Tag Archives: Immigrant Workers

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Immigrant Workers Organized: Challenges, Achievements and the Trump Times

January 27, 2017
4:00 -6:00 PM
25 W 43rd St., 19th floor
New York, NY

RSVP: Gabriela Ceja gabrielaceja.morales@gmail.com

Worker centers and community-based organizations support low wage and immigrant workers, many of whom have survived a worldwide system of inequality and exploitation.

The day to day efforts from agricultural, to construction, to garment workers, and countless other kinds of laborers, are essential contributions to this society, benefiting every single person, especially the top 1%.

Protecting the rights and dignity of such an important but vulnerable population, especially under the threats of the new administration, is extremely necessary.

This Friday, we’ll come together to learn and discuss strategies to fight against discrimination and abuse, from people and organizations working towards creating effective networks to protect and improve immigrant, and all workers’ lives.

Catherine Barnett Immigrant Workers Organized: Challenges, Achievements and the Trump Times is the Director of Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), an affiliate of ROC United, a national organization advocating for fair working conditions and wages for restaurant workers. Previously, she spent more than a decade assisting micro enterprises in New York City, from start-ups and informal home-based to incorporated brick and mortar establishments.

Denise G. Vivar Acevedo is a Mexican immigrant activist living in Queens. She has been involved in organizing against deportations and for immigrant and workers’ rights through her work with various pro-immigrant community organizations, unions, and worker’s centers.

Jazmin Cruz is currently a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice majoring in Political Science with a double minor in Economics and Latinx Studies. She is very active on campus with student organizations including the Youth Justice Club. She has been working with Make the Road for the past 5 years, currently in the Adult Education Department.

Gonzalo Mercado, a native of Chile, is the executive director and founder of La Colmena Community Job Center and the New York coordinator of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). Gonzalo has over ten years of experience working with low wage immigrant workers through grassroots organizing, leadership and workforce development.  He has also established the first transnational project with immigrant workers from Puebla, Mexico living in Staten Island, NY that has resulted in the reunification of over 20 families after over 20 years of separation and the creation of the NewYorkTlan Transnational Festival. Most recently he facilitated the incubation of the first worker owned cooperative on Staten Island. Gonzalo also serves on the board of the New York Immigration Coalition and the North Star Fund.

Immigration Campaign Manager

About the Center for Community Change

The Center for Community Change is a national social justice non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1968 to honor the life and values of Robert F. Kennedy, our mission is to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to have a significant impact in improving their communities and the policies and institutions that affect their lives.

The Center for Community Change is committed to help build powerful and dynamic movements in diverse communities across America that will be the impetus for creating a society in which everyone has enough to thrive and achieve their full potential. Inspired by a belief in the dignity of all people, the Center has been instrumental in the fight for comprehensive and fair immigration reform, a push for a bold jobs agenda, and protecting essential retirement security programs. The Center played a major role in recent positive changes to immigration laws that will keep thousands of immigrant families together. Our Housing Trust Fund Project has helped bring affordable housing to millions of people.

Position Description:

The Immigration Campaign Manager is responsible for implementing a nationally coordinated campaign with Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) member organizations focused on building the power and capacity of the immigrant rights movement and achieving state and federal policy immigration reform change. Currently, FIRM is advancing a national “Keeping Families Together Campaign” aimed at securing comprehensive immigration reform. The ideal candidate is a self-starter, experienced organizer, good manager, and strategic thinker capable of producing consistent quality work in a fast-paced environment.

Find out more here

Leaning In and Fighting Back

By Ella Mahony

Residents of Cambridge, MA often playfully call the city “The People’s Republic of Cambridge”, a tongue-in-cheek reference to its lefty politics and multicultural vibe. But the city is also well known for hosting a worldwide bastion of privilege and power, Harvard University. It is that paradox that is playing out right now at “Harvard’s Hotel”, the Hilton Doubletree Suites hotel owned by the university that lies only a mile away.

It is at the Doubletree that hotel workers have been organizing for a fair process to decide on a union with Unite-Here! Local 26, Boston’s hospitality and food service workers union. Leading the charge have been the female housekeepers that do most of the hotel’s drudge work, many of whom are immigrant women of color. They are fighting, among other things, for better insurance and a safer workplace, one where they are not expected to put their health at risk to turn over more rooms. Most importantly, they are fighting for respect and a chance for their work to be recognized. Continue reading Leaning In and Fighting Back

A Great Place for News about NYC Unions and Working People

Dr. Stephen Brier is part of the Consortial Faculty at The Murphy Institute

The Labor Press is a regular, trustworthy source of news about NYC unions and working people’s struggles in the city and beyond. You can subscribe to it via email, which arrives weekly, and it’s a must read for anyone interested in workers’ battles for a fairer and more equitable world.

Two articles in the current issues are especially worthy of attention, focusing on the efforts to organize low-wage workers in the city:

  • A report on the challenge by a Haitian immigrant, Pierre Metivier, who works in the fast food industry, to Andrew Cuomo to switch paychecks for a day so the governor can know what it’s like to live in NYC on a hourly wage of $8.
  • A victory by “carwasheros,” who won a contract and a wage increase after three strikes at the Off Broadway Car Wash in Queens, the seventh victory in the campaign to improve the working conditions and pay of car wash workers.

Check out these and other reports and articles at http://www.laborpress.org/  .

Why We Celebrate May Day as a Workers’ Holiday

By Steve Brier

One of the great ironies is that workers all over the world celebrate Labor Day on May 1st, not the first Monday in September, the way we do in the U.S. Most people assume the choice of May 1st has something to do with the former Soviet Union. They don’t realize that the idea to celebrate May Day, International Workers’ Day, in fact traces its roots all the way back to Chicago in 1886. This was a period of enormous U.S. economic growth, with millions of immigrant workers from Europe, Mexico, and China pouring into the cities and countryside to work in the mills, factories, fields, and mines. Working conditions and wages were deplorable; workers sometimes toiled 12, 14 or even 16 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week for meager wages.

Continue reading Why We Celebrate May Day as a Workers’ Holiday