Laws don't protect workers from union intimidation, report closes
Employers "routinely threaten, shy and harass workers" to prevent them from forming unions, and much of it is completely legal, reports a new report by the left-wing Economic Policy Institute.
This tactic can turn the seemingly overwhelming support for union formation into a no in just a few weeks, the report said.
The right to form a union is to be protected by federal law, but employers use a mix of legal and illegal tactics to persuade workers to vote against union formation. For example, the report lists these commonly used (and technically legal) employer tactics:
· Force employees to take part in daily anti-union meetings where union-friendly workers have no right to take alternative views and may be fired on site.
· Dress up the workplace with anti-union posters, banners and video ads – and deny union-friendly workers access to this media.
· Instruct managers to tell employees that there is a good chance they will lose their job if they vote for union formation.
· Supervisors need to have multiple one-on-one meetings with each of their employees, emphasizing why it would be bad for them to vote in a union
· Managers tell employees that union-friendly workers are "the enemy within".
· Encourage regulators to grill subordinates about their views on union formation, effectively breaking the principle of secret voting.
The report provides an illustrative case study in Macon, Georgia: Kumho Tires' first plant in the US promised employees $ 45,000 a year, but started at $ 15 an hour. The employees routinely worked without safety equipment and had to be dismissed at will. Following an early union organizing campaign in which 250 employees or 80 percent of the plant's workforce signed union cards within six weeks, management hired a “union avoidance company” that introduced mandatory 90-minute anti-union meetings every day. A month later, only 43 percent of employees voted to form a union.
The first small business loan fund for black women entrepreneurs is launched in Colorado
The Sistahbiz Loan Fund helps black women entrepreneurs in Colorado.
Witnessing the struggles to be a black woman and a small business owner, Makisha Boothe decided to start the Sistahbiz Global Network in 2017. Through this network, Boothe introduces other black women to building and maintaining successful businesses. It also offers loans to start small businesses.
To fill the funding gap, Boothe and her company turned to CEDS Finance to launch the Sistahbiz Loan Fund earlier this year. According to Boothe, this is the country's first small business loan fund dedicated to black women entrepreneurs. Current and potential business owners can apply for a loan of between $ 500 and $ 50,000 at interest rates of seven to 11 percent.
Fundable reports that 38 percent of new business owners need friends and family as seed capital to start a business.
According to Boothe, the black community tends to have a smaller network that limits access to capital and a lack of security – both obstacles to securing sustainable business.
"The asset gap prevents us from reaching the stage where (venture capital) would even entertain us or where our businesses are scalable or profitable," Boothe told Mile High Magazine in Denver.
Black entrepreneurs in Colorado are not the only ones facing the wealth gap. The Oakland runway project also offers black entrepreneurs loans to finance friends and family members, as Next City previously discussed.
Lisa Young plans to apply for the Sistahbiz Loan Fund to expand her consulting firm.
"The loan will allow me to be more sustainable," Young said to Mile High, adding, "It gives me the opportunity to be more strategic than to wait and hope that money comes in." – Eddi Cabrera Blanco
An increase in support for black-owned companies, as shown by online search data
As Next City has previously reported, the COVID-19 shutdowns and social distancing mandates have disproportionately affected US minority holdings, but at the same time after protests continued after the police killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others for black-owned companies is higher than ever.
Google Trends data from 2004 shows that the search for “how to find black-owned businesses near you” hit an all-time high in June. Yelp's Economic Average Report shows that from May 25th to July 10th, more than 2.5 million Yelp searches were made for black-owned companies. This is comparable to the only 35,000 search queries at the same time last year – an increase of 7,043 percent in total.
Certain retailers have exceptionally high demand. Yelp also reports an increase in consumer search for black bookstores by 1,437 percent. A leap that the company is speculating could mean that more people want to expand their knowledge of the obstacles to social justice that the black community is facing.
At the local level, black-owned bookstores have also taken advantage of the increased demand for anti-racist literature. The Turning Page Bookstore in Goose Creek, South Carolina, reports that after a temporary pandemic shutdown, orders were placed this spring, starting with the sale of 25 copies of Robin DiAngelo's (somewhat controversial) "White Fragility" in one day .
Other books on anti-racism remain on the New York Times bestseller list. Books on racism such as Richard Rothstein's "The Color of Law" and Ibram X. Kendi's "How To Be An Antiracist" have been on the list of the 15 best-sellers for several weeks.
The black-owned food and restaurant industry is also receiving increasing attention. Yelp reports that the search for black-owned bakeries and ice cream parlors has increased by 56 percent.
The Southern Girl Desserts dessert store in Los Angeles recorded a significant increase in sales with an increase in deliveries of more than 75 percent.
Slade & # 39; s Bar and Grill in Roxbury's historic Black Boston neighborhood is also increasing online orders for gift cards and take away.
Because black-owned companies value consumer support, they also struggle to keep up with demand.
According to CBS News, companies such as OneUnited Bank and Reparations Club Bookstore are issuing messages to customers explaining that slow response times are due to a massive increase in customer support.
Although Yelp's economic report says consumer interest in the slow reopening of businesses is still unpredictable, Justin Norman, vice president of data science, predicts support for black-owned businesses will continue.
"We continue to expect increased interest in black-owned companies," Norman told Business Insider. "We haven't seen a movement-based surge yet, and we're excited and inspired by the continued support and growth in the search for black-owned businesses." – Nicolette White