SuperAmerica workers’ concerns fall on deaf ears

web.MySAJustice-bullhornSuperAmerica continues to stonewall workers looking to meet with corporate leadership to discuss concerns about low pay, favoritism and poor working conditions.

Workers from the St. Cloud area, organizing with Working America and the Greater Minnesota Worker Center, brought their campaign to the Twin Cities yesterday. Joined by allies in the labor movement and students from St. Cloud State University, they demonstrated outside a SuperAmerica store in St. Paul and staged a brief sit-in at the company’s headquarters in Woodbury.

But they didn’t get the meeting SuperAmerica President Jack Helmick they’ve been demanding for months.

“The community has spoken,” said David Wakely, statewide program director for Working America. “After today’s action, SuperAmerica can’t continue to ignore the requests of working families in the Twin Cities.”

Workers delivered a petition to the Minnesota-based convenience store chain outlining their demands, including two week’ notice of their schedules, improved workplace safety standards and a commitment to putting more women and people of color on the track to management positions.

Speaking at a day of action among low-wage workers in Minneapolis last week, Makaida Garrett, a mother of five who has worked at a Super America in St. Cloud for about a year, said she said she earns just $9.50 per hour and was recently passed over for a management-track job.

“There are many women and people of color who work at this company but are not properly represented in management,” she said.

Garrett and other SuperAmerica workers marched alongside striking food service workers and janitors on the picket line last week, and several janitors and fast-food workers returned the favor yesterday, protesting in the rain outside the gas station at Lexington Avenue and I-94.

Working America is the community affiliate of the nation’s largest labor federation, the AFL-CIO. More than 259,000 Minnesotans are active Working America members. The Greater Minnesota Worker Center (GMWC) is focused on creating systemic change and social justice for low-wage workers in the St. Cloud area.

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