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Fast-food workers in NYC striking for right to organize, fair pay

Fast-Food Workers Reportedly Walked Off The Job Today During NYC Strike Over Wages – The Consumerist
Fast-food diners in New York City today might’ve been greeted with a smaller staff than usual, as the “Fast Food Forward” campaign said strikes were scheduled at franchises around the city to protest low wages for employees. Striking workers want to up their hourly pay from the minimum of $7.25 to almost double, $15 and to demand the right to form a union. Organizers of the campaign are calling it the largest attempt to unionize fast-food workers, reports Reuters, with protests staged at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and Domino’s restaurants today. New York Communities for Change has tossed its hat in the ring to help, after being involved in unionizing attempts by low-wage carwash and grocery workers in New York. At least 14 employees, only three of whom weren’t supposed to work that day, walked off the job at a Midtown McDonald’s this morning, says Reuters. Organizers expected hundreds of other workers at dozens of locations to do the same. “We’re asking for basic needs,” said one Wendy’s worker who earns $7.25 an hour, 30 to 40 hours a week. He adds that he just wants to be able to afford his rent and buy life’s basic necessities.

November 27, 2012

Study: Walmart stores jack their prices up in poorer neighborhoods

My Walmart is Cheaper than Your Walmart
Of seventeen choices, nine grocery items had a different price depending on the store. The price difference favored the Folsom store, an affluent suburb, over the Rancho Cordova and South Sacramento stores, non-affluent sections of Sacramento county. That is, the stores in poor neighborhoods had higher prices, not the other way around. Perhaps the customers in more affluent neighborhoods had better access to alternative grocers, or perhaps the poor neighborhoods were more expensive to operate a store, necessitating premium prices. I may not be able to guess the reason for price variances based on this comparison and my stab at demographics, but I'm happy to know about it. I feel like I figured out a secret.

November 26, 2012

CEO Council Demands Cuts To Poor, Elderly While Reaping Billions In Government Contracts, Tax Breaks

CEO Council Demands Cuts To Poor, Elderly While Reaping Billions In Government Contracts, Tax Breaks
WASHINGTON -- The corporate CEOs who have made a high-profile foray into deficit negotiations have themselves been substantially responsible for the size of the deficit they now want closed. The companies represented by executives working with the Campaign To Fix The Debt have received trillions in federal war contracts, subsidies and bailouts, as well as specialized tax breaks and loopholes that virtually eliminate the companies' tax bills. The CEOs are part of a campaign run by the Peter Peterson-backed Center for a Responsible Federal Budget, which plans to spend at least $30 million pushing for a deficit reduction deal in the lame-duck session and beyond. During the past few days, CEOs belonging to what the campaign calls its CEO Fiscal Leadership Council -- most visibly, Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein and Honeywell's David Cote -- have barnstormed the media, making the case that the only way to cut the deficit is to severely scale back social safety-net programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security -- which would disproportionately impact the poor and the elderly. As part of their push, they are advocating a "territorial tax system" that would exempt their companies' foreign profits from taxation, netting them about $134 billion in tax savings, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies titled "The CEO Campaign to ‘Fix’ the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks" -- money that could help pay off the federal budget deficit. . . .