Wednesday, January 20, 2010

7461: Socially Responsible Ad Agency…?

The press release below was forwarded by Make The Logo Bigger. Industrial Workers of the World targeted Kmart and Media Planning Group, protesting MPG’s alleged unfair treatment of terminated employees. The union is demanding that Kmart replace MPG with a socially responsible advertising agency. Um, does IWW have any idea what industry they are dealing with here?

For Immediate Release:
Industrial Workers of the World (NYC)

Contact: Joseph Sanchez, 410-829-6834

January 18, 2010

Kmart, MPG Targeted in Annual MLK Day March

Union calling on Kmart to Choose a Socially Responsible Ad Agency

New York, NY— On MLK Day, the IWW and supporters rallied outside of the Astor Place Kmart to call attention to the company's refusal to sever ties with Media Planning Group (MPG) and instead choose a socially responsible ad agency. MPG, a Havas owned concern, laid off 10% of its workers and has been unwilling to negotiate fair terms of the severance agreement. The crowd was joined by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra marching band who energized the crowd with chants of “Shame on Kmart, drop MPG.”

“It is shameful that Kmart continues to do business with MPG,” said Joseph Sanchez, a former MPG employee. “Kmart could honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today by furthering the ideal of social justice that he embodied and find an ad agency that is willing to negotiate with its employees.”

In order to receive severance pay, workers had to sign an agreement that bared them from suing the company while MPG retained its right to sue them. Additionally workers cannot denigrate the company but there is no reciprocation on MPG’s part in regards to its former employees. The union has held a series of protests at several Kmart locations over the issue. MPG has responded with threats of legal action as well as arrest for talking with coworkers.

“Kmart is MPG’s biggest client and should use its influence to ensure that MPG treats its employees with respect,” said Joseph Sanchez.

Before marching to Kmart, the union first rallied at Starbucks in support of an effort to get the coffee giant to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by paying the holiday rate of pay for its baristas as the company does for other several holidays.

Founded in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World is a global labor union dedicated to workplace democracy and the dignity of all working people. The campaign for fair severance at MPG was launched in June 2009 by the NYC IWW.


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