National Communications Specialist, Jobs to Move America

Rachele Huennekens is the National Communications Specialist for Jobs to Move America. Prior to joining this campaign, Rachele worked for SEIU-USWW, the Sierra Club and the AFL-CIO.

Are American Transit Manufacturers Afraid of American Jobs?

Rachele Huennekens

“Frankly, I’m surprised that American jobs are so controversial.”

These words, spoken by Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) senior researcher Linda Nguyen-Perez, hung in the air of a Chicago hotel conference room last week during the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Annual Meeting.

Linda and I attended the conference on behalf of the new Jobs to Move America campaign, explaining our effort to transit agency officials, consultants and transportation equipment manufacturers from across the nation. The budding coalition behind this movement unites community, small business, labor, faith, small business, philanthropy, academic and environmental groups, including LAANE, all of whom want to maximize the 5.4 billion American taxpayer dollars that public transportation agencies spend every year, to improve transportation systems, create good American jobs and generate opportunities for such struggling unemployed American workers as veterans, single parents and residents of low-income neighborhoods.

California Service Workers Air the Dirty Truth about Service Company Giant Sodexo

by Rachele Huennekens

Sodexo — the 22nd largest employer in the world — made more than $1 billion in profit in 2009. Yet the company pays workers in the United States as little as $7.50 an hour, and two-thirds of Sodexo’s workers are not covered by the company's health insurance policies. Addiitonally, Sodexo workers in California commonly face health and safety problems, inadequate staffing levels, and lack of training and proper equipment. As a result of these appalling standards, over-burdened city and state budgets must bear the costs for healthcare and assistance for Sodexo workers.