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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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Labor activist neutral on Charlie Crist's endorsement of Barack Obama listen

08/28/12 Michelle Friedline
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday

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Over the weekend former Governor Charlie Crist endorsed Barack Obama for re-election to President.

Crist switched to an independent after a long political career as a Republican.

For reaction, with Jose Soto, co-president of the Graduate Assistants United and is also with the North Central Florida central labor council.

He was part of yesterday’s Coalition to March on the RNC.

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Ethel and Kerry Kennedy join protest at Publix headquarters in Lakeland where farmworkers break 6 day fast listen

03/12/12 Kelly Benjamin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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On Saturday after 6 days without food, more than 60 farmworkers and supporters ended their fast for fair food outside the Publix Supermarket corporate Headquarters in Lakeland. Nearly 1,000 people marched to the fast breaking ceremony organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

Publix supermarkets is the largest and fastest growing employee owned supermarket chain in the United States. They are also one of the longest hold outs from signing on to a Fair Food Agreement with Florida tom...

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Proposal in Tallahassee would sharply cut wages for restaurant servers, bartenders and those that rely on tips

02/17/12 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)
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The Orlando Sentinel reports that: "Restaurant servers, bartenders and other Florida workers who rely heavily on tips are (paying close attention to) a plan moving through the Legislature that could slash their hourly wages.

The bill (SB 2106), approved by a Senate committee Thursday, would allow restaurants and other employers to pay their staffs the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13 an hour instead of Florida's minimum of $4.65. To qualify, companies would have to guarantee that emp...

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Immokalee tomato harvesters win agreement with Trader Joe's listen

02/10/12 Kelly Benjamin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Yesterday, the nationwide specialty grocery store chain, Trader Joe’s, signed a landmark agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. It guarantees the company will pay one penny more per pound of tomatoes picked by immigrant farm workers in South Florida. The agreement came a day before planned protests of the grand opening of the first Trader Joe’s in the state.

Protests were planned in over 40 cities nationwide this weekend against Trader Joe’s for failing to sign on to the...

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Union leaders for one fifth of Hillsborough County employees negotiate rights for workers listen

12/29/11 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Union leaders for many Hillsborough County employees want to change the process by which employees are disciplined. Negotiations on behalf of those employees continued with county management this morning.

One fifth of Hillsborough County employees are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME. Union leaders want to include language in the employment contract that would clari...

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Occupy Tampa marches in solidarity with labor unions listen

11/18/11 Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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For the first time, organized labor and the Occupy movement joined forces yesterday for a demonstration in downtown Tampa. Their central demand was that Congress pass the President’s Jobs Act. They used the construction at the Platt Street Bridge as a backdrop and an example of the kind of federal spending that will put people back to work.

About 40 union members and advocate...

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