The People’s Court: Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler on Trial

by Roger Sikes

The Atlanta Jobs with Justice Workers’ Rights Board presents: The People’s Court. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler on Trial (by the people) for denying unemployment benefits to 64,000 laid off Georgia School Workers.

We need YOU to serve on the “People’s Jury” and hear the testimony from impacted workers and the rationale for the decision given so far by Mark Butler.

The People’s Court will take place:
Saturday August 18th 11:00 am to 1:30 pm
First Iconium Baptist Church,
542 Moreland Ave. SE Atlanta, GA 30316

Reba Shinholster a Sodexo food service worker at Georgia Tech states that “We can’t pay our bills, we’re not eating, we don’t have money to buy food, it’s the truth, it’s impacting our lives. The way that he is treating people is not right.”

Despite numerous requests for meetings and pleas to remedy the situation the Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler has refused to budge. For justice to be served, Georgia school workers and Atlanta Jobs with Justice have decided to take this matter to the people. It’s time to put Mark Butler on Trial through the “People’s Court.”

Event Description:The event will be conducted as a “People’s Trial” for Mark Butler for his decision to bar school workers from unemployment benefits. There will be “Judges” (community leaders, faith leaders, professors, politicians, local celebrities) that will hear testimony from impacted Georgia school workers. School workers will share their experiences and struggles this summer after abruptly being denied expected income. Mark Butler will be invited to the event to give his side of the story. If he does not attend we will read the public statements that the Department of Labor has made thus far. The “jury” will consist of all of the members of the public that attend the event. The members of the public will be able to vote on whether or not Mark Butler is guilty of serving special interests instead of the people’s interests. Other charges to be determined at the trial… The judges will give their responses to the story’s heard and recommendations for next steps.

Georgia School Workers (more speakers to be announced):
Reba Shinholster – Sodexo Food Service Worker at Georgia Institute of Technology
Velmar Hightower – Aramark Food Service Worker at Spelman College
Olivia Currie – Bus Driver at Ft. Benning Columbus, GA
Angela Goddard – K-12 Teacher Faith Christian Academy Griffin, GA
Kathy Stafford – First Transit Bus Driver at Georgia State University
Belinda Myles – Georgia Pre-K Teacher

Judges (Workers’ Rights Board) will include:
Azedeh Shahshahani – National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project Director, ACLU of Georgia; President-Elect, National Lawyers Guild
Derrick Boazman – Host of Too Much Truth, WAOK
Reverend Samuel Mosteller – President of the Georgia Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
Reverend Bruce Schultz – Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes
Bobbie Paul – Executive Director of Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)
Janice Mathis – Vice-President of the Rainbow Push Coalition
State Senator Nan Orrock
State Senator Vincent Fort
George K. Johnson – Big Bethel AME Church

Please share widely!  The Facebook event can be found HERE


Roger Sikes is an organizer with Atlanta Jobs with Justice. Follow Atlanta JwJ on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

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