Mar. 5, 2013

After Hurricane Sandy, Workers Rebuild

Amongst all the background noise of proposed national immigration reform, there are stories that demonstrate the power of collaboration, community organizing, and the "roll up your shirt sleeves" kind of hard work that our elected officials are unwilling to do.

On Saturday afternoon around 50 immigrant workers and community supporters gathered to celebrate the reopening of the Bay Parkway Community Job Center. The Center, along the water's edge in southern Brooklyn, was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.  Strong winds moved it over 100 feet from its foundation and left the center structurally damaged.  

As soon as the hurricane winds faded, Bay Parkway workers, both men and women, formed volunteer brigades and were on their way to help the residents of Coney Island and Far Rockaway to assess damage and start cleaning up their homes.  It took nearly four months to replace the former hiring hall, but with community and foundation support, the Workers Justice Project, the organization that manages the center, and workers had it back up and running.

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FILED UNDER: Worker Centers

Aug. 9, 2012

Walmart Workers Paint Graphic Picture of Working Conditions Throughout Supply Chain

Walmart Workers Paint Graphic Picture of Working Conditions Throughout Supply Chain

LOS ANGELES – Workers representing four links in Walmart’s global supply chain – food production, processing, warehousing and retail – today filed a formal ethics complaint with Walmart’s corporate executives in Los Angeles. The complaint outlines systemic violations of Walmart’s own Statement of Ethics and Standards for Suppliers.

Standing in front of the proposed site of a Walmart store in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, workers and supporters described working conditions that include enslavement, injury, hazardous equipment, retaliatory firings and chemical exposure in the production, transport and sale of Walmart merchandise.

“This is a pattern. No matter the country, no matter the workplace, no matter the worker, we see that Walmart and its contractors’ deny responsibility, ignore serious problems and fire workers who stand up for change. This behavior should not be rewarded with more stores,” said Guadalupe Palma, a campaign director with Warehouse Workers United, an organization committed to improving warehousing jobs in the Inland Empire.

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FILED UNDER: Enforcement of Workplace Standards | Support for Wage Campaigns by Worker Centers and Unions | Immigrant Workers | Wage Theft | Worker Centers

Feb. 25, 2012

VICTORY! Walmart Contractor Schneider Workers Go to Work, Defeat Threat of Retaliatory Firing!

Congratulations to Warehouse Workers United!

Last October, after working in scorching heat with no breaks for hours on end, roughly 100 workers at a major Walmart contracted warehouse took legal action against Schneider Logistics after noticing wages were being stolen from their paychecks.  The action prompted a notice to terminate the workers en masse, a discharge that was scheduled to take effect on February 24th, and a series of legal battles in which a California District Court barred the Walmart contractor from firing the workers.

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FILED UNDER: Immigrant Workers | Litigation | Organizing | Retaliation | Unions | Worker Centers

Feb. 24, 2012 | Posted by: Rebecca Smith

The Oscars:  Picturing America’s Low Wage Workers

The Oscars:  Picturing America’s Low Wage Workers

This year, on Hollywood’s biggest night, we have an extraordinary opportunity to learn about low-wage workers’ struggles in times past and present, through two extraordinary movies.  Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are nominated for best actress awards in “The Help.”  The movie is up for best picture.  Demián Bichir is nominated for best actor in his role as a Los Angeles day laborer for “A Better Life.”  We celebrate the actors and the films they made, and congratulate Hollywood for its portrayals.  At the same time, we compare the Hollywood versions with the real lives of real low-wage workers in today’s economy.

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FILED UNDER: Caregivers | Day Laborers | Domestic/Homecare Workers | Immigrant Workers | Labor | Legislation | Local Campaigns | Worker Centers

Feb. 24, 2012 | Posted by: Eunice Cho

Day Laborers Prevail Against Anti-Solicitation Ordinance

Day Laborers Prevail Against Anti-Solicitation Ordinance

Day laborers celebrated a huge victory earlier this week when the Supreme Court rejected the City of Redondo Beach’s petition for certiorari in Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach. By doing so, the Supreme Court let stand the Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision overturning Redondo Beach’s anti-solicitation ordinance, which, in practice, largely targeted the efforts of day laborers to find work. In a 9-2 decision, the Ninth Circuit had concluded that the Redondo Beach ordinance violated First Amendment protections of free speech.

Congratulations to the National Day Labor Organizing Network, MALDEF, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights! NELP’s Immigrant Worker Justice Project also filed an amicus brief in support of the day laborers. See our prior article on the ACS blog for more background on the case.

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FILED UNDER: Day Laborers | Immigrant Workers | Litigation | Worker Centers

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