First Recipient of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Project Unfairly Terminated After 3 ½ Years Dedicated Service at Cost Cutters (Regis Corp) Salon in Ithaca:
Workers’ Center To Rally on Worker’s Behalf in Front of Cost Cutters, Saturday, February 13 from 1-3 p.m.
(Ithaca) The Tompkins County Workers’ Center has launched a campaign to get the multinational corporation Cost Cutters, a Division of the Regis Corporation, to rehire a longtime employee unfairly terminated several weeks ago. Amber Little, a popular hairdresser at Cost Cutters (722 S. Meadow Street, Ithaca), was terminated when she failed to fulfill a new corporate policy that required stylists to sell a required quota of company hair care products.
Says Jami Breedlove, a Workers’ Center member, and regular client of Little’s, “I am outraged over the fact that anyone could be fired over the need to sell personal products, and that the customers didn’t know that. I never bought anything there and didn’t think that it was risking somebody’s job!”
Little’s termination is not only unjust in and of itself for this single mother with two small children, but it also jeopardizes her chance at receiving the first-ever Women Build Project/ Habitat for Humanity house (in Lansing). Amber and her family have already put over 500 hours sweat equity into the building of the house. The loss of the Cost Cutters job means a sharp cut in her income just as she was about to sign for a federal loan that Habitat had worked on Little with.
The Regis Corporation and Cost Cutters specifically has recently gotten national attention in the NY Times for its anti-worker policies (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/us/30labor.html), particularly for requiring employees to sign statements promising never to unionize. In fact, employees at the Tompkins County as well as Cortland Cost Cutters were also required to sign the same such statements! William B. Gould IV, a Stanford law professor and former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, was quoted in the 8/29/09 New York Times article as saying, “It seems like a modernized version of the old yellow dog contract,” a provision, now illegal, that many employers used to push workers to sign, pledging not to join a union as a condition of employment.
The Workers’ Center initiated an Action Alert campaign on Monday that has already generated over 250 faxes to Regis Corporation and Cost Cutter Management requesting that 1) Amber be reinstated to her position at the Ithaca Cost Cutters; 2) requesting that the Regis Corporation inform its customers of the sales quota workers must meet in order to continue working; 3) to cease and desist with the over-the-top anti-union corporate strategy.