Canvassers deserve job security

August 13, 2015

Avery Wear reports on a strike by San Diego Greenpeace workers seeking job security.

DESPITE NOT yet having their own union, 16 out of 19 San Diego Greenpeace canvassers have been on strike for one week and counting as of August 12.

"We feel exploited like a mountaintop Greenpeace tries to save from coal mining", said senior canvasser Kiku Adair. Workers are demanding job security: Currently, canvassers who fail to make their donation quota over any two-week period are supposed to be terminated.

Some workers like Adair, however, work for Greenpeace for months and even years averaging well above the quota. They want Greenpeace to base the termination requirement on a cumulative, lifetime average, so that temporary bad luck doesn't throw them out of work. Workers at the San Diego office include parents raising children.

Workers believe this kind of job security, and the freedom to spend a small percentage of their employment hours "off the street--that is, working on community organizing projects rather than canvassing for money--will stem the constant turnover plaguing Greenpeace canvassers.

Canvassers talk to pedestrians about Greenpeace
Canvassers talk to pedestrians about Greenpeace

"When I came back to Greenpeace after the summer, the most amazing people who gave everything to Greenpeace were gone," said striker Milan DiGiacopo.

San Diego Greenpeace workers have since been joined by a majority of the Sacramento office. They are reaching out to supporters and building a rally to make sure the public knows about the abuses of Greenpeace workers perpetrated by this environmental justice organization. Greenpeace workers are setting a brave example and deserve not only solidarity, but careful attention from others who could learn from them in this age of austerity.

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