[nabs-l] Good Will Boycott Etc.

Sophie Trist sweetpeareader at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 14:25:35 UTC 2012


The issue of hiring quotas for minority groups has popped up in 
the past, and it has caused nothing but controversy. If there is 
to be ahiring quota for disabled people, non-disabled people who 
were rejected or whose jobs were taken away and given to the 
disabled could argue reverse--discrimination. Besides, we want 
them to hire us because we're worth something, not just because 
they have to fill a certain quota. Evem mentally disabled 
individuals can perform simple factory jobs.

 ----- Original Message -----
From: "Wasif, Zunaira" <Zunaira.Wasif at dbs.fldoe.org
To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list" 
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Date sent: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:57:06 -0400
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Good Will Boycott Etc.

What do people think about a hiring quota for disabled people?  
This
would render Good Will's argument, that disabled people need to 
settle
for subminum wages or no wages, obselete.
-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org 
[mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Kirt Manwaring
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 6:03 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Good Will Boycott Etc.

Ashley,
  You said there may not be a set corporate policy, and I suppose 
you're
probably right.  But there should be, and that's why this boycott 
makes
sense to me.  If you have some branches paying any employees 
below the
minimum wage, you really do need a national policy to set that 
straight.
Unfortunate, but true.  I really think it is that simple...this 
is one
of those few issues where there isn't much of a grey area, in my 
humble
opinion.
  Take it or leave it,
Kirt

On 6/11/12, Ashley Bramlett <bookwormahb at earthlink.net> wrote:
 Elizabeth,
 Perhaps, the figure supports my theory that in fact most 
employees are

 paid

 above minimum wage. As Arielle said, most locations vary in what 
they
 pay. I

 don't think there is a set corporate policy.

 Ashley

 -----Original Message-----
 From: Elizabeth
 Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 2:24 PM
 To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
 Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Good Will Boycott Etc.

 Hi Greg,

 Please forgive me as I did not read through the entire article 
you
 make reference to in your post. However, now that I have read 
it, I am

 still wondering how they can come up with an average of $7.47  
when
 someone is only making $1.44. I am not a math genius by any 
means, but

 it would seem to me that if someone is only making $1.44, and 
the
 average is $7.47, then that would mean someone is making a
 considerable amount more than what most people are making to 
achieve
 such an average. Does this make any sense? I am not necessarily
 questioning the information you cited from the article, but 
rather
 questioning the information that was cited in the article 
itself.
 There is just something about it that does not make sense to me. 
I am
 sorry that I cannot find a better way to explain it.

 Warm regards,
 Elizabeth

 --------------------------------------------------
 From: "Greg Aikens" <gpaikens at gmail.com
 Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 12:26 PM
 To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list"
 <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
 Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Good Will Boycott Etc.

 Hi Elizabeth,
 I should have included my sources.  The first was the article
 recently posted to the list by Anil Lewis:
 
http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/208068/189/Goodwill-Pays-Disabl
ed-E
 mployees-Less-than-Minimum-Wage This article gives the number of
 employees impacted and their average wage.  The reason that an
 average wage of $7.47 could still be below minimum wage is 
because
 many states have minimum wage laws that are higher

 than the federal minimum wage.  For  a quick list of minimum 
wage by
 state, go to:
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._minimum_wages

 Please check my facts in case I misread.

 -Greg

 On Jun 11, 2012, at 11:16 AM, Elizabeth wrote:

 Hi Gregg,

 I have to say that your numbers to not make much sense to me. If
 these employees are making $7.47 as mentioned in your post, , 
then
 how exactly

 does that constitute as a subminimum wage? Is it possible the
 calculated

 average of these employees also includes the outrageously high
 salaries of those who may hold management positions which in 
effect
 would cancel out the extremely low subminimum wages paid to the
 factory worker or the

 average employee thus creating an average that appears to be 
above
 the national minimum wage? I am not sure where you found your
 numbers, but if

 what you state is true, then I do not see how this would be an 
issue

 of paying people subminimum wage.

 Warm regards,
 Elizabeth


 --------------------------------------------------
 From: "Greg Aikens" <gpaikens at gmail.com
 Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 10:46 AM
 To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list"
 <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
 Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Good Will Boycott Etc.

 Sean's post got me thinking about how many employees are 
actually
 impacted by this policy and how much it would cost for them to
 actually

 make these changes.  According to the article Anil Lewis posted,
 7300 employees are hired on their certificate to pay disabled
 workers less than minimum wage, but the average wage paid them 
is
 $7.47, which is actually higher than the federal minimum wage of
 $7.25.  I can't say what the average minimum wage for these 
workers

 would be because each state is different, but I wouldn't imagine 
it

 could be higher than $8.50.  So they would have to on average 
pay
 workers with disabilities
 $1 more per hour, $40 more per week, $2080 per year.  Multiply 
that

 by the 7300 employees on the certificate and you get 
$15,184,000.

 I was surprised that the number of workers impacted by this 
policy
 is so

 high.

 Anyway, I thought these numbers were interesting and thought I
 would post in case others are interested too.

 -Greg
 On Jun 10, 2012, at 6:45 PM, Gmail wrote:

 Good afternoon,

 One of the primary purposes of the boycott is to garner media
 attention

 for
 the minimum wage issue. The boycott effort and PR/media efforts
 are complementary rather than mutually exclusive.

 We "pick on" Good Will because they are one of, if not the,
 largest and

 most
 visible nonprofits who take advantage of the current law to pay
 workers

 with
 disabilities subminimum wages. When you're the biggest fish in 
the

 pond you're going to get noticed and your actions will be
 scrutinized by people in and out of your field. That's just the
 way it goes.

 Most of these workshops do the vast majority of their business
 with the federal government, providing goods and services 
through
 non-competitive set-aside contracts. These goods and services 
are
 frequently provided at costs that exceed their fair market 
value.
 Obviously Good Will has their hands in other activities as well,
 but the point stands. If taxpayers are being asked to subsidize
 nonprofits to create employment opportunities

 for
 blind or otherwise disabled individuals, and we all, in effect,
 subsidize the very good, and sometimes exorbitant, salaries of 
the

 management of

 these
 non-profits, why is it a bad idea to subsidize the wages of
 disabled individuals, even those who may not be able to produce
 output justifying the minimum wage in the market?

 I think that the number of disabled folks in these workshops who
 are incapable of truly earning the minimum wage is much lower 
than

 most people assume. And, again, if there is somebody whose level
 of output truly only justifies $1.50 per hour, I am happy to
 subsidize the wage to give them

 the
 dignity of equal treatment under the law.

 I myself worked for a time in a shop and was paid less than $4 
per

 hour. I'm worth more than that. I saw others in the very same
 boat. The law is discriminatory, and the system is corrupt and
 fails to achieve its stated goals. Not only should the minimum
 wage apply, but organizations wishing to receive preferential
 treatment in government contracting should have to

 fill
 a stated percentage of their managerial positions with folks 
with
 disabilities and offer true training and upward mobility. As it
 stands

 now,
 there is no real opportunity in the vast majority of these
workshops.

 While it is true that, generally speaking, the NFB only speaks 
for

 the blind, on this issue we have over 40 different disabilities
 rights organizations standing shoulder to shoulder with us 
saying
 that it is reprehensible that we, today in the United States of
 America, have a law on the books that codifies the inferiority 
and

 lesser ability of those with disabilities. We, and they, are
 completely correct. The boycott of Good

 Will
 is but one piece of the larger effort. It is incumbent upon each
 of us

 to
 keep pressure on our Members of Congress to change the law. Will
 it cost Good Will and other non-profits more money to pay all
 their workers minimum wage? Yes, it will. Is the tiny increase 
in
 cost realistically going to

 lead
 to the loss of job opportunities as many of the workshops claim? 
I

 can't see how it would. In fact, it won't. And the argument is
 disingenuous and, frankly, pretty disgusting. Say a shop worker
 currently makes $1.50 an

 hour.
 Say the law is changed and minimum wage now applies. Say the
 employee is now paid $7.50 an hour. That's an extra $6 an hour, 
an

 extra $240 a week, and $12,480 a year. Say Good Will has 100
 employees of whom this is the case (in reality there are fewer).
 This would represent an annual cost increase

 of
 $1,248,000 to Good Will. That's a lot of money to you or me, but 
a

 pittance to this giant non-profit. The same can be said of 
smaller

 shops, just on a smaller scale. The argument that all the poor
 unemployable disabled folks will be sent home jobless if the law
 is changed is bogus and cynical.
 As I
 said before, the majority of these shops get the majority of 
their

 business through non-competitive contracts with the government, 
so

 the additional labor cost would be built right into the price 
the
 government pays.
 And, as
 I also said, I am happy to have my tax dollars go to affirm the
 dignity, value and legal equality of all individuals rather than
 to support the

 70,
 80, 100k salaries of the management types at these shops who
 somehow sleep at night under the illusion, or maybe delusion, 
that

 they are doing something positive for people with disabilities.
 It's wrong, it's disgusting, and, yes, it hits a raw nerve with 
me

 because I've lived it. If there is a minimum wage it should 
apply
 to everybody in the employment market, full stop.

 Sean


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