Connect with us


The Fed is shaping the US economy. Canteen workers in New York can hardly afford groceries | US unions



When the country’s bankers come to work in New York and line up at the coffee bar, Virginia Vargas has been on her feet for two hours.

Vargas arrives at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where regional bankers make decisions that determine US economic policy, by 6:00 a.m. to start preparing an office coffee shop. By 8, she’s ready to greet employees in need of a caffeine sip with a smile.

“I love it,” said Vargas, who is 67. I have worked in all [part]” foodservice activities of the New York Bank. “I love it because I’ve been there for 27 years and spend more time with our clients at the Fed than at home.”

As much as she loves her job, Vargas joined food service workers at the Fed and eight other New York and New Jersey agencies this month in voting to sanction a strike. This is because many hospitality workers who cater to Federal Reserve employees often cannot afford their own living expenses.

“What would I do with a pay rise? Imagine!” Monica Castillo, a bank catering worker, said in Spanish. She said the workers waited too long to get a decent wage. “It will help pay the bills – rent, groceries, other expenses. It would be a huge help, because everything is so expensive.

Vargas and Castillo are members of Unite Here Local 100, a predominantly women and people of color union. Its members work in the food service industry at canteens, airports, sports facilities, restaurants, and other locations in the New York and New Jersey area. Union workers in the offices of Bloomberg Media, the United Federation of Teachers, Ramapo College and others also voted to sanction the strike.

The long struggle, combined with stagnant wages, saw workers quit their jobs and the Fed’s canteens out of work. Photographer: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Vargas, Castillo and their colleagues are employees of Sodexo, one of the top three food service providers in the United States. And at the Fed, union members have been haggling with the company since their contract expired in February 2022.

Hospitality workers at the Fed say their strike vote has helped bring management back to the negotiating table, where the union is asking Sodexo to raise wages to $20 an hour for its members. The two parties met on Friday, March 17, but no deal was reached, according to Local 100; Another negotiating session is scheduled for Friday, March 31, which will discuss wages, health care, retirement and other issues.

Asked for comments, a Sodexo spokesperson offered a joint statement with Local 100 saying “many important issues” have been agreed, but other “important” points remain. “We are confident that we are on our way to further fair trade,” a spokesperson said.

The union said it is also negotiating in good faith and its workers are prepared to take a number of legal steps to reach an agreement, including going on strike.

The protracted nature of the fight for contracts, combined with the stagnation of wages, has led to workers quitting their jobs and a shortage of workers in the Fed’s canteens. “We don’t have enough permanent people,” Vargas said. “Because nobody wants to work for $16-$17 an hour.”

To fill these gaps in the food service industry, Sodexo hired non-union temporary workers from a recruitment agency, Local 100 members say, and in some cases these workers receive higher hourly wages than union members. The last time Sodexo employees at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York received a raise was two years ago, by 65 cents.

woman holding a megaphone at a demonstration
According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, the cost of living for a childless adult in Manhattan is about $25 an hour. Photographer: Courtesy of Unite Here

Todd Vachon, head of the Labor Education Research Network at Rutgers University, said the longer employers dragged out contract negotiations:[the more likely] people just leave because they can’t afford the job anymore. It’s a constant battle.”

By some estimates, the proposed wage hike for workers won’t help them cope with the sky-high cost of living in New York. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, the cost of living for a childless adult in Manhattan is about $25 an hour. As the family grows, this number only increases.

“Everyone in society benefits from the availability of food,” Vachon said. “But it’s affordable because we don’t pay workers [fair] dare you?

US Sodexo Workers Succeed in Unionization university canteens, conference centersand in the USA House of Representatives, among other sites. As the Local 100 returns to the negotiating table, another hospitality union, the Local 226 Culinary Union in Las Vegas, has reached preliminary agreement with Sodexo this month after voting to sanction the strike in December.

Sodexo’s business has been strong and this trend has been highlighted in the company’s latest press releases. Underlying operating income of the company for the last financial year exceeded $1 billion.

“Most of the money companies make just goes to the top,” said Vashon of the food service industry.

Castillo said she and her colleagues were hoping to avoid a strike, but their biggest fear was losing their jobs, especially in this economy. “It’s time. It’s time for [the hospitality workers] be appreciated,” Vargas said. “I’m looking forward to the start of the auction [and to] finish it. It’s been going on for so long. We deserve what we ask. We deserve respect.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Gwyneth Paltrow to stand trial for skiing accident in Deer Valley



PARK CITY, Utah. Gwyneth Paltrow will stand trial Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by a retired optometrist who alleges the actress-turned-lifestyle influencer brutally slammed him into him in 2016 while skiing in Utah at one of the most prestigious ski resorts in the United States. States.

Terry Sanderson, 76, said Paltrow was driving down the slopes so recklessly that they collided, leaving him on the ground as she and her entourage continued their descent down Deer Valley Resort, a ski-only mountain known for its groomed runs. après ski. yurts with champagne and a chic clientele.

“Gwyneth Paltrow went out of control on skis,” Sanderson’s lawyers argue in the lawsuit, “knocking him hard, knocking him out and causing a head injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries. Paltrow got up, turned around and drove away, leaving Sanderson dazed, lying in the snow with serious injuries.”

In a case that spanned several years after the 2016 incident, Sanderson is suing Paltrow for $300,000, alleging that the Park City accident resulted from negligence and caused him bodily injury and emotional distress.

At ski resorts, the downhill skier has right-of-way, so the central question in this case is who was further down the beginner’s track when the collision occurred. Both Paltrow and Sanderson say in court papers that they were even worse when the other one crashed into them.

Sanderson also accused Deer Valley and its employees of “covering up”, not providing full details of incident reports, and not following the resort’s safety policies.

After his original $3.1 million lawsuit was dismissed, Sanderson changed the complaint and he is now seeking $300,000. Paltrow, an Oscar-winning actress best known for her roles in Shakespeare in Love and Marvel’s Iron Man, filed a counterclaim in response, seeking attorneys’ fees and $1 in damages.

Paltrow countered that he was in fact the cause of the collision, exaggerating his injuries and trying to take advantage of her fame and wealth. In addition to her acting career, she is also the founder and CEO of goop, a leading wellness company.

In court documents, her lawyers deny Sanderson’s claims and claim he was the one who slammed into her – an impact in which she received a “blow to the whole body.” Her counterclaim alleges that members of the Paltrow group checked on Sanderson, who assured them that he was fine. This casts doubt on his motives and injury claims, noting that he had 15 documented illnesses prior to the incident.

“He demanded that Ms. Paltrow pay him millions. If she does not pay, she will face negative publicity as a result of his allegations,” her lawyers wrote in a 2019 court filing.

The Park City trial is expected to last more than a week.

Continue Reading


Saudi Arabia frees American jailed for tweeting about crown prince



Saudi Arabia has released a 72-year-old US citizen who was jailed for critical tweets about the kingdom’s government and the crown prince, his son said on Tuesday.

Saad Ibrahim Almadi, a U.S.-Saudi citizen and retired project leader who lived in Florida, was imprisoned for more than a year and sentenced to 19 years.

His son, Ibrahim Almadi, told NBC News early Tuesday that all charges against his father were dropped and that he was at his home in Riyadh with his family, but was banned from traveling.

“He considers the United States his home, not Saudi Arabia,” Ibrahim said of his father, adding that he was worried about the elder Almadi’s health.

“He requires immediate medical attention and attention in the United States. [reason]The travel ban worries us a lot,” he added. Ibrahim said he was confident that the family would be able to bring his father back to his family in the US with the assistance of the State Department.

Neither the Saudi authorities nor the US government have confirmed Almadi’s release.

The case was one of many alleged human rights abuses that have strained relations between the two countries, which publicly raised the issue of oil supplies late last year following a clash over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

President Joe Biden has previously said he raised concerns about Almadi’s imprisonment and the affairs of other US citizens during meetings with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he visited Saudi Arabia in July to reset relations.

Since the crown prince’s rise to power – a de facto ruler bent on opening up and modernizing the ultra-conservative kingdom – human rights groups have expressed growing concern about the Saudi government’s crackdown on dissent.

Almadi’s son said his father was arrested on multiple charges, including supporting terrorism, shortly after landing in Riyadh in November 2021 to visit family.

In October, the court sentenced him to 16 years. 2022, his son said. Last month, an appeals court extended his sentence to 19 years.

Ibrahim said that his father was detained due to several tweets sent over the past few years.

He added that his father was not an activist, but a private individual who expressed his opinion on Twitter while in the US, where free speech is a constitutional right.

According to the Associated Press, Almadi’s tweets included one noting the crown prince’s rise in power in the kingdom, and a tweet that talked about Khashoggi’s murder.

The news of Almadi’s release comes a week after his son met with State Department officials. “I gave the whistle to Saad[‘s] state,” Ibrahim tweeted March 14th.

“His only way back is through wrongfully delayed identification. They assure me that the process [is] continues and freedom of speech should never be criminalized,” he continued.

In a statement released on Tuesday, The Freedom Initiative, an American human rights organization campaigning for the freedom of prisoners illegally detained in the Middle East and North Africa, welcomed the news.

“We are pleased that Saad Almadi has been released, but he should not have spent a day behind bars for harmless tweets,” Abdullah Alaud, the Saudi director of the organization, said in a statement.

The Freedom Initiative reports that at least six people from the US are currently detained or trapped due to politically motivated travel bans to Saudi Arabia.

“There are too many non-U.S. people in Saudi custody to draw attention to their cases,” Alaud added. “Almadi’s release shows that strategic pressure is at work and US officials must continue to press for the release of prisoners and the lifting of travel bans.”

Continue Reading


Russia expected to release violent criminals who fought in Ukraine, UK says



Russian society is expected to face a “serious challenge” in the coming weeks. thousands of convicts are likely to be released, according to British intelligence.

According to the Ministry of Defense, an influx of released “violent criminals” is expected if they fought on the side of the Wagner Group paramilitary organization.

Led by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has close ties to President Vladimir Putin, this group of mercenaries has recently been credited with several Russian battlefield successes in Ukraine and has bolstered its ranks by recruiting prisoners.

According to the UK MoD: “Wagner prisoner recruitment peaked in autumn 2022, when prisoners were offered commutation after six months of service.”

And Moscow, apparently, will keep its promise.

The Ministry of Defense continued: “While approximately half of the recruited prisoners were likely killed or injured, evidence from Russia suggests that the group is making good on its promise to free the survivors.

“The certificates issued to the released Wagner veterans claim that they were approved by President Putin’s decree.”

Visitors take pictures near the Wagner PMC in November.

Shortly after a public spat between Wagner and Putin over how much ammunition the Kremlin is giving private fighters (with Prigozhin accusation of the Russian Defense Minister of “treason”) The UK believes Wagner is now “probably banned” from recruiting new prisoners.

This means that this mass exodus of prisoners will “exacerbate” Wagner’s personnel problems after the death of so many soldiers on the battlefield.

The DoD added on Tuesday: “The sudden influx of violent offenders with recent and often traumatic combat experience is likely to be a major problem for Russian wartime society.”

Previously, UK officials claimed that Wagner was trying to recruit from schools and sports centers instead.

The Russian public is already facing pressure on their economy due to the war and sanctions imposed by Ukraine’s allies and the partial mobilization of reservists last September protests and attempts to flee the country.

The announcement came after Putin made a surprise overnight trip to the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol in what Lord Ricketts, the former UK permanent representative to NATO, said was a show for the local public.

On Monday, he told Sky News: “It was a pretty empty propaganda exercise that won’t convince a lot of people outside of Russia.”

Ricketts also suggested that this was a sign that “he was able to travel” even after Last week, an international arrest warrant for Putin was issued.

The Russian president will also meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week for a three-day conference in Moscow, an important step for Putin, who has become increasingly isolated on the world stage due to his war in Ukraine.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 Millennial One Media.