[Nfbmo] Facts about Good Will

Gary Wunder GWunder at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 21 13:17:57 UTC 2012

In two chapter meetings I have been asked why we are protesting against
Goodwill and couldn't we have more facts. Here are the facts Anil Lewis
presented on the convention floor:


            This year the National Federation of the Blind appeared in more
than three-thousand articles covering everything from how we read to the
unfair, discriminatory, and immoral practice of paying the blind less than
the minimum wage. To address this issue, Anil Lewis came to the microphone
to talk about the effort to do away with the law that permits payment of
less than the minimum wage. He said that, while many have actively supported
our efforts to make these payments illegal, some have called to say they
would like more data. He was glad to oblige and said, "Thirty-three percent
of people K-12 with disabilities have segregated sheltered work employment
as their vocational goal; we've given up on them, even before they've had a
chance to get an education. I think that's wrong; it's unfair,
discriminatory, and immoral. Ninety-five percent of the people employed in
these segregated work environments will never transition to other
employment. This is the lie, the lie that these facilities are places of
training and transition: they are stuck there for the rest of their working
lives, and that's unfair, discriminatory, and immoral. Fifty percent of
those employed under special wage certificates make less than half the
minimum wage; that's ridiculous but beyond that it is unfair,
discriminatory, and immoral. Twenty-five percent of these people make less
than a dollar an hour: a dollar--that's not a job, that's unfair,
discriminatory, and immoral. We have found documentation of people making as
little as three cents per hour--ridiculous! This is unfair, discriminatory,
and immoral. Forty-six percent of the revenue of sheltered workshops comes
from public funds. These facilities are not run from money made by engaging
in good business practices; almost half of their money comes from the
federal government....Because of our education and because of our commitment
to do what is right, we have been able to get eighty-two cosponsors of H.R.
3086, the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act."

I hope this weekend will find many of us explaining this to the public. We
are not there to get in the way of what is happening at Goodwill but to
explain to people that one important segment of society is not protected by
the Fair Labor Standards Act. Thank you for what you will do this weekend
for our brothers and sisters who get pennys per hour.




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