Union Launches Campaign for Fair Severance at MPG

 
The New York City branch of the Industrial Workers of the World has begun a campaign over the lack of a fair severance package in the recent round of mass layoffs by MPG, the large advertising company owned by Havas Media.

For Immediate Release:
Industrial Workers of the World

July 28, 2009

Contact: Joseph Sanchez, 410-829-6834


Union Launches Campaign for Fair Severance at MPG

Advertising Giant Failed to Adequately Provide for Workers in Mass Lay Off


New York, NY- The New York City branch of the Industrial Workers of the World has begun a campaign over the lack of a fair severance package in the recent round of mass layoffs by MPG, the large advertising company owned by Havas Media. MPG is seeking to have workers sign a non-disparagement clause while refusing to submit to a like clause protecting fired workers from disparagement, among other issues.

“This extremely profitable corporation laid me off just to put extra money in their pockets,” said Joseph Sanchez, who worked in the client accounting department and is a member of the IWW, an international labor union. “Instead of making a living wage, I’m surviving off unemployment benefits and food stamps.”

In addition to the one-sided non-disparagement clause and insufficient severance pay, the IWW is taking issue with MPG’s demand that workers waive all their rights to sue the company while MPG refuses to waive its right to bring litigation against employees. The union has hit the streets in front of Kmart stores educating customers about the retail giant’s relationship with a company that has shown a lack of respect for workers’ rights. Kmart and its parent company Sears are MPG’s largest clients, spending $590 million on ads in 2008.

“Kmart should use its influence to ensure that MPG honors its ethical obligations to employees,” said Mykke Holcomb, an organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World in New York. “In this economy, a fair and equitable severance package is indispensable.”

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. More information is available at  http://www.iww.org.


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