August 2014 | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

August 2014

Sidney's Picks: Greenmarket Farm Workers; Renisha McBride Verdict


The best of the week’s news:

  • Organic but not sustainable: The farm workers who pick produce for New York’s greenmarkets work 14-hour days with no overtime, a legal holdover from the Jim Crow era.
  • The man who shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride when she knocked on his door after a late night car wreck has been found guilty of her second-degree murder.
  • Carla Murphy reports on young, black men growing up in the shadow of Chicago’s gun crisis.
  • The abortion ministry of Dr. Willie Parker, the last abortion provider in Mississippi


[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]

McDonald's to Franchisee: "Just Pay Your Workers Less"

Why is Kathryn Slater-Carter, the owner of a McDonald’s franchise in California, joining forces with SEIU to advocate for the rights for franchisees in California? The short answer is that McDonald’s is forcing franchisees to practically give food away and demanding that they take the difference out of their workers’ wages, and franchisees can’t refuse because McDonald’s has all the legal power. SEIU and some small franchisees are backing a bill before the state legislature that could help small business owners stand up to the corporate behemoth. 


[Photo: Allen, Creative Commons.]

Sidney's Picks: McDonald's Organizers Cheer NLRB Ruling

  • In a major victory for fast food organizers, the National Labor Relations Board has determined that the McDonald’s corporation is a joint employer of the workers at its franchises.
  • A year after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the worst industrial disaster in history, Sidney-winner Josh Eidelson looks back and asks what has changed.
  • Forensic scientists work to identify the bodies of migrants who died attempting to cross the Mexico/U.S. border.


[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]