99 Pickets

NYC Worker Solidarity

Press Advisory: Tour to Raise Consciousness on Immigrant Struggles on Int’l Workers Day

4/30/2013

PRESS ADVISORY
For immediate release
Press contacts: English, Sundrop Carter (610) 217-8222, sundropc@gmail.com; Spanish, Adriana Escandon, (201) 220-3144, adriana@nynice.org

On May 1, Immigrant Worker Justice (IWJ) & 99 Pickets from Occupy Wall Street will lead a march through midtown Manhattan

WHAT: Occupy Wall Street’s Immigrant Worker Justice Group, 99 Pickets, community organizations, immigrant workers and others will hold an “Immigrant Worker Justice Tour”, raising consciousness about the daily struggles that immigrant workers and all immigrants face in New York City. The tour will consist of a march with several stops (incl. Capital Grille, Atlas Media) in midtown at workplaces in which immigrant workers and others are leading campaigns to end worker abuse. With symbolism reminiscent of the large inflatable union rats used to highlight exploitative employers, activists will carry 99 individual rat puppets created by the Occupy Wall Street Puppet Guild. The last stop will be at Schumer’s office for a speak-out on what meaningful immigration reform looks like; then we march to Union Square to join the May Day rally. We will demand respect and dignity for all, immediate and real immigration reform and an end to the mass deportation and detention of immigrants–providing billions in profits for private prison corporations. At each stop on the tour, workers will speak about their various campaigns fighting against wage theft, unsafe working conditions, illegal retaliation, and discrimination. Ultimately, we are letting it be known that part of this city runs on the abuse of immigrant workers.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 1, from 12:00pm-2:00pm

WHERE: Bryant Park. Tour will begin by the fountain on W 41st & 6th Ave.

Background
Atlas Media, 242 W. 36th St. Thousands of people in NYC work in the nonfiction TV industry. The Writers Guild of America, East has a comprehensive campaign to raise standards in the industry. Atlas Media, the producer of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, and E!’s Playing with Fire, is well-known as a bottom feeder and digital sweatshop, eroding standards in the industry. Wage theft and overtime violations are widespread at Atlas Media. Employees are forced to work 50, 60, sometimes 70 hrs a week without overtime pay. In a subcontracted and perma-lance industry Atlas is a driving force in the race to the bottom. We are calling on Atlas to stop violating overtime law and pay their employee what they deserve.

Capital Grille, 155 E. 42nd St. For over a year, workers at The Capital Grille, with the assistance of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), have been organizing to change conditions in their workplace, alleging racial discrimination and wage theft, in addition to experiencing other exploitative conditions like lack of paid sick days and annual raises. Meanwhile, parent company, Darden Restaurants (which also owns Red Lobster and Olive Garden) pulled in over $700 million in profits just last year! Workers are calling on Darden to sit down with them and the Restaurant Opportunities Center to discuss a fair settlement to their grievances. It’s time for Darden to decide if it wants to continue using its vast wealth to perpetuate racial and economic inequality, or do the right thing.

McDonald’s, 220 W 42nd St. There are about 50,000 workers in fast food, one of the fastest growing jobs in the City of New York. Workers earn poverty wages while wearing the uniforms of some of the world’s best known brands, like McDonald’s, Domino’s, and Wendy’s. The median hourly wage for combined food service and preparation workers (including fast food) is $8.90 an hour in NYC. A part-time worker making the NYC median fast food wage would earn only $11, 100 in a year. That’s why over 400 fast food workers in NY have gone on strike, seeking the uncontested right to form a union and wages of $15 an hour.

Senator Schumer’s Office. 780 3rd Ave. Families for Freedom will lead the speak-out in front of Senator Schumer’s Office to shed light on the collusion between the ‘Gang of eight’, the 1% and immigrant detention centers profiteers such as the Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group. Directly-impacted speakers will share their fears about the upcoming Comprehensive Immigration Reform that will create second class workers for years to come. They’ll demand an immigration reform based on human rights now, not future economic models.