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(no subject) [Aug. 17th, 2008|06:05 pm]
where working class & poor women kick ass.

Landmark Wal-Mart Ruling released by Quebec Arbitrator--Collective Agreement imposed on Wal-Mart for the First Time in the Retailer's History.

A Quebec arbitrator has imposed a collective agreement on Wal-Mart for the first time in the world's largest retailer's history. The arbitrator released the decision Friday on the contract for eight workers at a tire-and-lube garage at a Wal-Mart store on Maloney Boulevard in Gatineau, just across the river from Ottawa. The workers are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada.

Guy Chenier, head of the local representing the workers, said the union is delighted with the deal, which gives the workers raises averaging 35 to 40 per cent effective immediately, as well as more vacation.

A spokesman for Wal-Mart said the company is unhappy with the decision and it is "incompatible" with the company's way of doing business. Wal-Mart is the biggest company in the world, according to the Fortune 500 rankings, and recorded nearly $13 billion US in profits in 2007 — yet its front-line employees make less than $20,000 US a year, on average, and the company has been cited for union-busting tactics by government agencies and independent watchdogs. (read more at cbc.ca)

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more on micro-lending/micro-credit [Oct. 14th, 2006|11:45 am]
where working class & poor women kick ass.
A great coincidence that my post a couple of days ago about micro-lending was followed a day later by the announcement that Muhammad Yunus, the creator of Grameen Bank, was chosen as the recipient of this year's Nobel Peace prize.

video overview from cbc.ca:


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Low-Interest Car Loans to Help the Poor Get to Work [Oct. 12th, 2006|03:43 pm]
where working class & poor women kick ass.

Advocates say Ways to Work, which has underwritten $36 million in loans to 24,000 families since it began as a small program in Minnesota in 1984, is part of a new model for social service programs, one that delivers human services aimed at economic self-sufficiency. Borrowers in the program, which is in place at about 50 human services organizations in 25 states, are low-wage workers who either have poor credit or no credit. The program is targeted at getting them not just a car, but also a decent credit score and a bank account.

The nonprofit, which has grown swiftly and hopes to quadruple the number of loans it makes over the next five to six years, has a repayment rate of 90 percent.
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Mod Note: "build it & they will come". [Jul. 6th, 2006|10:33 am]
where working class & poor women kick ass.
hey everyone!

Just to let you know: I haven't advertised this community, & won't be ready to for a while yet. I'm still at the stage where I'm kinda nervous about posting, let alone being "responsible" for the outcome of a community. Amazingly, women seem to be finding us here anyway!

I'm going to continue to post once a week (or more or less, depending on energy, stress & RL). I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see others post, so please feel free to share your thoughts & opinions, experiences, more information about yourself & your life, articles, analysis, etc.

At some point this fall I expect I'll have the additional time & confidence to begin letting other folks know womenandpoverty exists. In the meantime, if you want to spread the word, please do so.

I hope this doesn't disappoint. I know sometimes there is an emphasis on activity in communities, so I hope you aren't discouraged by a laidback/gentle pace here.

Anyway, cheers everyone, & I hope this community is a place where you feel connection & comfortable adding your point of view. :)
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Poverty List & Privilege List. [Jul. 5th, 2006|08:40 am]
where working class & poor women kick ass.

Being Poor Is...
Being poor is relying on people who don't give a damn about you.
Being poor is people angry at you just for walking around in the mall.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy. (read more...)

Being Privileged Is...
Being privileged is running the air conditioner while you're out so your place is cool when you get back.
Being privileged is worrying about the time it will take rather than the money it will cost to fix your broken refrigerator.
Being privileged is moving to a low-income neighborhood and making the property values go up so your neighbors can't afford their taxes.
Being privileged is introducing yourself at parties by talking about your career. (read more...)

The first list by John Scalzi appeared in the wake of the initial Katrina devastation. It is worthwhile reading some of the comments, especially the later ones. Lots of great comments by people who are poor, & by those who, while not poor, get the role classism plays--especially combined with racism & sexism--in institutionalizing poverty. Also lots of comments that illuminate the kinds of rationalizations people use to obscure & deny classism, poverty & structural unfairness(ie focus on the "character" of poor people as the source of their problem (victim-blaming) & claims about the "American Dream" being available to anyone who wants it. Fair warning, this is a specifically North American discussion of poverty & Scalzi has not put it into a context of poverty elsewhere in the world.

The second list began as a result of Scalzi's work. It is not so well organized, but again the comments are worth looking at. I'll add more comments below later.

Thoughts or comments?

xposted to womanandpoverty, johnnydtractive (& maybe later, feminist)
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(no subject) [Jun. 27th, 2006|12:09 pm]
where working class & poor women kick ass.

A few months ago I began struggling with the prevalent notion that white working class folks are somehow more racist than our middleclass white counterparts. I don't have an issue with the words "cracker" or "poor white trash"--I'm poor & white--but it bothered me that people generally project white racism onto poor whites. I don't question we benefit from skin privilege, I don't question we're racist--I just began questioning the generalized stereotype that we are somehow more racist than our middleclass counterparts. I questioned the way poor racism was illuminated & discussed & middleclass racism somehow invisible-ized. I resented it because it made it seem even less likely that poor whites & poor people of colour could organize or work toward common goals (already a virtual impossibility given the racism poor people of colour encounter when working with poor white allies).

So I started doing online searches involving phrases like "working class values" & "ethics" "working class". What I wanted to find out was: is there such a thing as a working class ethic. Are there specifically working class/low-income moral beliefs? Do our communities develop & sustain values that are shared by the majority of their members, & are these ethics being passed on to others, researched & documented, & written about online.Read more...Collapse )

Comments & thoughts appreciated.

xposted to johnnydtractive, womenandpoverty
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(no subject) [Jun. 22nd, 2006|08:49 am]
where working class & poor women kick ass.
I started this community because I'm tired of debating "what poverty is like" with middleclass feminists. I am poor. I come from a working class background. I will undoubtedly remain poor. I am ok with this. I just really want to connect with other women who feel the same way.

If you are a feminist woman who identifies as working class, working poor, poor--please leave a comment!!!
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