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Sep 15 11 3:08 AM
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company has operated the world’s largest rubber plantation in the world in Harbel, Liberia for over 80 years. Firestone signed a concession agreement with the government of Liberia to lease over one million acres of land in 1926 for 6 cents per acre for a period of 99 years. In 2005, Firestone signed a new 37-year agreement with a transitional government in Liberia to lease the land for 50 cents per acre.
Firestone workers must tap trees in order to extract the latex necessary for making rubber tires. The rubber tappers must meet a daily production quota or their already low wages will be halved. By Firestone Natural Rubber Company CEO Dan Adomitis’ own admission on CNN, it would take over 21 hours to meet the quota. As a result, tappers are forced to bring their children and wives to work. Children are forced to carry two 70 pound buckets of rubber on their shoulders for miles. In addition, tappers and their children must apply toxic pesticides without protection.
Firestone workers live in cramped shacks which have not been renovated since the 1920s and lack electricity, running water and indoor latrines. Meanwhile, Firestone managers have huge houses with all modern conveniences and even golf courses. Educational and health facilities are understaffed and lacking resources and are often located much too far from housing units for workers and their families to access. Additionally, Firestone uses the labor of a large number of subcontractors who are not offered benefits. Historically, Firestone has negotiated with a union that is not democratic or independent from the management. In July 2007, the first free and fair union elections were held in the plantation’s history, but Firestone is currently refusing to meet with the first democratically elected union leadership.
Furthermore, as the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia recently confirmed, Firestone dumps toxic chemicals into local rivers, like the Farmington River, used by the community for bathing and fishing. The pollution has caused serious health problems for communities surrounding the plantation and has killed off some forms of river life. Please visit the Stop Firestone website for more information (www.stopfirestone.org). Read ILRF's Freedom at Work toolkit to learn more about the right to organize globally.
Sep 15 11 3:54 AM
Bausch & Lomb's Bad Vision on Animal Trafficking
Eye care giant Bausch and Lomb owns Charles River, a publicly traded company that traffics animals bred for testing. Operating in 16 countries, Charles River claims to have a "deep commitment to both the welfare and humane care of the research models that we breed and care for."
The problem is that Charles River uses the term 'research models' for living mice, rabbits and primates.
Charles River provides animals to multiple companies all over the world, using selling points on their website like "...medium size and very docile nature make these rabbits particularly easy to maintain, handle and restrain..." and "large, unpigmented ears facilitate repeated venous injections and bleeding."
Sharon Says... evil stuff for sure.. hell will not be pleasant for those who think they can treat Gods Creations in such a way. We were given the animals our Father gave us to take care of..or to kill.. each person has a choice. But for those who do not understand that choice and think that animals do not have any place in Gods Kingdom I will remind you that come judgement day.. you will find yourself standing before Gods throne.. and between you and God are four animals, man being one.. What do you think it means that God has lowly animals before his throne? And if he sees every sparrow that falls did he see what you were doing to his animals.. You may think that God does not love his other creations but he made them before he made you, you were brought in to till the garden..The choice between good and evil is what the battle is all about..
Sep 15 11 5:53 AM
We’re teaming up with the Institute for Policy Studies and US Uncut to drive home a basic point: when tax shelters allow CEOs to take home more in pay than their entire frickin’ company pays in taxes, something is very wrong.
Aug 4 12 5:53 AM
Nestle have been repeatedly criticised and widely boycotted in a number of countries because of their violation of international codes on the marketing of baby milk products. Nestle holds about 50% of the world's breast milk substitute market and is being boycotted for continued breaches of the 1981 WHO (World Health Organisation) Code regulating the marketing of breast milk substitutes.
Nestle encourages bottle feeding primarily by either giving away free samples of baby milk to hospitals, or neglecting to collect payments. It has been criticised for misinforming mothers and health workers in promotional literature. Nestle implies that malnourished mothers, and mothers of twins and premature babies are unable to breastfeed, despite health organisations claims that there is no evidence to support this.
Evidence of direct advertising to mothers has been found in over twenty countries such as South Africa and Thailand. Instructions and health warnings on packaging are often either absent, not prominently displayed or in an inappropriate language. All of these actions directly contravene the Code regulating the marketing of baby milk formulas.
Even in the UK, bottle-fed babies are up to ten times more likely to develop gastro intestinal infections, but in the Third World, where clean water may be absent, mothers may be illiterate and independent health care and advice may be lacking, bottle feeding can be more dangerous. This can lead to a situation where babies are left vulnerable to dysentery, malnutrition and death, and Nestle is able to retain its estimated $4 billion market share in the baby-milk industry.
Over 3000 infants die every day from baby bottle disease (WHO), and formula dependant babies create massive economic strain on poor families, contributing to unsustainable land use.
Nestle were recently criticised by Oxfam for pursuing the Ethiopian Government for US $6 million as the country attempts to tackle a famine affecting 11 million people.This payment was so large because they demanded it in US dollars not local currency at the current rate of exchange not that of 1975 .Nestle did not even own the company when the factory was nationalised. Nestle has finally accepted US $1.51 million offered by the government on 23/1/3 following the campaign run by Oxfam which created a public relations nightmare.
The workers in a Nestle chocolate plant in Cacapava, Brazil went on strike in 1989, complaining of poor working conditions, including discrimination against women, lack of protective clothing and inadequate safety conditions. Within two months of the beginning of the strike the company had sacked forty of its workers, including most of the strike organisers.
Nestle has subsidiaries in some of the most repressive regimes in the world, including China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The company also has subsidiaries in South Africa which it owned during the Apartheid year. L´Oreal (parent company - Nestle) have subsidiaries in Peru and Morocco.
Aug 4 12 5:56 AM
The vast majority of workers at McDonald´s lack full-time employment, do not have any benefits, have no or little control over their workplace, and quit after a few months. McDonald´s jobs have been purposely de-skilled so as to be able to hire minimum wage workers on an interchangeable basis. One-third of fast food workers speaks no English. McDonald´s and other chains are aiming for automated equipment that will require zero training and are nearly there. Nevertheless, they fight hard to retain hundreds of millions of dollars of government subsidies for "training" their workers. Turnover is 3-400% a year.
Not one worker at McDonald´s belongs to a union.The only time a restaurant was unionized recently was in 1997 in Montreal. The restaurant was closed just before the union was certified.
In the 1990 McLibel case, McDonalds were found to "exploit children", be "culpably responsible for animal cruelty", and have "advertisements, promotions and booklets which have pretended to a positive nutritional benefit which their food did not match". Its record of labour, working conditions, unionism and pay was criticised.
The biggest seller of Coke is McDonald's. Americans alone drink 56 gallons of soda per year. Coke wants to increase consumption of its products by 25% a year by focusing more on children since the adult market is stagnant.
Every time you eat a hamburger, you are eating anabolic steroids, antibiotics, and fecal matter. You can read it again. And it will still be true. You are better off eating a carrot dropped in your toilet than eating one dropped in your kitchen sink if you buy and use packaged meat.
Feedlot cattle are also given shredded packaging, cardboard boxes, cement, and sawdust to put on weight.
Cattle that go into hamburgers drink dirty swill water and dirty food. Until 1997, they were fed millions of dead cats and dogs purchased from animal shelters. They still eat dead pigs, horses, and poultry. (And chickens are fed dead cattle).
Cattle are also fed chicken manure, which may contain tapeworms, Giardia, antibiotic residues, arsenic and heavy metals. Federal inspectors report that animals that are visibly diseased, cattle infected with measles, tapeworms, and covered with abscesses are slaughtered and processed into meat. This is why the industry and the USDA are pushing meat irradiation rather then safety, health, and inspections as a solution.
One-fourth of the cows slaughtered is worn-out dairy cattle, animals most likely to be riddled with diseases, cancers, and antibiotic residues. McDonald´s relies heavily on old dairy cows because they are lower in fat, cheaper, and allow them to say all their meat is raised in the US.(Source - Food First)
Aug 4 12 5:58 AM
Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch company with subsidiaries in many countries with repressive regimes, for example South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Uganda.They have been criticised for repressive treatment of workers, and much of Unilever's profits come from unfairly traded commodities ( tea, coffee and vegetable oils).
They are of course huge producers of soaps and detergents, and have been held responsible for a number of serious cases of water pollution. For example in 1990, Crosfield Chemicals, was fined �35,000 after leaking fifty tonnes of concentrated sulphuric acid into sewage systems in Warrington. Also, in 1991, the River Purification Board of Scotland found that the company had exceeded its discharge consent by three or more times; the company was convicted for water pollution offences.
They have been criticised for unnecessary testing of cosmetics on animals and accused of making misleading remarks with regard to their stance on the issue of genetic engineering by claiming the company 'takes a positive view of genetic engineering'. The company, in fact, does not have an overall stance on genetic engineering, but takes a country by country decision, so Unilever Germany does not currently use genetically engineered products while others do.
They were accused of negligent marketing after advertising a free offer of multivitamins (including Vitamin A) with their pregnancy testing kits after the Department of Health advised pregnant women to avoid taking dietary supplements containing vitamin A because of the risk of birth defects.
SourcesThe Ethical Consumer Guide to Everyday Shopping published by the Ethical Consumer Research Association.
Known Aliases - Dove, Lyptons tea, Bertolli, Hellmann's, Knorr, Rag�, Birds Eye, Findus, Magnum Solero, I Can't Believe it's not Butter, Domestos, Cif, Comfort, Impulse, Organics, SunSilk, Lux, Slim�Fast, Signal, Calvin Klein- fragrance
Aug 4 12 6:07 AM
Wal-Mart is a massive company generating sales worth $138 billion making it the biggest retailer in the world. Wal-Mart has been accused of destroying the economies of small towns in the USA, abusing the rights of its workers in developing countries and arming impressionable American teenagers. The company is the biggest employer in the USA and has often been accused of violating international labour rights.
They have achieved market saturation in North America and can only expand their empire by moving into Europe and other "new" markets. In June 1999 they bought Asda (which was the third biggest supermarket chain in the UK) for £6.7 billion. Sadly the Asda chain was a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, but will now be sourcing many of its goods through Wal-Mart´s international product chain. Wal-Mart has its own "voluntary code", written in 1992. It isn´t monitored by reputable and independent labour-rights groups, but by its own "exclusive buying agents". The code allows Wal-Mart to use products made by children of 14 or 15, but "prefers" that they work no longer than sixty hours a week.
Wal-Mart, as the USA´s biggest retailer, is also its biggest gun-seller. Campaigners for tighter gun-control laws accuse Wal-Mart of marketing firearms irresponsibly and being too lax in selling weapons to teenagers. When rock star Sheryl Crow alluded to this on a recent record, Wal-Mart magnanimously banned it from their 2500 stores.
They have also been accused of attempting to desecrate ancient burial sites. Wal-Mart wants to build a store on top of a Native American cemetery in Tennessee. The Native Americans´ descendants are naturally furious about the plan.
Wal-Mart also sells sweat shop-produced goods often the product of child labour. They are one of 17 retailers facing a £660 million action in the US courts brought by garment manufacturers in the US Pacific protectorate of Saipan. They allege they suffered beatings, forced abortion and vermin-infested quarters in the employ of Wal-Mart´s supplier. Wal-Mart denies the charge. Another PR debacle for Wal-Mart saw daytime TV celebrity Kathy Lee Gifford remove her name from a range of Wal-Mart´s clothes when US labour activists discovered the garments were made in a sweat shop in Honduras.
Wal-Mart has long pursued a policy of targeting small town USA. They are able to create monopolies by introducing artificially low prices which put the competition out of business; this leaves them free to increase the price again. Despite the homely and family image they have spent so much hard-earned cash cultivating this is in fact a faceless behemoth of an organisation which routinely supplants small locally owned businesses. The jobs "created" by Wal-Mart pay minimum wage and the vast profits are sent elsewhere, impoverishing the local economy.
Nov 17 13 7:06 AM
Nov 17 13 7:11 AM
Nov 17 13 7:15 AM
On any given day, go to the Shenzhen Wal-Mart in the city's Yuanling neighborhood, and you may find a stocky man in his early fifties in front of its doors, draped in a banner that reads, in Chinese characters, âSupport the just demands of workers.
Ask him why he's there, and he will tell you that he used to work at the Wal-Mart, that he was unjustly fired for organizing other workers and protesting deteriorating work conditions, and that he's fighting to get his job back.
A lot of people said I should just leave. But my skin is really thick, and I didnât want to leave the company. I still had faith that things could and would change,â Wang said. âI asked myself, how should I protect my rights? How can this unfair situation be made right? The answer he found, he said, was organizing along with his fellow workers and now, continuing to stage his weekly protests.
While he usually protests alone, Wang Shishu's is one of a growing number of Wal-Mart workers in China who are fighting for their rights. In the past year alone, distribution-center workers have gone on strike to protest cuts in benefits, several cases of retaliation against employee activists have received significant media attention, and labor NGOs that previously focused on factory workers are beginning to get involved.
Itâs tempting to see Wangâs story as part of a global fight against the worldâs largest retailer, one that ranges from Wal-Mart workers in the United States organizing and gaining attention last year for their nationwide walk-out on Black Friday, to the Global Day of Action last December that involved workers in ten countries, to the outcry over the fire at a Wal-Mart supplierâs factory in Bangladesh. But Wal-Mart workers in China face unique obstacles, not least of which is the role of the official state-sponsored union. While China's Wal-Mart workersâunlike their counterparts in the United Statesâare officially unionized and members of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), lack of support and action from the ACFTU has led workers like Wang to take matters into their own hands.
Born in Jiangxi, a province just north of Guangdong that is one of the poorest in the country, Wang came to Shenzhen in 1989, almost a decade after the city was designated as a Special Economic Zone. The influx of both foreign and domestic investment transformed what had been a small fishing village into a bustling metropolis that is now known as the manufacturing capital of the world.
A former People's Liberation Army soldier, he had two small children to put through school, as well as a wife with a chronic illness. Without a high school diploma, and as an older worker, his prospects were dim. For Wang, getting a job at the Shenzhen Wal-Mart was seen as a stroke of good fortune. âAt the time, I trusted Wal-Mart,â he said. âAfter I started working there, I felt lucky, and really treasured the job.â
It wasn't just the 1,500 yuan a month that he received as a full-time worker (which included a 400 yuan housing subsidy) that he appreciated. He also appreciated the company's values, known as Wal-Mart âwenhua,â or culture, which is heavily promoted in China and reinforced by blue plaques bearing several of Sam Walton's aphorisms that can be found dotting the walls of all the stores.
Wal-Mart respected workers as individuals, he said, parroting back to me one of the three tenets of the âWal-Mart Cultureâ as listed on their China website: respect for the individual, service to the customer, and the pursuit of excellence. In my previous jobs at private companies in China, this wasn't the case, Wang said. But at Wal-Mart, I felt like a person, treated with basic fairness. As long as you worked hard, you received approval and encouragement. And, equally as important, regular pay increases.
But when conditions started deteriorating several years ago, he and other workers began to protest, leading, he believes, to his firing last June.
Wang Shishus story is not uniqueâhe is one of the hundreds of millions of migrant workers that have shaped modern China by their labor. And more and more, they are shaping the future of China with their militant labor strikes and direct actions. In the past two months alone, labor strikes have popped off with street cleaners in Guangzhou, high school teachers around the country, Foxconn workers in Jiangxi, and migrant construction workers in Beijing.
Wal-Mart opened its first retail store in China in 1996, in Shenzhen. Today, Wal-Mart has almost 400 stores in 147 cities throughout the country, from several locations in the capital city of Beijing to Supercenters and Sam's Clubs in fourth-tier cities in remote provinces. According to its website, the company had more than 87,000 employees as of 2010. While China sales account for only 2 percent of Wal-Mart's global revenue, company executives believe China is key to its future growth, especially as revenue from the retail sales market in China is expected to reach $5 trillion by 2016, fueled by a growing middle class and government policies that are promoting domestic consumption to drive the economy.
As Wal-Mart expands in China, activists and academics have found that along with Wal-Mart culture, the company has also imported abuses familiar to those who follow Wal-Mart in the United States: low wages, worker intimidation, gender-based discrimination, unpaid overtime, replacing full-time workers with part-timers (who have lower hourly wages and don't receive any benefits), firing workers who complain or organize, and most recently, eliminating benefits such as the meager housing subsidy the company formerly provided.
These labor violations occur despite of the 2006 unionization under the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. With more than 200 million members, ACFTU is the largest trade union in the world, and the only union that can legally operate in China. In 2005, ACFTU declared they would unionize 60 percent of foreign enterprises by the following year, and chose Wal-Mart as the poster child for the unionization drive. According to labor scholar Anita Chan from Sydneys University of Technology, Wal-Mart was targeted partly because of its reputation as a notorious union buster. Unionizing Chinese Wal-Marts would be a major feather in the ACFTU's cap.
Despite its reputation as a business-friendly unionâan official organ of the Communist Party, it has been criticized for being more invested in GDP growth than in protecting workers the ACFTU soon found that Wal-Mart was unwilling to negotiate, afraid perhaps of the dangerous precedent that allowing workers to unionize in China would set worldwide. The union was forced to organize workers from the ground up. After the ACFTU clandestinely set up several union branches in the space of two weeks, Wal-Mart realized it needed to negotiate. In August 2006, Wal-Mart and the ACFTU signed an agreement establishing unions at all its stores in China.
When we learned that there were bottom-up organizing efforts going on at several stores, we were encouraged, said Ellen David Friedman, a long-time union activist who is now teaching at Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou. âThere was a very interesting period in which some of these worker leaders actually contended with management. This kind of grassroots militancy won great support from the workers.â
These hopes proved to be too optimistic. The ACFTU soon abandoned any pursuit of union democracy colluding with management at one store, for example, to appoint a store manager as the union head after the elected chair had to step down. At that point, Friedman said, our previous guarded optimism also evaporated.
The father of Wal-Mart worker organizing in China is a young man now in his thirties named Gao Haitao, a former Wal-Mart worker at a store in Nanchang, in Jiangxi province. Affectionately called Chairman Gao by workers who followed his blog on Sina Weibo (a microblogging site), Gao engaged in a very public battle with both the union and with Wal-Mart management for years.
His story illustrates the difficulties of workplace organizing in China. In 2006, before Wal-Mart formally allowed its workers to join the ACFTU, the Nanchang store unionized as part of the ACFTUâs initial organizing drive. Other workers voted Gao in as the store's first union chair. He quickly began using his platform to protect workers rights, successfully calling for a worker who was fired for eating free samples on the storefloor to be reinstated and traveling all the way to Beijing to meet with trade union officials in the capital to air workers' complaints.
Other workers wrote admiringly of him online, leaving comments like, Under [Gaoâs] leadership, the union isn't just window dressing, and If only our trade union chair was half as good as Chairman Gao.â Workers in other cities even began contacting him for advice and assistance. But in 2008, after his efforts to force Wal-Mart to come up with a better collective-bargaining agreement were railroaded by both management and the union, he resigned in protest.
In a surprising twist, Gao currently works for the ACFTUs regional office in Guangdong Province, working on individual workers-rights cases. When asked why he now works for the very union that railroaded his efforts at protecting workers rights, he explained that there is a lot of reform that needs to happen to protect the rights of workers, from stricter enforcement of existing labor law to implementing a better system for regular wage increases. My hope is that we can address workers problems through systemic change, Gao said. While he didnât address the role of the union, it is clear that Gao believes reforms are needed.
His personal opinion is that workers who want to organize at Wal-Mart are facing an uphill battle. Part of the problem, he believes, is that current labor laws are too weak to protect and empower workers.
âWal-Mart as a company is very careful,â Gao said. âRight now, the industry standards are inadequate. If Wal-Mart doesnât technically break the law, itâs hard for the workers to do anything.â
Labor scholar Anita Chan agrees, adding that many frustrated workers, rather than fight for better conditions, simply choose the exit option. âWal-Mart only pays minimum wage, and it doesn't have overtime, she explained. When the wage is minimum wage and there is no overtime, its not possible to live on what you're making. So a lot of workers just leave for something better.
Some workers, however, are taking initiative. In addition to Wang Shishu, a young woman named Li Wan recently successfully sued Wal-Mart for wrongful termination, believing the company had fired her for attending a training on collective bargaining. Last July, more than 40 workers at the Wal-Mart distribution center in Shenzhen went on strike.
Beyond just Wal-Mart, other observers of the labor movement in China point to the tens of thousands of mass incidents strikes and protests that occur every year as evidence that worker discontent is leading to growing tensions. And, they say, workers are winning.
While the vast majority of these actions are factory strikes led by young workers, many are increasingly labor disputes in the service industryâthe sector that employs the largest number of workers in China, despite Foxconnâs domination in our popular perception of the country.
But while wages in factories have gone up, the income of service sector workers has stagnated and, after adjusting for inflation, has even declined. There is a national and provincial minimum wage that is supposedly enough to cover living expenses, it hasn't kept pace with the rising cost of living in China
Established organizations like Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a Hong Kong-based NGO that advocates for expanded workersâ rights and the formation of independent labor unions, are now getting involved in the fight against Wal-Mart.
âWorkers in the service sector are also the working class whose livelihood is deteriorating,â said SACOM's Yiyi Cheng. SACOM is planning to release a report on working conditions in Wal-Mart's Shenzhen stores in the upcoming months.
The decline in working conditions was the catalyst for Wang and his fellow Wal-Mart associates. Wang rattled off a laundry list of workers complaints: management harassing older workers in hopes they would quit, stagnant wages, unpaid overtime, and, the latest move, taking the housing subsidy and adding it to workers' base pay, a move that would make it seem like they were raising wages in response to workers' complaints but in actuality, would be gutting a key social service.
Increasingly, his fellow associates looked to Wang to be the go-between and resolve these worker disputes. Additionally, in 2011, he and other Shenzhen Wal-Mart workers were invited by an activist lawyer Duan Yi to attend a training on collective bargaining in Hong Kong, which further sharpened his determination to fight back.
All of this made local union officials and store management increasingly concerned, and they began a campaign of harassment and intimidation that included late night phone calls containing veiled threats and installing a video camera to monitor his activities in the employee breakroom.
The situation escalated in July of last year as workers decided to protest the lack of pay increases and the gutting of their housing subsidy. As the de facto leader, Wang organized several meetings and circulated a petition that almost 100 workers signed.
That month, at the same time that Wang was organizing workers at his store, more than 40 workers at the Wal-Mart distribution center in Shenzhen went on strike over similar pay issues. Believing Wang to be involved in that action (he claims he did not know they were planning on striking), management fired him at the end of July.
He is currently in arbitration, and says that he wants to get his job back not only to support himself and his family, but to continue his fight for workers rights. If workers arent satisfied anymore and we face obstacles, this is a problem we as a society need to fix. If we donât fix this problem, then everything else we do is meaningless,â Wang said. âI want to take what I've learned and share it with my fellow coworkers, to have more people learn about how to protect our rights. Having more people and more power is the only way we can influence things.
Wal-Mart's future in China is no longer quite so bright. Labor disputes will continue to erupt as workers become increasingly dissatisfied. In China, recent scandals from being caught selling meat from diseased pigs to price fixing to charges of bribery have undermined Wal-Mart's reputation among the rising middle class as a safe and reputable retailer. And recently, there have been reports that the company plans on closing 100 of its underperforming China stores, even as Wal-Mart officials continue to state publicly that they still plan on expanding in the country, albeit more slowly than originally planned.
Wang says he still respects the values of the company, but he asks, âThe companyâs policy of respecting people is very clear, but this so-called respect, how are they embodying it? What does it even mean? And he has a clear message and warning for Wal-Mart: What you're doing, you âre playing with fire.
Sep 13 14 4:52 AM
A Chipotle near Pennsylvania State University shut down on Wednesday after managers reportedly quit over brutal work hours and understaffing.
A sign posted on the door to the eatery said that most employees resigned in protest of their "borderline sweatshop conditions." Below the message read: “People > profits.”
“Ask our corporate offices why their employees are forced to work in borderline sweatshop conditions,” the sign read. “Almost the entire management and crew have resigned.”
“Our Penn State restaurant was closed when a few employees quit, locking out a majority of others who are enthusiastic to return to work,” Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle, told The Huffington Post in an email.
Arnold told HuffPost the store re-opened at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
The managers who quit held the keys to open the restaurant, Arnold said. He did not immediately respond to a question about the number of workers that left, or how many remain.
A regional manager arrived early on Wednesday afternoon to observe the situation and request that the managers remove the sign from the door, according to Penn State’s student newspaper the Daily Collegian.
HuffPost called the State College, Penn. location of Chipotle around 4 p.m. on Wednesday. When asked if the store had re-opened, a man who identified himself as “Eric” over the phone referred HuffPost to corporate public relations and hung up the phone.
Brian Healy, a former manager at the eatery, told the student-run news site Onward State that the restaurant was understaffed, forcing employees to work 10-12 hour shifts without breaks.
"Working conditions are heinous," he told Onward State. "I'm not trying to take down the Chipotle corporation, I just want to see people treated better."
The walkout comes just a week after fast-food workers across the country protested for higher wages. Hundreds were arrested. Chipotle pays workers higher wages than many of its corporate competitors, and it remains unclear whether the mass resignation at the Penn State location was related to the strikes.
This post has been updated to reflect that the store has re-opened.
Sep 13 14 5:02 AM
For the second year in a row, 24/7 Wall St. has identified America’s worst companies to work for. While company management can improve employee satisfaction, most of the companies on our list continue to make workers miserable.In order to identify America’s worst companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. examined employee reviews at jobs and career community site Glassdoor. Based on the reviews, Glassdoor scores companies on a scale of one to five with an average score of 3.2 for the over 250,000 companies measured. 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine publicly traded companies that received scores of 2.5 or lower.
Certain industries appear more likely to have lower employee satisfaction than others. Four of the companies on this list — Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS), Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG), and RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) — are in retail. The majority of the others provide services that require installation and repair. These include companies like home security system provider The ADT Corporation (NYSE: ADT), transaction technology company NCR Corp. (NYSE: NCR), and satellite television provider DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH).
In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Glassdoor spokesperson Samantha Zupan noted that some of the companies are not a surprise. ”When I looked at Radioshack reviews there is a commonality within the reviews where people are talking about customer service and [employees] have a tough time dealing with the customers.”
Not surprisingly, employees most often complained about low wages and poor benefits. Many noted that they were paid even less than the already-low industry average for their job. Benefits, if the company provided any, were either difficult to afford or inadequate.
While some employees at all levels were unhappy, complaints at these companies were disproportionately from sales representatives, customer service agents and technicians. These were generally lower-paid, front-line workers dealing directly with customers.
Issues with middle management were universal among the employees of these companies, but the types of complaints varied. Depending on the company, employees felt they were micromanaged, treated unfairly or like children, or asked to meet extreme demands.
Several of the companies on this list have failed to find a clear path to boost their sales and earnings. RadioShack has attempted to revitalize its brand multiple times by focusing on different strategies and metrics. Employees have seen the electronics retailer change its priorities so often they view these moves skeptically. Other companies have been stubborn and have not pursued any major changes despite overwhelming evidence that they should. Compared to other retailers, Sears Holdings invests little in its stores, a fact that bothers many of its employees.
Employees at poorly-rated companies tend to have low opinions of senior management. The average CEO rating across the companies measured by Glassdoor is 69%, according to Zupan. The majority of the worst-reviewed companies had CEO approval ratings of 40% or less. Only 23% of Dillard’s employees approved of CEO Bill Dillards II’s management. Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert earned 19% approval.
Another attribute shared by many of the companies on this list is the perception that they have been overwhelmed by larger, better-equipped competitors. RadioShack falls into that category. It cannot effectively compete with Amazon.com, or even Best Buy. This is also true for Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and Kmart and competes with Walmart and Target. Dish, which competes with AT&T and large cable companies, faces a similar problem.
In order to identify America’s worst companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. examined employee reviews at Glassdoor To be considered, companies had to have a minimum of 300 reviews. Of the more than 300 companies with more than 300 comments,24/7 Wall St. identified the nine publicly traded companies that received the worst scores — 2.5 or lower. This year, Sears Holdings and subsidiary Kmart made the cut independently — both scores are included. These are the worst companies to work for.
Sep 17 14 3:04 AM
Smithfield Foods is a pig slaughterhouse—that’s fine; plenty of people eat bacon and pork. They package about 6 billion pounds of pork annually, which means they need a lot of pigs. A lot of pigs produce a lot of waste—in the neighborhood of about 26 million pounds per year as far as Smithfield is concerned.
But let’s get visceral: Smithfield pigs are raised in barns that hold thousands of tightly packed hogs. The floors of these barns have slits that allow waste to fall through into a series of pipes that takes it to massive open-air holding ponds. The pigs are injected with a cocktail of antibiotics, sprayed with insecticides, and dozens of chemicals that all end up in the holding ponds—ponds so toxic that if somebody falls in, they’ll be dead before you can save them.
So how do they get rid of millions of pounds of liquid, chemical-infused pig waste? They spray it into the air in a mist so that it drifts off their property and becomes Someone Else’s Problem. A someone else’s problem filled with hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, and over a hundred other toxic gases that have given people in the surrounding areas conditions like bronchitis, asthma, and neurological damage.
Sep 17 14 3:10 AM
Earlier this month, a study from the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab (more specifically, the department of tricking-you-into-buying-@%@+-ology) revealed the dark secret behind cereal boxes: Companies purposefully have their mascots' eyes tilted downward in order to make eye contact with children walking down grocery store aisles, essentially hypnotizing them into begging Mommy for their product.
But that can't be true, right? Surely if there was some vast cereal mascot conspiracy, we would have noticed by now. We at Cracked decided to look into this important matter and found out that this plot runs way deeper than everyone thought ...
Once you know about the "all mascots are looking down" trick, it's impossible to unsee it. It's everywhere, hiding in plain sight. And the most glaringly obvious offender? **%$!!! Lucky Charms.
General Mills"They can't keep us apart ..."
Imagine being a 5-year-old kid walking through the grocery store, and these bulging white Irish eyes pop out, smiling down in your direction. Do you turn to the other side, hoping to see another box? Nope, #+$*@$%%%###, because BAM.
General Mills"... We'll be together ..."
You turn once again, trying to resist the subliminal order, and guess who's waiting for you there:
General Mills"... Forever and ever."
So now you're spinning around the aisle with all these eyes just beaming down at you, begging you -- and by "begging" we mean holding a mental gun to your 5-year-old, unsophisticated id -- to buy their @%@+. Because really, this crap just doesn't end. Everyone's in on this action, from relative newcomers like Chip the cool jacket-wearing wolf ...
General Mills"Kids, try it with chocolate milk -- jump right into diabetes!"
... to institutions like the venerable Cap'n Crunch, whom you'd think would be above this sort of chicanery.
Quaker Oats CompanyWe trusted you with our most important meal, you son of $!$@$.
You run to another section of the store, but the eyes are inescapable. After all, why should this tactic be limited to cereals? It stands to reason that other food brands for kids would be able to afford their own behind-the-scenes psychologists as well. Not even the Keebler gnome/dwarf/wingless fairy-thing is immune to the condition that forces mascots to look down at all times.
Keebler CompanyHe's trying to figure out why he can't ever close his mouth.
It's gotten so bad that some brands just half-assedly draw downward-gazing eyes on things that should never have them. They don't even bother to do the full face: The eyes are apparently enough to double your sales.
Kraft FoodsWe're pretty sure they drew this on with a Sharpie.
You might be thinking there's a simple, rational explanation for all this: The mascots are looking down at their products, not the kids! If the tasty treats were placed above the mascots instead of below, then surely they would look at-
Not only is that duck holding the corn dog like it's a Spartan spear, but he looks like he's actively avoiding looking at his product. The same goes for this remarkably smug Scooby-Doo here.
Kraft FoodsSince when is Scooby even physically capable of ignoring food?
Meanwhile, Bugs Bunny is skateboarding on an invisible toilet just so he can keep his eyes on you while he shills some Kool-Aid.
Kraft Foods"Drink it, kids! No metaphor here, just sales commissions."
The Kool-Aid man himself has his entire body and eyes tilted downward to you, despite the fact that he seems to be handing the glass upward, like the guy's so drunk on his own fat juice that his hand-eye coordination's gone to @%@+.
Kraft FoodsOr maybe that glass is his ex, so it's just awkward.
And finally, others prefer to manhandle their product rather than look at it, so they can keep their stare fixed on the children.
Gorilla BoogersEt tu, Gorilla Boogers? Is nothing sacred?
There's an unintended side effect of this technique, a glitch that these companies' mind-control specialists could never have foreseen: When they do this with bears, it always looks like they're going to murder someone, or worse. Sometimes they look like they're patiently waiting to jump the fence they're peeking over to drag you back to their vans.
Dare Foods"Let me show you how bears really hug."
Other times they look extremely pissed off that you're even daring to make eye contact with them, as if you had a choice.
DogiesThe tip of that rocket wasn't red a minute ago.
A few look like they come straight out of the darkest corners of 4chan.
And this bizarre phenomenon goes way back, judging by the haunting look of regret on the face of Nabisco's Eddy the Cannibalistic Bear.
Nabisco"Th-they were like that when I found them ... *crunch* ... honest."
But nothing beats the Koko Krunch bear, whose beady psychopath eyes appear to be illuminated by the flames of hell itself.
Nestle"FREE condemned human soul inside! Yours!"
© 2017 Yuku. All rights reserved.