He didn't think twice about helping someone, now you can be his hero: sign the petition
The non-profit advocacy organization for retail and food employees, Brandworker's International take's on fights for the little guy, they have lobbied for Wal-Mart's accountability in the "Black Friday" death and among other actions, when workers at Wendy's and Comp USA respectively, were the victims of mass sell-offs and left in virtual limbo over employment and severance they took action.
Most impressionable, is when the workers in the tri-state area's poshest seafood warehouse, Wild Edibles, needed help. They were working in deplorable conditions, sometimes forced to work up to 80 hours a week, for less minimum wage. Brandworkers International, along with the restaurant division of The Industrial Workers Of The World(IWW), which is the union that the workers joined, did what they do best, they fought tooth and nail to get the message of the little guy out to the world, that no company has the right to abuse a worker in this country. Through worker firings, company bankruptcy, the strike fund payments made by the IWW to the workers, they fought, and they are still fighting to this day.
The hero you didn't hear about
That brings us to another injustice whose news went viral across the internet this weekend, and while no major network is saying spit about it, it has pissed off the majority of people who have read the story. It's the story of the little guy caught in the web of a giant corporation's greed. This isn't any ordinary little guy though, this guy in my eyes, and a majority of those who have helped to spread the word, is a bona fide hero.
Yeah he could have just watched, his boss alleges that it was in the employment pact, but there isn't a paper trail as far as I can tell. Even his boss, the franchise owner agrees that his deeds were heroic, as did the judge in the criminal trial, as did the court reporters, the later two even went so far as to donate to a fund . He could be your brother or your daughter. He's the McDonald's worker who stopped a woman from being beaten and for his action was shot three times.
Oh, some have stated that he should have just called 911, not only do I feel disgusted with the short-sighted notion, I would beg the person to think about that for just a moment.
What if there were no heroes?
I recall all the people on 9/11/01, who instead of running away from the Trade Center ran towards it. How many people did I meet the next day when I was there were the roofer next door, the off-duty nurse, the plumber, the fireman from Pennsylvania, the elevator constructor, the kid from uptown? We ran to help and I'm sure those people who I met, along with the countless others, would do it all over again. The one TV station that I could get (I had a rooftop antennae) told us all not to be there, it just did not matter. In our hearts we wanted to pull human beings to safety, we were not afraid of legalese, and even though one day we will probably all be sick, we did not think of ourselves. I have many friends, construction workers, who were there a lot longer than myself, that I worry about. This is something that makes us human beings.
This is something I feel that most of us share, a compassion, that exceeds the laws of mankind, a pure a moral obligation, an inner voice that beckons us to help someone in distress. This is what being a part of a civilization is about, it's what makes us human.
This brings us to the story of Nigel Haskett, who while working in a Little Rock, Arkansas McDonald's, noticed that a woman was being brutally attacked, he stood up and intervened. He stopped the assault and eventually he helped to convict a dangerous criminal.
Nigel couldn't possibly know if this was a random beating or a domestic dispute, he didn't know if the woman was a kidnap victim, he didn't ask questions. He relied on his instincts.
Given the circumstances, Nigel displayed a great sense of human decency. In my eyes, his actions are exemplary.
However, I feel the actions of the McDonald's Corporation are not, and it's not right how this kid is getting screwed.
Like most huge corporations, McDonald's is self-insured. The go-between, the third party administrating firm Ramsey, Krug, Farrell and Lensing is refusing to grant Nigel worker's compensation for his injuries. That means, that after 3 surgeries, the 22 year old Nigel will be left to pay $300,000 out of his own pocket.
In most cases, possibly all, including in Arkansas, when an employee is hurt doing a good Samaritan deed, which brings good publicity to his employer(known as a good-will benefit), the injured party is granted worker's compensation.
Even though Nigel will live his life with a bullet lodged in his body, McDonald's who could probably burn a million in a heartbeat, is not doing anything to help. They are busy hoping this will set a precedence that all of us will have to live with, be a hero on your own time. Imagine a world where instead of helping you when your choking, the McDonald's employee dials 911. Is that the world you want to live in?
McDonald's is not living up to it's end of the bargain of being a good corporate citizen and they are telling us, the consumer that they don't give one fuck about any of us in the process. If you want to know why, if you want to learn why "corporations are inherently evil" look no further to their legally binding agreement, it's put very well in an article by Matthew Madden over at Green Buzz:
Currently, corporations are legally bound to act in the interests of maximizing shareholder value but they also can be held legally liable by their shareholders. Even when corporate officers want to act in the best interests of the environment or the community, shareholders can take legal action to prevent this in the name of shareholder value. In other words, a corporate entity can be held liable for acting in any way that doesn't maximize revenue, but the individuals within a corporation are shielded from liability associated with these actions.In fact, while it's competitors are taking a beating this year, McDonalds sales have skyrocketed:
Similarly, with its relatively low-price menu, McDonald's (MCD) has been an industry bright spot. While other restaurants are seeing business slow, sales rose 5.4% in January at McDonald's locations open at least a year. The industry leader's shares are beating the broader market this year, down 12%.You get the picture, even if someone at McDonald's corporate feels bad for Nigel, they need to be absolved from the wraith of the shareholders and there's only one way to do that, let them all know that this matter will effect their bottom line and to make their corporate officers know, that without a shadow of a doubt that they will be on the losing end if they do not do the right thing. The only way to do that is with public outcry and the public has to hear the story to be concerned about it, that's where Keith Olberman comes in.
Help Nigel, because he would have helped you.
So when I got an e-mail that my site was noted in a petition action on this matter, I was thrilled. Many people over at DailyKOS and the other sites where this story appeared cited that Keith Olberman would do what the Main Stream Media would not, bring this to the attention of the mass public. While the e-mail and contact information for McDonald's Corp and their third party administrator appear in the original story, it may not be enough to help Nigel. That's where the petition comes in.
When Wal-Mart sued the devastatingly disabled former employee, Deborah Shank, for payments of medical because of an insurance loophole, Keith Olberman brought this to the public and eventually under the threat of even more bad publicity, Wal-Mart rescinded.
Now our friends over at Brandmakers International have made a petition asking Keith Olberman to pick up the story of Nigel Haskett.
So I ask you, whether you yourself would be the hero or the benefactor of the heroic action, to stand up for this guy, to take just a minute to help separate the fear of losing a job from our moral responsibility to help a fellow human being.
He didn't think twice about helping someone, now you can be his hero:
sign the petition
Nigel heroic actions should be propped up and broadcasts from sea to shining sea, so we can all have a role model to look up to.