From time to time, we get phone calls or other requests from people, asking us to recommend good restaurants or good businesses, ones that haven’t been involved in problems with their workers.
Generally, we don’t tell people to boycott businesses, unless the business has been recalcitrant in correcting mistakes. All of us involved in the Workers’ Center want to support small local businesses. Some of us like to dine out or go to the movies or see music. We support a vibrant, joyful city with lots of locally-owned options, places where the workers like to work, can afford to work and where the owners make a comfortable living themselves.
So…how to figure out where to go or what business to patronize? First, it’s always good to look at our list of certified Living Wage employers. But what if there isn’t a Living Wage business that fits into your needs?
Do you have friends who work in a particular industry? They frequently know where employees are being mistreated. Another thing you can do is pass along information about good businesses, ones that you know are trying to do the right thing either because of your patronage or employment.
As an example, I saw an interesting pamphlet on the counter of one of our certified Living Wage employers, Jillian’s Drawers. A New York activist, Phoebe Wyllyamz, is ‘creating a system that helps breastfeeding families know which businesses support them.’ Breastfeeding means Business is asking consumers to pass along information about breastfeeding-friendly locations where supportive management and staff understand public laws (in NYS, ‘a mother has the right to breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be’) and make breastfeeding families feel welcome.
If you have any ideas for getting out the word about great local businesses and employers, let us know.