union workers from Wisconsin. This, while art is sold for millions in a public park. We need an art world that values all its workers, from art handlers to artists to carpenters. This is the wrong art world.
WENDY’S, 20 E 14th St.: For decades, Florida’s farmworkers faced poverty wages and daily exploitation of their basic rights in order to harvest the food on our plates. A new day has dawned. Five of the biggest fast food companies have signed the Fair Food Agreement. Now, Wendy’s must do its part and join the Fair Food Program.

TRAVEL CHANNEL, 18 E 16th St: Atlas Media, the producer of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, is well-known as a digital sweatshop, eroding industry standards. Wage theft and overtime violations are widespread as employees are forced to work 50-70 hrs a week without overtime pay. We are calling on Travel Channel and Atlas to stop violating the law and pay their employees what they deserve!

http://nonfictionunited.org/

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[accordion_panel title=”Press Advisory: Tour to Raise Consciousness on Immigrant Struggles on Int’l Workers Day”]

Posted April 30th, 2013 by FPM • permalink

PRESS ADVISORY
For immediate release
Press contacts: English, Sundrop Carter (610) 217-8222, sundropc@gmail.com; Spanish, Adriana Escandon, (201) 220-3144, adriana@nynice.org

On May 1, Immigrant Worker Justice (IWJ) & 99 Pickets from Occupy Wall Street will lead a march through midtown Manhattan

WHAT: Occupy Wall Street’s Immigrant Worker Justice Group, 99 Pickets, community organizations, immigrant workers and others will hold an “Immigrant Worker Justice Tour”, raising consciousness about the daily struggles that immigrant workers and all immigrants face in New York City. The tour will consist of a march with several stops (incl. Capital Grille, Atlas Media) in midtown at workplaces in which immigrant workers and others are leading campaigns to end worker abuse. With symbolism reminiscent of the large inflatable union rats used to highlight exploitative employers, activists will carry 99 individual rat puppets created by the Occupy Wall Street Puppet Guild. The last stop will be at Schumer’s office for a speak-out on what meaningful immigration reform looks like; then we march to Union Square to join the May Day rally. We will demand respect and dignity for all, immediate and real immigration reform and an end to the mass deportation and detention of immigrants–providing billions in profits for private prison corporations. At each stop on the tour, workers will speak about their various campaigns fighting against wage theft, unsafe working conditions, illegal retaliation, and discrimination. Ultimately, we are letting it be known that part of this city runs on the abuse of immigrant workers.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 1, from 12:00pm-2:00pm

WHERE: Bryant Park. Tour will begin by the fountain on W 41st & 6th Ave.

Background
Atlas Media, 242 W. 36th St. Thousands of people in NYC work in the nonfiction TV industry. The Writers Guild of America, East has a comprehensive campaign to raise standards in the industry. Atlas Media, the producer of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, and E!’s Playing with Fire, is well-known as a bottom feeder and digital sweatshop, eroding standards in the industry. Wage theft and overtime violations are widespread at Atlas Media. Employees are forced to work 50, 60, sometimes 70 hrs a week without overtime pay. In a subcontracted and perma-lance industry Atlas is a driving force in the race to the bottom. We are calling on Atlas to stop violating overtime law and pay their employee what they deserve.

Capital Grille, 155 E. 42nd St. For over a year, workers at The Capital Grille, with the assistance of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), have been organizing to change conditions in their workplace, alleging racial discrimination and wage theft, in addition to experiencing other exploitative conditions like lack of paid sick days and annual raises. Meanwhile, parent company, Darden Restaurants (which also owns Red Lobster and Olive Garden) pulled in over $700 million in profits just last year! Workers are calling on Darden to sit down with them and the Restaurant Opportunities Center to discuss a fair settlement to their grievances. It’s time for Darden to decide if it wants to continue using its vast wealth to perpetuate racial and economic inequality, or do the right thing.

McDonald’s, 220 W 42nd St. There are about 50,000 workers in fast food, one of the fastest growing jobs in the City of New York. Workers earn poverty wages while wearing the uniforms of some of the world’s best known brands, like McDonald’s, Domino’s, and Wendy’s. The median hourly wage for combined food service and preparation workers (including fast food) is $8.90 an hour in NYC. A part-time worker making the NYC median fast food wage would earn only $11, 100 in a year. That’s why over 400 fast food workers in NY have gone on strike, seeking the uncontested right to form a union and wages of $15 an hour.

Senator Schumer’s Office. 780 3rd Ave. Families for Freedom will lead the speak-out in front of Senator Schumer’s Office to shed light on the collusion between the ‘Gang of eight’, the 1% and immigrant detention centers profiteers such as the Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group. Directly-impacted speakers will share their fears about the upcoming Comprehensive Immigration Reform that will create second class workers for years to come. They’ll demand an immigration reform based on human rights now, not future economic models.

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[accordion_panel title=”May Day Preparations / Signs for Download!”]

Posted April 29th, 2013 by FPM • permalink

In conjunction with NYC’s Immigrant Worker Justice group, we’ve been busy preparing for for May Day 2013! Particularly the Immigrant Worker Justice Tour and the 99 Pickets Solidarity Swarm.

On tap: confronting abusive and exploitative employers with worker power, along with a Rat Army of 99 rat puppets (thank you OWS Puppet Guild and Morgan Manila!), a large and angry solidarity kitten, and a bunch of great 22″ x 17″ Immigrant Worker Justice picket signs, English and Español. Thank you, designer Dan Levenson!

Feel free to download and use the following materials:

  • 22″ x 17″ Immigrant Worker Justice picket signs (PDF) in English and Español, for a large-format printer. Design by Dan Levenson.
    • ¡Aquí estamos y no nos vamos! / We’re Here to Stay!
    • ¡Justicia, Respeto y Dignidad para todos! / Justice, Respect, and Dignity for All
    • ¡Verdadera reforma migratoria ahora! / Real Immigration Reform Now!
    • ¡Justicia para el Trabajador Inmigrante! / Immigrant Worker Justice!
    • ¡Alto a las deportaciones y detenciones!  / Stop Mass Incarcerations and Deportations

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[accordion_panel title=”#KLAW kitten liberation armed whissitance We’re getting…”]

Posted April 25th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

#KLAW kitten liberation armed whissitance 

We’re getting ready for May Day! New York: join the Immigrant Worker Justice throw-down on May 1, 12 noon at Bryant Park.
https://www.facebook.com/events/443063909121561/

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[accordion_panel title=”Intern Labor Rights meets next on Sunday, April 28. Join us!”]

Posted April 25th, 2013 by internavengerY • permalink

Intern Labor Rights meets next on Sunday, April 28 at 5:30pm at Goethe Institut’s Wyoming Building in NYC: 5 East 3rd Street (at the Bowery). We’ll be in their storefront space. Anyone is welcome to join! Email us at intern.labor.rights@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Filed under: Home

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[accordion_panel title=”NYU: Stop Posting Illegal Unpaid Internships!”]

Posted April 25th, 2013 by internavengerY • permalink

NYU petition to end #unpaidinternships! Sign with your nyu.edu email address (if you have one). Seeking 1000 signatures by next Friday, May 3: http://bit.ly/10xvwcq If a university changes its position because of a student-led campaign like this it would be major news and could catch on elsewhere, so spread the word! #InternRightsNYU #InternLabor

Filed under: Home Tagged: intern, internship

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[accordion_panel title=”Occupy Kensington Rally for Worker & Immigrant Rights”]

Posted April 23rd, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

On the Sunday before May Day, join Occupy Kensington to rally for worker and immigrant rights.

After many months of a boycott against the Brooklyn grocery store Golden Farm, workers have asked the community to temporarily suspend the boycott while the union negotiates a fair contract for the workers, and reinstatement of hours that were illegally cut in retaliation for worker organizing. This after over a year successfully fighting against wage theft, exploitation, abuse and more.

This rally is a crucial way to support Golden Farm (and all) workers’ fight for fair wages, decent conditions, representation and respect on the job. Sonny Kim, the owner of Golden Farm, needs to know that the Kensington community and Occupy stand behind the workers, ready to reinstate the boycott or further escalate at their request.

Read more about the Golden Farm fight.

RSVP on FB here: http://on.fb.me/YL5Pi2

 

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[accordion_panel title=”NYC Labor Leaders Demand that Frieze NY Art Fair Hire Local and Union”]

Posted April 17th, 2013 by aandladmin • permalink

Arts & Labor supports Teamsters Joint Council 16, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1 and District Council 9 of Painters in their demand for hiring local and union labor at Freize Art Fair as well as new permits that evaluate major profit events in NYC public parks.
CALL TO FREEZE FRIEZE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2013   
Contact: Michael McKeon
(212) 681-1380

LABOR LEADERS TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON FRIEZE NEW YORK ART FAIR AND CALL UPON ELECTED OFFICIALS TO CHANGE PARKS PERMITTING

Elected officials will join members of Teamsters Joint Council 16, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1 and District Council 9 of Painters, at a press conference on the steps of City Hall Wednesday at 1:00 PM to confront the organizers of the Frieze New York Art show and their local events coordinator, Production Glue, LLC on their continuing discrimination against hiring New York City’s union workers.

Labor leaders contend that Frieze NY and Production Glue refuse to hire professional exhibition workers and hire workers from as far away as Wisconsin to avoid paying a fair wage. Art world enthusiasts speculate that London based Frieze will become a permanent yearly fixture at Randall’s Island. Production Glue also ran the event in 2012 and refused to employ union workers to construct the fairgrounds and facilitate the event.

These unions will demand that Frieze Art Fair end its practice of freezing out New York workers, and engage good, local, union employers effective immediately. They will also call upon the New York City Parks Department to pursue a new permitting process that evaluates labor standards for these major private events that make major profits while displacing families from enjoying local parks.

Frieze New York, which will run on Randall’s Island May 10-13, 2013, is an international contemporary art fair and will feature works from more than 1,000 artists from around the world.

On Wednesday, April 17, 2013, Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda, NYC Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez, Councilmember Jessica Lappin, Exhibition Employees Union Local 829 President Kenny Kerrigan, IATSE and members of several local unions will speak out on this lack of support and call for Frieze New York’s sponsors to acknowledge the rights of New York City’s union workers.

When:            Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:00 P.M.
Where:           Steps of City Hall, City Hall Park Broadway, New York, NY 10007
Who:              Labor Leaders and Elected Officials

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[accordion_panel title=”Roberta’s: Pay Your Interns!”]

Posted April 12th, 2013 by internavengerx • permalink

Open Letter to Robertas from Intern Labor Rights

April 12, 2013

To Whom It May Concern at Roberta’s,

It has recently come to the public’s—and our—attention that your company solicited for free labor via an ad on Craigslist, specifically for labor to provide value to the restaurant by working in your garden (“Urban Farm looking for Intern”). As the public’s response and press attention no doubt illustrate, this has touched a nerve with many, certainly not least because of how this runs counter to the brand image Roberta’s has cultivated of promoting economic vitality in the community. It probably felt natural to draw on associations of urban gardening with true community-owned and -managed gardens, gardens that exist because of the sweat and toil of neighborhood volunteers, gardens which are not privately owned, but owned by the people, recognized as part of a commons so often lost to privatization and the forces of gentrification.

We invite you to reconsider the factors that apparently have led you to initiate an employment relationship that is likely in violation of state and federal minimum wage laws. And not only that: We call on you to cease employing unpaid interns—implicitly relying on their low power status to keep them from filing legal claims for the wages they may be due by law—and to make a public statement denouncing the widespread practice of employers profiting from the valuable work performed by unpaid interns.

We presume that your initial decision was not rooted in a conscious disregard for the law or the ethics underlying it, but rather that Roberta’s shares the common yet mistaken understanding that if labor is provided by an employee called an “intern” and that employee will learn something new, there is no legal or ethical requirement to compensate or treat that worker as any other employee.

But the situation is not quite so simple. In 2010 the U.S. Department of Labor published Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, “to help determine whether interns must be paid the minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act for the services that they provide to ‘for-profit’ private sector employers.” It states, in part:

If an employer uses interns as substitutes for regular workers or to augment its existing workforce during specific time periods, these interns should be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked over forty in a workweek.  If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the work, then the interns will be viewed as employees and entitled compensation under the FLSA.

By this measure, your advertisement would appear to be for a position that is not in compliance with the law. And yet, violation of this law is not the limit of our concern. We oppose the widespread use of free labor guised as “internships” for a number of reasons, including that it:

  • Contributes to unemployment and inequality
  • Denies opportunity to those who cannot afford to work for free
  • Reduces diversity of race and class in the workforce by relying on structural privilege
  • Erodes workplace protections, including against sexual harassment and racial discrimination
  • Devalues the dignity of work
  • Creates downward pressure on the wages of workers who have to compete with free labor
  • Promotes the accumulation of wealth by some through the uncompensated work of others
  • Produces a culture of self-denigration

The price of your food and the clientele it brings have already been catalysts for gentrification in the area. Your decision to deny fair compensation to all the labor needed to run your business exacerbates this problem, excluding low-income residents from the opportunity to participate in the local workforce, further pushing them out of their own community. As a presumptive valuable force in the neighborhood, Roberta’s can transform this unwelcome turn in the spotlight to its advantage by reversing its position on this practice and by publicly taking a stand to respect the residents of its community, as well as the labor and hard work that helps it thrive. We look forward to seeing your support for the return to a more sustainable and healthier labor market.

Another world is possible,

Intern Labor Rights

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Mobilize for Striking Fast Food Workers”]

Posted April 4th, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Today, Thursday April 4 , over 400 fast food workers across NYC are starting a second wave of strikes for better wages and a union, marking the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Like the sanitation workers that Dr. King marched with in Memphis, these workers are standing up for dignity and respect for all workers.

Will you support these courageous workers by mobilizing your friends, family and colleagues to come out today and Friday?

1) Join a picket line starting at 11am. Key locations:

  • Wendy’s in midtown Manhattan, 259 34th St.
  • Burger King in Harlem, 154 E. 116 St.
  • Wendy’s in downtown Brooklyn 425 Fulton St.

2) Come to the Fast Food Worker Justice rally at 5:30pm in Marcus Garvey Park (124th and Madison). RSVP here

3) On Friday April 5, walk the striking workers back to work. Collective action is protected under U.S. labor law, and the workers are asking the community to be on-site at fast food locations around the city to support them as they return to the job. Sign up here; shifts are available throughout the day.

4) Can’t support in person? Sign the petition!

Post your photos and videos to Facebook and Twitter:
#fastfoodfwd

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[accordion_panel title=”What Do We Do Now? Booklet Launch: March 29th & 30th”]

Posted March 27th, 2013 by Antonio • permalink

What Do We Do Now? Alternative Economies Resource Guide For Living in New York CityWhat Do We Do Now?
Alternative Economies Resource Guide
Edition 1, Fall 2012

booklet launch at:
Building The Commons
Making Worlds Commons Forum 2
March 29th & 30th
Fri 6-10pm / Sat 10am-8pm

The Commons Brooklyn
388 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

*Children Welcome / Wheelchair Accessible / Free & Open to the Public*

Join us this Friday & Saturday for the first edition release of What Do We Do Now? Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies Resource Guide. Input for subsequent editions is welcome; we plan to update periodically!

Over the course of several months in 2012, members of Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies group decided to research and compile a list of alternative resources for living in New York. This resource guide contains examples of barter for health care programs, times banks, workers coops, community social services, alternative transportation advocates, and more. We are now ready to distribute the resource guide throughout the city at various events and with friends whose work forms part of building an alternative economy in New York City.

**A brief introduction to the guide will be made during Friday’s potluck Dinner 7-8pm & Saturday’s potluck Lunch Noon-1pm.**

Hope to see you there!
Arts & Labor Alternative Economies
– – –
If you would like to host future releases or a workshop on alternative economies please contact us at al.altecon@gmail.com

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[accordion_panel title=”Would you eat at a restaurant that STEALS from their workers and…”]

Posted March 15th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Would you eat at a restaurant that STEALS from their workers and FIRES them for standing up for their rights?

Write a review on Yelp! and let “Dishes” know that their illegal retaliation will not be tolerated. Workers have a right to collective action in the workplace.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/dishes-new-york#hrid:928wehmJpn9wONrhXqK-PA

Be sure to mention it if you’re a former “Dishes” customer.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/dishes-new-york#hrid:928wehmJpn9wONrhXqK-PA

#DirtyDishes: Retaliate? We escalate!

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[accordion_panel title=”Yelp #DirtyDishes Today!”]

Posted March 15th, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

yelp_600

Write an Online Review  of “Dishes”

Would you eat at a restaurant that steals from their workers and fires them for standing up for their rights?

Write a review on Yelp! and let “Dishes” know that their illegal retaliation will not be tolerated by the New York community. Workers have a right to collective action in the workplace.

Be sure to mention it if you’re a former “Dishes” customer.

UPDATE: A selection of reviews!

 

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[accordion_panel title=”Intern Advocacy Groups Target Fashion Week 2013″]

Posted March 4th, 2013 by internp • permalink

[New York/London] March 4, 2013 – In a series of back-to-back actions at the New York and London Fashion Weeks (February 7-19, 2013), activists from Intern Labor Rights (New York), SUARTS (the Student Union of the University of Arts London) and Intern Aware (London) collaborated to campaign for fair, paid internships within the fashion industry.

The actions were met by extensive press coverage and commentary (see below for links).

LFW PYI image crop

“Devil Pays Nada” campaign activists bring their “Pay Your Interns” tote bags to Somerset House in Aldwych, London during London Fashion Week, February 15, 2013.

In New York, Intern Labor Rights modeled its action on the common fashion industry practice of handing out promotional “swag bags.” The group prepared hundreds of such bags containing robin-blue boxes inside of which were “Pay Your Interns” buttons, paper slips with campaign-relevant Twitter hashtags and “What’s Wrong with Unpaid Internships?” flyers. The bags were distributed outside shows at both the main Fashion Week tent at Lincoln Center and in the Chelsea arts district. “Frankly, I was expecting lame pantyhose or maybe chapstick or something when I opened the box,” wrote Fashionista.com blogger Tyler McCall, “Instead, there was a pin that read “Pay Your Interns” and some folded up literature about why unpaid internships are wrong and how you can get involved in the movement.”

InstagramNYFW2013KennethCole

Activists from Intern Labor Rights performing a “‘Pay Your Interns’ Swag Bag Drop” at the Kenneth Cole show in Manhattan’s Chelsea Arts District, February 8, 2013.

According to Chloe Wyma at Blouin artinfo.com, “The most common criticism of Occupy Wall Street is that it lacked a coherent ideological program and tangible objectives. But the goals of Action Against Unpaid Internships are straightforward. Coupling high-level litigation with grass-roots advocacy, they aim to end the epidemic of unpaid internships once and for all.” (Intern Labor Rights is a subgroup of Arts & Labor, a working group that formed during Occupy Wall Street.)

In London, the “Devil Pays Nada” campaign orchestrated by SUARTS, working alongside Intern Aware created hundreds of “Pay Your Intern” tote bags that they filled with a variety of materials advocating for fair, paid internships and information for interns on their working rights and the National Minimum Wage legislation. The bags were distributed at Somerset House in Aldwych, London, to guests of the events. “We underestimated the popularity of the totes,” says organizer Fairooz Aniqa, “We ran out incredibly fast, and the bags were extremely popular not just with the interns working (for free) at the event, but also with people who owned their own businesses and worked in senior positions in various fashion houses. We have built up a great momentum and this is now a topic on everybodys lips, and it is essential that we keep pressuring employers to reconsider their use of unpaid interns.”

Activists at London Fashion Week, 2013

SUARTS and Intern Aware activists making their point at London Fashion Week, February 15, 2013

“The campaign has collated information from students and fashion websites to gain evidence of free work schemes at leading design houses,” wrote Vanessa Thorpe in the Guardian’s Observer webpage. “One design student told Intern Aware of an unpaid placement with a famous label, partly based in London, where the interns slept under the workshop table.”

In the midst of these outreach actions in New York and London, former unpaid intern Dajia Davenport filed suit for back wages from a major fashion world player, Elite Model Management, a modeling agency that has represented figures such as Cindy Crawford and Gisele Bundchen. The potential class action suit was filed in a Manhattan federal court on February 15, 2013 and if successful could reach $50 million in damages.

Declaring the Fashion Week actions a clear success in the campaign for fair, paid internships, Intern Labor Rights, SUARTS and Intern Aware will be working together to coordinate future campaigns in culture-producing industries.

*****

SwagBagsCrop

“Pay Your Interns” Swag Bags prepared for New York Fashion Week 2013.

The following groups have committed to supporting each other in the global fight to end unpaid internships:

Canadian Intern Association
Génération Précaire (Paris)
Geneva Interns Association
Hague Interns Association
Intern Aware (London)
Intern Labor Rights (New York City & Washington, DC)
Precarious Workers Brigade (London)
Students’ Union of University of the Arts London

*****

Selected Press:

“Occupy Movement To Protest Unpaid Internships At Fashion Week”
Buzzfeed.com, Amy Odell, January 31, 2013

“Occupy Wall Street Takes on Unpaid Internships, Will Protest at NYFW”
Fashionista.com, Dhani Mau, February 1, 2013

“‘The Devil Pays Nada’: Occupy Wall Street Protests Intern Abuse in Fashion”
Blouin artinfo.com, Chloe Wyma, February 7, 2013

“Occupy Wall Street Protesters Giving Out ‘Free Samples’ At Fashion Week”
Fashionista.com, Tyler McCall, February 8, 2013

“#devilpaysnada : les stagiaires piratent la Fashion Week”
L’Express, Le Boulevardiers, lilzeon, February 8, 2013

“#devilspaynada : interns vs fashion ancient elites”
hit-bag.com, February 8, 2013

“London fashion week demonstration will highlight plight of industry’s unpaid interns”
The Guardian (The Observer), Vanessa Thorpe, February 9, 2013

“Swag bag message to NY Fashion Week attendees: ‘Pay Your Interns’”
Minding the Workplace, David Yamada, February 13, 2013

“Unpaid Internships Are a Rich-Girl Problem—and Also a Real Problem”
The Atlantic, Phoebe Maltz Bovy, February 13, 2013

http://www.nrc.nl/carriere/2013/02/20/vandaag-in-het-katern-carriere-the-devil-pays-nada/
NRC Next magazine, Netherlands, Alex van der Hulst, February 20, 2013

Filed under: Actions, Home

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[accordion_panel title=”Feb. 28: People’s Planning Meeting for May Day / Reunión Comunitaria para Planear el 1 de Mayo”]

Posted February 15th, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

may1-meeting-double-color

More info / Más información.

Download 8.5″ x 11″ flyers here and distribute widely!

Download 8.5″ x 11″ 4-up handbills. Print English & Español back-to-back!

Flyer design Blithe Riley.

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[accordion_panel title=”“CWA! We’re not going away!” Blocking scabs…”]

Posted February 14th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

“CWA! We’re not going away!” Blocking scabs from leaving the garage in BK. #rehireCablevision22

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[accordion_panel title=”Kensington Residents: “Sign the Contract, Sonny!””]

Posted February 11th, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

goldenfarmpledgecards6

39AE1506-568D-42E6-BA43-81A5C6962B31On Sunday, Feb. 10, a delegation of Kensington residents delivered dozens of pledge cards to Golden Farm, a grocery store in Brooklyn. 60 former customers, who together used to spend over $4,000 a week at the store, have pledged to return to shop when owner Sonny Kim signs a fair contract with Golden Farm workers and their union. The cards represent only a portion of the community members boycotting the store in support of the workers.

CARDSAlthough Sonny Kim wasn’t in the store, we tried to give the cards to Sharon Kim, a manager of the store and Sonny’s wife. Kim refused to speak to us, and denied any involvement with the store, but we were able to deliver our message: “Sign the contract, Sonny!” Golden Farm stands to regain a lot of business when workers finally have a fair contract.

Contract negotiations continue this week; learn more about the campaign, and take action!

 

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[accordion_panel title=”Hey @mcdonalds: “we came, we saw, what you did is against the…”]

Posted February 8th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Hey @mcdonalds: “we came, we saw, what you did is against the law!” Rehire the East Harlem 5 NOW #fastfoodfwd

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[accordion_panel title=”Action Against Unpaid Internships at Fashion Week”]

Posted February 6th, 2013 by aandladmin • permalink

Intern Labor Rights (New York), SUARTS (the Student Union of the University of Arts London) and Intern Aware (London) have come together in mutual support and solidarity. We invite your attention and critical eye to the widespread use of illegally unpaid workers in the fashion industry. This rampant wage theft, international in scope, is now being met with an international response:

PYI Button

In anticipation of our one-year anniversary, Intern Labor Rights is lovingly preparing hundreds of Intern Swag Bags to be given out at Fashion Week events over the February 8–10, 2013, weekend. To get your hands on an Intern Swag Bag, or to help us distribute, email us at intern.labor.rights@gmail.com and find out where we’ll be during the weekend. To track our progress follow #devilpaysnada and #payinterns on Twitter, or find us on Facebook.

For a peek into how this action is being covered in the press, check out this article on BuzzFeed: Occupy Movement To Protest Unpaid Internships At Fashion Week.

And to join in the fight for what’s right, to insist that those who profit from labor pay for its worth, to make your voice heard… email us and find out when and where our next weekly meeting will be, or join our group on Facebook.

Intern Labor Rights is supported in the New York Fashion Show “Pay Your Interns” initiative by SUARTS and Intern Aware, who are making London Fashion Week plans as part of the long-running and successful “Devil Pays Nada” campaign.

The following groups have committed to supporting each other in the global fight to end unpaid internships:pyi

  • Canadian Intern Association
  • Génération Précaire (Paris)
  • Geneva Interns Association
  • Hague Interns Association
  • Intern Aware (London)
  • Intern Labor Rights (New York City & Washington, DC)
  • Precarious Workers Brigade (London)
  • Students’ Union of University of the Arts London

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[accordion_panel title=”Press Release: NY Fashion Week”]

Posted February 4th, 2013 by internavengerjk • permalink

Attention Press and Public

Intern Labor Rights (New York), SUARTS (the Student Union of the University of Arts London) and Intern Aware (London) have come together in mutual support and solidarity. We invite your attention and critical eye to the widespread use of illegally unpaid workers in the fashion industry. This rampant wage theft, international in scope, is now being met with an international response:

PYI Button

In anticipation of our one-year anniversary, Intern Labor Rights is lovingly preparing hundreds of Intern Swag Bags to be given out at Fashion Week events over the February 8–10, 2013, weekend. To get your hands on an Intern Swag Bag, or to help us distribute, email us at intern.labor.rights@gmail.com and find out where we’ll be during the weekend. To track our progress follow #devilpaysnada and #payinterns on Twitter, or find us on Facebook.

And to join in the fight for what’s right, to insist that those who profit from labor pay for its worth, to make your voice heard… email us and find out when and where our next weekly meeting will be, or join our group on Facebook.


Intern Labor Rights is supported in the New York Fashion Show “Pay Your Interns” initiative by SUARTS and Intern Aware, who are making London Fashion Week plans as part of the long-running and successful “Devil Pays Nada” campaign.

The following groups have committed to supporting each other in the global fight to end unpaid internships:

Canadian Intern Association • Génération Précaire (Paris)
Geneva Interns Association • Hague Interns Association • Intern Aware (London)
Intern Labor Rights (New York City & Washington, DC)
Precarious Workers Brigade (London) • Students’ Union of University of the Arts London

pyi

PDF of the Press Release:

2013-02-05 Press Release re NY Fashion Week

Filed under: Actions

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[accordion_panel title=”March on Optimum/Cablevision: Reinstate the 23 Illegally-Fired Workers!”]

Posted February 1st, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

The scene on January 31 as NY labor and community allies demand that Cablevision/Optimum reinstate the 23 technicians they illegally fired.

You shouldn’t be fired for standing up for your rights!

Sign the petitionhttp://bit.ly/WDiYLU

23 Brooklyn Cablevision/Optimum workers were illegally fired on January 30. Why? When they tried to speak with a Cablevision/Optimum vice president about the company’s lack of good faith bargaining, the vice president claimed they were striking — even though none of the workers had refused to work. In fact, some of the workers who had begun their routes were called back to the garage to be fired.

Sign the petitionhttp://bit.ly/WDiYLU

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[accordion_panel title=”March on Optimum/Cablevision: Reinstate the 23 Illegally-Fired…”]

Posted February 1st, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

March on Optimum/Cablevision: Reinstate the 23 Illegally-Fired Workers!

The scene on January 31 as NY labor and community allies demand that Cablevision/Optimum reinstate the 23 technicians they illegally fired.

You shouldn’t be fired for standing up for your rights! 

Sign the petition: http://bit.ly/WDiYLU

23 Brooklyn Cablevision/Optimum workers were illegally fired on January 30. Why? When they tried to speak with a Cablevision/Optimum vice president about the company’s lack of good faith bargaining, the vice president claimed they were striking — even though none of the workers had refused to work. In fact, some of the workers who had begun their routes were called back to the garage to be fired.

Sign the petition: http://bit.ly/WDiYLU

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[accordion_panel title=”URGENT: 23 Cablevision Workers Fired After Union Action”]

Posted January 30th, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Two Cablevision workers talk about getting illegally fired this morning for DARING to speak to their boss.

Tomorrow morning (Thursday 1/31), a coalition of labor supporters and other activists will accompany the workers BACK to work. Cablevision MUST reinstate these illegally fired workers! NY will NOT allow this attack on union workers.

Join us! Meet at 7:30am at the Cablevision garage at 9502 Ave. D (at E. 96th St.) Near the Canarsie Stop on the L train, and the B17 & B60 buses stop close by.

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/kToDz
More info: http://labornotes.org/blogs/2013/01/cablevision-fires-23-technicians-after-union-action

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[accordion_panel title=”URGENT: 23 Cablevision Workers Fired After Union Action
Two…”]

Posted January 30th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

URGENT: 23 Cablevision Workers Fired After Union Action

Two Cablevision workers talk about getting illegally fired yesterday for DARING to speak to their boss.

This morning (Thursday 1/31), a coalition of labor supporters and other activists will accompany the workers BACK to work. Cablevision MUST reinstate these illegally fired workers! NY will NOT allow this attack on union workers. 

Join us! Meet at 7:30am at the Cablevision garage at 9502 Ave. D (at E. 96th St.) Near the Canarsie Stop on the L train, and the B17 & B60 buses stop close by.

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/kToDz

More info: http://labornotes.org/blogs/2013/01/cablevision-fires-23-technicians-after-union-action

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[accordion_panel title=”January 23, 2013″]

Posted January 28th, 2013 by aandladmin • permalink

Report backs:

  • Strategy session panels (at PP and Murphy Institute)
  • Intern Labor Rights virtual global summit
  • Reader
  • SF Project
  • Rad Arts
  • New Meeting Structure
  • Mapping the workplace
  • Alternative Economies
  • Commons Coalition

Agenda items

  • MOMA
  •  Long term strategies/ teach-ins follow up:
  • New Meeting spaces
  • *Next discussion meeting

Minutes: A&L Wednesday meeting, January 23, 2013

Facilitator: CT
Minutes: YA/AS

Attending: JB, CO, AS, CT, YA, LP, MB, BR, AA

Report backs:

* Strategy session panels (at PP and Murphy Institute):

CT: First panel participants – taxi drivers alliance, Sotheby’s art handlers
union, ALIGN, Domestic workers united. Felt that the domestic workers rep
spoke to issues most relatable to artists. Was having trouble relating the
other presentations to art world struggles.

AS: saw this more as a way to learn about solidarity-building methods. Spoke
to how the media villainizes organized labor reps.

Second session participants: representatives from Queens museum, Project
Projects, Creative Capital, WAGE.

JB: on the first night the presenters were mediators between the workers and
the regulatory body. In terms of the art world- there’s no regulatory body to
work against.

* Intern Labor Rights virtual global summit:

YA: 13 People on google hangout, worked, 7 or 8 international groups to talk
amongst themselves. French group was established in 2005, was successful in
organizing an intern strike in France. Learned many different tactics that
reassured us – big take away is that the groups would like to organize
internationally, to share resources and tactics. First up, two girls from
Intern Aware, working in the fashion industry want to organize around Fashion
Week in London, New York, and Paris. New York is the first one (first week of
February). YA cannot be there, but PW is bottom lining it for the intern
group. Begin to look for the way to target this industry. The group requests
help from anyone who has knowledge or connections in the industry. Would also
like for people to participate in planned actions and assistance in promoting
it.

The London group is going to mass produce the pay your interns tote bag to
give out at London’s fashion week.
ILR needs people to organize with them.
The collaboration with London would help raise awareness.
Next international virtual summit will be in the 2nd or third weekend in Feb.
At YA place, in case anyone wants to join.

* Reader:

YA: reader meeting to happen in the next couple of weeks.
– is there passion?
BR: there is passion.
MB- maybe it’s a matter of giving each other time.
YA: Decided not to do it in time for CAA.

* SF Project:

LP- approached by Invisible Venue, led by SF curator. Thinking of making a
website to highlight and interact with ’5 ways to act.’
– seemed at the last report back there was not enough enthusiasm.
– maybe mediocre project is awesome.
MB – I like the IV curator, seemed to be moving on her own time.
– its seems like a very positive project, giving a positive emphasis to those
who are doing this already, i.e. five ways to act.
– good stories seem to be coming from similar initiatives that could come from
this.

LP – is the tactic of addressing powerful people in the industry, a good way
to start? It highlights power and hierarchy in the industry.

MB – I think we should also get some interns to participate in the project,
not just highlight the  powerful. Success stories in general.

BR – next steps?
LP – we need people to help.
JB – is there a way for people to know how to help.
LB – this started with the 5 ways to act, so how can we get people to respond
to is.

MB – maybe we can tap into the stories already within our group. Link to the
project.

* Rad Arts:
CT- decided within the group to start doing studio visits and sharing work.
AS2 was the first to present the project she did in LA. Really cool project,
helped me understand her. Very exciting, LW is going to share poetry at the
next meeting at her place. Date TBD.
AS- is this event only for the Rad Art people?
CT – yes, for now.

* New meeting discussion structure:

CT – Tuesday two weeks ago we met and one new person joined. Meeting minutes
can highlight this structure.
YA – what about a new location to meet?
CT – new space discussion will be added to the agenda.

* Mapping the workplace:

MB – little discussion on mapping interest. Suggest to have more targeted
discussion, and invite people to the discussion. Interested in being very
creative on this project. Try to do things in the smaller group.
YA: this will be a private meeting?
BR concerned about a larger discussion about labor, but feels like this sounds
different.
LP – seems beneficial to invite to the Tuesday discussion meeting.
MB – would like to have it more focused.
LP – the idea of the Tuesday meetings is that people can bottom line
discussions.
CT – last meeting seemed to be about reform vs revolution. I bottom lined.
BR – felt the knowledge we got in the first mapping meeting was useful, but
now we should focus it back into the main group.

AS: is this for building a tangible map or a theoretical discussion?
MB: first to gather perspectives, then pursue them and continue to build in
the map.

* Alt Econ:

AS: met with solidarityNYC – a small group working on alt economies. Right now
it is a knowledge-sharing website of resources.  Spoke to them about how they
organize projects. One person bottom lines and gets the support of the entire
group.

One member is working for a city run program: Time Banks NYC. Looking for
people to volunteer for the time bank. Met with them to see how the two groups
can collaborate (Alt Econ & solidarityNYC). The next step is to have the two
groups meet in a more formal way with more people.

* Commons Coalition:
AS: the coalition met up, post-Sandy. Organizing smaller, self-initiated
discussions. Trying to formulate the next one around common charters. It will
take place around mid-Feb.

AGENDA ITEMS:

* MoMA:
CT: discussed action in response to MoMA’s policy for artist membership. Will
meet within Rad Arts to discuss possibilities.
AS: should try to stay on point in support of art workers.

* Long term strategies/ teach-ins follow up:
BR: the teach-ins came about from a few meetings (BR, AS2, KP) conducted with
people organizing outside of the workplace. What should the follow up to the
teach-ins be?
(one of the researchers wants to put together a simple pamphlet of labor 101
with arts & labor.)
Proposal: A second session of ‘mapping the workplace’ and then meeting with
the two researchers from the Murphy Institute.
Feels that there is an organizing strategy that can come out of this kind of
meeting. We can gather knowledge that we intuitively know in the mapping
session and then present it to the Murphy Institute to see what we can do with
it.
MB: it’s interesting that what resonated with a lot of us was the work of the
domestic workers, where they went out and interviewed people.
BR: there was a participatory survey done within day laborers that we can look
at.  It’s not even about a survey, it’s defining what info we want to gather
and how to gather it.
JB: it’s like the prep stages of forming an organization or worker center,
etc.
MB: that’s a limiting way to think about it, the “old” way. Would like it to
be more open-ended.
LP: the art world is so much about limitless thinking. Like the idea of doing
something more traditional and specific like gathering information like BR is
proposing.
MB: more interested in things like how can people in the art world make a
sustainable living.
JB: only union or quasi union orgs can work with political power to stop
production. The only end goal is collective politics.
MB: Sotheby’s is a good example that that’s not true. That model doesn’t work
anymore.
JB: Disagree. The Chicago teachers union is an example of how unions still
have political power.
AS: the bus driver strike is being deferred now to a larger org since the city
doesn’t want to deal with them.
CO: these things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Separate collectives
don’t have to be alienated from each other.

LP: currently trying to work through what it means that the discussions and
projects we do via A&L is free labor on our part.
AS: I this as being something that will benefit me in the long haul. If I’m
focused on alt economy – I’m researching alternatives for other workers, but
also for myself.
We can consider having a time bank within the group.
BR: the working system we have in the group is not sustainable. It builds
resentment. But it’s difficult, because what we’re doing is built on our
desire. When you start to monetize it, it gets messy. Don’t personally think
that a solidarity campaign willhappen on a volunteer basis.
CT: we have to think of how we can have fun doing it.
MB:  aspects of this are work, but aspects of it are fun and enjoyable. It’s
about creating other things in our life that aren’t about consumption.
AS: domestic workers talked about the ‘ambassador’ project – each member is
educated and then they go back into their community and disperse the
knowledge. It seems more realistic for A&L to ground ourselves in these kinds
of group work models. Relationship-building in outer areas.
LP: it’s interesting even thinking of where we work vs. where live, as part of
the mapping project.
BR: agreed.
AS: proposing to go to the outer neighbourhoods and seeing if people want to
interact with us.
LP: you have to help people understand that they can organize (?) like through
a worker center.
CO: as a musician, my community works mostly for free because they think
they’re eventually going to make it big. Workers think of themselves as
exploited, while musicians see themselves as a not-yet-famous musician.
LP: that’s true for actors, models etc – identify with future millionaires,
not exploited.
BR: very interested in the ambassador idea, it’s participatory research. Want
to reach out.
AS: Occupy Lunch was our first outreach.
LP: how do we do outreach to workers and have them generate what they need?
AS: would be good to identify where we can start doing outreach. We should
leave it up to the groups to say what they want.
MB: like what we did at KW in Berlin with Occupy Museums, where we did a
survey of all the employees of the museum about their working conditions.
Agree that we need to start seeing some faces and discovering if other people
are interested in what we’re interested in.
CO: it’s also gratifying to meet other artists.

* New meeting place:

CT: do we want to stick to POPS?
–> most people indicated down or mid twinkles.
AA: would be great to have a place where we can do presentations.
CO: always had a good experience meeting in bars.
MB: not sure it’s great for the people who work in bars.
AA: there’s also a volume issue.
BR: apartments?
AS: some people are uncomfortable about having strangers in their house.
BR: we can ask unions.
AS: we can ask art institutions – Artists Space, THE space (?)
LP: would be interesting to see which institutions are allies, who we can have
a dialogue with about collaborations.
MB: would prefer that it be a centralized location.
CO: what about churches?
MB: like the dynamics of being in a public space
LP: Bluestockings?
BR: can we make a deadline to get out of 60 Wall St? Maybe the next Wednesday
A&L meeting?
BR: will reach out to labor contacts.
YA: limit ourselves for now to south of Union Sq until East Village area – not
too far east, not too far west. We should suggest a spot for the next Wed.
meeting and try it out. It doesn’t have to be permanent.

* Next discussion meeting:

AA: we can read Federici’s housework essay as a platform for the next
discussion.  It’ll be a good way to discuss the success and failures of the
movement in relation to our work.
still need someone to bottom line meeting.

 

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[accordion_panel title=”Golden Farm Pledge”]

Posted January 25th, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

2013-01-24 22.30.2699 Pickets and Occupy Kensington have teamed up in a new campaign aimed at showing Golden Farm owner Sonny Kim how much revenue he stands to regain by signing a fair contract with Golden Farm workers.

Since the workers of Golden Farm have called for a community boycott of the grocery store, sales have been down more than 50% on peak days. Residents are demanding that Sonny Kim sign a fair contract with the workers, restore workers’ hours that were illegally cut in retaliation for organizing, and reinstate employees that were fired for the same reason.

Members of 99 Pickets and Occupy Kensington are asking residents of Kensington, Windsor Terrace and Ditmas Park to fill out cards stating how much they used to spend at Golden Farm, pre-boycott, and a pledge to return to shopping at Golden Farm once Kim signs a reasonable contract with the workers — including paid sick days.

The cards will be delivered by a neighborhood delegation on Jan. 27, immediately before contract negotiations with the union.

If you don’t have time to fill out a card in person, use the form below! We’ll deliver it on your behalf.

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[accordion_panel title=”Austerity? HELL NO!! KIDS FIRST! Bloomberg spends millions of…”]

Posted January 25th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Austerity? HELL NO!! KIDS FIRST! Bloomberg spends millions of our money on education consultants, but claims experienced bus drivers — with an average salary of $35,000 — are too costly.

99 Pickets stands in solidarity with the striking bus drivers and matrons!

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[accordion_panel title=”Solidarity with striking bus drivers and matrons!! #nycbusstrike…”]

Posted January 25th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Solidarity with striking bus drivers and matrons!! #nycbusstrike #99pkts

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[accordion_panel title=”On Sunday, nearly 50 people rallied for Golden Farm workers….”]

Posted January 22nd, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

On Sunday, nearly 50 people rallied for Golden Farm workers. Keep it up! Come to the picket line. Regular hours are M-F 4-7pm and Sat/Sun 12-7pm at 329 Church Ave. Brooklyn. No contract, no peace!

http://goldenfarmjustice.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/boycott-pandemic/

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[accordion_panel title=”Christine Quinn: Allow a Vote on Paid Sick Days”]

Posted January 18th, 2013 by 99 Pickets • permalink

christinequinn83% of New Yorkers support a Paid Sick Leave bill mandating that employers provide a small number of paid sick days to their workers. Though Mayor Michael Bloomberg would likely veto such a bill, support on the City Council is deep—there are enough votes to override his veto.

That’s great news for the workers of New York. Unfortunately, the Speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn, doesn’t personally support the bill. And rather than simply voting against it, she’s using her power as speaker to stop the City Council from even voting on it.

Quinn is harming millions of workers, simply to please her allies in the 1%. It’s time to put a stop to this. It’s time to hold Christine Quinn accountable.

99 Pickets is planning a campaign of creative direct action, to highlight Quinn’s embrace of the 1% and rejection of the democratic process. If you’re interested in getting involved, please use the form below to sign up.

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[accordion_panel title=”Mic Check! Simon Says Workers Don’t Matter. We say WORKER…”]

Posted January 15th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Mic Check! Simon Says Workers Don’t Matter. We say WORKER POWER! Mic check and banner drop inside the National Retail Federation conference in NY. Walmart US CEO Bill and Darden board member Bill Simon was just speaking. 

  • Bill Simon says and the rest of the industry follows.
  • Simon says: no paid sick days, we say: healthy work places. 
  • Simon says: $2.13 an hour, we say: that is not a living wage!
  • Simon says: Don’t raise minimum wage. We say: Living wages for all workers!
  • Simon says: Workers don’t matter. We say: Worker Power!
  • Simon says: Profit over People. We say Workers First!
  • Simon says No Hours for Retail Workers. We say it’s time for Just Hours!
  • Simon says No Promotions for Workers of Color. We say Career Paths for All!
  • Simon says Immigrant Workers Can’t be Servers: We Say End Racial Discrimination Now!
  • Simon says Do More work for Same Pay. We Say: More Work, More Pay!

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[accordion_panel title=”January, 8 2013″]

Posted January 14th, 2013 by aandladmin • permalink

Arts and Labor Discussion Meeting, 1/8/13

Attending: AB, CT, LW, BW, GR

Suggested topics: relationship between community organizing and labor organizing; “class misidentification”; questions about panel last night/ thursday’s panel

Panel thoughts:
GR- thought the broadness was interesting, thought is would be more specific to artists

CT- wished it were more specific to the artworld. Struggled to apply broader labor issues to struggles for artists

LW- thinking about how workplace organizing could apply to artists

CT- i am an art assistant for example but also an artist. as artist also consider own art as labor. Still feel skeptical about organizing artists using their workplace as the starting
point for organizing artists. Artists work as waiters, etc. not just within the art world.

AB- domestic workers speaker was great. Been feeling that artists should identify as
artworkers. It was interesting to hear Joyce and the taxi driver both identifying as artists
in some ways as well. I have not experienced the extreme abuses that many domestic
workers have faced, but the lack of security is something artworkers and the domestic
workers have in common. Respect the courage of the domestic organizer reaching out
on the ground.

CT- agree, felt like artworkers and domestic workers had the most in common.

LW- the point was made that solidarity needs to transcend class positions. Other
good point was that class can’t be ignored because class affects level of precarity and
security etc.

CT – It’s not either/or.

LW- what does acknowledging that mean though?

GR- recognize life experiences.

BW- think it’s important to recognize there’s different levels of precarity within the same
position or workplace. Those with less security may not be able to be on front lines of
unionizing for example.

AB- differences need to be discussed and a common ground needs to be determined
before you move on. My background is less privileged than I now appear because of
education etc.

LW- different backgrounds that aren’t always apparent based on first impressions.
Trying to work on being mindful of other people.

GR- sothebys for example seemed effective because it seemed like it was initiated by
and important the people involved?

LW- arts and labor members organize around their own workplace conditions.

GR- interested in how to pick actions or focus when there are barriers and differences.
Do the differences erode?

LW- long term question is one I think about in the labor organizing issue. How can we
organize in a way that doesn’t just result in asking for more from people in power but
erasing the big differences in power.

CT- thinking the whole art world system is terrible. I came out of discussion thinking
impossible to organize artists based on these existing models

GR- starving artists can still be considered as elitist by a lot of people because artists
aren’t “productive” in current society art isn’t utilitarian. If you aren’t doing something to
move the productive economy forward are you not creating “value” in a lot of peoples
eyes.

LW- why is the goal to transform shitty workplaces into equitable places why aren’t we
trying to create new equitable places instead?

AB- material conditions for some people are dire. People seem isolated and alienated
from each other. Need to tap into that shared desperation. Labor organizing could shift
ideological norms. Lately have clear sense for what I don’t want but am still identifying
what I do want.

LW- Hopefully one day the new workplace I am involved in will come to fruition. Why
aren’t we starting new models?

CT- this is more practical based on what we know, starting new is daunting. I think it’s
less for ideological reason than practical.

AB- thought about this especially after visiting community garden. Making assumption
that some people are struggling in their daily lives.

LW- poor people do start all kinds of businesses. Last night was depressing- the talk
about the laws that restrict militant unionizing

AB- even the material precarity of newly graduated art students is something to hook
into.

LW- still worried about organizing people to ask for more things from the people in
power limits how far we can think outside this structure

AB- there are still some forms of organized labor that are interested in true equitability.
Better conditions could be first step but not ending there.

GR- lots of different factions through history of cooperatives. For example Spanish
civil war? What does it mean to be up against enemy who wants to destroy labor? Like
today? There was creative work that came out of this situation too.

LW- it’s hard for me to imagine how seizing all the power could happen, especially with
all the anti-strike laws etc.

AB- through small slow ideological shifts, but opportunities don’t just come, we have to
make them. Workers can still organize themselves through refusal and withdrawal.

GR- people in the digital world are able to organize outside the system, for example
anonymous.

AB- I think people can physically walk out still, people need to be radicalized.

BW- there needs to be a structure of support in place first, people’s food, medicine, etc.
is now tied to workplace can’t afford to sever that.

GR- this idea of moving up the chain and then you are in power is pervasive

LW- academia is like this too, there is the false idea that you have freedom within it .
Freedom is limited. But these are also some of the few spaces where people feel like
they they can still have radical ideas and some freedom.

CT- does this need to be either/or? Can’t we address both conditions now and also build
new better conditions?

LW- how do you curb natural impulse to take leadership roles and distribute equitably

RARA
CT, LW, BW decided it was a good idea for raras to get to know each other’s artwork
better. Will have studio visits or presentations. Build trust, get to know each other, see
how it relates to our activism or how those skills can be used for a/l work.

Questions for panelists at thursday’s event:

Do you think another world – not just another art world – is possible? One without this
morally bankrupt artworld, one in which art and finance are not linked, etc. How can we
get there?

Do you sell or buy art? Do you believe that commodifying art destroys any part of it?
Does the existence of an art market hinder artistic production?

Are you an artist, if so how does this identification relate to your role in the art industry?

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”rebrandwalmart:

The majority of Walmart warehouse workers are…”]

Posted January 7th, 2013 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

rebrandwalmart:

The majority of Walmart warehouse workers are hired through temp agencies, paid low wages, receive no benefits, and have no job security. They routinely lift heavy boxes – up to 200-pounds – from shipping containers on a piece rate system or for minimum wage for hours and days on end – in some cases 362 days a year. Workers encounter inhumane work speeds, moving  up to 450 boxes per hour by hand,  pollutants, high temperatures, little ventilation and intense retaliation if they complain about the conditions. Serious injuries on the job are common. For more info, check out Warehouse Workers United and Warehouse Workers for Justice.

You, too, can tell the truth about Walmart in their own stores! [Photo by Katie Moore.]

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Irony = A Staffing Co. Staffing Itself with Unpaid Labor”]

Posted January 3rd, 2013 by internavengerx • permalink

The irony runs thick when a company for job hunters and employers staffs itself with unpaid labor, apparently believing that offering college credit means they don’t have to pay wages, even though the company is “experiencing exponential growth” and this is clearly meant to meet their own labor needs:

As one of the hottest startups in the tri-state area, you’ll join an exciting team in a fun and highly productive environment that’s currently experiencing exponential growth! The Social Media Coordinator Intern will report directly to the Social Media Manager, and will also have the opportunity to work with the Marketing and Branded Content managers. You’ll be helping handle Purzue’s social media efforts from the top down, tracking campaign results and engaging with users on a daily basis. This is NOT a coffee making position! We encourage our interns to be as active as possible in the company. You’ll be participating in weekly meeting and helping to determine the voice of the brand, while learning the essentials of managing a corporate social media account. We’re a fun (and quirky) group of entrepreneurial go-getters so be prepared to work and play hard during your time here!

Do employers honestly not see something peculiar about hiring people and getting away with not paying them simply by slapping “intern” on the job description? Do they think that labor laws give them some kind of “freebie” for using a magic word?

Filed under: WTF?!

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Arts & Labor 2013 Strategy Discussion”]

Posted December 31st, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Do you need two or three jobs to make ends meet? Do you run from one workplace to another, or juggle a series of temporary “gigs” throughout the year? Are you overworked? Is your boss also your peer? Are you owed money from an employer? Do you feel unsafe, abused and dispensable at your job? Do you feel like if you stand up for yourself, the future of your career is at risk? Are you worried about getting sick because you don’t have good health insurance or that you will never be able to retire? And if you do have a stable job, are the benefits dwindling? Do you want to make change but don’t how?

Arts & Labor presents a two-part discussion series, bringing together workers, community organizers and culture producers to discuss how precarious conditions are impacting our culture at large. Moderated by Tammy Kim with an introduction by Arts & Labor, we will learn how worker centers, arts organizations, coalition groups, and independent workers are developing strategies to build community and labor power, more equitable work environments, and a just and habitable city for all people.

DAY 1:  Workers Unite!
Monday, January 7, 2013. 7 p.m.
P! 
334 Broome St, Manhattan

Members of worker centers, unions, and coalition organizations share how to create infrastructure and build leverage within industries and communities that are traditionally considered difficult to organize. With workers from Domestic Workers United, Taxi Workers Alliance, Teamsters Local 814 (Art Handlers from Sotheby’s campaign), Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN).

 

DAY 2: Strategies for the Arts
Thursday, January 10, 2013. 7 p.m.
CUNY Murphy Institute
18th Floor, 25 W 43 St, Manhattan

Members of the arts community respond to the Day 1 discussion, and talk about strategies used to build community, advocate for artists and create sustainable institutions. They will also examine the challenges and strengths in navigating their roles as activists, precarious workers, job providers, and culture producers. With workers from Queens Museum, Creative Capital, ProjectProjects, and WAGE.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”rebrandwalmart:

Real deals at Walmart. Printable hi-res PDF…”]

Posted December 27th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

rebrandwalmart:

Real deals at Walmart. Printable hi-res PDF here.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Can I pay my rent with free jewelry?”]

Posted December 21st, 2012 by internavengerx • permalink

If you draw a bunch of hearts around an offer to break minimum wage laws, it feels like love, doesn’t? We’ve answered the ad. Let’s see if they respond.

Verameat

Filed under: WTF?!

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Cablevision: Don’t Scrooge Workers”]

Posted December 21st, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Cablevision owner Jim Dolan has been playing “hard-to-get” in negotiations with the Brooklyn Cablevision workers who, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, dubbed themselves “The Cablevision 99%” and voted to join the union Communication Workers of America (CWA). At the same time, he’s been giving raises to non-union workers in all other boroughs, as well as upgrading the technologies they use, leaving Brooklyn behind.

On Wednesday, December 19th, during the Knicks game at Madison Square Garden – Jim Dolan also owns the Knicks – they got some help from the Illuminator crew as they tried to get their message across.

Video by the Flying Hand Collective.

Find out more: thecablevision99.org

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Democracy Now! coverage of Tuesday morning’s #blocktheboat…”]

Posted December 20th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Democracy Now! coverage of Tuesday morning’s #blocktheboat picket at the Port of Newark.

Also on DN! today, The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Bribe Its Way Through Expansion in Mexico

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”rebrandwalmart:

Walmart keeps standards low to give YOU low…”]

Posted December 19th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

rebrandwalmart:

Walmart keeps standards low to give YOU low prices.

We’re Greedy. Find our competitors paying their employees less? We’ll match them, guaranteed. 

We Exploit Workers. We gladly ignore abuses at our manufacturing and warehouse facilities. We also retaliate against workers when they speak up! 🙂

Make your own Walmart signs.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”From Bangladesh to the Jersey shore, (sing it!) Solidarity…”]

Posted December 18th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

From Bangladesh to the Jersey shore, (sing it!) Solidarity Forever!!  

They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn
that the union makes us strong.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/171823/occupy-activists-stage-block-boat-protest-against-ship-bearing-walmart-goods-bangladesh

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Support Arts and Labor”]

Posted December 18th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink
 

Dear Art Workers and Supporters,

A little over a year ago, a group of artists, writers, educators, art handlers, designers, administrators, curators, assistants, and students came together within the Occupy Wall Street movement to form a working group called Arts & Labor.  Sharing a mutual dissatisfaction with how the art economy functions and treats its workforce, and self-identifying as “art workers,” we sought a space to learn, share knowledge, articulate our grievances, organize, and build alternatives to the art world and the world at large.

Since then, we have organized teach-ins, roundtables, reading groups, direct actions, dance parties, and protests. We have made buttons and t-shirts, created visual materials to support OWS-wide actions, and written collaborative statements highlighting issues central to the movement. We have produced workshops exploring the invisible forms of labor on which art economies depend, underscoring the necessity of collaboration even for solo art practices. We have connected the exploitation of art workers to the rise of the speculative art market. We have called for an end to uncompensated labor in the form of unpaid internships. We have articulated the ways in which the culture industry echoes the growing inequality of our society, while at the same time taking on the hard and slow task of collectively envisioning new possibilities for art workers to challenge the systems we inhabit.

As we enter our second year, we continue to develop and expand this work, while at the same time experimenting with new forms of public engagement. Until now we have financed our activities ourselves by passing the hat at meetings and events. For the first time, we are reaching out to ask for donations from our friends, colleagues, and supporters. Your donation will help us pay speaker fees, print publications, provide childcare during meetings and events, and purchase the necessary materials for collaborative art-making and agitprop production. 100% of the donations we receive will go directly toward projects dedicated to building community and ending exploitation in the art world and beyond. We are in this for the long haul.

Arts & Labor believes in mutual aid. Please lend your support so that we can continue fighting against and exploring alternatives to the structures that oppress us all. We are all connected; we are all in this together. Another (art) world is possible.

To make a donation, click here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/artsandlabor

In Solidarity,
Arts & Labor

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”#blocktheboat, shut it down!! Stop Walmart shipments from…”]

Posted December 18th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

#blocktheboat, shut it down!! Stop Walmart shipments from Bangladesh factories #99pkts

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Remember the Triangle Fire #blocktheboat”]

Posted December 18th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Remember the Triangle Fire #blocktheboat

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Getting ready to #blocktheboat #99pkts”]

Posted December 18th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Getting ready to #blocktheboat #99pkts

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”rebrandwalmart:

walmartelves:

We #WalmartElves were able to…”]

Posted December 18th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

rebrandwalmart:

walmartelves:

We #WalmartElves were able to sneak into a #Walmart and spread truth!

More rebranding fun!

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”walmartelves:

#WalmartElves Rollback re-signing #Walmart”]

Posted December 18th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

walmartelves:

#WalmartElves Rollback re-signing #Walmart

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”walmartelves:

Unforseeable Costs from #WalmartElves @CorpAction…”]

Posted December 18th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

walmartelves:

Unforseeable Costs from #WalmartElves @CorpAction #OurMart #WalkOutOnWalmart

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Occupy Wall Street Will “Occupy Port of Newark” to Block Cargo Ship Carrying Walmart Goods From Bangladesh Factories Tuesday Morning, 12.18.12″]

Posted December 17th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

PRESS CONTACT: Isham Christie, Occupy Wall Street 701-330-2862, isham.christie@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/OccupyWallSt, @OccupyWallSt

Workers and allies will descend on the Port of Newark, NJ Tuesday morning to protest the arrival of a cargo ship carrying Walmart products from Bangladesh. The goods, organizers say, are “covered in the blood” of garment workers killed in unsafe conditions, and that the blood is “on the hands of Walmart.”

International community was devastated when a fire at the Tarzeen garment factory in Bangladesh left 112 workers dead on November 24th. Investigative reports confirmed that the facility, which failed fire safety inspections earlier this year, was producing goods for two of Walmart’s apparel suppliers—a claim that company officials initially denied. Documents also reported that Walmart played a key role in blocking improvements to fire safety standards at factories like Tarzeen, in effort to keep costs low.

The tragedy came on the heels of an unprecedented series of actions by workers in Walmart’s supply chain this year. In September, strikes by warehouse workers in California and Illinois brought international attention to unsafe conditions, unfair practices, illegal retaliation, and unsustainable employment in Walmart’s shadowy distribution network. On Black Friday, thousands across the country came out in support of Walmart retail workers, who went on strike at hundreds of stores protesting poverty wages and unfair treatment.

The Tuesday action on the waterfront is not just symbolic: at 8am, a cargo ship – Maersk Carolina – is scheduled to dock at the Port of Newark. The vessel is currently traveling from the Port of Oman via the regular route taken by the ships transporting thousands of tons of products made in factories in Bangladesh, including goods produced for Walmart.

“In America we risk our jobs when we speak up against bad conditions at Walmart. In Bangladesh, workers risk their lives every day they show up to make these products,” said Erik Skoglund, a Walmart warehouse worker who went on strike in September.

“As supply chain workers, we are all connected,” Skoglund added. “When anyone takes action, we do it for everybody who’s affected everywhere.”

WHAT: Community Picket and Rally at the Port
WHEN: 8 AM, Tuesday December 18th
WHERE: Terminal 18 of the Port of Newark
WHO: 99 Pickets; Occupy Wall Street; Labor, Community and Human Rights Allies

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”The Walmart Elves: #Walmart has captured our food chain! #WalmartElves”]

Posted December 16th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

The Walmart Elves: #Walmart has captured our food chain! #WalmartElves: walmartelves:

We are…

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”rebrandwalmart:

Show Solidarity with Striking Workers! On Black…”]

Posted December 13th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

rebrandwalmart:

Show Solidarity with Striking Workers! On Black Friday in NJ. Get your own signs here!

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Psyched about the launch of our new project REBRAND…”]

Posted December 13th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Psyched about the launch of our new project REBRAND WALMART

rebrandwalmart:

Support Walmart workers! How to culturejam and undermine Walmart.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Statement on the Occupation of The Cooper Union”]

Posted December 13th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

December 11, 2012
We are Arts & Labor, a working group of Occupy Wall Street dedicated to rectifying economic inequalities and exploitative working conditions in the culture industry. We are a group of art workers that includes students, alumni, staff and faculty of art colleges and universities.

We stand in solidarity with The Students for a Free Cooper Union, and commend the bravery of their recent week-long occupation of the Peter Cooper Suite. Not only do we support the students’ previous demands for free tuition, transparency, and the resignation of the President, we applaud the recent decisions of the students to take action to meet those demands themselves. We believe that access to a free education is a human right that should be extended to all.

The Cooper Union Board of Trustees and those at the highest levels of administration have spent decades mismanaging funds, carelessly dipping into the school’s endowment principal, and more recently building real estate they cannot afford. We are outraged at this reckless behavior that ignored the risks of a financial downturn, and we are appalled at the Board’s shameful response to this crisis. We stand adamantly against proposed austerity measures that would not only impose tuition, but would cut jobs, salaries and benefits for the already underpaid and understaffed Cooper Union workforce. We find it deplorable that it is the Cooper Union community itself, including faculty, staff and students, who are being forced to shoulder the financial burden imposed by the irresponsible and inept governance of the Board of Trustees. This course of action is akin to the bailout of large banks at the expense of the populace, while not a single banker was held accountable. For the Board of Trustees to use the community they serve as scapegoats for their own failures is nothing short of cowardice.

Furthermore, the President and the Board of Trustees are attempting to use pernicious, if by now familiar, divide and conquer tactics by proposing a false dilemma. They present harsh cuts to staff and faculty or tuition hikes for students as the only viable choices to save the school. This is not only a lie but a reprehensible scheme that pits these sections of the Cooper Union community against each other. It is the Trustees, not the students, staff or faculty, who should bear the consequence of their own mistakes and be held personally accountable for them.

Labor and student struggles are connected at all schools, particularly at The Cooper Union, where a large number of employees are also alumni. The students of today are the staff and faculty of tomorrow. We hereby call on all students, alumni, staff and faculty, to unite in solidarity against the corrupt governance of the President and the Board of Trustees, to continue the process to reclaim The Cooper Union and to defend its mission. The occupation by The Students for a Free Cooper Union is one of several recent eruptions of student resistance that we hope will ignite a broader movement against the commodification of education, and towards the construction of a better world for students, workers, and all of society.

-Arts & Labor

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”How to Rebrand Walmart”]

Posted December 12th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink
Ready to Jam a Walmart Near You? Great! Here’s How.

Show Solidarity with Striking Workers

Read to the end for links to download hi-res, printable Rebrand Walmart signs.

Making the Signs

  • The “Unstoppable” and “Fightback!” price cards are ready to print and copy onto 8 ½ X 11 card stock. Cut ‘em youself!
  • The “Lower Wages Guarantee” sign can also be printed on 8.5 X 11 with little cutting (Those are the same size and look as signs right by the cash register… Just sayin’).
  • The red banner-type signs (“Poverty Pay”, “Inhumane”, ”Solidarity” are formatted so you can print them on legal size paper and they’ll be just the right size for the displays in the store. After you print them on legal paper, cut them. Then copy them two at a time onto 11 X 17 card stock.

Put ‘em up!

  • There are plenty of places for the price cards. Anywhere you see one of theirs, you can put one of these!
  • The banner-type signs fit a few different kinds of displays. They should fit over the text of longer signs that are the same height. Just look like you’re supposed to be doing what you’re doing. Smoooooth!
  • No need for tape, or clips!

Jam Your Own Jam!

Have another message for Walmart shoppers? Make your own signs!

Go scope out you local Walmart to come up with ideas.

Act on Good Ideas! There are a lot of peaceful, creative, fun way to clear the eyes of those blinded by corporate-driven consumerism and send a strong message to the corporate crooks themselves. Choose yours!

Make people laugh. Make people think. Cause consternation. Challenge the consumer to re-examine his/her environment and choices, but be creative not destructive!

Share With Others!

Send photos and videos (at your own risk and discretion) of signs you’ve posted to our Rebrand Walmart tumblr!

Click to Download the Signs, or get a .ZIP file with everything included hereThese are high resolution JPG files that you can print on any color inkjet printer.

   

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Wall Street to Walmart: Black Friday and Beyond”]

Posted December 12th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

by Sam Talbot

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the traditional opening of the holiday season in retail. Could this year’s Black Friday also mark the opening of a new avenue for a joint labor/Occupy movement?

Protest in front of the Walmart Supercenter in Secaucus, NJ (picture: Sam Talbot)

In Secaucus, NJ, the Black Friday protest at the Walmart Supercenter certainly had some of the feeling of a populist uprising. Even measured against the gigantic  scale of the big box retailer, the protest was a smashing success, and created the kind of confrontation Occupy thrives on, where the numbers, energy, and creativity of the protesters effectively changed the rules of engagement. The Secaucus Police and Walmart private security were unable to contain the actions – in successive waves, the protesters occupied, sang, and marched their way past police lines, “went civilian” and flowed past them into the store, and diverted, divided, and confused the cops by leading them on winding marches which tied up the parking lot. Meanwhile, inside the store, we conducted mic checks, sang Christmas carols ridiculing Walmart’s bad behavior, and, perhaps most entertainingly, inserted a series of subverted advertisements which told the truth about Walmart in the same bubbly, optimistic fonts that Walmart uses to sham the American public.

Culture-jamming Walmart, for a step-by-step guide to make and deploy your own subverted Walmart signage, visit Rebrand Walmart (picture: Greg Dunkel)

The Secaucus protest was a collaboration between Occupy Wall Street (especially the 99 Pickets group), members of the Walmart Free NYC Coalition, ALIGN, Retail Action Project, Occupy Bergen County, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, the Guitarmy, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, and others. The broad interest evoked by a target like Walmart was clearly part of what drove both the organizational interest and the turnout, which was estimated at about 400. Also helping was the fact that the protest was mirrored by thousands of other actions across the country, making this one of the many days of action Occupy has participated in that have achieved a truly national scope.

If – as some have suggested – the Black Friday protests mark the resurgence of a mass labor movement, it would mark a major turning-point for Occupy. The natural affinity and shared motivations between labor and Occupy mean that a renewed cycle of labor struggle would almost certainly redound to Occupy’s benefit. If we are to be honest, though, we have to acknowledge that – as far as labor protest goes – this can only be counted as a dry run. Although community and customer support was overwhelming, direct participation of Walmart workers was far more modest. The aims of the national strike were symbolic and political – no boycott was called, there was no expectation of seriously effecting Walmart’s bottom line.

To call it symbolic does not mean that it was insignificant. OUR Walmart, the group which called for the walkout, had the immediate objective of defending the right of Walmart employees to engage in protected collective action without fear of retaliation. This right is the elemental building-block of labor struggle. So far, it seems that they have achieved this key goal – and inspired other workers’ organizations to try the same, such as fast food workers in New York. Whether or not such protests will spread and deepen into a new strategy for the movement of the 99% remains to be seen.

If you want to get involved:

Rebrand Walmart: tell the truth about Walmart inside their own stores!

Support OUR Walmart: get involved with Walmart workers who are standing together to win respect and a voice at work.

Join the 99 Pickets Brigade: sign up at 99pickets.org and help build a mass workers’ movement.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”December 11, 2012″]

Posted December 12th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

AGENDA:
PRAWC
Fundraiser
Mapping the Artworld
Cooper Statement
Meeting times

Arts & Labor, 12/11/2012

Attending: CT, AS, MB
Minutes CT and AS

ANNOUNCEMENT: PRAWC tomorrow. Who can video? MB said she would see if she
could to set up and help with video, but schedule may not allow.

FUNDRAISER:
CT explained webpage plus email letter.
AS suggested adding links on texts to specific things like buttons and t-shirts etc. Since
we have mages and info on website
[Group looks at letter.]
AS prob to “political art”
CT debt quilt is political art
MB “writing letters” problematic. Statements of solidarity?
AS not just “made” buttons, given out
CT & AS must emphasize collaborative methods
MB we need to emphasize context in the larger movement. Align art practice in
collaboration with movement.
AS describe as visionary, how hard this has been.
MB is leaving on the 19th.
MB lets look at it, finalize, send to list. Send out on friday.
CT I don’t have mail chimp password
MB will send to you.
AS will send links. Deadline?
CT send to list tonight.
AS friday is worst day to email. Monday or tuesday?
CT say monday afternoon. Send to list tonight only text if pple want to write, then email
to get google doc.

MAPPING THE ARTWORLD: awesome! We were all there so no report back so just
check the minutes when they’re posted!

MB: how to visualize these experiences outside of already formed experienced. Outside
of corporate tools.

AS: showing how the art industry is enormous with tons of jobs that are outside of artist,
critic and curators. Misclassification.
Make a giant poster with list and drop it at the peace pentagon

COOPER STATEMENT:
Sent to cusos today. Waiting for the students to respond. If they dont respond by
tomorrow, CT will contact them via facebook. Wednesday night or thursday morning
release it via facebook and webpage and allies. Cooper pages.
Spoke about speaking out on friday afternoon.

MEETING TIMES:
Decided that group too small to make decisions tonight.
MB: find a nice place to meet. Like two different meetings, hard to divide focus. How
do you make sure the meeting is open. Warning against losing momentum due to past
experiences
CT: some people in NJ and some people in Brooklyn, so meetings should be in
Manhattan to accommodate. Recommend 2 actual meetings a month and 1 happy hour
AS: like the structure, fine with the place
Two actual meetings a month and 1 bar meeting social…

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Bad for workers, bad for the town! Walmart pushes wages down!”]

Posted December 11th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Bad for workers, bad for the town! Walmart pushes wages down!

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”On Tuesday 12/10, Welcome Walmart CEO Mike To NYC”]

Posted December 10th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

[Vea abajo para español]

Walmart CEO Mike Duke is visiting NYC on Tuesday, Dec. 11 to give a speech for the Council on Foreign Relations entitled “The Responsibility to Lead” – talking about women’s economic empowerment, food security & the global middle class.

That’s ironic, since Walmart represents the epitome of corporate greed: from use of sweatshop labor, to the poverty wages it pays associates, to discrimination, to illegal retaliation against workers who organize. Mike Duke has no right to speak about the “global middle class”, and IT’S TIME WE TAUGHT HIM THE MEANING OF RESPONSIBILITY.

Join 99 Pickets, Walmart Free NYC, ALIGN, Occupy Bergen County and allies for an afternoon of action — picket lines, street theater, and more.

When: Tuesday, December 11, 4:30pm
Where: Council for Foreign Relations, Harold Pratt House, 58 East 68th Street (at Lexington Ave.), NYC 10065

RSVP to FB and text “@pickets” to 23559 for day-of text message alerts.–

We will publicly hold Mike Duke accountable for:

  • The deaths of 120 workers from a fire at Bangladeshi sweatshop producing clothing for Walmart in incredibly unsafe conditions.
  • Paying Walmart workers poverty wages, forcing many to file for public assistance, and for retaliating against workers when they began to organize and speak out about working conditions.
  • Mistreatment of workers across Walmart’s supply chain, especially warehouse workers and immigrant workers at Walmart suppliers

RSVP to FB and text “@pickets” to 23559 for day-of text message alerts.–


Mike Duke, máximo directivo de Walmart, viene de visita a la ciudad de Nueva York este martes 11 de diciembre para dar un discurso ante el Consejo de Relaciones Exteriores titulado “La responsabilidad de la dirigencia”, en relación con el poder económico para las mujeres, la seguridad alimentaria y la clase media internacional.

Todo lo cual es irónico, pues Walmart representa el epítome de la codicia empresarial: en todos aspectos, desde la utilización de centros de explotación laboral hasta los sueldos miserables que les paga a sus empleados, la discriminación. las represalias ilegales contra los trabajadores que forman su organización sindical. Mike Dukes no tiene ningún derecho de hablar sobre la “clase media mundial”, ¡y es hora de que le enseñemos el significado de la responsabilidad!

Únete a nuestro esfuerzo con agrupaciones: 99 Pickets, ALIGN, Walmart-Free NYC, Occupy Bergen County, Retail Action Project y otros aliados participando en una tarde de acción: vamos a hacer protestas, teatro callejero y más.
¿Cuándo? Martes 11 de dic. a las 4:30 pm
¿Dónde?  
La dirección es: Council for Foreign Relations, Harold Pratt House, 58 East 68th Street (esquina con la Lexington Ave.), NYC 10065

Responde a nuestra invitación en Facebook oprimiendo aquí:
RSVP on Facebook  y si quieres actualizaciones manda un texto telefónico que diga “@pickets” al número 23559.
Vamos a hacer que Mike Duke se responsabilice por:

* La muerte de 120 en un incendio en un centro de explotación laboral bangladés que fabricaban ropa para Walmart en condiciones increíblemente peligrosas.

* Pagarles a los trabajadores de Walmart sueldos miserables, lo que a muchos los obliga a solicitar asistencia pública; y por tomar represalias contra los trabajadores cuando empezaron a sindicalizarse y a protestar por las condiciones laborales.

* Maltrato a los trabajadores por toda la cadena de suministros de Walmart y de los trabajadores inmigrantes en las abastecedoras de Walmart.

Responde a nuestra invitación en Facebook oprimiendo aquí:

RSVP on Facebook  y si quieres actualizaciones manda un texto telefónico que diga “@pickets” al número 23559.
¡Esperamos verte el martes! ¡Trae tus instrumentos, tus objetos para hacer ruido y tus letreros!

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[accordion_panel title=”A Talk with Yasmin Ramirez”]

Posted December 5th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition: A Talk with Yasmin Ramirez

December 12, 2012
7PM
Taller Boricua, 1680 Lexington Ave. NYC

In the late 1960s, art workers in New York City came together to demand reforms to the exploitive and exclusionary practices of the art world. The Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition (PRAWC), founded in 1970, followed the 1969 formation of the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), a group aimed at pressuring city museums into implementing policies such as paying artists for exhibiting their work, better representation of art by women and people of color, and free admission. Members of PRAWC were active in founding El Museo del Barrio (1969), and fought to establish institutions that reflected the culture and needs of Latino artists in New York City. Join Arts & Labor for a presentation by Yasmin Ramirez about the history and legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition. Founding member of the PRAWC Marcos Dimas will also be present to participate in the discussion.

Yasmin Ramirez Biography
Yasmin Ramirez Ph.D. is an art historian and independent curator.  Growing up during  heyday of the Alternative Art Space Movement in New York, Yasmin Ramirez has worked at Taller Boricua, El Museo Del Barrio, The Studio Museum, The New Museum, Art in General, and  Alternative Museum, Franklin Furnance and the East Village Eye.   She is currently writing a book based on her dissertation: Nuyorican Vanguards: The Puerto Rican Art Movement in New York.

 

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[accordion_panel title=”December 4, 2012″]

Posted December 5th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Announcements
Artist Collective update
Union Group Update
Yasmin Ramirez Talk: The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers
Yale Panel
Mapping the Art World
Labor Panel Update.
Cooper Union

Agenda Items
MEETING TIMES
FUNRAISER

BR, AS, TJ, TB, CO

Group facilitated, Minutes BR & AS

Announcements

CO: Artist Collective update. Sent a lot of emails out to groups that people suggested last week, waiting to hear back.

TJ: Union Group Update- Pamphlet Idea. Open it back up to the group and see who else wants to be involved in putting it out?

BR: Yasmin Ramirez Talk: The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers. We are confirmed. Next Wednesday December 12 at Taller Borica. Need projector possibly. Annie has one and will bring. Who can videotape?

AS: Yale Panel. ND (in art history dept.) is organizing a panel with the grad student union. LP, MS, and AS and JK from Intern Labor Rights are going. Need to figure out how public it really is and how to announce.  Happening this Saturday. Record the conversation so we could bring it back to the group. Report back from A&L website.

– Mapping the Art World. We have a session this Sunday.

AS: Labor Panel Update. January 6th & 10th. Panel discussion over 2 nights. 1st night will take place at Projects Projects, that panel will feature worker centers and taxi worker, ROC, Freelancers Union, Sotheby’s, MOMA Sotheby’s Handlers. Second night January 10th.

Projects Projects, WAGE, Creative Capital, Queens Museum, possibly The Base.

TJ: Swedish Union Representative. Formal invitation has been sent – not until the spring.

AS: Cooper Union. 12 students have occupied a room in Cooper Union in the historical building. Are demanding that Cooper remains free, grad student classes that they are starting cost $, also demand that the President resign. Press conference today. Occupiers are locked in the room. Reps of them read a letter. Declaring a letter that they are not going to leave, despite attempts by the institution. ABC news was there. Not a huge amount of people. Faculty came out and read the mission, and stood in solidarity with the students.

AS: As an administrator, was concerned that there were any conversation about what free education means in terms of worker representation. We did a mic check encouraged how freedom should also be apart of labor exploitation. Afterwards we talked to press. This made me think that if this continues. Do we want to say something about this?

TB- Very rich topic. Playing out in a larger sense of what is happening in America. CU is paying for ridiculous real estate by charging students. Putting banks and developers over the needs of the students. Articulating that is really important. Could be great if it was a multi-pronged but united front. Developer is relatively progressive and ethical. Johnathan Rose. Would be interesting to get the developers perspective on this.

TJ- A friend I know thinks that because this whole thing was so F’d, that it could have been anything other than intentional to change the structure of the school.

TB: When you get a loan, you have to say that you can pay it back. What did CU say that they would use to pay it back? Tuition was probably part of that.

BR: Anonymous letter? Would it be useful?

TB (or AS?) Statement about real estate issues. This is happening in every university. There is also a labor front. We as art workers support this. This is about showing solidarity, but also that there is a price for free education. The students want free classes, so therefore the workers can’t get paid fully.

BR: If you want something free, somebody has to pay. Grrr

AS: That’s when Arts & Labor can bring that level of conversation to the forefront. Labor front is not addressed. Going to be risky for CU labor union to vocalize it.  Students are demanding the impossible. It would be something to have from the art workers perspective.

TB: Who made this decision? President. The people that need to bail out a risky labor. That is the narrative that we could illustrate.

CO: Boycott the building? Plan massive art worker walk out. Student Walk Out in a concrete way.

BR: What is next?

AS: Its unclear. People are testing the water. KP sent a quick email. President is aware that people can’t keep it up.

TB: if it is about rising tuition than its going to loose. If its about the students taking the heat for a bad decisions, then it makes a lot of sense.

BR: What is in the gallery right now? Should we do something? Open a thread about what to do… Email thread. Reframing the narrative. CT is a cooper alumni. GS is alumni. Open letter that people would sign. Published in Hyperallergic or AFC?

TB: Wouldn’t mind drafting the letter.

AS: I feel emotionally invested enough that we can do a rough draft.

AS & TB will get temp check on letter, and draft.

MEETING TIMES (Agenda Item)

BR: Last meeting was great. Was big and fun. Felt supported and good about the group. I think that was because we took time off. The weekly meeting schedule is not sustainable. People are already not attending, and it puts unfair pressure on those who are actively working on projects for A&L who feel like they need to go.

TJ: What are you proposing?

BR: Meet every other week. Less meeting so that the meeting can be actually more meaningful and less burnt out. Every two weeks — one more discursive meeting — about our lives and topics; the other work meeting where tasks are decided and worked on for the coming month. People continue to work on projects on their own. We have trust.

CO: Looking for productive space, not just discussion.

TJ: All for it.

TB: Are we enough people to decide

AS: totally support

BR: also wants to step back from A&L in 2013. Time off to evaluate, and bottomline less for the group.

BR: will draft proposal to group and send to list. WIll bring it forth next meeting. AS will propose for BR since BR is in’t going to  be there.

New schedule would start in January.
FUNRAISER (Agenda Item)

BR: Fundraiser: This started because it’s time for us to start paying people for the time they spend to speak to us and our audience. Yasmin panel. Would like to donate $100 to Taller. Labor Panel $75 per person about $1000. People have always asked us how to contribute. We need to have something to show, like an appeal letter.

TJ: Rolling Jubiliee good example

TB: Key to online fundraising is concrete message and getting lots of people involved; one way or another, it’s a lot of work but it worked. Might take more time.

BR: Donation button, Website, Facebook call to our general followers. Lets just do an end of year eppeal and keep it simple. If we could raise $1500, that would get us where we need to go for now. We can decide on larger fundraising strategy later if we want.

AS: We don’t want more money than we can handle. Would be destructive for group.

Consensus on sending end of year email & Facebook appeal. TB & BR & AS & CT will work on it. Send end of next week.

Meeting end.

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[accordion_panel title=”November 28, 2012″]

Posted November 29th, 2012 by Antonio • permalink

Intros
Meeting tech stuff
Vibe check general
Report backs

Agenda items:
I. CMJ
II. BC proposal- labor talk
III. Eblast
IV. Sf proposal
V. Artist collective
VI. Reader
VII. Alt econ
VIII. All in the red cooper U
IX. art matters grant feedback discussion
X. last add: AS2 about $100 we raised.

Arts & Labor
Meeting Minutes:
Wednesday 28th of November, 2012
60 Wall Street

facilitator: MP
stack: MS
minutes: AS

Attendees: MP, AS, AA, MS, CH, MB, LP, BR, CT, BC, CO, AS2

MP- Began with informal union talk. Any interest in talking about that later or at the bar Maybe, lets just add to end of list.

MP- brief intro to meeting, technical, hand signals , meeting length, etc.
Meeting – 2 hr min agreed.

Intros
Vibe Check- open space introduction by BR
MB- like the party think we deserved it. Glad to see all of occupy coming together for sandy. Glad to feel like part of a group that had many facets.
MS- party was great. Thanks to all who put the party together. It was so great. We really need to do that sometime. Everyone was really a good dancer. Sometimes I think we work too hard and then we are volunteering for the hurricane, i did too.
BR- Confused about the direction [pf Occupy]. A shift to the community organizing, a shift to relationship with the state. I am conflicted in it.
Mp – Ofs is holding these discussions. ” for open space”(name?)
CF- (missed comments)

Reportbacks:

Swedish union
BR- generally speaking, this women from swedish artist union wants to give a presentation. Needs a formal invitation to get funding from her gov. Nothing has been decided about the event at all, anyone interested in shaping the event, please go ahead. Peter is a point person.

Murphy Institute.
bR – so there has been an interest in work centers, KG, AS and MP. Having meetings with people and wondering what type of conditions they are working around.
Rest. Op cent. Taxi workers, and Kim from ?…
We want to make the notes as a public forum around strategies. We also met with murphy ins. They want to host a panel, 2 parts where we would gather those the arts, then people from worker center people, and cross promote these ideas. Trying to do it for early january. Also maybe Sotheby’s guys, or MoMa guys, WAGE, and Queens museums, we can share the list. Projects Project was another space to use.

AA – it sounds great. But unclear about the goals. Did have interesting discussion with Howey of …. , and he wants to put us into the freelancers union, girl from Cornell, and interested in looking for different forms into the discussion. I would want to help get this done, sounds like a great outreach tool.

MS- which apart workers part if it so far, wage? a point in this?

MP- suggest add a point for people to get involved.
BR – timeline due to personal situation. And the planner has been a big part of it from the beginning.
MB – how about seeing this as the beginning of something. So no stress.

Black Friday
MP – mostly people in occupy, Walmart retail and warehouse workers raising the attention, many walk outs, many protest in solidarity with the workers. busing in people, 300 at the protest I was in. All was nice, collaborative sense. Actions inside the store and outside. Tried to slow down the lines with pennies, gifts to the workers. Loved the mic checks in Walmart. Also some in Spanish, mic checks. So many people right outside Walmart. Police where really nice, sort of weird. Good videos and articles about it.. Nobody got fired, they are going to continue.

Puerto Rican Art workers
BR – in the works for 8months. Teach in. Long process to organize. Labor for lecture, exchange. To be held at _____ El Boriqua. Marcos will also participate. She’s organizing everything, she is doing a lot of research and working on a book. confirmed Dec 12.

AGENDA

I. Cmj- MP- next steps... (CMJ meeting at Judson.)
Should we have another meeting for break out ideas?

MB- do we have notes recording
MP- We have notes and an audio recording.
MP- i think we need a space to work together.
BR- seemed like a lot of new people and excitement- how would we capture that.
MS- did u get emails to email out.
BR- we have musicians solidarity.
MS – maybe the 50-60 people there, calling them back for a meeting.
MP – keeping it chill, easy.

II. BC Proposal – Labor Talk
BC- No Longer Empty “how much do i owe you?” show. Curator approached me. Asked to out together a labor panel. Teaches class to make a public art. BC asked about A&L, maybe be moderator.

CH- whats the problem, the institution? No longer Empty, or the money from Deutsch Bank.
AA- did they ask you to org a labor panel? We know its problematic.
AS2- Should we ask first if we want to do this?
LP- gentrification is a big issue, i want to hear more about this mode of critiquing.
ms -agree with everything, doesn’t seem productive to turn it down. Maybe if we moderate can we put these things out there.
AA- can we ask _______, to be in it? Pose questions of modes of engagement and possibility.
AS2- one thing that draws me is the conversation we can have with your students.
BC – wont have my class in january, i have some formal students. I don’t think i can get them out.
MB- Since its around labor, can we question our labor for these events.
AS- needs to have a way to get people doing something.
BR- its not vey really to spend energy on the critique. I don’t think a problem to have this discussion in multiple places, different crowds will be there.
BC- can also make it a step to the Murphy Institute.

III. EBlast
Br- we need to send out Yasmin Ramirez talk. Anything we need to add to the list, we should talk, about it. Anyone want to bottom line it by next wednesday.
MB- i can bottom line it.
AS2- i like it.
MS- i can help too after my deadlines. I cant bottom-line the whole thing. Mostly on the critics thing.
MP- will do cmj, black friday.

IV. San Fran 5 ways to act proposal. (LP)
From Kristian Froth, Arts Practical saw the 5 ways to act card. Interested in building the website. To get people to sign up to the agreement.
Changed to a place to collect stories about how people have acted. Wants to have maybe a skype call, outreach to get people to contribute. Wants the group to consider it. How should we all this. Thoughts.

MS- there was a website doing this in texas, or cali, about a year ago. It was a really good one done last year, etc. its talked about in the google group.
AA – why was the pledge intially shot down?
LP- the oath part was shot down.
AS2- nice to be called on this, would like to see what she can do with it. Its nice kro have a conversation about it.
BR- has been sending this out, on her postage.
MS – it would be ice to see the Art and Labor credit.
MB would like to be on the call.

V. Art Collective
CO- My main interest is to see if it is already happening.
Idea is to build an artist collective. Society doesn’t have equal access art and education. Start to build an artist group to fill in this issue, with mutual aid. Has a strategy plan, some interest on face book. A. first build support in community. B. need teaching artist/workers. C. Set up Class, find locations, spaces and times. Then outreach in lower income communities. So moving to alt econ, we still need to survive, by donations, or by barter exchange. Etc. Is this happening.

AA – my worry n the proliferation of these spaces, like my own, is just that they seem to burn out and get enough funding very quick.
LP- hardest thing is getting access to spaces, its easier to get things done that way. Concrete suggestions. Maybe check out Our Goods, flux factory, see other models like time bank.
MS- altecon booklet come out.
CO- whats artist activist community to come out of this.
CH – good suggestions, big goal.
MB- suggestion… Project movement space, the base.
CH- notre Maar suggestions.

VI. Reader
MS- wanted to do a reader for a while now. Gone through many stages, many people involved. In the meantime, verso, occupy reader, eflux reader. Still wanted to do another reader with a different angle. Some philosophical point that we wanted to be a DA group. But as a book we can get our stuff out in the world. Something like an alternative art history, a diy looking document, to cheaply reproduce it. HENS reader as a model. It would be an alternative history of labor. On political and theoretic problem. I have more time to work on it. Wants to do it sooner than later. Its need to be under the occupy message now, instead of next couple of years. We would like to do this a working group.

MP – explain working group.
MS – a subset of the group. This would be a collective anonymous text. Subset groups to avoid the pain.

Anonymous reader?

Ch- not clear on scope. Text book. Case studies, histories. One concrete example.
Ms- thought of it as a teaching tool. This is around collectives, outside of cannons.
AS2 – we dont want to say much until it.
AS- is there a process? That can be made public.
MS – A&L protocol is a good basis for the process.
MB- Deadline and deliverable to bring the content.
MS – Deadline will be in february. A reader but also an art history text revised.
MS – we are trying to solve these problems in real time, the canon arose with capitalism. If we don’t correct this it would be a big problem.
BR – it would be good to ask for the process. Where we can peek in.
MP – what to avoid these issue.
As- like the alt econ book, will there be new version.
MS – it will be a living document.

Friendly amendments
Add Process info (start with LS A&L original guidelines)
Add Production calendar
Add Open call with end date.

Temp check: yes, no blocks. PASSED

IX. Art Matters
MB- wether or not to get feedback. Proposal not accepted, but we can get feedback.
MS – BR, do you think we should get a feedback?
BR- info is there, in notes, we can get that, it is easy to get from panel.
Getting feed back temp check done.!

VII.Alt Econ
AS- One of the earlier subgroups, meeting one a month…
Two workshops What do we do now? Project. Cannot get a hold of Alt Econ admin to include new people.So how to move forward?

Mutual aid sandy conversation in a big way
Meetings can take place in other places rather than home which create some difficult issues
Backup location
Do a call to the list and start a meeting
Particularly sandy relief mutual aid topic

X. $100 relief money Will go to Brooklyn youth task force Pass

— Meeting Concludes — (VIII, got bumped.)

VIII. All In the Red/ Cooper Union Student Rally
AS. Monday Dec 3. All in The Red/Free Cooper U/ Free U  is Asking for other groups to join on student rally. Games begin at 2, teach-ins possible. Thought it would be good to table and build student support for A&L. Bringing debt quilt? Table with information, Alt Econ Guidebooks?
MB and MS decided to try and help with AS.

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[accordion_panel title=”Next Arts and Labor meeting: Wednesday Nov. 28″]

Posted November 26th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Come out this Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7pm for the next Arts and Labor meeting!

After a brief interruption by Hurricane Sandy and associated relief efforts, Arts and Labor meetings are BACK ON!. Every Tuesday 7pm except the last Wednesday of the month.

Location: the public atrium in 60 Wall St., NYC. Look for an Arts and Labor sign on a table.

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[accordion_panel title=”Rollback? No… FIGHTBACK! More culture jamming at Walmart.”]

Posted November 26th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Rollback? No… FIGHTBACK! More culture jamming at Walmart.

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[accordion_panel title=”Getting ready for #blackfriday at the Solidarity Center in NYC…”]

Posted November 21st, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Getting ready for #blackfriday at the Solidarity Center in NYC #walmartstrikers http://goo.gl/i0mFp

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Black Friday Solidarity Training: Another “Line Clog” Action at Golden Farm!”]

Posted November 20th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

It’s time to get ready for Black Friday — one that Walmart won’t soon forget.

It’s time for some on-the-ground, solidarity training. We’re organizing 30 people to clog the checkout lines with pennies and dimes at Golden Farm, a Brooklyn grocery store, on Wednesday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year for grocery stores. We’ll be using a form of this technique at Walmart on Black Friday. [Learn more about line clogs here.]

Email 99pickets@gmail.com if you want to participate. We’ll send you information about where to meet up and further logistical information.

For over a year, Golden Farm workers have led an organizing campaign and community boycott in response to wage theft, mistreatment and retaliation. They recently won a settlement for back wages and union recognition. They are asking the community to keep the pressure on Sonny Kim until he signs a fair contract with the workers.

On Wednesday, workers and community members will be rallying outside the store, just before the first round of negotiations between workers and owner Sonny Kim. This is a crucial time to show Sonny Kim that he must sign a fair contract with workers!

From 6-7pm we will be clogging the lines to disrupt commerce in the store completely. The more people that get involved, the longer that we will be able to affect business and make sure that Sonny Kim gets the message. We are also organizing a special action for folks who live in the neighborhood and who have stopped shopping at Golden Farm during the boycott.

Bring pennies & nickels, hide them away, and wear your best “undercover customer” outfit.

We’ll be using a form of this technique on Black Friday. Want to know more about line clogs? Read about the last one!

Email 99pickets@gmail.com if you want to participate. We’ll send you information about where to meet up and further logistical information.

 

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[accordion_panel title=”favianna:

Solidarity with #walmart workers this #BlackFriday!…”]

Posted November 20th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

favianna:

Solidarity with #walmart workers this #BlackFriday! Don’t shop at #walmart . Art by Fiona Avocado. Submit your design at: http://artistsvswalmart.tumblr.com/

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[accordion_panel title=”On Black Friday, Occupy Wall Street, 99 Pickets and Allies Set Sights on Walmart, in Support of Striking Workers”]

Posted November 20th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

For Immediate Release
11/20/2012

Press contact: 99pickets@gmail.com, (917) 725-1436
Location: Secaucus Walmart , 400 Park Pl, Secaucus, NJ 07094
Date/time: Friday Nov. 23, 12:30pm (smaller action at 5am)
Event info: http://99pickets.org/picket/wall-street-to-walmart/
Press release PDF: http://bit.ly/TWbn7u
[en Español]

On Black Friday, Occupy Wall Street, 99 Pickets and Allies Set Sights on Walmart, in Support of Striking Workers

On Friday, November 23, Occupy Wall Street, 99 Pickets, the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, Retail Action Project (RAP), Occupy Bergen County and community allies plan to take “Wall Street to Walmart”, in a multi-faceted protest occurring at a Walmart store in Secaucus, NJ. The Occupy protest is one of over a thousand set to occur at Walmart stores around the country on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.

After an unprecedented series of Walmart retail and affiliated warehouse strikes in the last two months, thousands of Walmart workers are threatening to strike on Black Friday unless Walmart begins following U.S. labor law.

Employees allege that Walmart has repeatedly retaliated against workers employing collective action, restricted workers’ freedom of speech, paid disproportionately low wages, forced employees to subsist on part-time work, and provided few or no benefits.

Planners of the Occupy event, dubbed “Wall Street to Walmart: Occupy Black Friday”, say the Secaucus NJ action is in solidarity with the striking workers. “We’re going to Secaucus in support of the courageous workers striking at Walmart stores around the country,” said 99 Pickets activist Michelle Flores. She continued, “It won’t be ‘business as usual’ this year at Walmart.”

On Thursday, members of the Occupy community are having Thanksgiving Dinner in Zuccotti Park, site of the original Occupy Wall Street encampment. Organizers plan to send out meals to those in need throughout the region, including Walmart workers themselves. “People’s Kitchen” chef Ethan Murphy writes, “in the spirit of giving thanks and mutual aid… we will deliver a gift basket of goodies to Walmart workers who will be forced to work on Thanksgiving.” This year, Walmart is requiring workers to start work as early as 2pm on the national holiday, holding its first “Walmart sales event” at 8pm.

On Black Friday, OWS activists say they will stage an early morning action, followed by a larger midday event at 12:30pm, when they will “clog the checkout lines, take over the store with shopping carts, sing songs, picket the store, and disrupt Walmart’s business,” adding that they have a “fun and safe Occupy the Parking Spaces action planned.”

99 Pickets, one of the Occupy groups helping organize the Walmart actions, will carry out “on-the-ground solidarity training” for Friday’s actions. On their website, they call for 30 people to “clog the lines with sacks of pennies and dimes” on Wednesday Nov. 21, at a Brooklyn grocery store where workers have led an organizing campaign and community boycott in response to wage theft, mistreatment and retaliation.

About 99 Pickets
99 Pickets, a working group from Occupy Wall Street, seeks to build a mass worker’s movement in New York City and beyond. Revitalizing the picket line—a tactic with a long and rich history—the group uses worker-driven, creative action to draw attention to the common struggles of people across the city.

From wage theft, discrimination, abusive employers, food justice, misclassification, exploitive working conditions, retaliation for organizing, to unsafe workplaces, 99 Pickets strives to connect the dots between seemingly isolated conflicts, building a community and a movement to counter the 1%.

###

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[accordion_panel title=”Este viernes de grandes baratas, el movimiento Ocupa Wall Street, 99 Protestas y sus aliados ponen sus miras en Walmart para apoyar a los trabajadores huelguistas”]

Posted November 20th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Contacto con la prensa: 99pickets@gmail.com, (917) 725-1436
Información sobre el evento: http://99pickets.org/picket/wall-street-to-walmart/
Secaucus Walmart, 400 Park Pl, Secaucus, NJ 07094
Nov. 23, 12:30pm

[In English]

El viernes 23 de noviembre, Occupy Wall Street, 99 Pickets, the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), el rev. Billy y la Iglesia para Dejar de Comprar; el proyecto “RAP” (Retail Action Project) y aliados de las comunidades planean tomar “de Wall Street a Walmart” con una protesta multifacética que ocurrirá en una tienda de Walmart de Secaucus, N.. La protesta de Occupy es una de entre mil que ocurrirán por muchas tiendas Walmart por todo el país en el “Viernes de Grandes Baratas”, que es el día de mayores compras del año.

Luego de una serie de huelgas sin precedents en los dos últimos meses, miles de trabajadores de Walmart amenazan con hacer huelga en el Viernes de Baratas a menos que Walmart empiece a obedecer la Ley Federal del Trabajo de los Estados Unidos.

Los empleados alegan que Walmart ha tomado represalias constantemente contra los trabajadores que recurren a la acción colectiva, que ha restringido su libertad de expresión, que les paga sueldos desproporcionadamente bajos, que los fuerza a subsistir con un empleo de medio tiempo y que no les da casi o nada de coberturas de seguro y prestaciones.

Los organizadores del evento de Occupy consideraron que la acción “De Wall Street a Wallmart: Ocupemos este Viernes de Compras” que tendrá lugar en Secaucus N.J. es en solidaridad con los huelguistas. “Vamos a Secaucus en apoyo a los valientes trabajadores que hacen huelga en las tiendas de Walmart por todo el país”, manifestó la activista Michelle Flores, del grupo 99 Pickets, y añadió: “No será ‘un día como cualquier otro’ de comercios este año en Walmart”.

El jueves, los integrantes la comunidad Ocupa Wall Street por igualdad y justicia económica tendrán una cena de Día de Acción de Gracias en el Parque Zuccotti, el sitio del acampe inicial de Ocupa Wall Street. Los organizadores tienen planeado enviar comidas a los necesitados por toda la región, incluyendo a los propios trabadores de Walmart. El chef de la Cocina del Pueblo, Ethan Murphy, escribe: “En el espíritu de dar gracias y ayuda mutua… vamos a entregar una canasta de regalos a los trabajadores de Walmart que serán forzados a trabajar en el Día de Acción de Gracias. Este año, Walmart está exigiendo a los trabajadores que empiecen su trabajo temprano: desde las 2 p.m. en el día feriado nacional, y teniendo su primer “evento de ventas Walmart” hasta las 8 p.m.

El Viernes de Grandes Baratas, los activistas de Occupy dicen que van a realizar una acción en la mañana temprano, seguida de un evento más grande a las 12:30 p.m. del medio día, en el que “saturarán las filas para pagar y tomarán la tienda con carritos, canciones y protestas frente al establecimiento, perturbando el negocio de Walmart”. Añaden que van a tener una acción “divertidísima y libre de peligros de arrestos en los estacionamientos de la tienda Walmart”.

99 Pickets, uno de los grupos de Occupy que está ayudando a organizar las acciones de Walmart, llevará a cabo un “curso de actos de solidaridad” para las acciones del viernes. En su sitio electrónico invitan a 30 personas a saturar las filas de compradores con sacos de centavos” el miércoles 21 de noviembre en una tienda de Brooklyn en donde los trabajadores inmigrantes han dirigido una campaña de sindicalización y un sabotaje comercial realizado por la comunidad en respuesta al robo de salarios, al maltrato y a las represalias.

¿Qué es  99 Pickets?
99 Pickets es un grupo de trabajo de Occupy Wall Street encaminado a construir un movimiento laboral masivo en la ciudad de Nueva York y más allá de ella. Revitalizando las líneas o piquetes de protesta (una táctica de larga y rica tradición), este grupo utiliza acciones creativas conducidas por los trabajadores para llamar la atención sobre las luchas comunes de la gente por todas partes de la ciudad.

Desde cuestiones como el robo salarial, la discriminación, los patrones abusivos, justicia alimentaria, clasificacioones erróneas, explotación laboral, represalias por sindicalizarse hasta los sitios de trabajo peligrosos, el grupo 99 Pickets busca hacer las conexiones apropiadas entre los conflictos aparentemente aislados, para construer una comunidad y un movimiento que se contraponga al 1%.

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[accordion_panel title=”Gothamist: Fail”]

Posted November 15th, 2012 by internavengerx • permalink

Ugh. Have the hipsters playing at running a business at the Gothamist not heard? They want to be a substantial media company, but apparently haven’t considered that Step #1 of an honorable and successful business plan would be respecting and paying for the labor needed to make that happen:

2012 is almost over, and isn’t it about time you started thinking about Your Future? We’re looking for more enthusiastic interns to work out of our Brooklyn office through the winter and maybe even beyond. Responsibilities vary widely, hours are flexible, but we do want someone who can be available 2 days out of the week. Bloggers, journalism students, photographers, English majors, and anyone with a passion for NYC and the skills to write about it are encouraged to drop us a line.

No pay, but some perks and college credit available. For more details inquire within, and please email your resume, availability during the week and any other relevant information to info@gothamist.com, subject “internship.” (No attachments, please.) And if you have a link to any of your writing online, please share. (It’s okay if it’s “just a Tumblr.”)

They have been notified of their failure to do the honorable (and legally required) thing. Stay tuned to hear if they respond…

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”“Boycott, boycott Saigon Grill! Exploitation makes me…”]

Posted October 27th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

“Boycott, boycott Saigon Grill! Exploitation makes me ill!” #99pkts @Saigongrill @sweatshopfreeUWS

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[accordion_panel title=”Hot and Crusty Workers to Return to Work under New Ownership after 55-Day Picket against Store Closure; Unions Demands Met With Precedent-Setting 3-Year Contract”]

Posted October 26th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

From our friends at the Laundry Workers Center and Hot & Crusty Workers Association…


‎****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****
CONTACT: Virgilio (347)394-8350 virgilio@lwcu.org
CONTACT: Nastaran Mohit (914)557-6408
nastaran@lwcu.org

New York, NY, October 26, 2012—Ending a 2-month long public campaign to protest an August 31st closure of the 63rd street Hot and Crusty, workers announced today that they have come to a final agreement with the new ownership of the store, following several weeks of negotiations with investors Anthony Illuzzi and David Kay. Workers will return to the job in as little as three weeks under a new collective bargaining agreement that provides for a union hiring hall, paid vacation and sick time, wage increases, seniority and grievance and arbitration procedures. Widely regarded as a precedent-setting contract for the restaurant industry, The Hot and Crusty Workers Association enthusiastically welcomed news of the agreement.

Eugene Eisner of Eisner and Mirer P.C., the firm representing the Union, emphasized the historic nature of the agreement, saying “this kind of agreement in virtually unheard of for low-wage foreign-born workers in the restaurant industry. These workers should be incredibly proud of their determination to stand up to the employers threats not to reopen, and to have ultimately achieved all of their demands.”

Workers received a tremendous outpouring of support over the course of the 55-day picket, including thousands of signatures of support from the Upper East Side community, daily visits from Hunter College faculty and students, messages of solidarity from around the country and letters of support from dozens of unions and labor organizations. Workers welcomed over 100 labor, community and Occupy Wall Street supporters to a solidarity rally on October 18th in support of the camapign. Rank-and-file workers from labor unions across industries—including TWU Local 100, UFCW Local 1500, UNITE HERE, AFSCME DC 37, CWA Local 1101, LIUNA Local 78, Utility Workers Local 1-2, PSC-CUNY, UFT, Workers United, ROC-NY and Jornaleros Unidos.

Mahoma Lopez, who has worked at Hot and Crusty for over 7 years, said: “the workers are feeling really excited about this news because this is more than just a contract for us. We are putting an example out there for other workers, and other immigrant workers, that anything is possible when you organize. We want others to take this victory to their own workplaces so we can make change in this country.”

Laundry Workers Center, who trained and supported the workers over an 11-month organizing campaign, applauded the victory, stating: “it has been demonstrated through this campaign that immigrant workers can affect concrete changes when they are trained to lead their own struggles. This is a great victory for the workers and we at Laundry Workers Center are eager to build on this momentum within our other campaigns”.

Hot and Crusty employees worked for years under unsafe conditions for sub-minimum wage and zero overtime, some employees working upwards of 70 hours a week. Verbal abuse and harassment were rampant in the workplace, spawning an organizing drive that went public on January 21, 2012. The workers won union recognition on May 23, certifying their own independent union, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association. The strike began on August 31, 2012, when the store’s previous owners announced they would close the shop in the wake of a successful union election — a move the Union alleged to be a retaliatory effort to avoid bargaining with the newly formed Hot & Crusty Workers Association.

A press conference will be held Monday, October 29 at 3:30PM at Hot and Crust, on the northwest corner of 63rd street and 2nd Avenue. Workers will also provide updates on the charges pending against the six Occupy Wall Street protestors who were arrested during the store occupation on August 31st.

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[accordion_panel title=”October 23, 2012″]

Posted October 26th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Report backs and announcements:

  • Entrepreneurship and Exploitation in the Music Industry (October 18)
  • Occupy Museums talk at Momenta
  • Art Writing as Craft, Labor, and Art: A&L roundtable (October 25)
  • Organizer training at ALIGN (October 30)
  • Mapping the Workplace
  • Intern Group

Agenda:

  • PARTY
  • Book Club
  • SF curator request to develop the Five Ways to Act project
  • Weekly A&L meeting schedule

A&L Minutes: October 23, 2012

LP, BR, TJ, YA, S
BR facilitating. YA minutes.
Report backs and announcements:
Entrepreneurship and Exploitation in the Music Industry (October 18)

BR: Musician solidarity council, 99 pickets and A&L hosted a panel at Judson Memorial Church about the labor conditions of musicians and other workers. There were over 60 people – not the typical A&L crowd. Felt a bit like organizers talking to organizers. If anything – people wanted just a lot more time to talk so there were a lot of questions and discussions.

There were ice skaters, taxi alliance representatives, people from the Justice for Jazz Campaign. After the event they went to the protest of Justice for Jazz campaign at Blue Note. It is highly recommend to check out their marches.

YA: will there be a follow up event?
BR: a follow up needs to happen but didn’t feel like A&L are the ones who should do it. A more music-based group should do it.
There was a guy who is a fashion student trying to organize a similar event for the fashion industry. He is already working with people on it.
YA: he should get in touch with the intern group.
BR: the model of venting and then discussing solutions worked – it felt lie it was a catalyst for something more.

Occupy Museums talk at Momenta
TJ: there was a panel about ‘what is value?’ The panel included an artist, art advisor, and writer.  It was very interesting. Was difficult to determine what value is. It was observed from the viewpoints of rhetoric/language, the role of context, and the art market.
LP: the event it was recorded, not sure where it will be published.

Art Writing as Craft, Labor, and Art: A&L roundtable (October 25)
BR: Will be on Thursday at Housing Works Bookstore Café in SoHo.

Organizer training at ALIGN (October 30)
BR: Will be on Tuesday 10/30 at the offices of ALIGN at 50 Broadway. Will be basic, just so we have some framework to work around. RSVP to BR if interested in attending.

Mapping the Workplace
BR: There is a Doodle poll (http://doodle.com/digumteaf96gph7p) to work on mapping art workers – who and where are they? Who is invisible and visible. The brunch meeting is proposed for either Nov 11 or Nov 18.
There’s also a proposal to organize a two-day event at the Murphy Institute that will explore these issues (in addition to the mapping project).

Intern Group

YA: ILR is working on how unpaid labor limits diversity in the art world with
the ultimate goal of organizing an event at a cultural institution to discuss
unpaid internships in the arts. We’re at the research stage – reaching out to
immigrant organizations to collect data on the career advancement
possibilities available and/or utilized by their communities. If anyone has
information or resources that could be relevant, or is interested in partaking
– contact YA.

Agenda:
A&L Party
BR: hosting a birthday party may set up a milestone that could be weird. Maybe should just be a party.
S: if you want to pull people together, just do that.
LP:  one-year is worth reflecting. Currently organizing a project at Tensta (Sweden) of interviews with different (artworld?) people who are organizing. Wanted to propose to do a collective interview with A&L to reflect on the one-year of the group. Honorarium is approx. $375 – could be used for the party.

YA: it’s really important to have in-person interviews with a variety of people from the group because the multitude of voices is something often absent from our collective writing.
TJ: location?
BR: MP’s rehearsal space on Douglass St is an option.
TJ: can approach The Oracle Club but may not be good for a dance party.
BR: we were thinking of doing this in November.
We have $500 from EFA and we got an extra $150 from the Denmark event, but people still need to be reimbursed before we spend it on the party.
TJ: Cabinet? Will contact.
White Horse?
YA: Gowanus Studio Space?
BR: propose Nov 17 or Nov 30. We have to decide by the next A&L meeting on Nov 7.
Would be nice to have a slide show in the background of images from the events we’ve held.

Book Club
YA: set up doodle poll, no responses
BR: is the problem the reading?
YA: would like to read something more current
S: what’s the common knowledge that you’re trying to get through the book club?
BR: the books have had practical application to our work.
S: go for info on organizing, and then go to the law.
How does a young movement move beyond spontaneity?
LP: Declaration by Negri and Hardt?
BR: read it and got a lot out of it. It may be interesting for us to talk about it.
TJ: another option – The Coming Insurrection by the Invisible Committee

Consensus: the group is  not interested in reading Mutual Aid. YA will post
those two books to the thread and ask which people prefer.

SF curator request to develop the Five Ways to Act project
LP read to the group the email from the curator (“Invisible Venue”) who is requesting the reproduction of the art worker card, Five Ways We Can Act and development of the project into a kind of interactive contract.
BR: this is a version of what we ended up deciding on doing for Smack Mellon in order to reach art workers. We don’t have to give the SF curator a definite answer, but just need to let her know if we’re interested. No timeline from her yet.
The curator wants to create a kind of personal contract – on a website.
TJ: this sounds a bit odd.
S: not a fan of pledges.
TJ: the moment you make the vow you begin transgressing it.
LP: why not ask her to just distribute the ‘five ways’ text?
S: do we just become content providers? Is her distribution in our best interest?
BR: so we’re not agreeing with the contract idea?
Consensus: the group is not supportive of the contract idea.
S: maybe we can suggest that she turn this into a survey?
BR: if A&L will come out with a survey, we would really benefit from collaboration with the Murphy Institute.
S: having a narrative behind these “Five Ways” may really draw people. Letting people tell their story. It would be interesting to develop this from a personal narrative standpoint.
TJ: once you give people an outlet, they may realize how problematic the way they act is…
S: it would be content-producing-content.
YA: this kind of a project would best be started in a city like SF, more manageable size.
BR: will send the curator these notes.
LP: can take over communicating with her.
Weekly A&L meeting schedule
BR: beginning to feel that weekly meetings aren’t sustainable at this point.
If we meet less frequently we could probably get more people.
Can we meet every few weeks to exchange report backs from subgroups and events and make decisions?
YA: We can set dates for the next few months and that way people pencil these
in advance and plan around them.
Concerned that if we hold monthly meetings – if someone misses one, then a lot of time goes by before they see others again and their sense of connection to the group may quickly get untied.
LP: are there other ways to have meetings? Specifically, how do we build trust in meetings? The meetings are very tedious – how can we bring other things into the meeting structure that emulates the exchanges at the bar after meetings or quilting session.
TJ: we need to figure out how to bring play and work into the meetings.
LP: would like to have theoretical discussions in meetings.
YA: the original meeting model of A&L is not all that bad – “play” is built into the meeting structure with the end at the bar.
TJ: perhaps we should invert this model? Make the “play” the focus where the free discussion happens. People are desperate for that space to discuss other types of experiences in the art world.

BR: the OWS process is no longer proper for what we’re trying to do, but we have to come up with a different model.
S: should have different types of meetings and different people will come to each one – organizational, brainstorming, theoretical meetings etc.
Why have people drifted away?
BR: there is no discursive space anymore.
S: how do you make this a discursive space again?
BR: people that do the work, will do it anyway.
LP: that goes back to the trust issue – if you build this, more people will be inclined to actively participate.
TJ: if we had more discursive space, our ideas will percolate and bleed into
our day to day lives.
YA: what if we go to the extreme and envision that our meeting was really just a gathering where everything was informal? We will be able to talk, but would that really allow us to produce events, etc.?
S: ‘Artists Meeting for Cultural Change’ could be a model – it’s a discussion group. They decide on a topic and then meet to discuss it one evening. If someone is interested in planning around a certain aspect – they form a group and it either succeeds in going further, or not. You build upon natural affinities.
YA: what if there are meetings that are just report backs – can we trust that
those report backs lead to new focuses and actions?
YA: seems like we’ve agreed that the meeting focus should be discursive. We should be consistent about dates and venues.
S: recommend that we set dates for separate organizational meeting and discursive meeting.
TJ: we can have different venues for different meetings.
BR: we should revisit this online and set the meeting in two weeks (Nov 7) as when we make a decision on a new model and frequency of meetings.
TJ: we should state that it is a model for a few months, not make it sound permanent.
YA will post it to the group online.
YA will announce that next meeting (Halloween) is canceled. The next meeting
will be Wednesday, Nov 7 (Nov 6 is election night).

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[accordion_panel title=”Saigon Grill: House of (In)Justice”]

Posted October 25th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

99 Pickets is organizing a “House of (In)Justice” picket in support of former workers of Saigon Grill and the Sweatshop Free UWS campaign this Friday, Oct. 26th 6:30 pm at 90th & Amsterdam.

For years, the owners of Saigon Grill, Simon and Michelle Nget, failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to many of the delivery workers. In 2008, the U.S. District Court issued a judgment of $4.6 million for the workers. In 2010, the workers reached an agreement with the owners, who then sold their two restaurants to pay for the settlement.

Unfortunately, the new owners have failed to fulfill their promises, and have retaliated against workers who tried to continue organizing at the restaurant.

  • The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Saigon Grill for illegal firing.
  • Even though they assumed the former boss’s debt of one million dollars when they bought Saigon Grill in 2010, to this day, they refuse to pay the debt to the former workers.

They have also engaged in age discrimination, firing older waiters and others that protested against this practice.

More info about the event is here.

Workers have an ongoing picket & boycott, and are out in front of the restaurant Weds through Sun. Due to employer intimidation and retaliation, many current workers at the restaurant are scared to even talk to folks who are organizing, so community support is extremely important.

Hope to see you on Friday!

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[accordion_panel title=”Black Friday OWS Action Planning”]

Posted October 23rd, 2012 by Sundrop • permalink

Walmart workers across the country are organizing, and planning strikes and a day of action for Black Friday. We may not have any Walmarts here in New York City, but that won’t stop us from organizing in solidarity!

Join Occupy Wall Street, 99 Pickets, and allies to plan “Wall Street to Walmart”, an OWS-wide series of actions starting before Thanksgiving and culminating on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.

Black Friday OWS Action Planning meeting
Saturday, 10/27, 4-6pm
NY NJ Joint Board
33 W 14th St., New York, NY

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[accordion_panel title=”Line Clogs: How Awesome Are They?”]

Posted October 23rd, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Line clogging is undoubtedly not a new tactic, but it’s fun, legal, effective and underused.

We, members of Occupy Wall Street’s 99 Pickets, recently deployed a line clog for almost an hour to support the worker-led boycott of the Brooklyn grocery store Golden Farm.

Sonny Kim, the owner of Golden Farm had paid workers below minimum wage for well over a decade. He owed half a million dollars in back wages, he was fighting a successful vote for union recognition, and had illegally retaliated against workers by cutting their hours.

In August, workers at Golden Farm asked the Kensington community to boycott the store. Still in effect, the boycott often cuts business by 50% or more on busy days, pressuring owner Sonny Kim to bargain fairly and quickly with the workers.

In support of this worker-led struggle, 99 Pickets wanted to escalate the pressure on management in a fun, enjoyable way that wouldn’t create problems for the workers. Enter the line clog.

Fifteen people filtered into Golden Farm, picking up anywhere between one to twenty items for purchase. We entered the checkout lines, often bunching two or three 99 Pickets “plants” in a row.

As we reached the cashiers, we grew dull and hard of hearing; we moved slowly and realized that we forgot certain essential items. Some people repeatedly went back to get the things they needed, and others immediately pulled out a series of expired credit cards and huge sacks of small change. The line cloggers slowly counted pennies and nickels, only to find that they had lost count, or didn’t quite have enough, or accidentally dropped dozens of pennies all over the floor.

Mic Check!

Long lines of customers snaked through the aisles, and the situation slowly dawned on manager Steve Kim. He grew increasingly frantic, trying to shove our members to the count their money on the side, unknowingly ushering several more incognito line cloggers into position. He tried to help counting coins himself, enlisting the help of bemused cashiers and other workers, but ultimately this only created greater confusion: we repeatedly lost count of our totals. The owner’s wife shouted at us to “Roll your coins! Roll! Roll!” but no one asked a line clogger to leave. (As the store was open for business, we had every right to be there unless otherwise indicated.)

While waiting in line, we gave out flyers and told fellow shoppers about the workers’ campaign for economic justice and a voice in their workplace.

After 45 minutes of penny-fueled mayhem, we held a brief mic check inside Golden Farm. We explained to customers and management who we were and why we were in the store.

We left this inaugural 99 Pickets “line clog” with energy, excitement, and a desire to repeat, adapt and expand this tactic. Workers at the store also felt the action was fun and effective.

As the boycott of Golden Farm continues, and as we approach the busy holiday shopping season, we hope that this tactic proves useful for other groups’ supporting workers in New York and beyond.

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[accordion_panel title=”We’ve Moved!”]

Posted October 22nd, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Please update your links to reflect our new email address, Twitter handle, and Facebook URL.

Email: 99pickets@gmail.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/99pickets

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/99pickets

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”WE’VE MOVED!”]

Posted October 22nd, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Please update your links to reflect our new email address, Twitter handle, and Facebook URL.
Email:…

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[accordion_panel title=”In Politics, There’s Expensive, and Then There’s Effective”]

Posted October 19th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Mark Brenner of Labor Notes discusses potential strategies for the labor movement to use its resources where it has power.

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[accordion_panel title=”Art Writing as Craft, Labor, and Art: An Arts & Labor Roundtable”]

Posted October 19th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Art Writing as Craft, Labor, and Art: An Arts & Labor Roundtable
Thursday October 25 at 7 p.m.
Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore
126 Crosby Street New York, NY
Admission: a book donation to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Art writing is hard work. However, it is often framed as a mythic activity, replete with benefits such as “the power of the pen,” the authority of the critic, and the allure of earning a living while doing something exciting, and meaningful.

The realities of writing about contemporary art include a precarious living, high attrition, hard deadlines, and the charge that criticism is “massively produced, and massively ignored.” Rather than being treated as an art form or a skill developed over time, art writing is frequently viewed as a tool of the market and an index for valuation and canonization, with art writers functioning as cogs in the vast cultural machine.

So why do people continue to write about art? Why does one aspire to become an art writer in a field that has shrinking prestige and financial returns, and when chief-critic positions are becoming scarce? And why, in this economic climate, is art writing thriving online and degree-programs devoted to the field have begun to appear?

Join Arts & Labor for a roundtable to discuss labor conditions in art writing. Hear how various writers’ practices began, how their careers evolved, and what they think about the current state of art writing. Together we will attempt to imagine how writers could develop new networks to support one another, and to practice their art and craft in a sustainable and generative way in the future.

Art writers include: Ben Davis, Kareem Estefan, Ken Johnson, Paddy Johnson, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, Walter Robinson, Mira Schor, Martha Schwendener, and Christian Viveros-Fauné.

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[accordion_panel title=”October 16, 2012″]

Posted October 18th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

O13
Smack Mellon
Puerto Rican Art Workers
CMJ
Art Writing Panel
Movement Monday OWS planning/strategy meetings
book club
A/L one year anniversary

Attendance: BW, MS, L, A, MB, TJ, CT, AS, N

013—Friday 10/12/12 & Saturday 10/13/12
– Friday – meeting: logistics, making maps; GA at 6:00; maps all had different fruits and vegetables;

– Saturday – marches – 5th Ave; loud, at least 100 people; started with OWS banner then Strike Debt banner; dropped OWS banner above Rock. Ctr ice rink; no arrrests

– and banner drop at Columbus Circle : “Debt is the New Colonialism”; and residence of CEO of Goldman Sachs

Smack Mellon
– “aesthetics of resistance” – using space to advantage; text on wall; “five ways to act” current idea for proposal, with buttons

Puerto Rican Art Workers
– can do in December

CMJ
thursday october 18 at Judson Memorial church 6:30

So things seem to be shaping up nicely for Thursday. We have several musicians I know will be great committed to speaking (from a variety of backgrounds), as well as at least one writer, a dancer, a taxi driver who is also a DJ, possibly a worker from Domestic Workers United and an ice skating coach from a group of them that recently organized (?!?!). Plus everyone that just shows up at the event — the people I mentioned are kicking it off, but everyone is encouraged to speak. It should go without saying that we are really hoping that folks from A&L will show up and speak. We have 45 folks on FB saying they’re coming, who knows what that means.

We’ll have a brief section at the end where people from each of the 3 groups that collaborated on this can tell how to get involved. Also, the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign has a march that night is leaving at 9pm from WSP — just across the street from Judson. There will be someone from there to announce the event and we’re promoting “learning -> action” angle.
NEEDS:
  • We’ll have a brief section at the end where people from each of the 3 groups that collaborated on this can tell how to get involved. Can someone from A&L commit to being this person?
  • Turnout: please come, and tell your freelancer friends. Forward the announcement, share the FB event, RSVP if you’re planning on going.
  • Help flyering  @ CMJ in the next couple days. Could be day at Kimmel or shows at night. Some shows are free and we could have a good time. Email Matt
  • Does anyone have access to NYU that can get me (or someone else) into the Kimmel Center? Email Matt
  • Help with documentation of the event… note-taking. Audio or video if possible. Email Matt
  • We can bring food. Might be cool if people bring snacks.
Thanks for all your help! Hope to see you there…

 

Art Writing Panel

MS organized with others. Art writing as craft labor and art. Like word craft. More recently , eg jbw, very interested in craft, queer, feminist, etc. ms always crafted fiction. Thinking about canonization, hierarchy etc how can craft serve as model for other structures?

MS shows flyer. Wanted diverse crowd, BR reached out to lots of people. MS will moderate. There’s reason for a lot of these people but ended up being a lot of white guys Will be big convo so didn’t feel the need for additional q’s, but open. Nonhierarchical setup.

Ben davis worked for artinfo but used to come to a/l meetings. Kareem thru BR, knows nonprof. Ken J from Times. was soft supporter of ows. Paddy blogger, afc, first to make inroads to internet artwriting, now with l mag. Omar more of a curator now, connected to s america. Walter was with artnet for 15yrs. Mira Schor, artist blogger, feminist. MS tried to get younger people and tried for diversity but didnt happen.

BW is there anything we can do to help?

AS film it?

TJ stream it? Useful.

AS would be hard to set up

MB can look into it

MS just document?

AS yes thats better. Live stream less important. Just document

MS gran fury had prob didnt want that. This group is diff. But will ask them.

AS michelle kuo speakng same night. Critic as outsider!

MS will prob bring up while moderating

-Monday OWS planning/strategy meetings

BW P and MP movement mondays. Larger ows thing, is really good, affinity groups present projects see if one action can support another.

MB list serve is s17?

BW dont know will find out. Meets judson or other labor bldg in usq but not sure. Long meetings. 6-9 or 10

MS. Can you mention writers thing there?

BW yes.

MB musicians panel on occupy newsletter?

BW will contact them

-book club

BW arts labor book club? Which texts?

TJ kropotkin?

MS David Graeber syllabus from yale. Wanna see? Its good

All: yes!

L first meetings. Lots of reading lists. Where?

MS. Remember gg? Lots of books thrown in there. Somewhere is a pdf of those. We as group created doc of important things to read. As a/l project would be great contribution.

TJ press from ows went from under reported to big boom

MS i can contribute lots from occ oakland anarchists. Interested in knowledge dissemination

MB i can be a helping hand. Is exciting

MS need trained on wordpress

MB can do wordpress

-A/L one year anniversary

BW Party!

All: yay!

BW tomorrow is one year anniversary.

AS started here at 60 wall with a sea of people

TJ a hive!

MS we’re still here!

TJ we’re still poor!

MB party when? Tomorrow?

AS No. one day… mid nov?

MB doodle?

MS white horse?

TJ sentimental place. Our maxs kansas city. Also lorelei in gp.

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[accordion_panel title=”Labor and Community Rally in Support of Hot and Crusty Workers”]

Posted October 17th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

From the Laundry Workers Center:

Thursday, October 18th, 2012
4-6PM
Hot and Crusty Cafe,1201 2nd Avenue (NW corner of 63rd street and 2nd Avenue, NYC)
After a grueling 47 days on the picket line and weeks of negotiations with the potential new ownership of the store, the resolve of the Hot and Crusty workers is being tested once again. With the prospect of a new lease being signed this week and the possibility of returning to work immediately, members of the Hot and Crusty Workers Association are being asked to make significant and unacceptable concessions to the collective bargaining agreement we were in the process of negotiating–most notably the removal of a previously agreed upon hiring hall and the imposition of unilateral management control over the workplace. It is clear that the new ownership, while eager to open the store, is testing the unions power. They are banking on the workers acceding to these concessions out of sheer financial necessity, knowing they have been without income for almost 2 months now.
 
They have grossly underestimated the commitment of the workers to this struggle.
 
While everyone is understandably eager to get back to work, the workers refuse to be strong-armed by these new investors. Despite holding the picket line this long without a strike fund or any source of financial support, the H & C workers have pledged to see this fight though to the end. They refuse to return to work under broken promises and a CBA that has essentially been shredded and retooled in the employers favor. They view their struggle within the broader system of exploitation of low-wage immigrant workers and the attacks on workers rights across this country, and refuse to be treated as disposable. They will not leave the picket line until their demands are met.

Your support is needed now more than ever.Please join Laundry Workers Center, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association, the Hot and Crusty Solidarity Committee, Occupy Wall Street, unions, worker centers, immigrant rights groups and community supporters THIS THURSDAY, 10/18, FROM 4-6PM for a rally and speak-out in support of the Hot and Crusty workers. Please sign the attached endorsement form or e-mail me back on behalf of yourself or your organization and let us know you’ll be there to support the workers Thursday. Our tactics are working, and the community support has been critical in moving the negotiation process forward. Join us Thursday in one unified show of strength to show the new ownership we are here, we are watching, and we are not going away!

The Hot and Crusty workers have shown the labor movement, with what little resources they have, what it means to organize, fight and win these critical battles, no matter how small the shop or bargaining unit. We hope you will support them in their efforts.

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[accordion_panel title=”Update on Thursday’s Musician/Independent Worker Discussion”]

Posted October 17th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

We’ve confirmed some folks to kick off the night, and then we’ll open up the conversation to everyone. Hope to see you there! [Here’s the original announcement.]

Melvin Gibbs, bass guitarist and composer
Luis Molina, taxi driver and DJ
Ben Laude, classical pianist
Tanya Kalmanovitch, violist and professor
Daphne Carr, journalist and musician
Teresa Fellion, dancer and artistic director
Alex Asher, trombonist
Jim Pugliese, drummer/percussionist

Afterwards, at 9pm we’ll move from discussion into ACTION — join the Justice for Jazz Artists campaign in Washington Square Park and march to the Blue Note for pension, fair pay scales, and protections of recordings for all musicians who play at the club. Meet under the arch — there will be a live band.

Learn more about the J4JA event here!

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[accordion_panel title=”Hot & Crusty Workers Continue the Fight for Justice!”]

Posted October 15th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Workers at Hot & Crusty, Europan and other restaurants owned by the same investors are keeping up the pressure to demand fair treatment at work. They are showing restaurant owners around the city that immigrant workers will not be silent and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect!

In addition to the events around the city, the ongoing picket line in front of the 63rd St. Hot & Crusty store is in its 5th week!

Monday 10/15:
Europan Cafe, 78th St & Broadway, 4:30-5:30pm
Tuesday 10/16:
Europan Cafe, 78th St & Broadway, 4:30-5:30pm
Wednesday 10/17:
Ray’s Pizza, St. Marks Pl. & 2nd Ave., 5-6pm
Thursday 10/18:
Hot & Crusty Rally for Justice, 63rd St. & 2nd Ave., 4-6pm
Pizza Bagel Cafe, 14th St. & 1st Ave., 6:30-8:30pmTepito Taqueria Bar & Restaurant, 14th St. & 1st Ave., 6:30-8:30pm

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[accordion_panel title=”We ROCKED today’s inaugural #lineclog at Golden Farm!! 45…”]

Posted October 13th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

We ROCKED today’s inaugural #lineclog at Golden Farm!! 45 minutes of penny-driven disruption & mayhem.

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[accordion_panel title=”October 9, 2012″]

Posted October 11th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

REPORT BACKS: 

In Attendance: BR, AS, BW, PC, CT, MB

Report Backs:

  • ALT ECON MTG
  • DEBT SQUARES AT EFA
  • Art Matters Grant
  • Critics Roundtable:
  • CMJ Panel Discussion: Working Conditions for Musicians
  • Tammy Kim Article
  • Organizer training
AGENDA
 SMACK MELLON
O13


REPORT BACKS:

1. ALT ECON MTG

MB: Alt Economy Meeting Report Back– should we post subgroup minutes to the laborer’s list?

Alt Econ Book: It’s done! No budget for printing. Looking into funding. Also looking for online ability to comments and add resources. Will send to tech ops. Also ask WS about possible tools.

Yana talked about her project. She made a survey that her parents handed out to the factory that they work in Georgia. She is using that to make paintings, and as a way for people to experience art. This might be something that we can engage in. Reach out to people who aren’t art targets, to expand our ideas for what art should be, and how it can be accessible.

Also talked about different projects. MB wants to work on projects that extract art from capitalism. Redefining, art, artists and art world.  AS wants to look at intersection between individual and collective art practice. AS is interested in how art circulates

Yana interested in value, from critics to curators. Ownership- who owns art. Survey of bringing in people who aren’t traditionally in art world, reconnecting them to art.

BW: I do something similar to survey idea at Paul Robeson galleries. Current show “what cannot be cured must be endured.” Artists who have work all deal with health. Communities aren’t arts communities. Juvenile detention centers, day car centers for seniors and developmentally disabled adults. Not art therapy- they are making art. They are artists. This program might be a good resource, its been going on for 5 years. There are 10 teaching artists. They have done research. Amanda Bell is the curator there who runs the program.

MB: Capitalism is disease.

BR: Quote of the day.

MB:  In Yana’s project, she said that the roles between “laborer” and  “artist” are switched. Am interested in that idea.

2. DEBT SQUARES AT EFA
Was great! Was successful! Lots of stories were shared. It got really personal. It was recorded, but it was too intimate to share.  MB will listen to audio and make a stab at synopsis, but leave out personal details so we can have a report back for our website.

BW: Has photos. Will send.

3. Art Matters Grant

Grant was submitted, they got it. We got confirmation. Will hear in 2 weeks if there is any problem with our submission. We will hear if we get it or not by December 1st.

 4. CMJ Panel Discussion: Working Conditions for Musicians

It’s happening on October 18th Matt P. On Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/events/286009974832420/?fref=ts

Speakers still being confirmed. Looking for a good facilitator. Format will be start with open popcorning about what the conditions are for musicians, and then a few panelists from other industries will talk about their work in relationship to these conditions. Then it will be an open discussion.

MB: What does he need?  Promotion. We can all help promote.

AS: Panel Riffs as action? ie. We could wheatpaste alternative panel titles on CMJ posters and or programs. I lived the Heydey and see the future. I lived the Heydey and I see no future.

MB: Connect Ben Laude with Matt P. and Joey

BR: Anyone who wants to work on an action surrounding this, should contact Matt P. We don’t have a lot of time.

PC: Usually don’t advertise panels, just bands. There is a program.

5. Critics Roundtable: 

BR sum up: It is in the works. So far speakers confirmed are Martha, Ben Davis, Paddy Johson, Omar ?,  Mira Schor, Kareem Estafan. Waiting until end of week to send finalize text once we have solidified the group.

AS: Someone should meet with Amanda about arranging space. They arrange space. AS will email MS about space.  Send the email blast out by October 16th. Enough time to get into some blogs. Annie will get more contacts.

BW: Is there enough space? Will draw a lot of people.

CT: Have been to events that its full. Can’t do a circle. People in front audience.

MB: I want us to think about how can critics change their practice that is revolutionary.  What would really change the dynamics of hierarchy and power within this field?

BR: Have you seen the panel description? It frames the conversation pretty nicely.

MB: No. Hasn’t gone out to list.

AS: We will put the citics panel description out to the list.

Murphy Center Report Back: Labor studies department at CUNY. What would it mean to form a partnership—there is interest to do something. They are interested in working with us, they can have a panel.

Separate meeting around worker centers? To catch everyone up.

6. Tammy Kim Article

Tammy Kim-  labor lawyer . AS, BR, and KW met with her and talked about our group. She is interested in writing an article about lives of art workers- ie are art workers day laboer’s?  Pitched to blogs- picked up by The American Prospect.

If anyone wants to reach out to her and talk about their experiences as an art worker email her at etam…@gmail.com.

7. Organizer training

MP set up meeting with Paul Gestos. He founded Community Voices Heard—went well but he was a little bristly—comments about anarchists—said we wanted something really basic- initial strategies- how build powerbase—difference between activism and organizing.—but not sure if he wants to do it or not. He is leaving for Paris. Need to do before or wait for him to come back in November—maybe best to look for another person? Could do with him as well or with MP- Blithe’s husband. BR and MP are working on it. Will continue the search.

——–end of report backs

AGENDA

 SMACK MELLON

Smack Mellon—what to do? Last meeting got consensus.

Overview of invitation: Initially came by curator to Annie who decided that the natural thing would be to propose A&L since that has been her work for the past year.  Curator is up for it. The whole basis for the show is “the aesthetics of resistance.” The Fee for participation is $50.

AS: We are late with proposal. Need to give the curator something. Show is not that far away.

 Previous Proposals for what to do at SM (2 weeks ago).

1.     Debt Squares

2.     Address why only paid $50 dollars—to point to issue resist aesthetics of resistance.

3.     Formal documentation of what A & L has done- handshake with art community.

4.     Use as advertising for A & L.—have regular meeting in open space invite people in to see what organizing and resistance looks like

5.     have color pens and poster paper record people meeting and discussing tactics- way to engage people in what we do.  What do we want?

AS: Do we want to do it about $50? Somehow divide $$ between all workers—or take total of $500 or all artists? That said, so tired of artists taking money and critiquing it . Not about criticizing her (curator is a friend). Or something else about infrastructure?

CT: Anything we do is a form of outreach. Feel like we should address $50

PC: Like the idea of addressing fee too.

AS: Could chart it- all work that it takes to have these conversations.  Getting $50 is not normal in non-profit gallery.  Invite WAGE into discussion? Could ask to see amount of money artists have been paid for projects in the past.

BR: BIG Resistance to documentation- can depoliticize. Put A&L and OWS in a box that is not productive. Focus on what do we want to accomplish with this show. Change consciousness of AW’s, stop smack Mellon using unpaid interns, higher fees for shows? If we decide that we can talk strategy.

BR: What about a big sign that says “The Aesthetics of Resistance Are Not Here along with our meeting time?

BW, CT: Like that.

BW: What if we made it like a sign? Or what if it was wall text for a piece- so that people were looking into empty space.

AS: That phrase is poetic and interesting. Could be something we wheat paste at political shows in general.

MB: Or a Banner drop?

BR: Does that co-opt our aesthetic?

MB: Post it note?

BR: Resistance as we have seen it this year is not possible in a gallery. Does that statement say that it is coming? If so, I don’t like it. We have it in our spaces- meeting spots—the aesthetics we have is not planned. It collides and is generative in unexpected ways- you can’t curate or replicate that! Grrr.

AS: Like the idea of flyer on ground that can hand out. $50 worth of flyer?

Also thinking about the buttons and 5 ways to act—that should be in every fucking gallery show- $50 worth of buttons and statement about our fee. – Acknowledge the crappy pay, but encourage people to act.

BR: Now that you say that, while I really like “The Aesthetics of Resistance are not Here,” if A&L’s participation in this show is to reach art workers, its not very generous. How does it organize or build solidarity? (could even alienate other AW’s in show)… Five ways is softer, more generous in spirit. A bitter fit because of that? WE could also include index cards where we ask people to tell us what issues they feel A&L could be addressing. Still, part of me just wants to yell and scream about shows that try and represent social movements.

PC: Flyers on wall at Whitney- Sharon Hayes.  Hmmm… (discussion about pros and cons of that show)

What do we all think now?

CT- torn. Leaning toward 5 ways. But also really like statement too.

BW – Likes the aesthetics of resistance are not here, but only if title of show

PC- likes   5 ways

MB-: Wants something more generative and performative- survey in gallery.

BR- is torn—leaning 5 ways

AS- like generative—5 ways ok

BR: Agreed on something on 5 ways with something generative.

AS: will ask what the title is.

O13

There is an O13 action spoke on Friday.

We will coordinate a spot to meet and be together on Saturday. Bring good signs! Maybe we will swirl.

We don’t think that we have enough time to do Debt Squares.

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[accordion_panel title=”Twice the Work, Half the Pay: Entrepreneurship and Exploitation in the Music Industry”]

Posted October 4th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Thursday, Oct. 18, 6-8pm
Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall (239 Thompson St., New York)

The annual CMJ Music Marathon comes to NYC October 16-20, with panels on the music business promising to “help make sense of the current climate.” But what does it really offer musicians? How does the industry itself, which promotes ideas such as the “super-entrepreneur,” contribute to the difficult conditions musicians face?

Musicians regularly surmount myriad problems: working for tips, below minimum wage or nothing; misclassification/1099s; inconsistent gigs; multiple employers; a lack of respect for their profession; and a byzantine system of agents, contractors, media and tech companies climbing over each to profit from musicians’ work.

Individually, we make it work because we have to. We have to survive, we have to make a living, we have to perform. The industry leads us to believe that there is no other way to do so. And while so much of our career is social (performing and networking), we are on our own when it comes to the business side. This hardly allows us to see the big picture. Who’s making the money? Why should musicians take on so much of the risk, but little of the reward?

These issues are not unique to the music industry. Many people in professions deemed “entrepreneurial” or “independent” experience similar conditions, including visual artists, taxi drivers, childcare workers, truckers, freelancers, construction workers, domestic workers, writers, and others. How are they addressing these problems?

Join musicians and other workers for a facilitated discussion and strategy session to explore ways we can act together against the systems that keep us isolated and divided.


A collaboration between OWS Arts & Labor, 99 Pickets, and the Musicians Solidarity Council.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Twice the Work, Half the Pay: Entrepreneurship and Exploitation in the Music Industry”]

Posted October 4th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Thursday, Oct. 18, 6-8pm
Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall (239 Thompson St., New York)

The annual CMJ Music Marathon comes to NYC October 16-20, with panels on the music business promising to “help make sense of the current climate.” But what does it really offer musicians? How does the industry itself, which promotes ideas such as the “super-entrepreneur,” contribute to the difficult conditions musicians face?

Musicians regularly surmount these myriad problems: working for tips, below minimum wage or nothing; misclassification/1099s; inconsistent gigs; multiple employers; a lack of respect for their profession; and a byzantine system of agents, contractors, media and tech companies climbing over each to profit from musicians’ work.

Individually, we make it work because we have to. We have to survive, we have to make a living, we have to perform. The industry leads us to believe that there is no other way to do so. And while so much of our career is social (performing and networking), we are on our own when it comes to the business side. This hardly allows us to see the big picture. Who’s making the money? Why should musicians take on so much of the risk, but little of the reward?

These issues are not unique to the music industry. Many people in professions deemed “entrepreneurial” or “independent” experience similar conditions, including visual artists, taxi drivers, childcare workers, truckers, freelancers, construction workers, domestic workers, writers, and others. How are they addressing these problems?

Join musicians and other workers for a facilitated discussion and strategy session to explore ways we can act together against the systems that keep us isolated and divided.


A collaboration between OWS Arts & Labor, 99 Pickets, and the Musicians Solidarity Council.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Learn About: 99 Pickets”]

Posted October 1st, 2012 by Sundrop • permalink

99 Pickets, a working group from Occupy Wall Street, seeks to build a mass worker’s movement in New York City and beyond. We are workers, immigrants, artists, the unemployed, students and retirees: the 99%.

Revitalizing the picket line—a tactic with a long and rich history—we use worker-driven, creative action to draw attention to the common struggles of people across the city.

From wage theft, discrimination, abusive employers, food justice, misclassification, exploitive working conditions, retaliation for organizing, to unsafe workplaces, 99 Pickets strives to connect the dots between seemingly isolated conflicts, building a community and a movement to counter the 1%.

Check out upcoming 99 Pickets events!

Another city is possible, but we need to build it.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Another Week of Action for Hot & Crusty Workers!”]

Posted September 30th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

This is the second week of actions organized by workers at restaurants owned by the same group of investors from the Hot & Crusty on 63rd St..

Learn more about the campaign at a public forum with workers and organizers. Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 — 2-3pm Hunter College, 68th St. & Lexington Ave. — Faculty Lounge, 8th Floor of Hunter West Bldg.

In addition to the events around the city, there is still an ongoing picket line at the 63rd St. store!

Monday 10/1:

    Pizza Bagel Cafe, 14th St. & 1st Ave., 8:30-9:30am

Tuesday 10/2:

    Ray’s Pizza, St. Marks Pl. & 2nd Ave., 8:30-9:30am

Wednesday 10/3:

    Tepito Taqueria Bar & Restaurant, 14th St. & 1st Ave., 6-7pm

Thursday 10/4:

    Europan Cafe, 78th St & Broadway, 9-10am AND 4-5pm

Friday 10/5:

    Bread Factory, 61st St. & Lexington Ave., 3:30-4:30pm

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Last night, a @Local_802_AFM organizing dir. was arrested at…”]

Posted September 28th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Last night, a @Local_802_AFM organizing dir. was arrested at a @J4JA rally at @BlueNoteNYC 

If you support the right to peaceful, legal protest in NYC, then like and share this message on Facebook and on Twitter #justiceforjazzartists.

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[/accordion_panel]

[accordion_panel title=”Boycott Saigon Grill!”]

Posted September 28th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

For years, the owners of Saigon Grill, Simon and Michelle Nget, failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to many of the delivery workers.  In 2008, the U.S. District Court issued a judgment of $4.6 million for the workers.  In 2010, the workers reached an agreement with the owners, who then sold their two restaurants to pay for the settlement.

A group of shareholders bought the Upper West Side restaurant and promised a payment of $1 million to the workers by October 2011. They have not yet made this payment. Furthermore, when the new owners took over, they created additional problems for workers, including discriminating against older workers, firing several workers who protested, and the failure to pay the workers overtime and report the workers’ income to the government.  Management brought in a phony union, the International Brotherhood of Trade Unions Local 713, to obstruct genuine worker organizing.  The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against the restaurant for unfair labor practices.

There is currently a boycott of the restaurant.  The workers are being supported by the Justice Will Be Served Campaign, which includes the Chinese Staff and Workers Association (CSWA), the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NMASS) and the 318 Restaurant Workers’ Union.  Also supporting this boycott is the Sweatshop Free Upper West Side Campaign, which is a coalition of residents, workers, students, faith institutions, local organizations, and small businesses that are fighting for good jobs and fair labor standards in the community.

There is picketing at Saigon Grill on Wednesday-Sunday, 12:30-2pm and 6:30-8:30pm.  Supporters are particularly urged to come to the picket line on Friday evenings, but participation at any time is appreciated.

For more information, contact Sarah Ahn at ahn.s81@gmail.com.  You can also contact the Justice Will be Served Campaign.

Press Coverage:
Sweatshop Free Upper West Side Rallies the Troops to Battle Saigon Grill, March 28, 2011
New Owners, and New Labor Complaints, January 5, 2011
Restaurant Owners Charged on More Than 400 Counts, December 3, 2008
Saigon Grill Must Pay $4.6 Million to Workers, October 22, 2008
The Deliverymen’s Uprising, August 6, 2007

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[accordion_panel title=”Laundry Workers Center is Continuing the Fight!”]

Posted September 23rd, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Inspired by the unionization drive by workers at Hot & Crusty on 63rd St., workers at other restaurants owned by the same group of investors are organizing to demand fair wages and just working conditions.

This week, workers have organized a series of events to highlight the struggles of restaurant workers and spread the word that they will not stand for exploitation!

Monday 9/24:

    Pizza Bagel Cafe, 14th St. & 1st Ave., 8:30-9:30am
    Bread Factory, 61st St & Lexington Ave., 5-6pm

Tuesday 9/25:

    Europan Cafe, 78th St & Broadway, 4-5pm

Wednesday 9/26:

    Ray’s Pizza, St. Marks Pl. & 2nd Ave., 5-6pm

Thursday 9/27:

    Tepito Taqueria Bar & Restaurant, 14th St. & 1st Ave., 8-9pm

Friday 9/28:

    Hot & Crusty, 86th St. & Lexington Ave., 4-5pm

Saturday 9/29:

    Tepito Taqueria Bar & Restaurant, 14th St & 1st Ave., 8-9pm

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[accordion_panel title=”Report back from NYU Outreach!”]

Posted September 23rd, 2012 by internavengerdee • permalink

Packed with pamphlets and our  increasingly popular “Pay Your Interns” buttons, on September 6th, 2012, the ILR team set out to hit the grounds of the  NYU Kimmel Center, host of their Fall 2012 Job & Internship Fair.  Stationed strategically outside the building, we found ourselves encountering a diverse array of responses towards our efforts. Our goal wasn’t necessarily to stop folks from taking on an unpaid internship, but to simply raise awareness about rights, regulations, and resources related to the issue. And well, being as this was our first-ever outreach event targeted specifically towards students, we were nervous, too.  So…how did people react to our presence?

 “Thanks, but this is the only way to get a real job! There’s no point in your work!”

Caution and irritation. What they forgot was that, according to one of the only known U.S. studies on this matter, unpaid internships lead to fewer job offers than paid internships .

“Yeah, I agree it’s messed up…but what else can we do?”

Helplessness. A majority agreed it was unfair, but just saw no other alternative or way around it. International students seemed to be the most interested, expressing that, other than an on-campus job, this was the only other option they could explore for job prospects (as instructued by the school).

“Sure it’s unfair, but it offers so much opportunity! I’m excited to learn something new!”

Perhaps it offers opportunity, but what kind, and at what expense? Will you be doing coffee errands, or learning how to write policy briefs? Do you live around the area you’re applying to, or will you have to find housing? How *guaranteed* are you to get connections, and a job?  Some students stated that NYU compensates for unpaid internships, and/or receive credit. Wait a minute…

  • If you are getting credit,  you are paying your college for your unpaid internship.
  • If your college is paying for it, they are simply taking the load off employers who do not want to pay you entry-level salary.

It is also very well possible that those who can afford housing and other expenses in an unpaid internship might just possess a class advantage over those who cannot afford such expenses. 

 “YES! I’ve had [or known someone] with a bad experience. How can I get involved?”

Need we say more? =)

Regardless, many people seemed open to share their stories, be they fair attendees, or strangers on the street. We learned a lot from a ton of people, and we can’t wait for our next adventure! If you or anyone you know is heading out to another internship fair in the NYC metropolitan area, please contact us! Or, if you have a story, resources, or similar efforts you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you.

Filed under: Actions

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[accordion_panel title=”Turning lies into truth — @boycottgf #99pkts”]

Posted September 22nd, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Turning lies into truth — @boycottgf #99pkts

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[accordion_panel title=”We love pizza, just like you! Restaurant workers have rights…”]

Posted September 21st, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

We love pizza, just like you! Restaurant workers have rights too! #Hot&Crusty #99PKTS

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[accordion_panel title=”“Time requirement: 5 Days a week””]

Posted September 20th, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

We can’t state this enough, the law stipulates that unpaid interns should not perform the responsibilities of regular employees! A for-profit entity cannot, therefore, demand they work five days a week and ask of the intern to perform tasks such as “copying job folders, sending out invoices, filing, organizing and filling out paperwork, coding cell phone and other bills, maintaining office supplies, running errands.” How is this educational? How is this specific to learning about photo production? Sounds like a junior office manager position to us. Seliger Studio, if you cannot afford to hire someone to do this (even for minimum wage!), you probably should cut back on your operations. Asking that people do this work for free is illegal and immoral.

Archive Intern
Seliger Studio
(New York NY)
Internships available at a photography studio!
We are looking for creatively driven individuals to help at a studio of one of the most respected celebrity portrait photographers.

Currently available are internship opportunities alongside the Archivist and Studio Manager.
Being such coveted positions, we only offer one internship with each department.  We are looking for driven individuals who are willing and able to handle the pressure of working at one of the top studios in the industry.

For the archive internship:
We are looking for someone who is motivated and dedicated to assisting our archivist and post production manager.  You must be extremely organized and meticulous.  Day to day tasks will include managing the magazine collection, organizing the print storage room, keeping an inventory of prints and magazines, running errands and ordering supplies.  Must have a passion for images and be interested in learning about archival methods.

There is also an internship opportunity working alongside our studio manager. The position will allow for the candidates to learn more about the business aspect of a large and successful studio. You will assist the studio manager in many administrative ways such as copying job folders, sending out invoices, filing, organizing and filling out paperwork, coding cell phone and other bills, maintaining office supplies, running errands as well as having the opportunity to be a part of the production and organization of in-studio shoots and be on set.  Time requirement: 5 Days a week, Start date : ASAP

The positions are unpaid, but we do compensate for half of your monthly Metrocard.  We are looking for driven individuals who are willing and able to handle the pressure and fast pace of working at one of the top studios in the industry.

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”September 18, 2012″]

Posted September 19th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink
Announcements
Report Backs
  • worker centers
  • Discussion of the A&L reading group
  • Discussion of A&L email lists
Agenda
Propoals:
  • 99 PICKETS
  • FUNDRAISING
  • MONTHLY MEETING FOR PEOPLE THAT CAN’T MAKE IT REGULARLY/NEWCOMERS MEETING
s17
A&L Meeting Minutes 9-18-2012
Present: MP, YA, BR, AS2, BW, MS, WK, MS2, AS (facilitator), TJ–ANNOUNCEMENTS–
YA: Next Tuesday the Intern Labor Rights group is doing a screen printing session at Annie’s studio at 7pm. 320 Dean St. #2 near 3rd Ave. in Brooklyn. And it’s a farewell to Annie’s studio.

MP: Join 99 pickets, it does actions to draw together worker struggles of different kinds. http://99pickets.org

BW: Debt Squares is holding a workshop at Free University — Friday 5-6pm at Madison Square Park. Sewing/quilting project; we’re inviting people to visualize their debt through the act of crafting.

–REPORTBACKS–
BR: AS, KP and I have been doing a research project on worker centers. Last week talked to Murphy Institute (a CUNY labor studies program). Talked about how to get research/employment statistics. Awesome and open, open to helping us develop research. Mining data resources, doing surveys.

We feel we have a responsibility to assess current resources — maybe A&L peeps can start throwing stuff out to the list for everyone to evaluate.

AS: Maybe there’s a possibility of a real partnership with the Murphy Institute. Or a workshop/conference.

[Discussion of the A&L reading group. We’re looking for a new book or maybe a smaller portion size.]

[Discussion of A&L email lists]

MS: There’s a possible project, a reading room, lots of interest and a great body of great stuff to put together.

–PROPOSAL–
99 PICKETS
MP: Proposing A&L participation in an action organized by 99 pickets (a group that ties together groups of different kind) and the Musician Solidarity Council during the CMJ festival (October 16-20, probably on Oct 18). Want to hold a facilitated discussion of workers that are normally isolated (musicians, writers, artists) to share their experience organizing. May happen in Judson Memorial Church.
BR: would it specifically be addressing issues of musicians?
MP: no. that will be the selling point, but the idea is to show how the premise of things like temporary work is a shared experience.
AS: A&L is organizing the critic’s panel on Oct 24, so may conflict. Maybe we should just cross-promote as a series of events taking place about the cultural industry.
MP: this event is broader than the critic’s panel
MS2: would be good to email about both
MS: CMJ gets a lot of coverage, we should get in on that. Is the event framed as a critique of CMJ?
MP: that’s part of the focus, for the sake of promotion. No one is ever paid for performances, but yet it’s a huge event for the music industry.
MS2: is there an alternative to CMJ?
MP: not sure. there isn’t an anti-CMJ group that I know of.
BR: see all these things working together in an awesome way if we put the emphasis on CMJ, not only musicians, and then saying we’re continuing the discussion the next week at the critic’s panel.
Maybe there should be an action – a picket at CMJ – then the talk, then the discussion continuation at critic’s panel.
BW: think it’s a good idea. Would like it framed within the context of CMJ. Talk to PC, his band has played the festival several times and have felt the frustrations you’ve discussed.
MS: should articulate the plan well to the public for the sake of archives of A&L (why we participated, what the issues are, what we did, etc.). Similar to the Whitney Biennial.
AS: should we add a music critic to the critic’s panel? and then an A&L can speak on the Judson panel.
MP: that would be a given. Doesn’t want it to be like a traditional CMJ panel.
MS: the difference between artist and musician – artist has toher opportunities like residency, teaching etc. And musician can only tour and sell records.
MP: would like to also discuss how these individuals can feel more connected
MS2: in Canada there is funding for musicians
MS: on Canadian radio there is a law to play 30% Canadian bands so they get the royalties.
MP: not talking about how the different disciplines are separated. Musicians are taught to think they’re not workers.
MP: who is interested in participating? those interested should articulate the proposal, then bring it back to the group.
YA: should articulate externally that music is part of the grievances of A&L. And this panel is a way for us to address the specific problems that plague musicians.

UPTWINKLES!!!

FUNDRAISING
BR: Proposing to send an email re: fundraising to those that had requested art worker buttons. About 100 people.

AS: I agree it’s best for this to just go to those that got buttons. People had objected in an earlier meeting because if it was a bigger campaign, it was too much about the buttons.

Maybe we should mention specifics… like paying speakers, ourselves. This will go out for something.

BR: My only objection is that this is currently very, very clear; straightforward. Larger fundraising campaign is what

MS: This is just taking people up on their offer.

YA: Friendly amendment. Strike $5. Don’t suggest $5.

MP: What about $1,000,000 or less.

BR: Open Google doc for final revisions. UPTWINKLES!!!

MONTHLY MEETING FOR PEOPLE THAT CAN’T MAKE IT REGULARLY/NEWCOMERS MEETING
AS2: An update meeting when the breakout groups could meet.

YA: My only concern is that this is a no-commitment meeting. That people will go to this and not others. Do you think the current schedule is flawed?

AS2: Some people have said it’s not sustainable. They can’t come every meeting.

YA: I don’t come every meeting, I come when I can.
AS: I think there are people that don’t understand that.

MP: Let’s make it a special thing rather than a regular thing. Keep meeting schedule simple.

BR: How about instead of subgroups reportbacks, it was a project day. We worked on stuff together. Breakout groups.

MS: Maybe we should bump it down the road — ask what people think? Get a state of where we are.

AS: I like the idea of doing one welcome day. On A&L anniversary, 10/19. WHAT THE F is Arts & Labor? Party, introductions. Have the party have a working bent.

AS2: 1. It’s hard for me to tell people come on any Tuesday. They have to get caught up, etc. Was imagining people could

YA: Maybe restructure the meetings so they’re more use

MP: Like the action component.

TJ: Trying to position as a newcomer. Special events would be good. Party, work party. Bureaucratic stuff can be turn-off. Bill it as something that could bring people in and get to know people, have something applied.

BW: P came to meetings, and was super confused, overwhelmed. Didn’t feel useful. But then showed up again, a couple more times. Now he’s super into it. Is a part of it. So it is an issue.

AS2: My proposal: project Wednesdays. So people know they can join in.

TJ: Keep going back to Gran Fury teach-in. They said “Have More Parties”. The more we offer parties, the more of a group, social scene, engagement.

YA: What other kind of project could we do in a meeting other than working on a quilt.

BR: Good for us all to think about, how to incorporate new people.

AS2: Proposal on hold.

–AGENDA–
re: YESTERDAY. Everyone is out of jail! Everyone in Occupy.

BW: Maybe we can help those in jail get help caught up on whatever help they need.

AS2: I was inspired.

BW: Whole weekend was beautiful. Lots of positive energy despite dick cops. Very little aggression from pissed protested. The workshop project worked out really well, better than we thought. People stayed for a long time, had great convos about their debts. Contact with people visiting from around country was awesome.

TJ: Pissed off about the press coverage. So uniformly negative.

MP: Not surprised. Press coverage is always bad.

TJ: Everyone reported there were hundreds of protesters gathered, although there was clearly more.

BW: Had a conversation with a reporter for 30 minutes. His article came out, he used his age, showed she was sewing squares, just 5 people saying negative things about OWS. Great article by Rebecca Solnit in the Nation.

MS2: What’s the rational for arresting people.

AS: How did AS2 get arrested?

AS2: We were marching around the Irish Bar. We started running towards the main march. Someone tried to get through the cops (felony charge). AS2 was taking photos because it seemed so unnecessary. They kept pushing us away. Police told him to go across the alley, darted across, then a cop grabbed him, he couldn’t see, jacket over his head. 95 people in my cell. 50-60 were already there. Earlyish morning.

BW: Point of info on cops targeting people. Young woman been crashing on our couch. Did civil disobedience, Spectra action on Friday. They held her for 36 hours. Police asked them who they were living with, said they would release them sooner. Targeting people based on connections.

MS: It’s definitely gotten amped up here in NY.

BR: Couple positive things. Smaller dispersal was really awesome. Loved the swirls. re: press: Were we at the same event? Reminded how much more I believed in Occupy when I felt it was a mass.

MP: Loved the creativity, in other ways thought that it was a look back, didn’t connect to real struggles.

AS: Reminded me of why I came in the first place. What was lacking in the world, my world, before Occupy. A week ago, I was thinking about organizing in systematic ways. The past week reminded me that we should be radical in how we do it. This was more refreshing than any organizing that I’ve done at work. Reminded that what we do in A&L is a tiny part of a much larger grievance.

BW: One thing I really like about being on all the lists was that I kept seeing what everyone is doing, what all these committed, hard-working groups.

AS: Yes, we need a place to converge.

MS: I sent BR two articles today. One was the Solnit one, super positive, the other, a New Inquiry one, super smart analysis of Occupy. Good but skeptical. Some say that protest is a part of capitalism, do your thing in this space. The bottom, core thing… art and capital.

Wasn’t sure about coming to S17, went to march, really glad she went. The other thing, to be able to easily link in to a clear solution for something shitty (interns, etc.). It doesn’t matter if there are two people doing it, but still the noise makes a difference.

Recruited a student to go… printout invites.

AS: The thing that also moved me about last weekend is that I met so many people from outside NY. So many people came, had heard about, or had come back. Alinsky: if you’re small, make yourself look big. That’s what we’ve done. People ARE watching, but sometimes they’re not telling us.

MS2: Are there people outside of the arts working on the intern issue? I know people

YA: Yes. We meet on Wednesdays. We’re also hooking up with a Toronto intern group. So much awareness, so much press.

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[accordion_panel title=”It was a beautiful day in the streets for #S17NYC! #99PKTS…”]

Posted September 17th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

It was a beautiful day in the streets for #S17NYC! #99PKTS

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[accordion_panel title=”Debt Squares! Visualizing Debt Together”]

Posted September 17th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Nearly everyone is affected by debt, from recent graduates paying hundreds of dollars in interest on their students loans every month, to working families bankrupted by their medical bills, to those taking out payday loans at 400% interest to cover basic living costs, to the teachers and firefighters forced to take pay cuts because their cities are broke, to countries pushed into austerity and poverty by structural adjustment programs.

There is a movement building across the country of debt resistance. Many are mobilizing against the condition of debt, and the servitude and destruction that goes along with it. As part of this mobilization, people have begun to share their debt stories. These conversations make us realize that it is the system that is responsible for our shared condition. We are not alone.

you are not a loan

Another way of looking at debt in contrast to the feelings of financial paralysis it causes, is the idea of “indebtedness.” Not all debt is bad. There are also positive ways that debt that functions in society—being indebted can create social bonds and manifest itself in relationships through love, care and gratitude.  (i.e. think of the debt you owe to your friends or your parents.)

In a gesture of shared storytelling, Arts & Labor is initiating DEBT SQUARES, a community quilting project. We will be bringing this project into town squares, parks, and other spaces around New York City, inviting people to sew together, discuss, and visualize our shared condition of debt. The first sessions will begin in Washington Square Park on September 15th and in Foley Square on September 16th.

Debtors Squares: Join the debt resistance movement!

For those that can’t join us, we invite you to tell your debt story by making your own DEBT SQUARE that will be added to the quilt. Send us your square!

Arts & Labor
888 Newark Ave.
Studio #235
Jersey City NJ 07306

To contribute to this project please consider the following guidelines:
• SQUARES should be approx. 20” x 20”
• Use fabric that is fairly durable
• We have created a suggested color logic for you to consider while building your debt square:
RED = Student Debt / Education
YELLOW = Mortgage / Housing
GREEN= Credit Card / Commercial
BLUE= Medical
RAINBOW, PASTELS & PATTERNS = Love / Care / Friendship / Family, etc.

Note: These are just suggestions! Feel free to ignore this entirely and make your DEBT SQUARE square your own. 

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[accordion_panel title=”Join 99 PKTS on September 17 for the Occupy Wall Street Anniversary!”]

Posted September 16th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

99 Pickets, OWS Arts & Labor, the Labor Outreach Committee, and Immigrant Worker Justice are all joining forces on the OWS Anniversary to highlight worker and immigrant struggles within the 99%. Just look for the #99PKTS banner to join us!

7am: Gather at Zuccotti Park as part of the 99% contingent and help build the People’s Wall, a blockade of the NY Stock Exchange.

8:30am: Labor “Swirl” — after the first wave, regroup at 2 Broadway (near Battery Park Station on the 4,5) for a mobile protest of anti-worker employers and businesses in the Financial District.

1pm: 99 Pickets Blitz — meet at 26 Federal Plaza (just off Foley Square) for a brief teach-in on labor and immigrant issues and then a tour of bad employers.

Our goal in all of these actions is to keep participants safe and reduce the chance of arrest.

Stay in touch with us during the day on S17 by joining the 99 Pickets text loop. Just text @pickets to 23559. For general OWS S17 updates, text @S17NYC to 23559.

For a full schedule of events for the weekend, check out the S17 NYC website.

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[accordion_panel title=”NYU Students stand in solidarity with 1199SEIU healthcare workers”]

Posted September 16th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

On September 11th, NYU students stood in solidarity with 1199SEIU nursing home members against NYU Law School trustee Daniel Straus, who has endowed the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice at NYU Law School with annual gifts of $1.25 million. It’s an understatement to say that his workers don’t benefit from the same generous treatment. Daniel Straus’ nursing home companies, Care One and HealthBridge, have a long history of breaking federal labor law and violating workers’ rights, including firing caregivers for trying to form a union, slashing healthcare, wages and staffing, and threatening one of our union organizers with violence.

The NYU student in this video was exercising his free speech rights on his own campus. For this, he was met by a goon squad of Daniel Straus supporters, who surrounded him threateningly, yelled homophobic slurs in his face and threatened to beat him up. Is this the way students should be treated for standing up for workers?

1199SEIU is asking allies to share the video and sign the petition started by the students to remove Daniel Straus from the NYU Law School board.

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[accordion_panel title=”What’s outrageous? Stealing wages! @BoycottGF #99PKTS”]

Posted September 15th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

What’s outrageous? Stealing wages! @BoycottGF #99PKTS

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[accordion_panel title=”This exhaustive list of “experiential learning” speaks for itself…”]

Posted September 14th, 2012 by internavengerdee • permalink

“NYTW interns receive a monthly unlimited MetroCard, plus academic credit if applicable. Interns are required to work a minimum of three full days per week, 10am-6pm, with occasional extra hours for assisting with productions and events.
NYTW is committed to providing interns with structured and substantive experiential learning.”

Internships typically last three to nine months, during which interns are assigned to a specific department and staff supervisor. Our internships are geared toward college students and post-graduates interested in learning from theatre professionals, contributing to a vibrant downtown community of artists, and connecting with other like-minded young professionals.

NYTW interns receive a monthly unlimited MetroCard, plus academic credit if applicable. Interns are required to work a minimum of three full days per week, 10am-6pm, with occasional extra hours for assisting with productions and events.

NYTW is committed to providing interns with structured and substantive experiential learning. Interns meet regularly with their departmental supervisors and are occasionally asked to fulfill duties or projects for other departments. This gives interns a taste of multiple aspects of NYTW and its operations, and we encourage interns with varied interests to explore them.

The entire company of NYTW interns gathers every month for a lunchtime or evening mentoring event with an invited guest from the NYTW staff or theatre community to discuss their work and share ideas. Interns have met with artists such as Elizabeth Marvel, Alex Timbers, Leigh Silverman, Michael Greif, Betty Shamieh, Jessica Blank, Donyale Werle, Rinde Eckert, Young Jean Lee, and many others.INTERNSHIP DESCRIPTIONS

Artistic Internships

Artistic and Casting Interns are required to work on Mondays in the Fall/Spring, due to our Mondays @ 3 reading series.

All Artistic, Casting, Literary and Education Interns are strongly encouraged to attend Artistic staff meetings on Friday mornings.

Artistic
Artistic Interns work closely with the Artistic staff, providing support for all Artistic, Workshop and Education programming. Responsibilities include helping to facilitate our Mondays @ 3 reading series in the Fall and Spring; helping to coordinate and attend meetings and events for our extended community of artists, the Usual Suspects; helping to run casting sessions; helping prepare dramaturgical support materials for our season productions; and to provide general administrative support to the Artistic and Education departments. Summer Artistic interns assist in the coordination of NYTW’s annual summer residency at Dartmouth College, which includes company management activities such as arranging travel and lodging for artists. A strong work ethic and attention to detail, as well as enthusiasm for our various programs, is highly encouraged. Interns participate in Friday morning Artistic staff meetings. Artistic internship terms run September through May and May through August; extensions and flexibility are possible.

Casting
Casting Interns work directly with our Casting Director to help coordinate and run auditions and maintain our casting databases. The casting intern communicates directly with agents, managers, and actors to arrange general auditions, EPAs, summer residency casting and auditions for workshops and season productions. The casting intern assists with making appointments, preparing audition materials and facilitating auditions. Strong communication and organization skills are required. Interns participate in Friday morning Artistic staff meetings along with the other artistic interns and staff members. Previous casting experience is helpful and preferred, though not required. Casting internship terms run September through May and May through August; extensions and flexibility are possible.

Literary
Literary Interns, under the supervision of the Literary Associate, read scripts, write reader reports, and, on occasion, correspond with writers regarding individual works. Interns contribute input to the selection of plays for the Mondays @ 3 reading series, and prepare for Larson Lab projects by maintaining communication with Usual Suspects and other artists, and providing support as needed. Literary interns also help prepare dramaturgical support materials for our season productions and participate in Friday morning Artistic staff meetings. Candidates who have or are currently pursuing an advanced degree in dramaturgy, playwriting or a related field are preferred for this internship. The literary internship is available September through May.

Education

Education Interns work closely with the Director of Education, helping to facilitate and document Learning Workshop programs, such as in-school residencies, mentoring workshops, student matinees, Mind the Gap Intergenerational Theatre Workshop, and Public Programs such as AfterWords and panel discussions. Education interns also coordinate the application and interview process for incoming interns and fellows, and provide dramaturgical and historical research for student and teacher guides for NYTW productions. Interns participate in Friday morning Artistic staff meetings and provide general administrative support to the Education department. Education Interns interested in teaching often have the opportunity to observe, lead, and assist in workshops taught at our partner schools, as well as participate in the lesson planning process with teaching artists. Applicants should have a strong attention to detail, ability to handle multiple projects at once, and a passion for working with young people in the arts. Education internship terms run September through May and May through August; extensions and flexibility are possible.

Management Internships

Marketing/Special Events
Marketing/Special Events Interns at NYTW are key members of the Marketing team of a cutting-edge off-Broadway theatre. Interns get hands-on experience with all aspects of the Marketing & Communications department, assisting with press relations, opening nights, research, VIP ticket requests, advertising, and social media. Interns help communicate with NYTW members and the public about productions, special offers and programs through mailings and email blasts. They also gain experience with grassroots marketing techniques, including Facebook, Twitter, and web-based video. Marketing interns help plan and execute special events and parties with NYTW’s young patrons group, the 4th Street Bar Association, and maintain NYTW’s press archive of articles, features and reviews. Applicants should have an interest in NYTW’s work and an enthusiasm for marketing and outreach. Experience with social media and technology a plus.

Fund Development
Fund Development Interns at NYTW have the unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of fundraising for one of the country’s leading nonprofit theatres by assisting the Development Department with individual, foundation, corporate and government fundraising initiatives. Working within a busy department at the heart of the organization, Development interns interact with every NYTW department and gain significant insight on some of the most important aspects of nonprofit management. Responsibilities include assisting with the coordination of special events such as opening night parties, benefits and receptions for NYTW’s young patrons group the 4th Street Bar Association; understanding donor research; processing gift acknowledgements; updating our fundraising database Raiser’s Edge (used by many nonprofit development offices); learning grant writing and helping with other general administrative support. Applicants should have a strong attention to detail, knowledge of Excel, and an interest in fundraising. Completion of coursework in fundraising or development and experience with Raiser’s Edge a plus. Development internship terms run for three to nine months depending on start date; extensions and flexibility are possible.

G
eneral Management Intern
General Management Interns work directly with the Managing Director and General Manager to gain hands-on experience with all aspects of management of one of the country’s leading non-profit theatres. General Management interns will gain relevant experience and immediately applicable skills for a career in producing or arts management, including budgeting, contract administration, human resources, and Box Office and Front of House management. Interns will also learn the ins and outs of communication with all major theatrical unions, and attend meetings with leaders in the field. Interns will assist with company management for each NYTW production, interacting with the cast and creative team to help arrange travel, housing and other needs. Applicants should have strong attention to detail and a desire to learn about theatreical management.

Production Internships

Production Internship terms run for three to six months, depending on start date and production needs; extensions and flexibility are possible.

Production Management
Production Management Interns work closely with the Production Manager, assisting in the daily operations of the extremely active production team at NYTW. The Production Management intern works in an intimate environment with ample opportunities for hands-on learning and contact with top designers, stage managers, and crew members, including access to all production meetings and tech rehearsals. Production Management interns conduct research into all aspects of production, keep track of production and facilities budgets, prepare payroll forms, coordinate trips to the theatre’s prop and scenic storage units, and take on responsibilities of communication and coordination with the numerous daily rentals in our Fourth Street Theatre. Applicants should be extremely well-organized and interested in learning the day-to-day coordination of all scenic, lighting, costume, and sound needs for NYTW productions. Knowledge of Microsoft Office programs is a plus, and a positive attitude and sense of humor are also strongly encouraged. Production Management internships are geared towards those who are interested in developing management and administration skills.

Technical Direction
Technical Direction Interns assist the Technical Director with carpentry, coordination of builds and strikes, and maintenance of spaces, equipment, and materials. The Technical Direction intern has the unique opportunity to work at the heart of an intimate production team, with ample possibilities for hands-on learning and projects. The Technical Direction intern also has contact and networking opportunities with top designers and theatre professionals. Interns should have schedule flexibility due to the variable production schedule. Strong applicants are self-motivated, have a sense of humor, and a desire to pursue a career in technical direction. Carpentry experience, the ability to lift 50 lbs., and a valid driver’s license are required. Knowledge of VectorWorks is a plus. Technical Direction internships are appropriate for those considering a career in technical direction and are focused specifically on assisting with construction of scenic elements and developing carpentry and technical skills.

Costume Shop
Costume Shop Interns assist the Shop Manager with coordination of builds and strikes, and maintenance of costumes, shop space, equipment, and materials. Costume Shop interns create and maintain NYTW’s database of costume rentals, completing research, and cataloguing costume pieces by fabric type, color, style and period. Costume Shop interns have the unique opportunity to work at the heart of an intimate production team, in a brand-new facility with ample possibilities for hands-on learning and projects. Costume Shop interns also have contact and networking opportunities with a wide range of theater professionals, including top costume designers. Candidates should have computer knowledge, research skills, strong attention to detail, and an interest in learning about costume styles and periods. Basic sewing a plus, but not required. Interns should have schedule flexibility due to variable production needs. Strong applicants are self-motivated, have a sense of humor, and a desire to pursue a career in costume design and/or wardrobe management.

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Want to (maybe) get some free tickets to a show? Just work 20-40 hours per week for free!”]

Posted September 14th, 2012 by internavengerdee • permalink

DeVos Institute Internships are opportunities for hands-on experience in arts management. Internships are full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time (20-30 hours per week) unpaid positions.  Interns participate in seminars with Kennedy Center staff and receive complimentary tickets to Kennedy Center performances (subject to availability).

Spring 2013 Kennedy Center Internships

DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center

Category: Internship

Description:

DeVos Institute Internships are opportunities for hands-on experience in arts management. Internships are full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time (20-30 hours per week) unpaid positions. Interns participate in seminars with Kennedy Center staff and receive complimentary tickets to Kennedy Center performances (subject to availability). Internships are offered in many departments including: Fundraising; Marketing; Education; Programming; IT; Production Management; Institutional Affairs; DeVos Institute of Arts Management; Washington National Opera; and National Symphony Orchestra. Applications are due October 15, 2012. For more information and application instructions, please visit our website: http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/artsmanagement/internships/.

Job Start Date:

1/22/2013

Job End Date:

4/26/2013

Salary:

N/A

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Art Workers Unite! One Year Anniversary of OWS”]

Posted September 14th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink


Dear Art Workers and Allies,
September 17 is the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Working groups all over the city are planning actions, events, and discussions to honor the occasion. Arts & Labor is participating in full force throughout the three-day convergence and beyond with Free University from September 18th–22nd. We want to share our plans with you, and invite you to join us!

The overall flow of the weekend activities is as follows:


S15 Education

Washington Square Park, 5th Ave and Waverly. 10:30am–9pm
Full Schedule
Arts & Labor launches “Debt Squares” from Noon–3 pm.


S16 Celebration

Various Locations
Full Schedule
“Debt Squares” continues from Noon–3pm.


S17 Resist!

Start the day off bright and early with a series of nonviolent direct actions (varying levels of risk) around Wall Street.

Full Schedule
Download Action MAP! 

7am: Arts & Labor meets at the 99% Zone, at Liberty Park. Look for the Art Strike Sign! Alternate Location “The Red Cube” across the street.
7:30am: Solidarity with People’s Wall Peaceful Sit in around the stock exchange.
(Note: Arrestable Action)
8:30am: Arts & Labor Joins the “Labor Swirl,” a walking tour of Labor Targets on Wall Street.
Meeting Spot: 2 Broadway, across from the Bowling Green stop on the 4, 5.
11 am: Action General Assembly at South Ferry Terminal. 
GA to decide additional actions for the day.

Green Zone: A safe space to retreat and rest 
Foley Square, all day


TRAININGS

If you are interested in taking part in actions on the morning of S17, we strongly suggest you consider attending an action and legal training session.
Full List of Trainings


Stand With Occupy

Intellectuals, Academics, and Artists Call to Support OWS Anniversary Actions 

SUPPORT
Donate!
The Action Resource Fund helps Occupy Wall Street working and affinity groups get the resources they need to do the things they want on big days of action. Please contribute if you can.
Protect Occupy’s Right to Peaceably Assemble!
Sign the petition, watch and share this video.

STAY IN THE LOOP
OWS September 17 Website
Sign up for General OWS S17 updates via text message TEXT: “@S17NYC” TO 23559

Follow Arts & Labor on Twitter and Facebook

http://artsandlabor.org

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[accordion_panel title=”Hello. Andrea Rosen. Hire a receptionist please.”]

Posted September 12th, 2012 by walshpeter • permalink

“Duties include front desk maintenance, interacting with the general public, research, errands, and administrative projects…”

Get beyond the lovely talk flattering potential workers and it sounds like this for-profit gallery needs a receptionist not an unpaid intern. This is a job not a training position. Pay your interns please.

Gallery Intern
Andrea Rosen Gallery

(New York NY)

Andrea Rosen Gallery is looking for a highly motivated, idealistic, detail-oriented intern who is eager to learn and can work well both individually and as part of a team. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain insight into the inner workings of a high level Chelsea gallery that represents a wide range of artists and executes a diverse array of exhibitions.  Although not necessary, ideal candidates will complete this internship in conjunction with undergraduate or graduate coursework in programs such as art history, fine arts, or cultural studies.

Duties include front desk maintenance, interacting with the general public, research, errands, and administrative projects such as organizing archival and artist materials and helping maintain gallery contacts. In addition, interns are responsible for specific projects that are based on individual interest and the needs of the gallery.

Salary: Unpaid. Lunch is provided every day.
Commitment: Two days per week, from 10am-6pm through December 2012, with the possibility of extending this opportunity.

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”You should be looking for a “sexy temp””]

Posted September 12th, 2012 by internavengerjk • permalink

Demi Monde is a “new sexy nightlife establishment” in the Financial District.

Last time we checked, these were the reasons a small business engaged a temp agency:

Telephone marketing and email outreach
Helping with event productions
Organizing talent and timelines for events
Office administration – filing paper work

Except a temp wouldn’t be expected to provide their own laptop.

Demi Monde 

Internship Opportunity for an exceptional candidate with strong work ethic and a passion for PR, event planning, and marketing at a nightlife establishment.

We are looking for an intern to assist with day-to-day tasks in our Special Events Department.

Duties are (but not limited too):

Telephone marketing and email outreach
Helping with event productions
Organizing talent and timelines for events
Office administration – filing paper work

Requirements:
Exceptional Communication Skills
Must have own laptop to bring in with them
Tech Savy
Positive Attitude
Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
A fashion forward sense

Hours are flexible and there will be many perks!

Unpaid Internship, possible hire.

School credit maybe earned.

PLEASE email resume and a brief cover letter.

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Hello. Marian Goodman. Hire an administrative assistant please.”]

Posted September 12th, 2012 by walshpeter • permalink

“Responsibilities will range from general administrative tasks to special projects involving artist- and exhibition-related research.  Duties may also include: cataloguing archival and reference materials, assembling press kits, compiling auction results and organizing the gallery’s library of exhibition catalogues and artists’ visuals. … Applicants must be organized and detail-oriented, and should possess a solid background in art history and a working knowledge of contemporary art.  Strong computer skills and knowledge of foreign languages are also preferred.”

Sounds like this for-profit gallery needs an administrative assistant not an unpaid intern. This is a job not a training position. Pay your interns please.

Gallery Intern
Marian Goodman Gallery
(New York NY)

Marian Goodman Gallery is seeking qualified interns to work 2-3 days per week from September through December 2012.

Responsibilities will range from general administrative tasks to special projects involving artist- and exhibition-related research.  Duties may also include: cataloguing archival and reference materials, assembling press kits, compiling auction results and organizing the gallery’s library of exhibition catalogues and artists’ visuals.

Interns will have the opportunity to work with all staff members and will gain exposure to different aspects of the gallery’s business.

Applicants must be organized and detail-oriented, and should possess a solid background in art history and a working knowledge of contemporary art.  Strong computer skills and knowledge of foreign languages are also preferred.

Internships are unpaid but may be used for school credit.  No phone calls please.

 

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Come work for free for a “thrifty” publicity company!”]

Posted September 12th, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

…”a small publicity and marketing group that thinks big, THRIFTY, feisty, and far into the future.” Well, there is truth in advertising. Part of their thrifty business plan is to ask you to do proofreading for them and update their website FOR FREE!

Ellen Jacobs Assoicates
(New York NY)
Ellen Jacobs Associates is currently seeking Publicity, Journalism, and Digital Media Interns for Fall 2012.

EJA is a small publicity and marketing group that thinks big, thrifty, feisty, and far into the future. Gifted with intellectual and graphic wit, the EJA staff is a passionate talented team of writers, publicists and artists known to slip under closed doors in an effort to convince the skeptical. Such acrobatic skills reflect our commitment to the arts, their supporters, and our respect for each client’s singular vision. We believe that the originality and intellectual substance of stories are critical to distinguishing and enhancing the reputation of our clients. This belief continues to be borne out in the hundreds of stories that appear on our clients in the print, electronic and digital media each year.

Interns at Ellen Jacobs Associates will be immersed in a creative and supportive work environment, with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the performing arts and publicity on a national and international level.

This is an unpaid internship, though interns will have compensation in the form of performance tickets.

Interns must be available at least 15 hours per week.

Please specify in e-mail subject which internship you are applying for.

1) PUBLICITY INTERN

Responsibilities Include:
-Assistance with digital archiving
-Assistance with gathering client materials (publicity reports and updates, etc)
-Handling press requests
-Assembling press kits
-Answering phone calls / interacting with managers and artists
-Daily monitoring of news services
-Proofreading materials for external communications

Qualifications:
-Highly organizational
-Well developed editing and proofreading skills
-Heavy attention to detail
-Personable and positive attitude
-Proficiency in: Microsoft Office, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
-Knowledge of Photoshop, a plus
-A love for all things New York arts—especially performing arts and dance

Application:
-Please send a resume, cover letter and a writing sample to eja@ejassociates.org.

2) JOURNALISM INTERN

Responsibilities Include:
-Assistance in researching materials for writing press releases for clients
-Proofreading press releases
-Handling press requests
-Daily monitoring of news services
-Assistance in tailoring social media strategies to client’s unique needs

Qualifications:
-Highly developed writing and editing skills
-Heavy attention to detail
-Personable and positive attitude
-Proficiency in: Microsoft Office, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
-Enthusiasm about all things New York arts—especially the performing arts and dance

Application:
-Please send a resume, cover letter and a writing sample to eja@ejassociates.org.

3) DIGITAL MEDIA INTERN

Responsibilities Include:
-Assistance in formatting and archiving articles
-Assistance in graphic design
-Assistance with website updates
-Daily monitoring of news services

Qualifications:
-Highly skilled in Photoshop, Illustrator
-Web design skills are a plus, but not necessary
-Heavy attention to detail
-Knowledge of the arts

Interns will receive hands-on experience with Illustrator and Photoshop, and a chance to enhance a portfolio with work executed during the internship.

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”September 11, 2012″]

Posted September 12th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

ReportBacks

  • Julia B. Wilson
  • Round Table discussion
  • Rad Arts
  • Banner Making – Thursday Night
  • Artist Union
  • Workers Center
  • West indie parade
  •  S17- Sat, Wash Sq park.

 

Arts & Labor

Meeting Minutes

September 11, 2012

Facilitation: BR / Minutes: AS

AG, KP, BW, AB, BR, TJ, AS, LP

Started out talking, as individuals, about how we felt given the 1 yr anniversary, our experiences looking back and looking forward.

ReportBacks

 Julia B. Wilson

BW- talked about craft, short, new people there. Excited to hear new voices. Felt like it could have lead to some projects. Many disciplines represented and brought much information to the talk.

LP – Good idea to do a follow up for a discussion possibly of the reading. Will be interested in helping to facilitate. BR – suggest to contact LW

Round Table discussion

BR – AS MS  are thinking to bring people in many roles and positions to come together to discuss in relation to the capitalist system. October 25th. At Urban Housing Works.

Rad Arts Report Back

BW  – Rad Arts is bringing material to Washing SQ Park on S17.. Not much else has happened in the Rad Arts Group. Meeting Friday 2pm, @BW space can be opened up for working on visuals.

Banner Making – Thursday Night

LP – Strike Debt is making banners at EFA, open to A&L for banner making.  Thursday noon also doing a trip to Materials for the Arts, if anyone needs to come along or send a wish list.

BW- Can the space be used Friday? – LP-  Friday afternoon maybe o.k., just need to double check with EFA. Space is big and open, come see what’s possible.

Artist Union

TJ –  K.R.O. Is coming to New York, Swedish Union. Wants to bring her to the group. Hoping to organize something for the group. She is also going to meet other unions for her research. LP and BR would like to help out.

Workers Center Reports back

KP – and AS meet with the taxi works alliance, setting up meeting with other worker centers in NYC and are seeing how the work. Meeting soon with lawyer for undocumented workers. Meeting with ___________ to understand how to organize within the arts since we are all very diverse.

BW- interesting to here about all these workers can organize workers centers.

KP- how I see it is that they (taxi workers alliance) focus on problems, build a campaign, and then gather support from it.  Also they have reach into politics, politicians that help assist in the cause.  We can follow their lead for a bit.

BW- they are in the model of submitting grievances and they work on them.

TJ – not sure if this is off topic. Feels like the artist are the problem with organizing a union. Something I think we need to convince that unions are in their interest.

AB – This art world is within capitalistic and individualistic, me, me ,me. Art school is a solitary project. Collectivism is coming in style. All people are art workers wat ever they do, and we are all contributing to this system.

LP- I agree, but I also think we need to build education into this project.. As individual training, atomizing can make people very vulnerable. Seem that this is amplified in art. Have people see the benefit each other via teach-ins.

AB – I thought the movement would bring in all the radicals but its business as usual.

Report back on the West indie parade
BW- Joined in the TWA float at the West Indian parade. As soon as  we unrolled the Occupy Wall Street banner and cops made them put it away and then they tried to kettle them. They would not talk to them. 30 cops surrounded the 15 occupy people. Libertarians we allowed to march.

S17

Sat, Wash Sq park.
10:30 start – Folk festival will be in the park, working together. Teachings, shirt making will be in the park. Tables are o.k. but maybe best not to.

Side announcement at Sat -2-4pm, Labor Alliance meeting, does A&L want to be there?

Sun. Foley Sq.
10:30 –  March to the concert at Foley Sq. Permit concert 1-6pm. Open structure to schedule day of, just come. Sunday night is supposed to be a march.

Monday 7am. Meeting in various locations before hand. Soft block wall street and various locations. Some groups are secret, some are open.  Call to dress business. Many direct action trainings sessions. How to plug in.

AB – These meeting are good to learn about how to deal with the police. Tactics on how to go limp to prevent injury.

BR- Check Google group.

AS- Bike Block – 6am Seward Park, Essex and Canal. For breakfast bikers, and prepare for the day.

BR – Debt square project, basically “quilting project to have people visualize their debt, lots of fabric, to sew and discuss debt in both positive and negative connotation of it.

BW – Do it both days? Nervous about cops finding reason to clear stuff out. Sunday is permitted safer to bring table. Willing to bottomline being there for both days

BR – Positive thing about Sunday is that it gives us more time to get our act together

AB – Cool if strike debt and A+L could be in the same vicinity.

BR – Sure we can figure it out.

AB – Strike Debt Monday lower SE Manhattan and come up, training on Thursday is open, will know more after that. Went to S17 Spokes council was only A&L person so went with Strike Debt.  Don’t know what the plan is yet

BR – On Monday want to be able to run around.

AB – Strike Debt planning theatrics in the street, leaving banners, boulders, temporary blockaids.

BW – Part of blockaid on N17 cop interaction, scary.

RH – Have the map, preliminary plan, copies of the schedule, some things will change. Not online yet but will be made public. Main thing is people coming to affinity group training, want as many people to come to these leading up to S17. Want people to have their own agency, four zones are set up.

AB – Spokescouncil was one way to form affinity groups. If A&L wanted to be an affinity group if they could

AS – Supposed to be prepping debt squares. Have a meeting this Friday. Getting materials ready, people won’t have huge attention span.

BR – Bring debt squares to EFA on Thursday.

BW – Can meet BR in the morning and help load things in the car and meeting later at EFA. Whatever time works can meet.

BR – Would be good to have one space to all be together.

AB – Would anybody be interested in me facilitating an email between some of these people and Strike Debt. Will do that so we can coordinate. Will do that tonight.

CP – Do you think Monday will be family friendly?

BW – Yes, not around Wall Street, but elsewhere. Greenspaces.

RH – Big thing is assemblies in the evening, not sure if that is figured out yet.

BW – All actions done on Monday by 11:30-noonish.

RH – Will reconvene to have lunch at Ferry Terminal.

BW – Another assembly in the works for a long time that LB and Mark were working on. A place for people to come together to feel supported and have project breakout groups together and connect people, to kick off, here’s all the different ways you can plug in. Push back because it was named after an anarchist figure, a lot of push back from union members that that made it exclusionary. Due to lack of communication they put together their own general assembly in Zuccotti. Working with lawyers, fighting to get it opened back up for Monday. Unfortunately both of these happen at exactly same time. They have now dropped the name, very iffy if Zuccotti thing will work. Trying to merge them. Idea is to make it a safe space. No reoccupations, we all know how that ends

PC – Some people want to try and do that.

BW – Want to bring out birthday cake.

AS – Question, are we making any announcement, do we go to our old list and tell people have to find us or more within our own working group. How public do we want ourselves to be? Don’t have a preference, just asking.

BW – Good to have people know.

RH – We should use the opportunity to communicate to everyone, why it is important for us to be in the street on that day, what is at stake. The power we have is to help rally. Helping to publicize that info.

BR – Seems like we need a website post and email blast. We could send that out if we could get it together.

AB – Good to coordinate with other groups and see where they will be situated. Good to go to one of these spokes. Only other one is Friday spokes council to give a sense of what is where.

BR – What if we could commit to a group of us getting together on Saturday morning to plan and can communicate to the group.

AS – Most people don’t already know what these three days are going to look like. Basic info and language, getting that out is useful. Get our basic info out on Facebook, fast posting, we are here now. Saturday morning might be so crazy.

BW – Labor outreach said they would send something.

BR – Sam is here form labor outreach.

BW – Let’s wait and see what they have done and maybe adapt for art specific stuff.

S – We have stuff we are tying to do an would like to invite you guys too. Because this is a big thing that will be chaotic we’re not trying to be comprehensive. Not so much for Saturday but Sunday. Trying to meet around 2pm to do a labor themed assembly. People into targeting labor-specific spots. Monday 7am meet up points at William Street and Fulton at Fulton 2,3 subway stop. Also a labor affinity group which will meet somewhere else through 99 pickets. They are proposing to meet at transit spot and at 1 or 1:30 trying to meet to organize 26 Federal Plaza near Foley Square. I am tasked with sending out an email about all of those things. Would you guys like something that talks more about what is going on in OWS in general? What do you want out of an email

AS – Very basic info and one way to find up to date information. I think

S – If you guys are thinking about one place for an A&L meeting could include that in an email. By Friday are going to have to finalize that.  Would like to get info tomorrow, wanted to write the email up so need to know by tomorrow night if there is something specific for artists. Don’t know what Sunday looks like, it will be a bit confusing but it will all be in Foley Square I think. The advantage that day is having it all in one place.

BW – Framework on S17 website already.

BR – Cool for us to be part of the labor quadrant. Is there one?

RH – 99% is closest then.

BR – (reading from email) 99 Pickets, Strand Workers and others going to meet for targets for morning hurricane. I’d like to be aligned with labor folks.

AS – Agree.

BR – It’s 9pm. Some people need to go. Do we want to decide now what we are doing. The content of an email blast, do we decide it tonight.

AB – Yes, something general should go out to our big list incase they don’t know.

BR – That would include debt squares, call for the square. Do we want to do them on Sat and Sun or just Sun.

BW – Willing to say I’ll there on both days.

BR – We can do them for a few hours, so people can participate in other things.

AS – It’s so volatile, more important to get the works out, not an announcement of that project, just saying it is happening. General schedule is most useful.

BR – Include trainings too that Marissa sent out.

BW – Sent out general S17 overview but not the more labor-centric one. We are supposed to get that tomorrow.

BR – Should we compile the info we already have and commit to participating in 99% labor. All info already in our thread.

BR – Who is going to work on this email?

AB – Can help edit if I get a draft.

CP – I can help with that.

AB – Great to get a draft together by tomorrow night.

AS – I would help but I don’t know what is going on.

RH – Should link to main website since some info is still in flux.

AB – Do we still have Art Strike banner. Iconic, from May Day, we could have that and bring it.

AS – Has another world is possible banner, found it.

TJ – Has additional signs in his kitchen

RH – The more visuals we can put out the better.

BR – Can do this in a Google Doc, someone just needs to start it.

AS – I can start a structure tomorrow.

TJ – Give me a meeting point and I can bring the signs.

R – Don’t know if people got this but can find out info 23559 text at S17 nyc. People will be getting report backs and centralizing info on the ground. Look for those people.

BR – As many of us can we should get to the Friday meeting.

AB – Strike debt has people and resources, needs support from people with more visual knowledge. Will coordinate email to those interested. Okay to mention.

BW – Her studio is available until late on Friday night.

LP – Will try to coordinate EFA for Friday night, might make things easier to centralize there.

AS – Jake will help make calendar.

BW – Might be dance party pop up on Saturday.

AS – For our banners need to ask Catherine if there are more long tubes. The reason we were so visible was because they were so tall

AB – Good that they are hollow.

AS – How big is the banner strike debt wants to make? There are many they are trying to make. Big one but might not try to do that in only two days.

RH – Big ask for people if you can’t be there but want to support these are the things we need, helpful to include that too.

BW – If I can find the link will forward that too. They were writing it, not sure if they have it yet.

Meeting finished.

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[accordion_panel title=”One struggle, one fight! Education is a right! #FairContractNow…”]

Posted September 10th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

One struggle, one fight! Education is a right! #FairContractNow #CTUStrike #99pkts

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[accordion_panel title=”Workers and Community Declare Victory Against Hot and Crusty Store Closure; Agreement Reached to Rehire Workers, Recognize Union and Resume Bargaining”]

Posted September 10th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Press release from the Laundry Workers Center.

For Immediate Release 

CONTACT: Virgilio Aran (347)394-8350 virgilio@lwcu.org
Nastaran Mohit (914)557-6408 nastaran@lwcu.org

Workers and Community Declare Victory Against Hot and Crusty Store Closure; Agreement Reached to Rehire Workers, Recognize Union and Resume Bargaining

Round-the Clock Protests and Heightened Public Pressure Force Employer to Negotiate Unprecedented Agreement with Union to Reopen Restaurant

New York, NY, September 10, 2012—Following an escalating week-long campaign against the August 31st closure of Upper East Side restaurant Hot and Crusty, resulting in the loss of 23 jobs, workers announced both sides had reached an agreement to reopen the store, rehire terminated workers and resume bargaining with the union, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association. Public protests against the closure, which workers and supporters claim was a direct attack on the newly formed independent union, led to an occupation of the store by members of Occupy Wall Street, resulting in 6 arrests, and daily picketing and leafleting in the surrounding Upper East Side community. Lawyers representing new ownership of the company contacted the union over the weekend seeking to immediately put an end to the ongoing labor dispute.

The Hot and Crusty Workers Association announced workers would be returning to the shop in as soon as two weeks, and that the employer would commence negotiating with the union towards a collective bargaining agreement; additionally, the union announced the employer conceded to the establishment of a hiring hall, with which the union will have exclusive control over hiring. Lawyers representing the company have also agreed they would request that all charges be dropped against the six individuals who were arrested while occupying the shop on Friday, August 31st. The Hot and Crusty Workers Association is represented by Eisner and Mirer, P.C.—the same firm recently settled substantial claims for unpaid wages on behalf of the workers.

At a press conference announcing the victory, workers thanked the community for the hundreds of signatures and phone calls to ownership made on their behalf. Members of several unions that lent campaign support, including TWU Local 100, SEIU 32BJ, LIUNA Local 79, DC 37, Workers United, UAW and the PSC delivered messages of praise and support for the workers, emphasizing the historic significance of the victory. A letter of solidarity was read from the Bay Area International Longshore and Warehouse Union, emphasizing the importance of organizing immigrant workers.

Workers credited grassroots labor organization Laundry Workers Center with moving the campaign forward successfully, having provided months of training and organizing support. Laundry Workers Center Founder Rosanna Rodriguez highlighted the importance of organizing and empowering workers to lead their own campaigns, saying, “our goal at the Laundry Workers Center is to improve the working class socio-economic condition, and this is a perfect example that when we organize workers and the community around common principles, we have real victories. As an immigrant woman, I am very proud of this achievement.”

Mahoma Lopez, a leader in the campaign who has worked at Hot and Crusty for over 7 years, emphasized “this is a victory for all immigrant workers. We did this together, and this wouldn’t have been possible without the community support. When workers come together, anything is possible. The union gives us power.”

The workers, along with supporters from Occupy Wall Street, the community and several labor unions have pledged to maintain a daily picket line on the corner of 63rd and 2nd avenue until the company makes good on its promise to reopen the store and rehire all who were terminated.

###

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[accordion_panel title=”Restaurant Union Workers Win Historic Victory in New York City”]

Posted September 9th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

From Alternet:

The restaurant workers who were fired and locked out of their store for organizing a union have won after a week of escalating protests outside the Manhattan pizzeria. Saturday afternoon, the owner declared that he had bowed to the workers demands to reopen the store, rehire all the workers and recognize their newly formed union, an inspiring labor victory at a time when many are attacking the power of unions.

The workers were elated, but a little skeptical–especially after months of negotiating with Samson’s bitterly anti-labor lawyers.
“Until I see it I don’t believe it. Sincerely, I want to be positive but there are a lot strange things that have happened. They might be hiding something up their sleeves,” said Lopez.

The workers said that the picket will remain in place until the store reopens, calling for continued support until everyone is back at work.

 

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[accordion_panel title=”Congratulations to the Workers at Hot & Crusty!”]

Posted September 9th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Notice from the Hot and Crusty Workers Association:

After a workplace occupation, a week of targeted direct action, round-the-clock picketing and an outpouring of community support, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association announced Saturday that it has come to a tentative agreement with the new owners of the Hot and Crusty located at 63rd street and 2nd avenue. The Union announced that the company has agreed to recognize the union immediately and commence negotiations towards a collective bargaining agreement. Workers will return to their jobs in approximately two weeks. Additionally, the union has negotiated the institution of a hiring hall through which all employees must be referred by the Hot and Crusty Workers Association.

This is a historic victory for low-wage and immigrant workers and would not have been possible without the grassroots organizing of the Laundry Workers Center and a broad coalition of support, including Occupy Wall Street, various labor unions, workers centers and community-based organizations.

Workers will continue to keep pressure on the company until the new contract is signed. Join the picket line at 63rd St. & 2nd Ave. every day this week!

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[accordion_panel title=”Down, Down with Exploitation! Up Up with the Worker Nation!…”]

Posted September 7th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Down, Down with Exploitation! Up Up with the Worker Nation! #99PKTS @ROC_NY

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[accordion_panel title=”Down Down with exploitation! Up Up with the worker nation!…”]

Posted September 6th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Down Down with exploitation! Up Up with the worker nation! #99PKTS @ROC_NY

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[accordion_panel title=”Interns: Know Your Rights! Outreach at NYU Kimmel Thursday 9/6 11AM-3PM”]

Posted September 4th, 2012 by internavengerjk • permalink

NYU students: Your Labor is Valuable!

NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development promotes their Fall Job + Internship Fair as “our largest fair of the year,” which “attracts NYU students of various majors interested in part-time and full-time opportunities as well as internships.”

While universities cultivate relationships with employers, offering inexpensive or free labor in exchange for legitimizing overhead-free credits, they neglect to inform their students of their due from the internship: a significant educational experience, and in certain cases, pay. Many students haven’t been exposed to an alternative view of the internship experience, one that takes account of the broader implications of the internship economy into which their school presses them.

Join us outside the Kimmel Center (60 Washington Sq. South, between LaGuardia Place and Thomspon St.) during the hours of the Internship Fair (11AM–3PM). We’ll be talking to anyone who’s curious about the rights of interns and the effects of internships on the workforce. We’ll also be handing out flyers, and distributing our outrageously popular “Pay Your Interns” pins!

Filed under: Actions

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[accordion_panel title=”Bakery Workers Occupy Hot & Crusty When Owner Closes It Down Rather Than Allow Union”]

Posted September 2nd, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

From the Village Voice:

Friday was the last day that the Hot & Crusty bakery on 63rd and 2nd Avenue was scheduled to be open. Instead, employees and their supporters took the store over briefly Friday afternoon before police moved in, emptying the shop and arresting six people.

The owners had announced their intention to close the shop two weeks ago, shortly after a supermajority of the 23 employees, working with the Laundry Workers Center, voted to form an independent association and filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

RTWT.

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[accordion_panel title=”8am-8pm daily picket of Hot & Crusty, 63rd St. & 2nd…”]

Posted September 1st, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

8am-8pm daily picket of Hot & Crusty, 63rd St. & 2nd Ave.!

Workers and members of the OWS community are picketing daily the 63rd Street location of the Hot and Crusty Bakery, following its recent closure, alleging that the company has deliberately withheld rent payments, after a hard-fought and successful unionization drive in May 2012. The company, owned by private equity partner Mark Samson, gave the Hot and Crusty Workers Association 11 days notice of eviction from the property, informing employees that August 31st would be their last day. The union, led by grassroots labor organization Laundry Workers Center and a contingent from Occupy Wall Street, students, faith and community members are holding a daily 8am-8pm picket demanding the company discontinue its union-busting tactics, pay its rent immediately, and continue to negotiate a fair contract with its workers. The company has used several bait-and-switch tactics during negotiations, threatening workers’ immigration status to deter their commitment to continuing the fight.

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[accordion_panel title=”We Are NOT Going Away”]

Posted September 1st, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

At Hot & Crusty, 63rd St. and 2nd Ave.

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[accordion_panel title=”The Illuminator pulls through again! Showed up yesterday to…”]

Posted September 1st, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

The Illuminator pulls through again! Showed up yesterday to support the struggle at Hot and Crusty. Solidarity!

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[accordion_panel title=”The Fight at Hot & Crusty Continues!”]

Posted September 1st, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Last May, workers at Hot & Crusty Restaurant on 63rd St. voted to form an independent Union. Yesterday workers and community supporters came together to fight back against the union busting owners who are closing the restaurant instead of negotiating with workers.

The fight will continue, starting with a picket line TODAY, Sept. 3 at 12pm at 63rd St & 2nd Ave., followed by a march to the owners house.

“The message I want to send is that we have to change how the immigrants are being treated in this country,” says Mahoma Lopez, one of the workers who led the union campaign. “Companies don’t respect [our] legal rights because we don’t have documentation. We are workers, and we have rights, and we don’t have to feel scared.”

Read more.

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[accordion_panel title=”Workers and Occupy Wall Street Fight Shop Closure; 24-Hour Picket and Occupation of Hot and Crusty Bakery Begins”]

Posted August 31st, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Press release from the Laundry Workers Center on today’s occupation of Hot & Crusty.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Nastaran Mohit (914)557-6408nastaran@lwcu.org
CONTACT: Virgilio Aran (347)394-8350virgilio@lwcu.org

Workers and Occupy Wall Street Fight Shop Closure; 24-Hour Picket and Occupation of Hot and Crusty Bakery Begins

Workers Allege Retaliatory Store Closure is an Employer Tactic to Break Recently Formed Union, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association

New York, NY, August 3, 2012 – Following news of an impending store closure, workers at the 63rd street location of Hot and Crusty bakery have called for a 24-hour picket and store occupation, alleging the company has deliberately withheld rent payments following a hard-fought and successful unionization drive in May 2012. The company, owned by private equity partner Mark Samson, gave the Hot and Crusty Workers Association 11 days notice of eviction from the property, informing employees that August 31st would be their last day.

The union, led by grassroots labor organization Laundry Workers Center and a contingent from Occupy Wall Street, students, faith and community members are occupying the workplace and holding an around-the-clock picket demanding the company discontinue its union-busting tactics, pay its rent immediately, and continue to negotiate a fair contract with its workers. The company has used several bait-and-switch tactics during negotiations, threatening workers’ immigration status to deter their commitment to continuing the fight.

The August 31 closure will mean the loss of 23 jobs – including those of employees with as many as twelve years of employment with the company. Workers allege owners, including Mark Samson, Evangelos Gavalas and Nick Glendis, have a demonstrated history of wage and hour violations, intimidation, retaliation and harassment of workers in several of their businesses, as well as a pattern of closing down shops and opening under different aliases to avoid legal and economic liability. Workers have filed charges at the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the company is closing the 63rd street shop to intimidate workers organizing at other Hot and Crusty locations.

The union, led by grassroots labor organization Laundry Workers Center and a contingent from Occupy Wall Street, students, faith and community members are occupying the workplace and holding an around-the-clock picket demanding the company discontinue its union-busting tactics, pay its rent immediately, and continue to negotiate a fair contract with its workers. The company has used several bait-and-switch tactics during negotiations, threatening workers’ immigration status to deter their commitment to continuing the fight.

Mahoma Lopez, a leader in the campaign who has worked at Hot and Crusty for over 7 years said “I want to send a message that we have to change the way immigrants are treated in this country. We have to show the bosses that we can’t be treated like animals any longer. We need to take radical action like people did in the civil rights movement, so that our voices can be heard. We are so happy to have the community here with us.”

Diego Ibanez, a member of Occupy Wall Street, emphasized the connection between Wall Street and workers, saying, “We’re sending a clear message to greedy bosses that we are watching and will not allow our people in he community to be oppressed any longer.”

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[accordion_panel title=”#99PKTS @VerizonWireless mic-check with Rude Mechanical…”]

Posted August 30th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

#99PKTS @VerizonWireless mic-check with Rude Mechanical Orchestra #CanYouhearMeNow @Verizon?

Last year Verizon made almost $3 billion in profit. Now they want workers to sacrifice paid sick days, raises and their retirement.

At the same time, Verizon just tripled CEO McAdams’ salary to $23 million a year. 

** DON’T BUY VERIZON UNTIL WORKERS HAVE A FAIR CONTRACT.
** Call Verizon and demand that they give workers a fair contract. 1 (800) 229-9460

Visit http://99pickets.org for more information.

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[accordion_panel title=”Protest at Golden Farm, Kensington, Brooklyn, August 18,…”]

Posted August 30th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Protest at Golden Farm, Kensington, Brooklyn, August 18, 2012.
Boycott Golden Farm until Sonny Kim pays his workers what he owes!

Sign up for a shift at the picket line:Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm and Sat/Sun 10am-8pm. Golden Farm is at 329 Church Ave. Brooklyn. 

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[accordion_panel title=”Members of the Kensington community and New York Communities…”]

Posted August 30th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Members of the Kensington community and New York Communities for Change in a protest for fair wages and a union contract at the Golden Farm supermarket on July 24, 2012, as part of the National Day of Action for low-wage workers. Golden Farm owner Sonny Kim had for years paid his workers sub-minimum wages, and has been blocking the workers efforts to unionize and collect back wages that they have been owed. Members of the Kensington community, including the recently formed Occupy Kensington, have been supporting the workers.

Sign up for a shift at the picket line:Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm and Sat/Sun 10am-8pm. Golden Farm is at 329 Church Ave. Brooklyn.  

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[accordion_panel title=”Stop #3 on our Verizon Wireless / Hot & Crusty blitz last…”]

Posted August 30th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Stop #3 on our Verizon Wireless / Hot & Crusty blitz last night! 

** DON’T BUY VERIZON UNTIL WORKERS HAVE A FAIR CONTRACT.
** Call Verizon and demand that they give workers a fair contract. 1 (800) 229-9460

Last year Verizon made almost $

3 billion in profit. Now they want workers to sacrifice paid sick days, raises and their retirement.

At the same time, Verizon just tripled CEO McAdams’ 
salary to $23 million a year.

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[accordion_panel title=”No contract, no peace! #CanYouHearMeNow @Verizon? #99pkts”]

Posted August 29th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

No contract, no peace! #CanYouHearMeNow @Verizon? #99pkts

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[accordion_panel title=”Support Verizon workers today at 6pm: Verizon Wireless blitz!! Meet at the Gandhi statue in the SW corner of Union Square”]

Posted August 29th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Support Verizon workers today at 6pm: Verizon Wireless blitz!! Meet at the Gandhi statue in the SW corner of Union Square

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[accordion_panel title=”Four Days a week. Mon-Fri Available. 10AM-6PM. No pay…”]

Posted August 28th, 2012 by internavengerjk • permalink

…to do this:

Interns in our Sales & Advertising Department are responsible for overseeing all aspects of helping increase Joonbug’s reach into several new markets. Interns will be working in small groups and corresponding with new clients through phone calls and e-mails to build business-to-business sales of our online marketing, event and ticketing services.

From Fact Sheet #71:

The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;

Brazen.

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Boycott Brooklyn’s Golden Farm grocery! Demand that owner…”]

Posted August 27th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Boycott Brooklyn’s Golden Farm grocery! Demand that owner Sonny Kim pay workers the money their owed. 

Sign the petition here, or sign up for a shift on the picket line

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[accordion_panel title=”Apples, oranges, lemons, limes! Don’t give Golden Farm a…”]

Posted August 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Apples, oranges, lemons, limes! Don’t give Golden Farm a dime! #99pkts

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[accordion_panel title=”Care One and HealthBridge workers from Connecticut and New…”]

Posted August 24th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Care One and HealthBridge workers from Connecticut and New Jersey converge on the Straus companies’ headquarters in Ft. Lee, NJ, delivering thousands of petitions that folks gathered during the first month of the strike/lockout there.

Workers will never back down from their opposition to surface bargaining, incredibly regressive contract proposals, and plain-old union-busting!

Healthbridge Puts Greed Before Grandma!!

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[accordion_panel title=”Be Fair to Those Who Care! @1199SEIU #99PKTS”]

Posted August 23rd, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Be Fair to Those Who Care! @1199SEIU #99PKTS

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[accordion_panel title=”Sunny Kim you’re the worst! Time to put workers first!…”]

Posted August 18th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Sunny Kim you’re the worst! Time to put workers first! #99pkts #BoycottGF

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[accordion_panel title=”Why Are We Boycotting the Golden Farm Supermarket? / ¿Por Qué Estamos Boicoteando el Supermercado de Golden Farm?”]

Posted August 16th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

From NYCC:

Come out on Saturday Aug. 18 and Sunday Aug. 19 from 8am to 8pm. [map]

Boycott Golden Farm! Join workers and NYCC for a press conference on Sat. August 18 at 12pm. Tell owner Sonny Kim that all workers deserve paid sick days and a fair contract.

For more information, contact Lucas Sanchez at lsanchez@nycommunities.org or call 646-600-2426.

More info on the 99 Pickets page for this campaign.

Acompañanos el Sabado y Domingo 18 y 19 de agosto de 8am a 8pm [plano]

BOICOTÉE Gold Farm HOY MISMO!!! Acompáñenos a nuestra Conferencia de Prensa el Sábado, 18 de agosto del 2012 a las 12 del medio dia.

Dígale a Sonny Kim que TODOS LOS TRABAJADORES merecen dias de enfermedad y un CONTRATO JUSTO!

Para mas información, por favor contáctese con LUCAS SANCHEZ – lsanchez@nycommunities.org or 646-600-2426.

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[accordion_panel title=”On Friday, August 10th, SEIU 32-BJ sponsored a ride from…”]

Posted August 12th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

On Friday, August 10th, SEIU 32-BJ sponsored a ride from property development company Cornerstone’s Park Avenue offices to Long Island City, where Cornerstone is the largest developer. Cornerstone is fighting its worker’s attempt to join the union.

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[accordion_panel title=”Cops Save Verizon Again”]

Posted August 12th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

From CWA Local 1101:

Police assistance was again needed last Thursday morning to dispatch technicians at Verizon garage locations in both the Bronx and Manhattan. Management at these locations complained that the picketing of Verizon retirees distracted them from doing their usual ineptness and had to resort to calling law enforcement.

The management at the King Street garage in lower Manhattan has had repeated trouble dispatching technicians over the past month.

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[accordion_panel title=”Update on CWA/IBEW Fight for Justice at Verizon”]

Posted August 12th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

CWA & IBEW are still fighting for a fair contract with Verizon. Below is an update from CWA.

We wanted to update you on the status of our contract battle at Verizon, and let you know about upcoming activities.  And, most of all, we want to thank you for everything that you’ve done in support of the Verizon workers already.

[T]he federal mediator once again extended the deadline for completing contract discussions between Verizon, CWA and IBEW, this time until the close of business on Wednesday, August 15th. … The fact that management has decided to continue in mediation is positive.  We have little doubt that all the religious, political and community pressure that you’ve helped organize is a major factor impelling Verizon not to walk away from these talks.

However, huge obstacles remain on the path to reaching a satisfactory contract settlement by next Wednesday.  We are by no means confident that we can get there.

First, Verizon continues to insist on unacceptable givebacks in the areas of health care, pensions, job security, and contracting out/off shoring.  Second, 41 workers were fired on the flimsiest of excuses during the August 2011 strike.  The NLRB has issued complaints in the cases of 37 of them, saying that they were illegally retaliated against for exercising their right to strike. We cannot settle the contract without addressing the status of all of the fired workers.

We will win this fight only if we have the support of all of our friends and allies in the 99%, and we continue to show Verizon that we will not back down from the fight for fairness and justice.

Here’s what’s going on and how you can help:

– Wednesday morning will be “Retiree Action Day.”  This is an exciting action where allies can be of tremendous help.  Please call us for specifics of where and when.
– Wednesday will also once again be “Wireless Wednesday.”  We ask that all of you once again help us to cover the Verizon Wireless stores.  Last week, our allies leafleted about 20 key locations, mostly in Manhattan.  This is enormously helpful.
– Thursday will be a day of “Mass Picketing” either before work or at lunchtime.  Stay tuned for late updates on specifics, given the Wednesday evening mediation deadline.
– Please continue to bombard the FCC with calls and complaints about the pending Verizon/Big Cable monopoly merger-by-another-name.  A number of you have already sent out emails urging your members to continue contacting the FCC; for those who haven’t, a sample email is attached.  So far 5,200 comments on the deal have been filed on the FCC comment page.  (And the FCC has told our DC folks that 5,200 is fewer than were filed in the ATT-T Mobile case, so they are definitely counting).  The most important action is leaving a comment on the FCC page.

Just a few other notable developments:

Last week, 84 Faith Leaders sent a letter supporting the Verizon workers to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, and asking for a meeting.  They were told that Verizon preferred to do its business at the bargaining table. More Faith activities are planned.

With your help, 54 members of the NYS Assembly signed on to a strong letter of support to CEO McAdam that was sent yesterday.  22 Democratic members of the State Senate wrote a letter, and with the support of Council Speaker Quinn, 39 members of the NYC Council sent a letter to McAdam earlier in the week.

Last Wednesday night, CWA organized a massive teleconference town hall for residents of Buffalo and Syracuse to inform them about the impact of the pending Verizon/Big Cable deal.  Mayor Byron Brown joined the call.  A total of 12,700 residents joined for some part of the call, and over 500 stayed on for the entire 40 minute call.  Interest was intense.  We are hoping for similar calls in the Capitol District and on Long Island.

So the fight is continuing.

Your help and support are critical and we thank you for all of your solidarity.

CWA and IBEW members will not give up until justice for the fired workers and a fair contract are won.

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[accordion_panel title=”Are the unions launching “a mass movement for economic justice”?”]

Posted August 11th, 2012 by admin • permalink

August 11 – Philadelphia PA

By some accounts, today marks a significant gathering of organized labor: an estimated 50,000 union workers showed up in Philadelphia, PA, for the “Workers Stand for America” rally, helping to inaugurate the launch of a campaign for a “Second Bill of Rights.”

The full rally can be seen online here.

Does this indicate a shift in labor’s politics?

Read Article on NBC Philadelphia.

“U.S. labor union leaders appear intent on charting a slightly new course with the 2012 elections.
Upset by the Democratic Party’s decision to stage its presidential convention in a Southern state long viewed as hostile to organized labor [North Carolina], union leaders are holding a rally where they hope to highlight key issues important to middle-class workers.”

The theme of the event, the need for “a workers bill of rights”, hearkens back to the famous speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, giving an updated list of rights:

• The Right to Full Employment and a Living Wage
• The Right to Full Participation in the Electoral Process
• The Right to a Voice at Work [ie the right to form or join a union]
• The Right to a Quality Education
• The Right to a Secure, Healthy Future – “health care, unemployment insurance, and retirement security”

From the AFL-CIO: “To add your name to this cause, text BOR to 235246”

Is this just more hollow posturing, or is it an indication for a struggle renewed?

In an article titled “How to Build a Mass Movement for Economic Justice“, “Dollar” Bill Greider places the rally within a larger array of progressive forces, perhaps a little optimisticly:

[A] cluster of progressive organizations, notably including the AFL-CIO, [have] decided to launch a more meaningful conversation. To that end, they encouraged Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker, co-author of Winner-Take-All Politics, to produce a comprehensive blueprint that, they hope, will stimulate broader discussion and mobilize working people to advocate for their interests.

Read the paper, titled ‘Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All,’ here:

In Greider’s estimation:

Strong on clarity and free of rhetorical excess, the paper dismantles the key myths of austerity economics and lays out an alternative agenda based on what Hacker calls “the three pillars of shared prosperity”: growth, security and democracy. ‘Prosperity doesn’t just `trickle down’ from the top,’ Hacker writes in the introduction. ‘It depends on the common investments and sources of security we agree on as members of a democracy, on institutions – especially unions – that ensure that gains are broadly shared, and on a healthy democracy that can sustain sound economic policies and prevent today’s economic winners from undermining the openness and dynamism of the economy.’

Or is the “break” between Labor and the Dems just petty bickering? From the Wall Street Journal:

Prominent labor leaders organized the rally in Philadelphia after what they said was their lack of input into planning for next month’s 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C., a state they call decidedly unfriendly to unions and their goals. Many are refusing to contribute money to a convention in a state that bans collective bargaining for teachers and other public workers.

Unions, long a key ally for Democrats, gave $8.3 million toward the 2008 convention in Denver that helped President Barack Obama win the White House, and officials say that longstanding friendship won’t change and nor will their support for Obama.

The presence of Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the rally, and a recorded endorsement from Obama, certainly suggests that unions are hesitant to break out of their “junior partnership” with the Dems.

Nor is everybody so enthusiastic about the “Prosperity for All” plan, either:

[The plan] is misnamed: it is focused more on improving the lot of the middle class than that of ordinary working Americans. (To contrast with the wealthy, the manifesto uses the term “middle class,” not the more accurate ‘working class’ or ‘working Americans.’) And it relies too much on government spending…

But, back to Greider:

Organizers say Americans are hungry for liberal alternatives to the austerity agenda. People everywhere are tired of manipulative rhetoric. They want to hear serious proposals for how to restore prosperity and an equitable society.

Although even he has doubts:

[W]ill labor and other mediating organizations actually follow through with the plan? Can they establish enough distance from the Democrats and the White House to advance an effective pressure campaign? Skeptics doubt it. They recall earlier moments of crisis when similar declarations of independence were voiced but nothing much changed.

But insists:

This time is different, and for important reasons I think the results will be different too.
For one thing, the economic crisis has severely altered the political context…
[Second, ]Occupy…became a wake-up call for labor liberals. When people in the streets began shouting what the left had been too shy to broadcast forcefully, unions got a welcome jolt. Soon enough, they began shouting too…

A more realistic assessment might be that the AFL-CIO, after long giving lip-service to alliances with explicitly left political tendencies, might actually be willing to experiment with new mass organizing strategies.

In a recent executive memo, Richard Trumka wrote:

Let’s understand the scale of the problem. If we wanted just to add 1% in density, that would require organizing 1 million new members.

In the world we live in now, with organizing costs running close to $1,000 per member in the private sector, that would require $1 billion in organizing budgets. That should tell us something—that we need to think about resources for organizing comparable to what we devote to politics, and more importantly, that we need a movement environment, an environment where workers self-organize.

And later:

With these facts in mind, we have been pursuing four overall strategic responses.
[W]e have been seeking to support any effort by workers in any form to organize or to try and spark any kind of movement for social and economic fairness.

2 Responses to Are the unions launching “a mass movement for economic justice”?

  1. john mineka says:

    Lets pull together!!

  2. john mineka says:

    Right on!

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[accordion_panel title=”Occupied Stories on Justice for Jazz Artists”]

Posted August 10th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

From Occupied Stories, a firsthand account of yesterday’s Justice for Jazz Artists march which 99 Pickets Brigade members attended.

From what friends have told me, playing for any Jazz at Lincoln Center gig is pretty much a musicians’ top gig, and to start a protest at that spot seemed a particularly bold move.

Read the whole thing here.

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[accordion_panel title=”Join the Verizon Twitter Picket!”]

Posted August 10th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 10TH & WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15TH, WE ARE GOING TO TAKE OVER THE TWITTER FEED OF VERIZON, THE FCC, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND CABLE COMPANIES AND TELL THEM ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Members of CWA & IBEW at Verizon have been working without a contract for the last year. Verizon is demanding workers agree to concessions in healthcare, retirement and job security while increasing pay for executives by millions of dollars each year. At the same time, Verizon is trying to make a deal with cable companies that will create a media monopoly, giving them free reign to increase prices.

We are tired of corporate greed winning out over the interests of consumers and workers!

Learn more about this fight and how you can get involved.

——————————————————————————

What is a Twitter Rally/Picket?
A twitter rally is a short period of time where people come together to make their voices heard on an issue. The goal is to get a particular hashtag to become so popular it shows up as a “trending topic” on Twitter. In this case we also want every tweet to show up in the Twitter feed of Verizon and the FCC so they are bombarded with messages from the public.

I’m in. What do I do?
Participating in a Twitter rally is easy! Just sign in to Twitter (on your cell phone or computer) & follow the #canyouhearmenow hashtag to see what folks are saying! Then chime in to the conversation and add your voice to the rallying cry for good jobs and against monopolies. Below are some sample tweets you can use, or you can write your own. You can also retweet what others have posted.

Also – sign the Twitter petition!

How long will it take?
You can send as many or as few messages as you’d like. How long you’d like to participate is up to you.

What’s that # sign about? / What’s a hashtag?
A hashtag is any word or phrase that starts with the # symbol. You can follow specific topics on Twitter by searching for all posts that contain a particular hashtag. Some companies have hashtags that they use to promote their brands, like Verizon’s #canyouhearmenow.

What’s with that @?
The @ symbol is used to designate someone’s name, or Twitter handle. You use it to address someone on Twitter, like @99PicketLines or, in this case, @Verizon and @FCC.

 

SAMPLE TWEETS:

#CanYouHearMeNow, @Verizon @twxcorp @comcast? Can I buy a monopoly with $6 million in campaign contributions, too?

#CanYouHearMeNow, @Verizon @FCC? Please create 25k jobs and give us FIOS in upstate NY. No #digitaldivide

Tell @FCC: NO to media monopolies! Stop the @Verizon crossmarketing deal! #CanYouHearMeNow http://act.ly/60j RT to sign

#CanYouHearMeNow, @Verizon @FCC @TheJusticeDept? No VerizoWarnerCast monopoly. http://youtu.be/0XEobXB2mak

Want to pay more for cable, phone & internet?@Verizon and big cable deal would raise prices http://youtu.be/0XEobXB2mak

.@Verizon deal with Big Cable would raise prices and kill jobs. Tell @FCC today http://bit.ly/PIpNUz #canyouhearmenow

#CanYouHearMeNow @FCC – Stop the @Verizon/cable media monopoly deal. I signed the petition! http://act.ly/60j RT to sign

Monopoly deal btw @Verizon & big cable companies would raise prices and kill jobs. Call @FCC today http://bit.ly/PIpNUz

#CanYouHearMeNow, @Verizon? Don’t raise prices for cable, phone & internet. Call @FCC http://bit.ly/PIpNUz

#CanYouHearMeNow, @Verizon? We are tired of your greed! Say NO to media monopoly, call @FCC http://bit.ly/PIpNUz

.@Verizon @FCC, I support @CWAUnion, not #corporate greed. #CanYouHearMeNow ?

 

Twitter Handles:
Verizon: @Verizon
Time-Warner Cable: @twxcorp
Comcast: @comcast
Federal Communications Commission (FCC): @FCC
The Department of Justice (DOJ): @TheJusticeDept

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[accordion_panel title=”No justice, no jazz! Justice 4 Jazz Artists! #99pkts”]

Posted August 8th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

No justice, no jazz! Justice 4 Jazz Artists! #99pkts

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[accordion_panel title=”August 7, 2012″]

Posted August 8th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink
 Report Backs
  • Intern Labor Rights Street Outreach tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!
  • Alt Econ
  •  Outreach Opportunity
Agenda Items –
  • A&L newsletter
  • Radical Art
  •  Proposal :Labor Conditions in the Cultural Industry
  • Guidelines / Email List
  • Community guidelines
  • Budget master
  • Teach-in brainstorming
  • EFA Debt conversation
  • Freeform conversation

Report Backs

Intern Labor Rights Street Outreach tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!

Alt Econ

  •  –    put resource guide online.
  • –       new enthusiastic member
  • –       Redoing spring alt econ event at cabinet
  • –       Streamlining it, new event in the fall
  • –       Cathy interested in bottom-lining it. AS interested in making a booklet.

Rest of the discussion is loose.

Outreach Opportunity

Eric on Brian Leher; this week is going to be Brooke Gladstone –

Thursday

Kaitlin meeting at 7

Interference Archive, Montreal Student Strike materials will be shown

Friday

Rad Art meets 2 p.m.

Sunday

Debt meets, growing and positive

Benjamin from IWW meets every first Sunday at LIC

700 buttons coming! Occu-copy!

Agenda Items

A&L newsletter: GO PLUMMER!

August 25 A&L Labor Day

Alternative Economy: Toolbox (from Spring event) booklet

– Radical Art

Brainstorming  and lots of new materials

Debt Quilt- people would bring their own fabric and squares, and through the act of sewing talk about debt, and create something socially. We also talked about the farce of trying to pay off A&L’s collective debt.

How to open up the conversation to be part of social exchange. It is a contract between people. Politicizing the debt energy. There was conversation around what is it that we want people to do.

If we do the fundraising- we don’t want to pay off the banks. How do we address that issue.

POI- in debt strike meetings, people are saying that debt strike is down the road. Right now people are trying to just outreach. What it means on personal/effective level.

Read Village Voice article about Student Debt. It would be interesting to contact writer to try and find people who have worked to recruit debtors. Reach out to workers who are responsible for advocating for the debt condition. University professors are responsible as well.

AS- but what about solutions? There is a debt supporters group.

Debtor’s Ball

Debt Pool

 Collective Labor Group

Proposal :Labor Conditions in the Cultural Industry

AB – would like new workers group for solidarity art workers group. Union group conversation left in January. Want to bring convo back

AS- feels in an unstated way this convo is already happening. There has been some resistance which is fine . I agree a focused subgroup would be ok.

MP- is this a subgroup? If so I think this is a good idea

BR- like idea name should be considered

MB- maybe solidarity or sustainability rather than union

AB- what got me thinking was this is working class background and how so-called middle class arts is exploited in ways. We need to bridge and include voices from manual labors service workers etc.

AS- some people refused art worker buttons and wanted to Reject label

ANT- when would meet?

AB- would not be weekly just starting convo now

Moving to email list rules

MP- streamline proposal. Community guidelines and who gets to join group. If you are working on something and/or attending meetings you can and will be on the list. This is a working list.

AB- do they need to come to set meeting numbers?

MP- added on as-needed basis

MB- maybe meetings rather than one meeting and as needed

ANT- notes and discussion should continue to be posted on main AL list this is a work list.

MB- if there is an issue where someone feels they should be on list should discuss at meeting

AB- let’s make sure this is in minutes

ANT- it’s on rise up

MP- striking meeting changing to meetings

PC- maybe strike guidelines language for now and shift to guideline proposal?

MP- maybe backdate meetings for eligibility for first joking back to after labor day

Passes

AB- talk about implementation?

MB- will be wiling to set up first pass at adding people

BR- we should ask everyone who has been involved in projects recently before just adding them

MB- I will add people

ANT- everyone expanded to be able to add someone

Community guidelines

ANT- also don’t discuss connections people have to projects?

MB- isn’t this already covered in #5 or can we add that to #5

AB- moving to pseudonym helps a lot with this. Could this address the problem on an individual level?

AS- maybe a line about be considerate?

MP- how about respect

BR- Respect people’s desire for anonymity when working on projects.

AB- what about when someone goes rogue

AS- In guidelines

**Proposal passed**

Agenda again

E- started basic spreadsheet. 3 tabs bookkeeping inventory and balance sheet based on intern labor group items. We have new budget info and now need to start making this transparent and up to date BR- we are at a point where we need to address this and some up with system and budgeting especially as we are having big projects coming up. Lots of people have offered donations we need to have system in place if so

PC- working on setting up small local bank and PayPal acct for al. Put 100 of own money for now.

AB- we should consider budget in all proposals

MB- PayPal name should be generic. We should figure that out

E- we should come with expenses when we propose

AB- estimates are tough

E- point is have a record

PC- estimate then at the end real cost and receipts

BR- we need flexibility because estimates are hard. For example thought 200 buttons would be enough we needed 10000. Slush fund?

AB- propose everyone accountable for what they spend with paperwork and receipts

Efa debt conversation 

3/4 hour time slot invitation for A&l

Do we want to do this?

How to work on this ?

Keep this simple.  And not worry too much about it. We were asked to contribute something visually.

Not sure why A&l are asked to do something.

Laurel would have organized this if she was in New York.

Rat appears. 

A&l being curated in the event beware of relational aesthetics, taming down the event.

Teach-in brainstorming

AS- broke teach-in ideas into categories of types of art workersOne or two events out of these to coincide with oct 19th birthday of arts and labor. Framing is what would revolution look like for each of these groups of people. Second part would be what does community and solidarity mean for each group

AB- would be cool to have panel discussion with people in art service positions talking about their experiences. We want it to be on their terms and make sure it is not exploitive.

BR- lots of art workers define themselves in terms of type of workers they are ( handlers, installers etc) for example Martha would like to work on presentation about critics and it would be great to give handlers a platform for a workshop as some examples

AB- what about presentations specifically for students. Nobody talks on art School About what it is like to be an art worker when they get out

AS- career day would be a series of presentations all on one day. Maybe a subversive element? Career development day?

Eve- don’t know the answer but topic of art worker who does not think of themselves as labor because they see themselves as superstar artists to be rather than workers. Impediment to solidarity. This is important to bring into discussions.

Freeform Discussion:

Why we came to the art world? Though that world is super conservative in reality.

Bougie liberals are the enemy.

The subversiveness can happen naturally, such as wage or occupy lunch.

Confrontation, Focus on solution

Speaking out is important! And it’s easy for us to forget that you once were lonely, and take the structure for granted. So providing chances for other to speak out.

Maybe at the end of the thing, a big speak out, and a big party!!!!! Debtors ball.

Experimental form…

Have the place that is hosting considered thoroughly/thoughtfully….

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[accordion_panel title=”Ride for the American Dream – Support Immigrant Workers!”]

Posted August 7th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Wheels 4 WorkersImmigrants in NYC work hard to advance and provide a better future for their families. But some luxury real estate developers like T.F. Cornerstone deny their service workers, (primarily immigrant workers) industry-standard security, retirement, safety-training and advancement opportunities afforded to 55,000 building workers in NYC.

For just $2/hour per worker more, Cornerstone could stop this destructive race to the bottom that stands in the way of the American Dream for many immigrant service workers.

On August 10, 2012, SEIU 32BJ’s Wheels4Workers will Ride for the American Dream to protest the undercutting of standards and opportunities for immigrants by luxury developers like T.F. Cornerstone.

➔ Ride for the American Dream to send a message to Cornerstone that their service workers deserve industry-standard safety-training and advancement opportunities.

➔ Ride for the American Dream to help service workers gain access to industry-standard legal assistance to obtain citizenship.

➔ Ride for the American Dream to help service workers gain access to industry-standard scholarships for their children.

Learn more about the campaign!

———————————————————————————————

Can’t attend the ride on August 10th? Show your support on Twitter! Below are some sample tweets you can use to support the action.

Attention NYC activist cyclists: support immigrant service workers on Aug 10! http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5 #bikenyc #RideAmericanDream

STOP giant luxury real estate developers like @TFCornerstone from creating a race to the bottom. Aug 10: http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5

Hey @TFCornerstone why don’t you support the American Dream for your workers? On August 10: http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5 #RideAmericanDream

Why doesn’t @TFCornerstone think workers deserve industry-standard protections & benefits? Protest on Aug 10: http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5

Grab your bike & join #RideAmericanDream on Aug 10. Support immigrant service workers! http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5 #A10

NYC Bike Event for Immigrant Service Workers! “Ride for the American Dream” Aug 10, RSVP: http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5 #bikenyc

Looking forward to a beautiful biking day on Aug 10! Support immigrant service workers. http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5 #RideAmericanDream

Stop the race to the bottom. Meet us at the starting line for the #RideAmericanDream! RSVP: http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5 #bikenyc

Are you in? Ride with us 5miles Manhattan to LIC to protest the race to the bottom! RSVP: http://on.fb.me/MZf6w5 #bikenyc #RideAmericanDream

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[accordion_panel title=”Organize a Picket to Support Verizon Workers!”]

Posted August 6th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Verizon is making millions in profit and give execs raises, while demanding workers sacrifice paid sick days, raises and their retirement plans.

At the same time, Verizon is making a deal with cable companies that will raise prices for consumers, limit customer choice and eliminate tens of thousands of jobs.

Support Verizon workers—fight against media monopoly. Organize leafleting in front of a Verizon store! Even a small presence can make a difference, showing workers that the community supports them and putting pressure on Verizon bosses.

  1. Call your friends. Bring musical instruments and noisemakers.
  2. Download and print as many flyers as you can.
  3. Pick a store location.
  4. Pass out flyers, talk to people about the issues and make some noise!
  5. Take pictures and post in the comments or on our Tumblr page.

 

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[accordion_panel title=”Weekly Leafletting with Verizon Workers!”]

Posted August 6th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Support the workers at Verizon!
Attend one of the weekly leafletings at the 34th St Verizon Wireless Store!

Every Tuesday 5-7pm
AND
Every Thursday 5-7pm
34th Street Wireless Store
(between 6th and 7th Ave)

Today it’s open season on labor in New York City. Companies across the board are waging a full scale attack against pensions in particular, as well as other benefits that should be guaranteed to all workers. Right now the focus must be on Verizon, a company whose workers have been working without a contract since a strike last summer. The company is insistent on demanding huge concessions. As another CWA strike looms, community involvement in pushing back against the company is needed.

Leafletting and picketing outside Verizon Wireless stores was one of the most effective tactics in gaining public support and hurting Verizon profits during the CWA strike last summer.

This struggle is about Verizon workers, but it’s also about pushing back against the attacks and rebuilding a unified, militant labor movement that will not just give multi-billion dollar companies whatever they ask for, but will fight to defend benefits and demand more.

Get involved with solidarity leafletting! CWA needs our support!

 

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[accordion_panel title=”Five Ways We Can Act”]

Posted August 6th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Five Ways We Can Act When we identify as ART WORKERS, we see ourselves within a larger economic system, and discover our power to shape it together.

Five Ways We Can Act:

1. Pay and be paid. When others profit from our work, why should we work for free? Ask for payment for presentations, exhibitions, performances, writing, internships and more. Likewise, if you have interns, assistants, or employees, pay them fairly!

2. Reconsider Value. Value Labor. When money is not an available currency, consider alternative compensation and negotiate other forms of exchange.

3. Share. Our resources can go much further when shared. Develop a spirit of mutual aid and interdependence within your community.

4. Build Solidarity. Reach out to fellow art workers and recognize their struggles and successes as your own. Connect, brainstorm, and act together.

5. Organize. Talk to fellow art workers, identify problems and strategize solutions. Go to a meeting, rally or teach-in. Get involved with Arts & Labor or start a group where you live. Stand up and speak out!

One Response to Five Ways We Can Act

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[accordion_panel title=”Art Workers Unite!”]

Posted August 5th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Who wants a button? Email owsartsandlabor@gmail.com with your address and we’ll send you one! Share this with your fellow Art Workers!

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[accordion_panel title=”May Day 2012″]

Posted August 5th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Due to inaccurate and inadequate media coverage of the historic May Day convergence of immigrant rights groups, community organizations, worker centers, labor unions and Occupy Wall Street, we’re posting photos from OWS Arts and Labor participants.

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[accordion_panel title=”Verizon is berzerkers, they exploit their workers! #99PKTS”]

Posted August 2nd, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

@Verizon is berzerkers, they exploit their workers! #99PKTS

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[accordion_panel title=”Support Verizon Workers!”]

Posted July 29th, 2012 by 99pickets • permalink

Members of CWA & IBEW at Verizon have been working without a contract for the last year. Support their efforts to put pressure on Verizon to give them a fair contract!

Message from the union:
Despite months of bargaining and significant movement by the unions, management continues to insist on gutting retirement and job security, major concessions in health care, and refuses to bring back thousands of outsourced and off-shored jobs.

On July 19th, CWA and IBEW requested the intervention of a federal mediator, and we are hopeful that a mediator may be able to make some progress. But at this point, it appears that this enormously profitable company—which made nearly $22 billion in profits over the last five years and paid its top five executives nearly $350 million during that time—is determined to implement unilaterally a concessionary contract that will slash the living standards of CWA and IBEW members. The possibility of a lengthy and difficult strike is looming.

At the same time, Verizon is seeking Department of Justice (DoJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval for a deal that will allow them to stop competing with the big cable companies like Comcast and Time-Warner, and allow these telecommunications giants to market their products jointly.  So instead of the competition envisioned by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the biggest and most powerful telecom companies will be forming an effective monopoly over Internet, Video and Phone service in much of the country.  This deal would mean an end to the FiOS build out, leaving upstate cities and rural areas without access to the most advanced high-speed networks, and eliminating consumer choice.  In addition, Verizon is openly abandoning its copper network and focusing its strategy on high-end customers only.  In short, Verizon’s strategic plan for New York is devastating to both workers and consumers.

The Verizon 1% must be stopped but CWA and IBEW cannot do it alone.  You were all there in solidarity with the Verizon strikers last August.  Now it looks like we have to gear up for Round 2.

Learn more at http://www.verigreedy.com.

What You Can Do Today:

  • Call elected officials and tell them to oppose the Verizon/Cable deal.
    • Governor Cuomo: 518-473-5442
    • Senator Schumer: 212-486-4430
    • Senator Gillibrand: 212-688-6262
  • Sign the online petition calling on Cuomo, Schumer & Gillibrand to oppose the Verizon/Cable deal.
  • Call Verizon directly and demand they negotiate in good faith for a fair contract: 1-800-229-9460
  • Organize your own flyering event!
  • Join the 99 Pickets text loop: 99 Pickets will be organizing events over the next couple weeks! We will send out a notification via text with time & location. Just text @pickets to 23559.

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[accordion_panel title=”Join the 99 Pickets Brigade”]

Posted July 27th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Help build a mass worker’s movement in NYC—join the 99 Pickets Brigade! You’ll get an email newsletter about every week with upcoming actions. Go to http://eepurl.com/mZ7kv to sign up now. You can also sign up for text message alerts by texting @pickets to 23559.

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[accordion_panel title=”Join the 99 Pickets Brigade”]

Posted July 27th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Join the 99 Pickets Brigade: Help build a mass worker’s movement in NYC—join the 99…

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[accordion_panel title=”Chipotle, shame on you! Farmworkers deserve rights too! #99pkts”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Chipotle, shame on you! Farmworkers deserve rights too! #99pkts

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[accordion_panel title=”Chipotle escucha! Farmworkers deserve fair wages and safe…”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Chipotle escucha! Farmworkers deserve fair wages and safe working conditions! #RiseUpNY #99PKTS

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[accordion_panel title=”Low wage workers, unions & Local 1-2 united for a fair…”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Low wage workers, unions & Local 1-2 united for a fair #ConEd contract! #RiseUpNY #99PKTS

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[accordion_panel title=”#RiseUpNY at WEP offices. Workers on welfare deserve fair wages!…”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

#RiseUpNY at WEP offices. Workers on welfare deserve fair wages! http://tinyurl.com/8342gqv #99PKTS

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[accordion_panel title=”TONIGHT! Expose the CHIPOCRISY at Chipotle Mexican Grill”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

TONIGHT! Expose the #CHIPOCRISY at Chipotle Mexican Grill

From Occupy Wall Street:

For six years, Chipotle has refused to come to the table with Coalition of Immokalee Workers to sign a Fair Food Agreement, securing labor protections for workers in the fields of Florida. Despite all of the promotion of having ‘sustainable vegetables’ and cage-free, anti-biotic free meat, Chipotle is still selling Food WithOUT Integrity!

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[accordion_panel title=”Zuccotti at Work: Daydreams of a Rank and Filer”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Pickets • permalink

Great article from 99 Pickets member Amy Muldoon:

Occupy Wall Street, with all its explosive force and lovely razor-clean language about the 1 percent, let the sun rise on the path forward for those of us who have been slogging away. That’s not to say the road wasn’t rising to our feet to some degree already, but Occupy helped us see the contours more clearly — and made them visible to other travelers.

 

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[accordion_panel title=”Thousands gather in Union Sq. Low wage workers need a raise!…”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

Thousands gather in Union Sq. Low wage workers need a raise! #99PKTS #RiseUpNY

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[accordion_panel title=”Thousands march to @ConEdison, @ChipotleTweets, @BabysRUs for…”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

[Flash 10 is required to watch video.]

Thousands march to @ConEdison, @ChipotleTweets, @BabysRUs for low wage worker rights #RiseUpNY #99PKTS. 

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[accordion_panel title=”Workers, united, will never be defeated! with Kenny Wollesen and…”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

[Flash 10 is required to watch video.]

Workers, united, will never be defeated! with Kenny Wollesen and the Himalayas. #riseupny #99pkts

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[accordion_panel title=”#99PKTS brigade marching for low wage worker rights. #RiseUpNY”]

Posted July 25th, 2012 by 99 Picket Lines • permalink

#99PKTS brigade marching for low wage worker rights. #RiseUpNY

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[accordion_panel title=”Report Back: Discussion w/Haben und Brauchen in Berlin”]

Posted July 10th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Arts & Labor at Haben und Brauchen DiscussionOn June 12, autonomous members of the Arts & Labor Alternative Economies subgroup took part in a presentation and public discussion with members of Haben und Brauchen, a Berlin-based group dedicated to examining the intersection of arts funding and urban development. The two groups came together to share organizational strategies and compare the differing conditions of artistic labor in Berlin and New York. A&L began the presentation with a slide talk summarizing the different arts and culture groups involved in Occupy Wall Street and an overview of the organizational structure of the movement at large; we then spoke about the work of A&L thus far and opened the room to questions. We discussed the space that OWS seemed to create for disparate groups on the left to come together, and learned about the self-critique in Berlin’s art world and the reactions to the political involvement in funding for the arts.

Koti & Co.After the discussion, we went to meet with members of Kotti & Co, a group of local activists from Kreuzberg in the Kottbusser Tor neighborhood organizing against increasing rents and gentrification. The area is home to a mixed group of artists and other residents with Turkish, Tunisian, Circassian, German and Afghan roots. People from all backgrounds and professions have come together to fight rapid Koti & Co. Protestgentrification, displacement, city housing laws and financial policies. We sat down with members of Haben und Brauchen and one of the Kotti organizers and had a lively conversation about solidarity and how the cultural workers in Berlin can offer support. Kotti & Co. had set up a 24-hour protest camp where tea was served, musicians played and people passing by could learn how to become active. At midnight some of us went to the camp and stood by a discussion between locals and politicians. This discussion, coupled with Haben und Brauchen’s advocacy for arts funding through formal written address to political representatives, showed us how certain artists in Berlin were engaging in strategies much different from our approach in Arts & Labor. There was an attempt to engage with politicians directly to achieve specific goals and demands, a strategy that we and most OWS arts groups have not embraced. This also speaks to the different economic climates that we are working within, specifically a system that offers state support to artists versus one driven predominantly by private funding and the market.

One Response to Report Back: Discussion w/Haben und Brauchen in Berlin

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[accordion_panel title=”A job for which your labor is compensated by “being told ‘thanks’”!?”]

Posted July 9th, 2012 by internavengerx • permalink

WTF! A job for which your labor is compensated by “being told ‘thanks’”!?

Um, No thanks…

Jobs / VHX

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Report Back: Arts & Labor in Copenhagen”]

Posted July 6th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

On June 18th, Arts & Labor participated in the seminar “Working Conditions,” hosted by the Danish artist union UKK (Young Art Workers).

UKK installationThe seminar was part of a two-week exhibition and series of events that UKK hosted as part of their ten-year anniversary at Overgaden. We presented alongside the Precarious Workers Brigade/ Carrot Workers Collective from London, a representative from the research department of the Chilean Ministry of Culture, the Danish art and activist collective Openhagen, and the UKK.

About UKK:

Kunst Er KunstUKK (Young Art Workers) was founded in Denmark in 2002 as a response to the cultural policies of the right wing government that came into power in 2001. The UKK was organized as an association open to membership for artists, critics and organizers involved with art production. The development of the policies of the UKK was based on a series of subcommittees engaging in various questions such as Art and Public Space, Art and Economy, and Art and Education. A committee called Art Workers against the War also appeared in 2002 to protest against the ‘War on Terror’. The committees worked independently and were not obliged to represent the official policies of the mother organization. Any member of the UKK could open a subcommittee and any member was allowed to join any of the committees. Today the UKK has achieved representation at the Danish Arts Council and other institutional bodies of the Danish art scene. The UKK are still an ‘activist’ organization based on free labor and has about 300 members.

Arts & Labor at Working Conditions

During the seminar, each group gave a short presentation followed by open discussion, and continued over a group dinner we made together. We discussed ways that we could build international solidarity, recognizing that there are vast differences between artists organizing within a state-funded system and those without that kind of support. For instance, in Denmark, since there is so much funding for artists by the government, there is essentially an “employer” where artists can turn to for advocacy and for certain demands. We talked about the common experience of institutions not recognizing collective or collaborative teaching and thinking, the economic value that artists bring to cities and how rising rents and gentrification affect both artists an non-artists alike, and the conditions for young artists coming out of art school, and ways that we could offer support during that critical and vulnerable period.

In considering Arts & Labor contextualized internationally, we are excited about the ways that we can create a network to show support and solidarity for our various struggles. We intend to continue this conversation and hope to plan collaborative actions to build alliances about the economic issues affecting artists internationally.
UKK installation

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[accordion_panel title=”Report Back: Occupy The Land! Unconference”]

Posted July 1st, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

596 Acres workshop at The South Williamsburg Garden

This year the NYC Community Garden Coalition invited the working groups of Occupy Wall Street to help organize their first city-wde Community Garden Unconference. A member of Arts & Labor Alternative EconomiesMaking Worlds Commons Coalition  stepped up to organize a schedule of events for the Occupy the Land! Unconference, June 1-3.

Beginning at noon on Saturday, the schedule worked it’s way through two community gardens in South Williamsburg. Berry Street Garden, the first stop, was started by the local community over 35 years ago while The Southside Community Garden, the second garden on the schedule, was only a few years old. The first discussion concerned community gardens as a commons and was co-organized by Making World Commons Coalition and Occupy Williamsburg members. While the second garden was host to a workshop by 596 Acres, a group dedicated to helping people acquire and develop green community spaces.

The schedule then moved over the East River and into the East Village, known to have the highest concentration of community gardens. A childrens’ art making workshop at the Children’s Garden was held in tandem with a swarming for activist workshop at Green Oasis Garden by a member of The Nsumi Collective. The swarming workshop was closely followed by a lip balm making workshop with honey treats also at Green Oasis Garden. The last workshop of the day was held at El Jardin De Paraiso and was about squatting vacant lots with a brief history of green space squatting in the village by members of C (See) Squats’ Museum of Reclaimed Urban Land.

As the sunset, the community was invited to join a group of spatial & social practice concerned artist for a night of food, video, live music and conviviality at La Petit Versailles Garden, organize by vizkult.

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[accordion_panel title=”“You should also expect typical intern duties such as: filing, taking out the trash, coffee runs…””]

Posted June 22nd, 2012 by internavengerdee • permalink

…sorry, no, don’t want to deal with “typical intern duties” since I signed up to “learn about the casting process” do the work of your casting director for zero pay. Minimum 3 days per week from 11-5? No thank you.

Intern

Joy Dewing Casting

Category: Internship

Description:

Joy Dewing Casting is seeking interns to start ASAP for our Summer Internship (June-September 2012). Duties include, but are not limited to: contact with agents and actors, scheduling and monitoring auditions, brainstorming, research, and audition prep. You should also expect typical intern duties such as: filing, taking out the trash, coffee runs, answering phones & general office maintenance.

Must be smart, quick, creative, organized, detail-oriented, resourceful, confident, and have a sense of humor. Must have excellent computer skills (Word, Excel, etc.). Knowledge of Macs a plus. Terrific phone manner a must. This internship is very demanding and is a great opportunity to learn about the casting process through hands-on training and experience. Ideal candidate is someone with a theatrical background or degree who is interested in exploring casting as a career. Commitment is minimum 3 days per week from 11–5 (Although full-time commitment is preferred).

For more information about the company and our current and past projects please visit www.joydewingcasting.com

Must be able to start ASAP. Must be available to interview in New York. No phone interviews.

To be considered please send a cover letter and resume to jobs@joydewingcasting.com. All attachments MUST be in either .doc or .pdf format. Please have your subject read: Summer Casting Internship.

No calls please.

Salary:
N/A
Company:
Joy Dewing Casting

Address:

New York, NY 10001
US

 

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Unpaid Security internships at an auction house! WTF.”]

Posted June 22nd, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

For a company that made $145.5 million just this week, we find it particularly appalling that they offer unpaid internships. Where does the greediness end? And to offer an unpaid position in its SECURITY department nonetheless! Christie’s, don’t you want the individuals you hire to safeguard the works you sell for millions of dollars to feel respected? Paying them would be a good start.

Christie’s Fall 2012 Security Internship

Security

New York, NY

Overview:
Christie’s is currently accepting applications for an unpaid Fall internship with the Security department that exposes students to the operations of an auction house and the art industry through hands-on experience during their fall semester.

Christie’s Security Department is entrusted with safeguarding highly valuable property and ensuring the safety of our employees, clients and visitors. Security is the business of everyone who works for Christie’s and is not the responsibility of the Security Department alone. Christie’s takes its responsibilities for matters relating to security very seriously.

Wherever we operate around the world, we maintain effective security procedures in all areas of our operations to protect our staff, our clients, our clients’ property, and our reputation for excellence as the world’s leading art business.

Primary responsibilities may include but are not limited to:
-Data Entry
-Assist with maintaining spreadsheets for department statistics
-Update Emergency Management Notification Database
-Shadow Security Personnel to gain understanding of department
-Special Projects, as assigned

Structure:
General internship length for this program is 14 weeks. All internships require a commitment of approximately 20 hours per week during the fall semester.

Fall Internship Dates: September 4, 2012-December 7, 2012*

Fall Internship Deadline: August 3, 2012**

*Note: These are the minimum dates required. Interns may make special arrangements with their department for any schedule adjustments or extensions.

**Note: Applications may be accepted past the deadline if any positions remain unfilled. However, it is strongly advised to complete and send in your application well in advance of August 3rd to avoid last-minute computer crashes.

In addition to working in assigned departments, interns also attend orientation, auctions, organized intern events, and a presentation given by Human Resources on networking, interviewing techniques, and resume-writing tips. Interns graduating within the next 12 months will receive an exit interview with Human Resources.

International Candidates:
International students may apply for a U.S. internship as long as they are degree-seeking, have a letter of acknowledgement from their school, and have the necessary Visa status. Christie’s does not sponsor Visas for student interns. Eligibility will be determined on a case by case basis.

19th Century Furniture & Decorative Art

Requirements:
• All interns must be degree-seeking candidates currently enrolled in school
• The internship must be relevant to the student’s current course of study
• Interns must provide a letter from the school confirming that they are receiving school credit for this program
OR
• Provide a letter of acknowledgement from the school recognizing the internship if credit is not offered.
• Interns must sign an agreement to complete the full duration of the internship*
• All intern applicants must apply online through Christies.com at http://www.christies.com/about/careers/americas/ and complete the application titled “Fall 2012 Security Internship”

*Please be mindful of your school schedule and course load before applying for an internship. If you will not be able to balance the internship with your academic commitments, you may want to consider our Summer program or our Winternship 2012-2013 program, which takes place over students’ winter break.

Qualification Requirements:
• Willingness to help out when needed
• Upperclassman (Junior or Senior) majoring in Security Management or Criminal Justice, with a strong interest in the arts
• Independent worker and self-starter
• Excellent computer skills (Excel and Microsoft Word)
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including superior written and spoken communication
• Superior client service skills
• Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
• Demonstrated ability to multi-task and prioritize
• Strong follow-up skills with attention to detail
• Good research and writing skills

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”“Proven Editorial background required””]

Posted June 21st, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

Last we checked, Rachael Ray’s empire was doing pretty well. So why does her company need to recruit unpaid laborers? Sometimes, the employers try to cloak the internship’s real goal with vague requirements. Not so much here! Scroll down to the ‘Experience’ section (but don’t miss the very clear statement that this is an unpaid position). Some highlights for those short on time: the intern must have “Proven Editorial background”, they “must have worked for a publication before”, and also “Experience in current publishing and business software software.”

I think we’ll stop here. This is illegal.

Student Intern/Editorial, EDWRR
Department: EDWRR Editorial & Art
Job Summary: Meredith Corporation has an opportunity for a motivated and creative student pursuing an Editorial career. This position will assist our lifestyle editors at Every Day with Rachael Ray in concepting, developing and creating consumer content for the lifestyle content, including food, parties, crafts, decorating and trends. The intern will work with both print and online, helping to come up with original content, research story ideas, create e-newsletters and assist with our Every Day Faves product pages. An interest in food and knowledge of social media is not required, but beneficial.

This unique opportunity is designed to provide a hands-on experience while expanding your professional experience and enhancing your academic studies.

Placement is based on experience, strong writing skills and communication and organization skills.

THIS IS AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP. CANDIDATE MUST BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE INTERNSHIP IN EXCHANGE FOR SCHOOL CREDIT.

Essential Job Functions

100% – Assist in the development and execution of exceptional editorial content across all media.
Job Requirements: Job Requirements : Minimum Qualifications:
All must be met to be considered.

THIS IS AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP. CANDIDATE MUST BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE INTERNSHIP IN EXCHANGE FOR SCHOOL CREDIT.

Education:
Enrolled college student with major emphasis journalism, magazine journalism, English or related field.

Experience:
Proven Editorial background required. The student must have solid writing, editing, research, reporting and content development skills.They must have worked for a publication before, which can include on-campus publications.
Specific Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Experience in current publishing and business software software, especially Microsoft Office products.
Must be curious, possess initiative, and be a self starter.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Strong project management skills and the ability to prioritize workload.
Must be able to manage multiple projects and strict deadlines
Interests in Home, Food, Family, Crafts, Gardening, Lifestyle, Decorating.
Familiarity with Internet; HTML beneficial.
Employment Status: Temporary

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Intern Happy Hour! Thursday, June 28, 6PM”]

Posted June 20th, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

Current, former, and future interns and sympathizers – JOIN US FOR A DRINK!

$2 beers? 2-for-1 well drinks? Yes please!

On Thursday, June 28, 6-8PM we will meet at Double Down Saloon (14 Avenue A, at Houston) to chat about unpaid internships over appropriately affordable drinks.
Come swap stories about past and present internships, learn about intern rights in the workplace, and what we can each do to make the internship a better (and legal) experience in the long run.

Drop by if any of the following applies to you:
Are you an intern now? Were you ever an intern? Do you work with interns? Would you like to learn more about the rights of interns? Do you want to meet people who have come together to learn about legal internships?
…in other words, you’re all invited!

We’ll see you there!
(Look for us in the back patio, weather permitting)

Intern Labor Rights, OWS Arts & Labor

Filed under: Actions

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[accordion_panel title=”Playbill.com Responds to OWS Letter”]

Posted June 19th, 2012 by internavengerx • permalink

Playbill.com Responds to OWS Letter
Revises Terms of Service for Postings of Internships
#OWS Arts& Labor Issues New Text for Job Board “Best Practices”

Click for PDF[New York, New York] June 19, 2012 – Playbill.com, the theater industry website, has responded to a call by Occupy Wall Street, Arts & Labor to end Playbill.com’s practice of posting classified ads for unpaid internships at for-profit companies by revising its Terms of Service. On April 19, 2012, Playbill.com declared its plans to “amend its terms of service informing all posters of all jobs of the NYS regulations that apply to internships.” Those changes have now been made and can be read here: http://www.playbill.com/jobs/job-policy/.

#OWS Arts & Labor welcomes Playbill.com’s decision to amend their Terms of Service. The decision is a step forward in the creation of a new set of “best practices” for the advertising of internship opportunities in the arts on internet job boards like the one hosted by Playbill.com.The campaign for intern labor rights is international in scope. For example, Arts Council England has adopted an approach on its job board that is clear and prominent. It offers a good model for job boards in the United States to alert users to concerns and best practices regarding unpaid internships.As an example of job board text that would likely be useful to both internship advertisers and seekers, Arts & Labor offers the following:

While an educational internship can provide an extraordinary hands-on learning experience for anyone entering a profession, this experience should not be used to circumvent the Fair Labor Standards Act (http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/). The Department of Labor has published guidelines (http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm) to clarify the legal obligations of organizations or individuals offering an internship program. An unpaid internship at a for-profit institution must be similar to training given in an educational environment; the experience must be for the benefit of the intern; the intern must not displace regular employees; and the employer must derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern.

When submitting a post, please ensure that any unpaid position is in compliance with these guidelines. We reserve the right to remove any posting without notice that we feel does not uphold these standards.

#OWS Arts & Labor encourages all internet job boards to post this or similar text in a prominent location adjacent to their postings and to exercise the right to remove any posting that violates a job board’s policies, terms of service or any state or federal laws relating to employment opportunities.

In addition to calling on Playbill.com, #OWS Arts & Labor sent similar email letters about internship advertising to job boards at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the Association of American Publishers, mandy.com, internships.com and entertainmentcareers.net. #OWS Arts & Labor calls on these job boards to inform internship advertisers and seekers of the laws concerning these opportunities and to remove classified advertisements that fail to meet the Department of Labor’s guidelines for unpaid internships.

Intern Labor Rights, a sub-group of #OWS Arts & Labor, aims to raise awareness to the exploitation of unpaid laborers. We are artists and art workers who have experienced firsthand the detrimental effects of the culture of free labor. From our collective experience we know that many internships do not meet the stipulations required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Business owners and shareholders are thus profiting from the uncompensated labor of others, which is a violation of basic labor rights and contributes to income and wealth disparity. In this era of historic inequality, class divide, skyrocketing student debt and intractable unemployment, we call for an end to this opportunistic and exploitative practice: Pay your interns!

Filed under: Actions

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[accordion_panel title=”Media Advisory: Playbill.com Responds to OWS Letter”]

Posted June 19th, 2012 by Intern Labor Rights • permalink

Playbill.com Responds to OWS Letter
Revises Terms of Service for Postings of Internships
#OWS Arts& Labor Issues New Text for Job Board “Best Practices”

Click for PDF[New York, New York] June 19, 2012 – Playbill.com, the theater industry website, has responded to a call by Occupy Wall Street, Arts & Labor to end Playbill.com’s practice of posting classified ads for unpaid internships at for-profit companies by revising its Terms of Service. On April 19, 2012, Playbill.com declared its plans to “amend its terms of service informing all posters of all jobs of the NYS regulations that apply to internships.” Those changes have now been made and can be read here: http://www.playbill.com/jobs/job-policy/.

#OWS Arts & Labor welcomes Playbill.com’s decision to amend their Terms of Service. The decision is a step forward in the creation of a new set of “best practices” for the advertising of internship opportunities in the arts on internet job boards like the one hosted by Playbill.com.The campaign for intern labor rights is international in scope. For example, Arts Council England has adopted an approach on its job board that is clear and prominent. It offers a good model for job boards in the United States to alert users to concerns and best practices regarding unpaid internships.As an example of job board text that would likely be useful to both internship advertisers and seekers, Arts & Labor offers the following:

While an educational internship can provide an extraordinary hands-on learning experience for anyone entering a profession, this experience should not be used to circumvent the Fair Labor Standards Act (http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/). The Department of Labor has published guidelines (http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm) to clarify the legal obligations of organizations or individuals offering an internship program. An unpaid internship at a for-profit institution must be similar to training given in an educational environment; the experience must be for the benefit of the intern; the intern must not displace regular employees; and the employer must derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern.

When submitting a post, please ensure that any unpaid position is in compliance with these guidelines. We reserve the right to remove any posting without notice that we feel does not uphold these standards.

#OWS Arts & Labor encourages all internet job boards to post this or similar text in a prominent location adjacent to their postings and to exercise the right to remove any posting that violates a job board’s policies, terms of service or any state or federal laws relating to employment opportunities.

In addition to calling on Playbill.com, #OWS Arts & Labor sent similar email letters about internship advertising to job boards at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the Association of American Publishers, mandy.com, internships.com and entertainmentcareers.net. #OWS Arts & Labor calls on these job boards to inform internship advertisers and seekers of the laws concerning these opportunities and to remove classified advertisements that fail to meet the Department of Labor’s guidelines for unpaid internships.

Intern Labor Rights, a sub-group of #OWS Arts & Labor, aims to raise awareness to the exploitation of unpaid laborers. We are artists and art workers who have experienced firsthand the detrimental effects of the culture of free labor. From our collective experience we know that many internships do not meet the stipulations required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Business owners and shareholders are thus profiting from the uncompensated labor of others, which is a violation of basic labor rights and contributes to income and wealth disparity. In this era of historic inequality, class divide, skyrocketing student debt and intractable unemployment, we call for an end to this opportunistic and exploitative practice: Pay your interns!

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[accordion_panel title=”We all know how to answer phones and run errands”]

Posted June 14th, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

This internship requires knowledge of art history, yet in the description of responsibilities there is no mention of art, artists, or exhibitions. What this gallery needs is an administrative assistant, not an intern.  We all know how to answer the phone and run errands. An internship is an educational experience.

Internship
LIO MALCA gallery
(New York NY)
LIO MALCA gallery is currently seeking for full time or part-time interns, preferably students in Art History and Arts Administration programs with great writing and research skills.

Responsibilities will include but will not be limited to assisting with:

• General and daily errands
• Keeping the gallery clean and organized
• Ordering supplies
• Administrative tasks such as answering phones, filing, helping organize and maintaining the gallery’s archive and storage systems.
• Updating devices with archives and available works
• Updating the website
• Light art handling
The ideal candidate should be enterprising and articulate, with the ability to handle whatever task is presented to them with efficiency and poise. Organizational skills, attention to detail, are required as well as strong computer skills.

Email resume and cover letter to: info@liomalca.com

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”Danish Art Union UKK hosts International Arts Worker Groups”]

Posted June 13th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

WORKING CONDITIONS
Seminar at Overgaden the 17th of June 2012 in the framework of UKK’s 10th anniversary.

Program:
13.00 Welcome
13.15 Arts&Labour, New York USA
13.50 Precarious Workers Brigade / Carrot Worker’s Collective, London UK
14.40 BREAK
15.00 Christobal Bianchi, Santiago Chile
15.30 Tina og Eva (openhagen), Copenhagen DK
16.00 Joint discussion!
17.00 End of Seminar

The economic crisis and the professionalisation of the art system has set more focus
on art worker conditions nationally and internationally. UKK has in 2012 made a questionnaire to cover the Danish situation among young art workers and has particularly focused on local issues such as art grants, the unemployment benefit system and free labour. Because young artists increasingly are working internationally and in order to perspectivize the Danish context, a seminar with a more international perspective will take place on the basis of the questionnaire. For this seminar groups of artists, activists and academics are invited from different geopolitical contexts. They are critical of their local situation, but also come with suggestions of alternative solutions, which the seminar attempt to discuss across contexts and conditions. The results of the questionnaire willl also be published at the seminar, in a printed publication with contributions by author Lene Asp and the sociologist Jaron Rowan.

Coffee and soft drinks will be served during the break.

Host: The UKK [Young artists and artworkers] subgroup ‘Focus: Working Conditions’;
Maria Diekmann, Eva la Cour, Sidsel Nielund and Marie Thams.

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[accordion_panel title=”“The candidate should work well with a team yet display independence to complete projects unsupervised.””]

Posted June 12th, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

Box Services LLC is a leader in digital retouching and production for fashion photographers, magazines, and artists. It just posted a call for two unpaid interns to assist in the printing and production of prints. Their self-proclaimed clients include some of the leading fashion photographers and magazines in the world.

One of the primary criteria the studio requires of its intern candidates is that s/he  “work well with a team yet display independence to complete projects unsupervised.”  This goes against labor law regulations. As per the Department of Labor: “The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.”

For followers of the WTF?! section…noticing a trend?

Employers – internships are not jobs. If you want an employee – you have to pay!

The exchange of labor is not a one-sided deal.

Box Art Department Internships
Box Services LLC
(New York NY)

The Box Art Department is a fast-paced, engaging and collaborative working environment that includes a wide range of daily responsibilities.  This is a great opportunity for photography students or recent grads interested in learning more about fine-art photography print production.  The Art Department consists of the Exhibitions Department and the Laboratory.

We are seeking one intern for each department for a minimum of 2 days per week.

Box Exhibitions Department Internship:

The Box Exhibitions Department is responsible for the production of fine-art photographic exhibitions and books for a diverse clientele.

The Exhibitions Intern is expected to assist with a variety of daily projects including: logging original art materials into and out of the Art Department; research of fine-art materials for specific projects; general office administration; and various special fine-art projects (book-binding, mounting, maquette construction).

The ideal candidate for the Exhibitions internship is responsible, precise and dependable. The candidate should work well with a team yet display independence to complete projects unsupervised.

Experience with and passion for photography is a must. A fine-art background and proficiency with Microsoft Excel and Word is a definite plus.

To apply for the Box Exhibitions Department Internship please send cover letter and resume to: photolab@boxstudios.com.
Please include “Exhibitions Internship” in the subject line when applying.

Box Laboratory Internship:

The Box Laboratory is responsible for the production of archival pigment prints and c-prints for the Exhibitions Department.

The Laboratory Intern is expected to assist with a wide-range of projects such as: printing fine-art photographs using Epson 11880 printers; exhibition print handling (cutting, hanging, and packing prints); RA-4 maintenance and care; photographic reproduction of original artist materials; and various special fine-art projects (book-binding, mounting, maquette construction).

The ideal candidate for the Laboratory internship is responsible, reliable, and detail-oriented.  The candidate should work well with a team and display confidence to complete projects unsupervised.

Experience with and passion for photography is a must. A fine-art background and proficiency with Photoshop CS5 is a definite plus.

To apply for the Box Laboratory Internship please send cover letter and resume to: photolab@boxstudios.com.
Please include “Laboratory Internship” in the subject line when applying.

Website: http://boxstudios.com

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”VIDEO: Labor Law for the 99%”]

Posted June 10th, 2012 by Sam • permalink

Complete* video from the educational event “Labor Law for the 99%,” hosted by the Labor Alliance, with speakers Dom Tuminaro, Sonia Lin, and Daniel Gross.

[They’re saved as playlists, which for some reason won’t embed on this site…so follow the youtube links…]

COMPLETE: Labor Law for the 99% (1 hr 41 min)

or, watch in sections:

Intro: Michelle C & Amy M (4 min)
Dom Tuminaro on the Taylor Law & international labor law (13 min)
Sonia Lin on the Employer Sanctions Regime (13 min)
Daniel Gross on Solidarity Unionism (28 min)
Discussion (44 min)

*actually I’m missing about 60 seconds of Daniel Gross speaking during the discussion (from when I had to change batteries), so if you have that video, please contact us through the site… -S

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[accordion_panel title=”Families for Freedom radio show on S-Comm in New York”]

Posted June 9th, 2012 by Sundrop • permalink

Our friends at Families for Freedom recently aired a radio show on the activation of DHS’s Secure Communities in New York State.

Check out the show, and support the fight to bring this destructive policy to an end!

http://familiesforfreedom.org/radio/war-immigrants-radio-ny-s-comm-activation

From Families for Freedom:

The Secure Communities program was fully activated in New York State on May 15th 2012, almost a year after the New York State Working Group Against Deportation (NYSWGAD) campaigned heavily to stop activation in 2011 and actually did get Gov. Cuomo to reject it.

The Secure Communities program was initiated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2008.Like programs such as the 287(g) program and the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), Secure Communities mobilizes local law enforcement agencies’ resources to enforce federal civil immigration laws. Whereas programs such as 287(g) trained law enforcement agents to assist with immigration enforcement, Secure Communities relies heavily on almost instantaneous electronic data sharing. This data sharing has transformed the landscape of immigration enforcement by allowing ICE to effectively run federal immigration checks on every individual booked into a local county jail, usually while still in pre-trial custody.*

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[accordion_panel title=”“Available to run gallery when Directors are out-of-town or at art fairs””]

Posted June 1st, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

Make up your mind, are you looking for an intern or a gallery assistant?

“Available to run gallery when Directors are out-of-town or at art fairs” – the law stipulates that unpaid interns must not displace regular workers. Henrique Faria Fine Art, can you really not afford to pay someone at least minimum wage while you go make money at an art fair abroad?

Pay Your Interns.

Gallery assistant
Internship unpaid
Henrique Faria Fine Art
(New York NY)

Days/hours: Part-time, Tue-Sat 11 AM -6 PM (flexible)
Location: 35 E. 67th Ave., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10065, 212.517.4609
Start Date:  Immediately
How to Apply:  Email CV and letter of motivation at Director@henriquefaria.com

Henrique Faria Fine Art, a gallery focused in Latin American artists, seeks a dedicated intern for part – time work

Description:
This internship is meant to work under the guidance of the Gallery’s Director in the different tasks involved in the Gallery management and the work with important artists. From organizing aspects of the exhibitions to organization of the collection and the relationship with clients, this internship is meant to offer a deep insight of the Art World.

Requirements:
-Basic secretarial skills, knowledge of PC and Windows
-Spanish language
-Ability to pay close attention to detail, hard working and being punctual
-Personal skills on the phone and with visitors a must
-Organized and presentable in the gallery
-Available to run gallery when Directors are out-of-town or at art fairs
-Background in Latin American Art history preferred
-Willingness to learn general information regarding the gallery’s artists and exhibitions

Filed under: WTF?!

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[accordion_panel title=”UNPAID INTERNS, WE WANT TO KNOW!”]

Posted June 1st, 2012 by internavengerY • permalink

What happened in your internships? Share your stories and help to raise awareness on the potential exploits of unpaid internship. You may withhold company names and we will post anonymously. Email us at intern.labor.rights(at)gmail(dot)com Help us spread the word! Pay your interns.

Filed under: Your Stories

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[accordion_panel title=”Workers Win Historic Election for Union Representation at New York Restaurant Chain Hot and Crusty”]

Posted May 24th, 2012 by Sundrop • permalink

Hot and Crusty workersCiting Company-Wide Wage Theft, Safety Violations, Verbal Abuse and Sexual Harassment, Workers Vote for Independent Union in 12 to 8 Victory

New York, NY–May 24, 2012. Workers at the 63rd street location of Hot and Crusty restaurant voted yesterday to certify an independent union, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association, with 20 of 22 eligible employees submitting their vote at the National Labor Relations Board. After a 4 month-long public campaign to bring attention to injustices in the workplace, workers were overjoyed by news of their victory. Documenting widespread labor violations spanning 6 years, including overtime and minimum wage violations, non-compliance with health and safety codes, and sexual harassment and verbal abuse of female employees, workers began organizing their campaign after approaching grassroots community organization Laundry Workers Center United to assist them in their efforts.

Following multiple attempts by the workers to reach a reasonable agreement with the company, parties came to an impasse when management refused to negotiate in good faith over terms and conditions of employment. Responding to the employers’ threat that “structural changes within the workplace would not happen without a union,” the workers formed an independent labor organization and filed a petition for certification with the National Labor Relations Board.

Employing provisions contained in New York State’s newly enacted Wage Theft Prevention Act, championed by community organizations and State Senator Diane Savino (D-SI/Brooklyn), a civil lawsuit was simultaneously filed for overtime and minimum wage violations, as well as liquidated damages. Gene Eisner of Eisner and Mirer, P.C, counsel to the workers, emphasized the importance of the Act’s “stiffened penalties, liquidated damages and critical protections for the undocumented in reclaiming what is rightfully owed to these hardworking individuals.”

Applauding the workers resolve in rejecting multiple settlement offers that failed to address continued violations in the workplace, Laundry Workers Center Founder, Virgilio Aran, said “this was a struggle completely led by the workers, and the decisions were made collectively to address structural issues that many immigrant workers in this country face. We have all learned a great deal from their courage and determination to organize.”

Mahoma Lopez, a leader in the campaign who has worked at Hot and Crusty for over 7 years, stressed the importance of workers coming together in their workplace to stand up against injustice, saying “this is a victory for us all, particularly for immigrant workers. We have shown the bosses that when we organize, there is no stopping us. When we come together, we are strong.”

The company has responded to the workers organizing efforts with threats, intimidation, and offers of monetary compensation, all of which are unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act. Workers at other Hot and Crusty locations have subsequently come forward with similar wage and hour violations, which are currently being investigated. Recently the company hired a union-busting firm and forbid workers from speaking to the press in response to the success of the organizing of the Laundry Workers Center.

For more information, contact:
Nastaran Mohit (914)557-6408
nastaran@lwcu.org
OR
Virgilio Aran (347)394-8350
virgilio@lwcu.org

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[accordion_panel title=”W.A.G.E. Survey”]

Posted May 23rd, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

W.A.G.E SurveyOn April 20, 2012, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) released the results of their W.A.G.E. Survey, which gathered data about the economic experiences of hundreds of visual and performing artists who worked with New York City art non-profits between 2005-2010. Read the results and analysis of the survey here.

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[accordion_panel title=”Demand Justice for Artist Takeshi Miyakawa”]

Posted May 23rd, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

From the online petition Demand Justice for Artist Takeshi Miyakawa:

On May 19th, 2012, artist and designer Takeshi Miyakawa was arrested in Brooklyn while installing “I ♥ NY” lamps in a local park, part of a project designed to celebrate NY Design Week and the Tokyo-born artist’s love for New York City, where he has lived for the past 23 years.

Miyakawa was charged with the class D felony of reckless endangerment, placing of false bombs, and criminal nuisance. He is being detained for thirty days to await mental evaluation.

Public safety need be protected, but so must our human rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Sign this petition to help free Takeshi Miyakawa.

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[accordion_panel title=”To the Editor of the New York Times, re “Sunday Dialogue: The Value of Internships””]

Posted May 19th, 2012 by Intern Labor Rights • permalink

To the Editor:
Re “Sunday Dialogue: The Value of Internships” (pSR2, May 20):

An internship’s ability, as Ilene Starger states, to “greatly expand one’s knowledge, experience, contact base and chances of future career success” isn’t impeded when it comes with a paycheck, just as the law requires.

By focusing so narrowly on how an internship can serve as a transition from school to career for a privileged few, anecdote-based arguments such as Ms. Starger’s fail to take a full measure of the effect this practice is having on the working lives of tens of thousands of workers, including non-interns, all while employers reap the rewards of free labor (an estimated $2 billion in unpaid wages per year). Furthermore, with unpaid internships now firmly established in the labor market and unemployment soaring, the looming presence of this pool of free labor puts downward pressure on the wages of paid employees and freelancers. The effects spread up the career ladder and across the economy, benefiting few and harming many.

Ms. Starger claims to feel empathy for college students entering this job market but offers no solutions, only oversimplified excuses for a practice that compounds their plight. Similarly, she offers no succor to those who cannot afford to work for free but seek the same opportunities, to those who must compete with interns for what once were paid positions, nor to those feeling their wages squeezed by the presence of unpaid workers in the labor market. And for those who don’t happen to luck into a big break through an internship (or three or five…), that they’ve given away their labor to profit someone else appears to be equally of no concern.

We are artists and art workers who have experienced firsthand the detrimental effects of this culture of free labor. And in this era of historic inequality, class divide, skyrocketing student debt and intractable unemployment, we call for an end to this opportunistic and exploitative practice: Pay your interns.

OWS Arts & Labor
A working group founded in conjunction with the New York General Assembly for #occupywallstreet

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[accordion_panel title=”Winning @ Work: Labor Law for the 99%”]

Posted May 16th, 2012 by Sam • permalink

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
6:00pm
CWA 1180, 6 Harrison Street

FLYER

Featuring:
Daniel Gross
Brandworkers International,
author “Labor Law for the Rank and Filer”
AND
… Sonia Lin
Attorney, Immigration and Employment Law

“If it’s effective, it’s illegal”. This is common wisdom for anyone trying to organize in workplaces today.

The Taylor Law, Taft-Hartley regulations, employer sanctions and numerous other regulations of workplace labor all stand as hurdles organizers face in taking on the 1% where it counts most – at work. Often the courts, laws, and stables of lawyers stand between workers and justice.

But the history of working class struggle is a history full of examples of how people overcame these challenges through creative methods of using, avoiding, or breaking the law.

Presented by the OWS LABOR ALLIANCE

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[accordion_panel title=”2nd Assembly of the OWS Labor Alliance”]

Posted May 10th, 2012 by Sundrop • permalink
Saturday, May 12th, 1pm in Zuccotti Park
(rain location: DC37, 125 Barclay St., Rm. 12 – downstairs)

Congratulations on a great, unified May Day! Time to dig deep and keep up the struggle! Last month we had a great Labor Alliance meeting including members of all OWS labor-related working groups – let’s keep the conversation going…

  • How can we foster better coordination between groups?
  • What are the various labor working-groups’ goals & ongoing projects?

All members of labor working groups are specially invited: Immigrant Worker Justice, Arts & Labor, Occupy Your Workplace, Rank & File Committee, Occupy the DOE, and Labor Outreach.


Saturday, May 12th, 1pm
Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza

Broadway & Liberty Street
Subway: A,C,2,3,4,5 to Fulton Street, N,R to Cortlandt Street
(rain location: DC37, 125 Barclay St., Rm. 12 – downstairs, A,C,1,2,3 to Chambers St)

Labor in the U.S. is suffering from a 30-year decline. Wages as a share of the economy are at historic lows, unemployment remains stuck close to record highs. This weakness stems directly from the fact that labor has never been more divided – between union and non-union, immigrant and native-born, young and old, North and South, private sector and public sector; by race, language, creed, color, education, and industry. As militants in the labor movement, we reflect this unevenness of class development in the different forms of organization we take on – but this is no excuse for disunity!

Join a discussion of how labor activists within OWS can make our work more unified, act in greater solidarity, and increase the space for workers to get their issues heard within OWS as a whole.
Sponsored by the Labor Outreach Committee, Immigrant Worker Justice Working Group, Occupy Your Workplace, the Rank-and-File Committee, and Arts & Labor

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[accordion_panel title=”Why Work? Make History. Celebrate May Day with Arts & Labor!”]

Posted May 1st, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

Why Work?
Make History
Celebrate May Day
Join Workers,
Immigrants
and the 99%
At Union Square!

Members of Arts and Labor’s Radical Arts group dropped a banner on April 30, 2012 at Bleecker Street and Lafayette in celebration of May Day. Join us in the streets on May 1st to honor International Workers’ Day. No Work, No School, No Shopping, Slow Down!
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF MAYDAY EVENTS!

photo-573
Why Work? Make History
photo-571
photo: © Tracie Williams

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[accordion_panel title=”May 1 Call”]

Posted April 28th, 2012 by aandladmin • permalink

On May 1, 2012, the Occupy movement, which grew out of Occupy Wall Street and demonstrations in other parts of the world, has asked people to join in a “day without the 99%,” general strike, and more to protest the growing disparity of wealth in our society, a financial system that rewards the rich and exerts outsize influence on government and electoral politics, and the destruction to our planet caused by industry and disastrous environmental policies. Arts & Labor, a working group of Occupy Wall Street that organizes around labor issues in the arts, supports this call and asks artists, art workers, and all other people to join us in making May 1 a day of creative, festive, and nonviolent reclamation of public space, replacing our society’s emphasis on private profits with public solidarity and mutual aid.

Art has historically been treated as a realm of imagination, innovation, or utopian promise apart from the workaday world. But art today also mirrors the growing inequality in our society. Few other fields exhibit such striking contrasts of wealth and increasing want. Although those who produce, maintain, educate, and run the art world often work in close proximity to extreme wealth, the riches, glamour, and record-breaking auction prices reported in the media disguise the realities they face.

Like many workers today—especially freelance, adjunct, and temporary ones—those who work in the arts face cuts to or already live without healthcare, childcare, job security, unemployment benefits, pensions, or retirement plans. The situation gets all the more grim when the rationale of austerity threatens limited existing social services with further cuts. Many cultural workers are one ambulance ride away from financial ruin. This vulnerability links what has been labeled the “creative class” with all other workers, students, and the unemployed: the 99% excluded from the growing concentration of wealth.

In the field of contemporary art alone, to become an artist in the neoliberal system of galleries, museums, art fairs, and biennials, artists increasingly feel obligated to obtain an expensive education that puts them in debt—sometimes well over $100,000. And this debt, which mirrors the larger student debt crisis in this country, is particularly insidious because it is incurred to gain accreditation in a field that still includes a high degree of risk with slim chances of sustainable returns.

Although artists were once able to live and work in affordable enclaves, the burgeoning size of the art world now plays a role in profound changes to our cities. Several decades ago, the real estate industry saw how the “improvements” artists made to low income and minority neighborhoods could pave the way for development, making these neighborhoods appealing to higher-income transplants who eventually priced out artists and the original inhabitants. These practices privilege speculative investment over affordable housing and have contributed to the current housing crisis, marked by widespread foreclosures.

With contemporary art treated in many precincts as a luxury commodity or high-end form of entertainment, cities around the world rushed to build a Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by a well-known architect. Despite their aims to boost local economies, these efforts often furthered the cycle of development and displacement. These institutions also became increasingly more indebted to corporate sponsors and wealthy trustees—the 1% who have benefited most by the rise of finance capital, rampant deregulation, and the powerful real estate industry.

As a new collector class rose in the ‘80s and ‘90s, pumping money into the art market, public institutions like museums were increasingly defunded, forcing them to rely on tax-free private donations. As public coffers are drained and institutions get mortgaged to private interests, the question arises, Whom does this benefit? And at what cost?

Joining with others on May 1 and reiterating the concerns raised by the Occupy movement last fall, we call for reducing student debt and for greater transparency and equitable practices in our institutions. As part of a larger struggle to protect the rights of workers, we call for an end to the exploitative use of interns, which allows institutions to profit from uncompensated labor and ensures only those with independent financial means can work in the arts. We call for city administrations to stop rezoning plans that profit the real estate industry and eradiate affordable housing. And we demand our government and industries fund public institutions and services rather than continuing to cater to the wealthiest in our society.

On May 1, we ask those who work in the arts to assemble with all others to work toward greater equality and to create sustainable ways of living on this planet. Let us free art from the vagaries of financial speculation and privatization and restore its promise of a better world. By sharing its power to enrich all of our lives, let us make it part of our struggle to reclaim the commons.

 

For schedules of May 1 events in NYC, see http://occupywallst.org/article/nyc-full-schedule-permitted-and-unpermitted-may-da/ and http://maydaynyc.org/may-day-2012#schedule

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