On Thursday 8/26/99, the Reverend Jesse Jackson led a march and rally in support of the striking Beverly Farm workers. About 500 people were in attendance. The management of Beverly Farm, a privately-owned residentical center in Godfrey, IL for people with developmental disabilities, has resisted its workers' union for about 5 years since the union was certified in an overwhelming vote (274-47) by the Beverly Farm employees. Rather than negotiating in good faith, Beverly Farm's management has continuously resisted its workers choice to unionize, and has now introduced strikebreakers. Many have been hired through a temp agency in Clayton, MO that brings in $1.5 million a year for its owner while the workers it places get as little as $5 per hour! The Beverly Farm struggle is important because service workers like those at Beverly Farm represent the fastest-growing segment of America's working poor. The wage paid by Beverly Farm when its workers went on strike, $5.35 per hour, works out to less than $11,300 per year - less than the poverty level for a family of 3. If welfare reform is to mean anything other than massive growth of the working poor in America, U.S. employers have got to do better than this!
News Story from St. Louis Post-Dispatch
News Story from Edwardsville Intelligencer
Information on the Beverly Farm strike from AFSCME
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