Tag Archives: agriculture

Farmworker and Immigrants Rights News

Read Farmworker Justice’s press release about Congressman Goodlatte’s introduction of a devastating bill to expand the H2A guest worker program to year round workers which would include dairy workers.

Crispin Awarded “Faith at Work” from Labor Religion Coalition

Nov. 2nd, – Thursday at 11:30
We are very excited and proud to announce that Crispin is receiving an award for his courageous work to improve the working conditions of farmworkers. Labor Religion Coalition of NY has selected him to be part of a group that will receive the “Faith at Work Awards.” If you are interested in joining us for the award ceremony in Albany please email Nikeeta at nslade@workerscentercny.org.

Syracuse Rapid Response Team Meeting 10/12

The Syracuse Rapid Response Team will be meeting at the Worker’s Center Thursday, October 12 at 6:30pm.

At the end of September, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted ruthless raids over the course of 4 days, which resulted in over 500 immigrants being rounded up. This specific raid–disgustingly called “Operation Safe Cities”– was specifically targeted towards sanctuary cities. The Trump Administration’s unrelenting attacks on immigrants demonstrates the importance of our Rapid Response Team. Please join us at the next meeting this Thursday. Becoming a member of the Syracuse Rapid Response team is a concrete way you can be in solidarity with immigrant members of our community. Come to the meeting and a bring a friend!

WCCNY is hiring!!!

We are very excited to be growing our staff and capacity here at the WCCNY. We are looking to bring on a new part-time organizer to conduct outreach, support membership development, build organizational capacity, and develop and lead strategic campaigns for workplace and economic justice! Check out the full description and qualifications here. If you think you would be a great fit or know someone else who would be a great fit please send your cover letter and resume with “Organizer Position” as email subject to Gretchen Purser, chair of the board at gpurser@workerscentercny.org and Nikeeta Slade, organizer at nslade@workerscentercny.org. Please be sure to include the names and contact information of two people willing to serve as references. Application deadline is October 6, 2017.

Chobani Meeting Update!

The past couple of months, many of you have written messages to Chobani urging them to meet with us to talk about our MILKED report.  We are excited to report that a few weeks ago, on August. 18th, we met with representatives from Chobani and discussed our MILKED report which details the conditions that workers face on dairy farms. Worker-leaders shared powerful testimonies about the preventable deaths and injuries, wage theft, retaliation against workers for speaking out, and other pressing issues. This meeting is the beginning of what we hope is an on-going dialogue to address the systemic abuses and exploitation in the dairy industry. We thank you all for all of your support, whether it was sending messages, circulating the report, or attending the rally in front of Chobani in New York City. Thanks and we will continue to keep you all updated!

Update on Slocum House

Immigrant farmworkers and allies celebrating the recovery of $7000 in stolen wages for Fernando and the stop of the unjust eviction of farmworkers from Slocum House. Sí se puede!

Slocum House Victory
Yesterday, our friends with the Radical Education Collective (REC) held a rally calling on Jail Ministry Director Keith Cieplicki  and co-founder Bill Cuddy to not evict farmworkers living in Slocum House. We are ecstatic to announce that after another amazing display of powerful collective action, Bill Cuddy (founder of Jail Ministries in Syracuse) announced that he will allow immigrants to stay indefinitely.  The rally in front of Slocum House featured energetic chanting and farmworkers and community allies stressing the importance of why access to housing is so essential to immigrant workers who are fighting for dignity and respect. Fernando’s victory is a true testament to the heartening organizing farmworkers are able to participate in and lead when they have access to housing. In the span of two days, we have seen and demonstrated that collective action continues to get the goods! Thank you so much for standing with the Farmworkers being evicted from Slocum house and the Workers’ Center of CNY. Your solidarity and your presence made a difference! You can read the REC’s full statement here.

Message from Rebecca:

Dear all, thank you so much for standing with the Farmworkers being evicted from Slocum house and the Workers’ Center of CNY. Your solidarity and your presence made a difference. Thanks to all of you we won and indefinite stay for the workers at the house, so there is no more eviction notice for now, of course this only happened because we all did this together and showed up. We Bill Cuddy to document this decision in writing because of our past interactions with Jail Ministry and Slocum House.

We continue to advocated for the house to be a true ongoing sanctuary for Farmworkers and not to be converted to offices for A Tiny Home for Good.

We know true friends in solidarity and Farmworkers will come together to make true sanctuary in Syracuse. No ban, no wall, sanctuary for ALL.

Solidarity Rally with Evicted Farmworkers!

We are calling on ALL community members that support immigrant farmworkers fighting for dignity and respect to attend this action. The time is NOW!

On July 27th, Workers’ Center member Fernando led a rally and campaign to retrieve his stole wages from Frazee Farms in Fabius, NY. We are extremely proud to report and celebrate a victory in this campaign! On Aug. 14th, Fernando received a check for $7,167.81. In his demand letter to the employer he initially demanded $8,000 but after negotiations, agreed on the $7,167. Time and time again, we see that collective action gets the goods!

Fernando’s story also demonstrates why having access to housing is absolutely essential for farmworkers who are organizing and taking risks. Fernando was fired from the farm because he was sick and unable to go to work. Homeless and with no job, Fernando was on the verge of taking a bus to Texas, where he knew absolutely no one. Luckily, because farmworkers who are standing up for justice and organizing have had a place to stay at Slocum House, he was able to lead this victorius campaign to get back the wages that were stolen from him.

Unfortunately, the solidarity that farmworkers thought they were being extended was not solidarity at all but charity, and it has unjustly and abruptly come to an end. On July 27th–the same day that Fernando led this courageous campaign–Keith Cieplicki and Bill Cuddy from Slocum House and Jail Ministries, left a note under the doors of farmworkers living there, advising them to be out of the house by September 1st. with a possible extension to October 1st.

We are very saddened by Keith Cieplicki and Bill Cuddy’s decision, as well as Andrew Lunetta’s participation in this “transition” as they have called it. Syracuse, a sanctuary city, can not be the place where social justice organizations betray immigrants in this way. On behalf of the workers currently at Slocum House, as well as activists and the WCCNY, we invite you to join us to celebrate our victory with Fernando and to talk about next steps to fighting for REAL hospitality, sanctuary, and solidarity with farmworkers. #SanctuaryIsNotTemporary #DontEvictFarmworkers #SolidarityNOTCharity

Fernando Wins Back Stolen Wages!

On July 27th, WCCNY member Fernando along with the support of other workers and allies, led an action at Frazee Farms to retrieve his stolen wages. At this farm, the employer paid Fernando subminimum wages, took illegal deductions, and withheld one of Fernando’s paycheck.To add insult to injury, the employer fired Fernando for missing two days of work because he was sick. Because the employer provides not only the job, but housing, Fernando was without a job, on the brink of homeless. Fernando called the Workers’ Center and with access to housing, and support from the organization, he led a collective action to demand his stolen wages back. At the action, Fernando told his history and delivered a letter to the employer demanding $8,000 in stolen wages and damages. Feeling the strength and power of the collective action, the employer called the next day and offered a measly $400. We held firm, and after a short period of negotiation, on Monday August 14th, Fernando received his check for over $7,000 in stolen wages and damages!!We would like to sincerely thank all of you for your support!

MILKED Report Panel – Ithaca

Monday, July 31st at 7pm
The Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition has invited farmworkers, researchers, and organizers from the WorkersCenter of CNY and the Worker Justice Center of New to speak on a panel about the MILKED report which documents the living and working conditions of dairy farmworkers in upstate New York. Join us to find out more about the report findings and about what we can do next to support the rights of immigrant dairy workers in New York.

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Emergency Action to Demand Stolen Wages for Farmworker

Thursday, July 27th at 2pm (Meeting at WorkersCenter at 1pm to carpool)
8770 Number 4 Road East, Fabius NY 13063

WCCNY Members will be engaging in a collective action against an unscrupulous farm owner in Fabius, NY. The employer fired a worker last week because the worker was sick for two days. Additionally, the employer not only paid this same worker sub-minimum wages, but he has also illegally withheld the worker‘s first paycheck.  Join the WCCNY worker leaders and members in a collective action as to demand stolen wages, respect and dignity in the workplace, an end to illegal deductions from paychecks, and no violence against workers!

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