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Revitalizing the Labor Movement: Wobblies March Through Brooklyn on Presidents’ Day - Wobblies and others protest slave wages

Bushwick- In continued actions resulting from the illegal firing of IWW union organizers in five food distribution companies, hundreds of Wobblies, activists, and community supporters gathered on Feb 19, 2007, to demonstrate against the repressive tactics characteristic of bosses in the food industry. Prior to organizing, most workers received about $280 weekly for 60 hours of work without benefits, sick, or vacation days. Some workers have been organizing with the IWW since 2005. In response to the protest, at least three of the food warehouses closed for Presidents’ Day. IWW organizer Billy Randal estimates that due to the closing each distributor has lost roughly $20,000.

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Beginning late December 2006, 24 workers were fired, some after 14 years of work, ostensibly due to their undocumented work status. The IWW claims that the firings come in retaliation for organizing, a violation of federal labor law. With the help of the Bushwick community worker center Make the Road by Walking (Se Hace el Camino al Andar) the IWW has been able to apply continuous legal pressure through suits brought to the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Dept. of Labor, and complaints through the U.S. Dept. of Justice. The IWW expects the Dept. of Justice to serve statements of investigation to two of the companies, Handyfat Trading Inc. and Sunrise Plus Corp. in the upcoming week.

If you would like to support the campaign, please send financial contributions to New York Industrial Workers of the World, P.O. Box 8266, J.A.F. Station, New York, NY 10116. Or, you can contribute on-line through PayPal by making a payment to iww-nyc@iww.org, at www.paypal.com. You can also sign up on PayPal for a monthly, automatic payment in any amount that's manageable for you. For more information, please visit www.wobblycity.org and www.iww.org, or email iww.nyc@gmail. com.