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Announcement :: Labor : Organizing
Support illegally fired IWW worker!
23 Feb 2008
Three weeks ago, eight community members went to the Harvest's board of directors to express concern over the termination of Deon Furtick. Two supporters of Deon, a co-worker and long time co-op member, spoke on his behalf during a five minute public comment period. The group asked the board of directors for Deon to be reinstated with back pay, that management use progressive discipline before firing employees, and that the right to organize be respected. Since then community members have passed out hundreds of flyers outside the co-op's two locations in Cambridge and Jamaica Plain, and dozens of phone calls have been made to management on Deon's behalf. Yet so far the Harvest has refused to discuss the issue.
01_picket_line.jpg
Deon Furtick, 31, of Roxbury, and a father of three, had worked in the deli at the Jamaica Plain store, 57 South St., for four years. He was fired for not punching out on the store time-clock for his meal break on Tuesday, January 8th. Deon had never punched out for his meal breaks, and did not realize not doing so was putting his employment in jeopardy. In fact, Marc Cutler, Manager of Operations, used to be the store manager in Jamaica Plain and personally signed off on Deon’s hours every week. The policy of not paying for meal breaks was not consistently enforced, and depended largely on which department the employee worked. Other employees in this situation are simply spoken to by a supervisor, or given a written warning. Deon was terminated without warning.

Deon Furtick had been talking with co-workers about organizing a union with the Industrial Workers of the World, IU 460. In late October, Deon, and three other employees approached Marc Cutler about Deon not being given an interview for promotion to deli supervisor. Marc Cutler refused to discuss the situation, and did not return subsequent phone calls by Deon to set up a meeting. In December, Deon complained about racism in the workplace, and requested a meeting with Sandra Andrew of Human Resources. Deon was told he would have to visit the Cambridge offices on his own time. As a father working two jobs, Deon could not promptly make the time to pursue his complaint. Then Sandra Andrew went on vacation. A month after Deon had complained about racism, and two months after engaging in legally protected collective activity, Deon, an employee of over four years, was fired on the shaky pretext of misrepresenting hours worked.

The picket this Saturday will ask that Deon be returned to his job, that fair and legal disciplinary policies are followed, and that the board be accountable to the concerns of co-op members. The IWW is continuing to ask community members and friends of labor to call Marc Cutler, Manager of Operations, to demand that Deon be reinstated with back pay for loss of wages.

This Saturday, February 23rd, fired worker Deon Furtick will be protesting to get his job back along with concerned Harvest Co-op members, and supporters from the Industrial Workers of the World. The picket will be outside a meeting of the Harvest Co-op's board of directors, at the Paulist Center, 5 Park Street, from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Harvest board members are having a day long "retreat" to develop "long term objectives and hopes for the board's work and Harvest" (http://www.harvest.coop/board/agenda01_08.pdf).

CONTACT:
Matthew Andrews
IWW Organizer
cell: 617-633-1857
email: peopleunite (at) verizon.net
web: www.harvestmembers..

EDITORS NOTE: We've removed Marc Cutler's telephone number for privacy reasons and in accordance with our editorial policy.
See also:
http://www.iww.org/en/node/3960

This work is in the public domain.
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