Ann Arbor service industry group organizes mask distribution to workers in need
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Workers in the service industry in need of masks will soon have help thanks to an Ann Arbor organization looking to distribute over 1,000 masks around Tree Town. Service Industry Workers of the Ann Arbor Area will distribute mask packages (see above) to industry workers in need in Washtenaw County. The organization is focused on mutual aid efforts for industry workers in need, workplace organization and service worker advocacy. During the 2020 holiday season, it raised over $10,000 in mutual aid for service workers struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers in the service industry can also stay up-to-date with the organization’s plans and planned events through its Facebook group.
Downtown area associations join annual challenge to encourage people to visit Ann Arbor in January
ANN ARBOR – Downtown area associations have joined an annual campaign to encourage visitors to continue shopping and dining in the city throughout the month of January. Typically a slow time of year for business, the pandemic has only exacerbated the lack of customers at local establishments. The Main Street Area Association, State Street District, Kerrytown District Association, and South University Area Association have partnered with the getDowntown Program for “Conquer the Cold - Pandemic Edition.”The annual challenge by getDowntown -- in partnership with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide), the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the City of Ann Arbor -- is designed to encourage and educate commuters to use alternative modes of transportation during the cold winter months. Many restaurants will be participating in the Comfort Food Challenge, and users can get prizes for dining outdoors, ordering curbside and shopping downtown. “The Downtown Districts are excited to be partnering with GetDowntown for Conquer the Cold this year,” Sandra Andrade, executive director of the Main Street Area Association said in a statement.
Local group launches fundraiser for Washtenaw County service workers ahead of holidays
ANN ARBOR – A local group called the Service Industry Workers of the Ann Arbor Area, or SIWA3, has launched a fundraiser for service workers in Washtenaw County as the holidays approach. “We recognize the plight that service workers are in right now,” said SIWA3 founder Gabrielle Bussell. Since then, she has thrown her efforts into organizing and raising awareness full time for service industry workers in the area. Since the pandemic began, Bussell and her team have received more than 200 testimonials from local service workers about workplace grievances. 5% of workers reported employers refusing to allow sick workers to go home.