Things That Matter

The Latino Workers At Facebook Have Joined A Union To Get Better Pay To Afford Decent Housing

It was only in May when Mark Zuckerberg told the graduating class at Harvard University that the United States should explore the option of a universal basic income. The concept, which countries like Brazil, Denmark and Canada are testing, promises citizens a paycheck regardless of employment, wealth, job status and other factors, according to CNN Money.

In his speech, Zuckerberg said such a basic income for all the citizens will give people an option to explore new ideas since they would have a financial cushion to do so. Now, just 2 months after giving that speech, Latino contract cafeteria workers at Facebook’s world headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., have joined UNITE HERE Local 19, a union representing workers in northern California.

The workers, who are employed by Flagship Facility Services, joined the union to negotiate better pay and affordable benefits in an area of the country that is becoming more and more expensive to live in. Mercury News reports that some of the employees are only able to afford to live in garages with their families to be closer to work.

“Their quest for a better life in Silicon Valley is what moved them to unionize,” Enrique Fernandez, the business manager for UNITE HERE Local 19 told Mercury News.

The Guardian reports that a spokesperson for Facebook says the company looks forward to working with the union to address the contractors’ concerns. The spokesperson also expressed that the tech company is committed to providing a “safe, fair work environment to everyone who helps Facebook bring the world closer together, including contractors.”

Read more on Mercury News by tapping here.


READ: Telemundo Asked Them Not To Unionize, But Its Actors Just Voted To Do So

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Coinstar Comes Through For Man Who Received Last Paycheck Of 91,500 Pennies

Things That Matter

Coinstar Comes Through For Man Who Received Last Paycheck Of 91,500 Pennies

After Andreas Flaten’s former employer dumped at least 90,000 pennies on his driveway last month as a form of final payment for his work at an auto shop, Coinstar is stepping up to help.

The company picked up Flaten’s coins on Thursday and rounded up the amount to give him a $1,000 check. Flaten had been spending an hour or two every night trying to clean the pennies, which he stored in a wheelbarrow in his garage.

They also made donations to two charities of Flaten’s choosing: two animal shelters. 

“Coinstar has been in the coin business for 30 years and we process approximately 41 billion coins annually – so picking up 91,000 pennies was all in a day’s work,” Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity said in a statement.

Original Story Published March 25, 2021:

Quitting a job isn’t always easy, quite often one of the parties is left upset or angry. But the breakup of a Georgia man and a car repair shop has taken things to new depressing low. He was Paid his fianl Paycheck With 91,500 Pennies

Sure, the man received his money and it’s all totally legal but it still sucks the way that he was ‘paid’ and the Internet is rightfully freaking out on the man’s behalf.

Georgia man is paid his final paycheck with 91,500 pennies.

A Georgia man, Andreas Flaten, who had been waiting on his final $915 paycheck from when he quit his job at the A OK Walker Luxury Autoworks, was finally paid but not in a very nice way. Sure, 91,500 pennies are real and actual money but it’s not exactly a convenient way to get paid.

The coins, he said, were dumped on his drive way and also are apparently covered in an oily substance he suspects might be power-steering fluid. The coin drop was discovered on March 12. Flaten told the New York Times he believes the payment was taken as a punishment after he quit his job and demanded the company pay him his final paycheck.

Flaten said the pennies were delivered by someone who he believes to be a current employee of the shop at 7 P.M. ET on March 12. The load, which weighed more than 500 lbs., came with a short, obscenity-ridden note, he said.

It sounds like the auto shop is a pretty toxic place to work.

Flaten said he quit the job because of broken promises over when he could leave each day to pick up his child from day care. He gave notice that he planned to quit late last year, but left earlier after further disagreements at the job. When he did not receive his final paycheck, he filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor, which reached out to the repair shop three times.

Miles Walker, the owner of the repair shop told CBS46, an Atlanta TV station, “I don’t know if I did that or not, I don’t really remember. … It doesn’t matter. He got paid. That’s all that matters. He’s a f*****g weenie for even bringing it up.”

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Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Culture

Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Photo via chocolleto/Instagram

Fans of the crispy, buttery Tate’s cookies might be sad when they hear this news. According to current employees, the popular cookie business has been threatening employees who are trying to unionize.

According to multiple employees, Tate’s cookies threatened to contact ICE if workers vote to unionize next month.

According to Gothamist, most of Tate Bake Shop’s 432 employees are undocumented workers. But the National Labor Relations Act says that undocumented workers have a lawful right to unionize.

The powerhouse baked goods company Mondelēz International owns Tate’s cookies. Additionally, Mondelēz owns other popular brands like Oreo and Chips Ahoy. Local union leaders have called the company “anti-union on steroids”.

Once Tate’s cookies heard rumblings of their workers unionizing, however, they hired an anti-labor consultant. The consultant, Carlos Flores, brags on LinkedIn about keeping businesses “labor free”.

“They began threatening people based on their immigration status, telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported,” said Eastern States’ Union president, Cosmo Lubrano.

The consultant allegedly told workers that he would review their documentation to see if “everything was in order”. If it wasn’t, he said ICE might “send them back”.

“Just because a worker wants to organize, wants to have representation doesn’t mean a company should make their life miserable,” said Julio, an undocumented worker, to The New York Times.

Tate’s cookies employees only began to discuss the possibility of unionizing when the pandemic hit. Workers felt that the cookie company might not protect them should they fall ill.

“We were in the heart of the pandemic at that time and they didn’t know any of the rules that applied to them,” said Anthony Miranti, an Eastern States’ union delegate.

“Will they get paid if they have to self-quarantine? How do they get safety equipment? They were telling us about how they’re all at minimum wage and needed more paid time off and there was just nobody to listen to their problems.”

Officially, Mondelēz denies all claims or threatening workers. They released a statement saying: “Any allegation that the company has violated any aspect of the National Labor Relations Act is untrue. Tate’s prides itself on treating all its employees with respect, and we have fostered over many years an inclusive, supportive, caring work environment and culture with our employees.”

Despite the threats to their livelihood, many workers still believe unionizing will ultimately be beneficial.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who work in union shops. They say things are better,” said an undocumented worker by the name of Catalina to the New York Times. “Why not give this an opportunity?”

As Miranti says, “I think the workers that produce these products should be able to put their heads down on their pillows at night and know their job is secured, that their family has the best coverage out there, that they’ll have a pension to retire on someday.”

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