Fifteen activists and community members interested in taking action to support workers at the NY State Fair got together on March 27 at the Workers’ Center. Rachel Micah-Jones and Julia Coburn from the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante talked about their work documenting abuse and exploitation of Mexican guest workers at fairs and carnivals in the US. At the CDM they provide workers’ rights information to migrants who are hired as guest workers. At the meeting the group came up with a list follow up actions that will involve the community in making sure that no workers will go thru abuse and exploitation at the NY State Fair like last year. Our friends from our partner the Tompkins County Workers Center Carlos Gutierrez and Ute Ritz-Deutch were present as well as David Irving and Lew Papenfuse from Farmworkers Legal Services one of the organizations whose lawyers are representing several of the 19 migrant workers from the NY State fair case in a civil class action.
On Friday, May 27 Rachel and Julia attended the Workers’ Center organizational committee meeting and together we made a list of actions to present to the the center’s members and the community in general who are interested in doing outreach to workers at the fair and speaking to the public about the use of the guest worker program as a way of labor exploitation.