Newscasts

PNS Weekend Newscast - September 23rd, 2017 


Here's a look at what we're covering: Senator John McCain says no to the GOP's health care plan, a new survey takes a look at how residents in one state feel about the effort to real Obamacare, and International Day of Peace is being celebrated this weekend.

Daily Newscasts

Boston Fast-Food Workers Join 300-City Labor Day Strike

It was no holiday for Boston fast-food workers, many of whom walked off their jobs to show their support for higher wages and union protections. (SEIU)
It was no holiday for Boston fast-food workers, many of whom walked off their jobs to show their support for higher wages and union protections. (SEIU)
September 5, 2017

BOSTON – While many of us had a day off on Labor Day, fast-food workers in Boston were among those in 300 cities who walked off their jobs in a call for better wages and the right to join a union. The Boston action started at 6 A.M. at a fast-food franchise on Tremont Avenue.

Among the workers calling for a better deal was Barbara Fisher of Boston. She's worked in the fast-food business for the past five years and says she currently makes $11 an hour, which isn't enough to support her family.

"I need $15 an hour and union rights," she says. "I'm a mom of two kids and I'm struggling; I need to be protected because I'm a mom and, you know, my kids get sick. Union rights, you know, it will do a lot."

Massachusetts workers also rallied in support of a paid medical leave bill now pending in the legislature. Should state lawmakers not take action, labor unions are supporting ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and provide for paid medical leave.

Roxana Rivera is vice-president of the service employees' union 32BJ SEIU. She says the show of force in so many cities on Labor Day was intended to make a point. She contends a fix is needed for the economic and political systems in the U.S. that the union believes are rigged to benefit big corporations over working people.

"The issue of low wages, the issue of inability - to not be able to care for your loved ones without the risk of losing your job," says Rivera. "In Massachusetts, as well as in other cities, there are workers that are on the lower rung of the service economy that really need to have the right to form a union, without retaliation from employers."

Rivera says the Service Employees International Union is joining forces on a massive voter engagement drive ahead of the 2018 elections. She says it's aimed at unseating "anti-worker" politicians and electing leaders who support a $15 hourly minimum wage and collective-bargaining rights.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA