Serving food while sick
July 14th, 2014
07:15 PM ET
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"Stay home if you're sick."

That's the message to food industry workers from the nation's public health watchdog, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The problem is staying home isn't an option for food industry workers - 70% of whom are low wage employees with no paid sick days.

The health agency last month issued a bulletin that said the worst food-borne illnesses originated from contaminated food handled by sick workers.
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July 9th, 2014
09:45 AM ET
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Nidal Hussain clutches a shopping bag as she crosses the four-lane street, weaving through cars and trucks that inch along a main thoroughfare in central Baghdad.

It's late morning under a sweltering sun, and Hussain has joined men, women and children walking to a market where canopied stalls line sidewalks and sometimes spill into the street. It's part of her near daily ritual of buying fresh bread, vegetables, fruits and fish to feed her family.

She steps over broken concrete and puddles of fetid water to get to the Karrada market, named for the central Baghdad neighborhood where it sits.

"Shetreed," a vegetable seller asks Hussain. What do you want?

She inspects a tomato from a green plastic crate, puts it back and chooses another.

Some of these are not that good, she says.

What do you expect with all the trouble? he says.
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Filed under: Disaster • Human Rights • Hunger • War


July 3rd, 2014
06:15 PM ET
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In a New Delhi neighborhood, residents line up in the blistering 45 degree Celsius heat (113 Fahrenheit) carrying empty jerry cans and water bottles, waiting for the government water tanker truck to arrive.

"We only get water once a week and each time we have to fight for it," one woman yells.

There are no laid pipelines in unplanned areas like this, so tanker trucks are their only source of water.

With the truck arrives chaos.
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Filed under: Human Rights • Hunger • Water


July 2nd, 2014
10:00 AM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food.

The Southern Foodways Alliance presents Counter Histories, a series of short films documenting the struggle to desegregate Southern restaurants in the Civil Rights Movement.
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May 15th, 2014
10:45 AM ET
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Fast-food workers walked off their jobs in dozens of cities Thursday, demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Union organizers say the strikes will reach 150 U.S. cities and several countries.

CNNMoney confirmed that workers were striking at a McDonald's in Trafalgar Square in London.
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Opinion: Restaurants - someone's mother works here
May 9th, 2014
01:30 PM ET
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Editor's note: Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, and author of Behind the Kitchen Door, a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out. Nation's Restaurant News named her as one of the 50 most powerful people in the restaurant industry and she was recently included in CNN Living's 10 Visionary Women list.

About 80 million of us will head to our favorite restaurant with our Moms this Sunday. It’s considered one of the highest grossing days of the year for the restaurant industry. The world’s largest restaurant lobby, the National Restaurant Association, says that more than one quarter of American adults will celebrate Mother’s Day by dining out and nearly one in 10 more will order takeout or delivery.

The majority of restaurant servers working on Sunday will be women, millions of them mothers. They will be earning a sub-minimum wage as low as $2.13 an hour (the federal rate since 1991); their take-home pay will be mostly tips, whatever they have leftover, in some cases, after tipping out bussers, hosts, and the rest of the restaurant’s tipped staff.

Due to the instability of living off tips, these women are undoubtedly looking forward to Mother’s Day, even if it means not being with their own family, because serving a lot of customers usually increases what they can expect in tips.
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Subway CEO: 'Our owners have not done the right thing'
May 9th, 2014
12:45 PM ET
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Subway CEO Fred DeLuca said this week that "there's no excuse" for workers being paid improperly.

His remarks come after CNNMoney published an investigative report last week detailing how Subway is the fast food chain with the most wage and hour violations.

From 2000 to 2013, Subway stores racked up more than 17,000 Fair Labor Standards Act violations, including failure to pay its employees the proper overtime rate, according to our analysis of data collected by the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.
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Filed under: Fast Food • Food Politics • Human Rights • Labor Issues • Restaurants • Service • Subway


April 4th, 2014
12:05 AM ET
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In "the nation's salad bowl," as California's Central Valley is often called, fresh produce grows in abundance.

But for many area residents, healthy food is out of reach.

"Here we are in this agriculturally rich area and yet people who live here and work here are hungry, are impoverished," said Sarah Ramirez, an educator who grew up in the area.

"(Some) are working in the fields that feed the entire country and then they don't have the resources to support them and their health. It's heartbreaking."

For the last two years, Ramirez has been on a mission to build a healthier community in her impoverished hometown of Pixley.
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Filed under: Food Deserts • Food Politics • Human Rights • Hunger • Local Food • Local Heroes • Urban Gardening


The CNN 10 Visionary Women: Saru Jayaraman
March 24th, 2014
09:30 AM ET
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This Women’s History Month, CNN set out to highlight the efforts of 10 women who are helping other women find success, self-esteem and sometimes a safe haven. The women represent diverse fields: technology, fashion design, policy, activism, literature and skilled labor. What they have in common is a mission to empower their fellow woman. See the full list at CNN Living.

Saru Jayaraman wants you to eat with your mind full. The 38-year-old co-founder and co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and author of “Behind the Kitchen Door” has spent her career fighting for service workers to get a fair wage in a respectful, safe environment. Most of those workers are women.

In an essay for Maria Shriver’s “The Shriver Report,” Jayaraman plainly laid out the facts: “Restaurant servers are three times as likely to live in poverty and use food stamps at double the rate of the rest of the U.S. work force. In a terrible irony, the women who put food on the tables of restaurant-goers everywhere are struggling to put it on their own.”
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