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Labor activists allege wage theft at fast food chains listen

03/18/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: McDonald's, wage theft, minimum wage, labor unions, labor

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Labor activists in Tampa are taking aim at fast food restaurants they say aren’t paying employees fairly. The debate over minimum wage is still raging, but now workers are worried about something else – wage theft. Yves Higgins is a former part time employee at McDonald's.

“Now I don’t have a way to help my mother pay her bills and it looks like our water is going to be cut off.”

That’s because he says the McDonald's at the corner of Bearss and Florida Avenue didn’t pay him for about f...

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State unemployment website glitches keep some Floridians from their only source of income listen

12/16/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: Unemployment, labor, Rick Scott, Deloitte, Florida, Department of Economic Opportunity

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Glitches in Florida’s new unemployment compensation website have been keeping some people from receiving their only form of income. The CONNECT website launched in October, but still isn’t working up to par. Unemployed people like Susan McGrath say they can’t even get anyone on the phone to answer questions

“What happens is, they’ll say, ‘it’s a high-volume call period, please call back later.’”

McGrath had to wait to file a claim until the new website launched because the old one was ...

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National workers' strike hits Tampa Dunkin' Donuts listen

12/05/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Dunkin Donuts, minimum wage, wages, poverty, labor, unions, strike, Fast Food Strike

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Fast food workers in 100 cities across the country walked off their jobs Thursday as part of a national push to raise the federal minimum wage. Four Dunkin' Donuts employees told managers at a restaurant on East Busch Boulevard in Tampa they were going on strike until the franchise agreed to pay higher wages.

One of the workers is Brittany Wilkerson. She’s been working at that Dunkin' Donuts location for eight months making the federal minimum wage -- $7.79. But for two years prior to tha...

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Labor activists go after Burger King in support of fired single mom listen

11/22/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: unions, minimum wage, labor, activism, Burger King, AFL-CIO, FCAN

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A 19-year old single mother was fired from a Tampa Burger King Friday for what she claims is retaliation for trying to organize with a union for a living wage. Less than 12 hours after she was terminated, more than 30 union leaders and community activists rallied support for the minimum wage worker at the Burger King at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Arme...

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Fast food workers in Tampa join national strike listen

08/29/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Fast food workers are walking off the job today in more than fifty cities across the country, including in Tampa.

They’re fighting for the right to unionize and for an end to poverty wages.

In Tampa a rally will began at 4:30 p.m. Thursday outside the Wendy’s on Fowler Avenue at 15th Street.

WMNF interviewed Aaron Carmella, a field representative for the West Central Florida Federation of Labor.

*Here's more information about the [strike](https://www.facebook.com/events/2...

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"Abolish Class Society" is May Day message in St. Pete from Overpass Light Brigade listen

05/01/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Wednesday is International Workers’ Day. A small group of protesters displayed a lighted message over I-275 near 22nd Avenue North in St. Pete saying “Abolish Class Society” in honor of what’s also known as May Day.

“It’s a celebration of the working class and the struggle for the abolition of class distinction.”

That’s Occupy Tampa’s Jake Vigness. May Day is celebrated in 80 countries worldwide as part of an international labor movem...

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Labor activists want local control over wage theft ordinances, ask state to stay out of it listen

04/10/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Labor activists are protesting two bills working their way through Tallahassee they fear would hurt workers. The protest in front of the County Center in downtown Tuesday Tampa was led by AFL-CIO regional coordinator Aaron Carmella who said the so-called “wage theft” bills would rob local governments of their abilities to protect workers from unfair employers.

“They say that they’re trying to streamline a process to keep it the same across the state, but basically what they’re ...

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Labor groups warn against changes to Florida's pension program listen

02/14/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Proposed legislation in the Florida House would force new state employees hired after 2014 to use a 401k-style retirement fund instead of the current pension program. During a conference call Wednesday, critics of the measure said the change would hurt public employees. Diane Oakley, executive director for the National Institute on Retirement Security said seniors enrolled in the type of retirement program being proposed are nine times more likely to live in poverty during their final years...

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Santa takes on Wal-Mart labor issues: VIDEO listen

11/26/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Groups from across the country protested Wal-Mart over the weekend as a show of solidarity with striking workers. Activists from the Tampa Bay area took their action to Pinellas Park on Friday at one of the big box retailer’s busiest stores. One man, Tyler Mitchell dressed as Santa Clause and stood in front of the store’s main entrance asking shoppers to stand in solidarity with Wal-Mart employees, but was quickly asked to leave the property.

Mitchell joined a larger protesting on the...

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Tampa Bay activists plan Black Friday protests at WalMarts in solidarity with striking workers

11/21/12 Seán Kinane
Last Call Wednesday
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On Last Call we took calls about the strikes by WalMart workers this Friday across the country and the local actions in support of the laborers. The day after Thanksgiving is typically the busiest shopping day of the year -- called Black Friday by shoppers and Buy Nothing Day by people protesting the hyperconsu...

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