NO ONE – NOT EVEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – IS ABOVE THE LAW!
JOIN US AT THE DEMONSTRATION to fight for the right for all workers – regardless of immigration status – to file a complaint with government agencies. Ensure the right to come together to end exploitation!
WHEN: Wednesday, April 4, 12:00 PM
WHERE: 26 Federal Plaza (Broadway)
Transportation: 1/2/3/A/C/E to Chambers, 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge, R to City Hall
TheJustice Will Be Served! Campaign: Sponsored by NMASS, CSWA, and 318 RWU
For Immediate Release: March 1, 2012
US Attorney General Eric Holder: Stop the attack on workers who file complaints with government agencies!
Location: 26 Federal Plaza (Broadway)
Time: Thursday, March 1, 12:00 PM
Workers and community organizations will hold a demonstration to demand that US Attorney General Eric Holder stop the federal government’s attack on workers who complain to the government. Protesters demand the prosecution of federal agents for their repeated attacks on whistleblowers.
For over ten years, drivers worked up to 16 hours per day without any wages and were forced to pay the company weekly fees to work. Owner Tony Luo collected all cash from the drivers and did not report to the government. When drivers protested the fees, Luo retaliated against them with threats, harassment, firing, and even gang violence. In 2011, after twenty drivers filed a complaint with the NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL), the NYSDOL determined that Yes Car drivers were in fact company employees, awarding unemployment insurance to one of the drivers and requiring Luo hand in all employees’ payroll records never before submitted to the federal or state government. Luo appealed the decision and since then, federal agents have escalated a campaign of harassment against the workers, threatening them with jail time and deportation in order to force them to retract their complaints, and making repeated arrests of complainants. Already twice, prosecutors were forced to dismiss criminal charges against the workers because of lack of evidence.
Justice Will Be Served! representative Similiano Martinez says, “This is an attack on all workers. If we don’t even have the right to file complaints with the government, how do we enforce the labor law? Instead of going after the sweatshop boss, the federal government is going after workers. They shouldn’t let the boss off the hook!”
At Thursday’s demonstration, workers, community organizations, faith-based groups, and legal advocates will demand the US Attorney General: stop the attacks on workers who stand up to complain; prosecute federal government agents for their wrongdoing; and ensure the right of all workers to complain to government agencies regardless of their immigration status. On April 1, the coalition of organizations and workers will hold a demonstration if these demands are not met.
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Endorsing organizations (list in formation): Justice Will Be Served! Campaign, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops, Chinese Staff & Workers Association, American Friends Service Committee, Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund, Urban Justice Center Community Development Project, United Methodist Global Ministries, Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, Common Law, West Park Presbyterian Church, Episcopal Community Services Long Island, St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church Flushing Greens, Harlem Tenants Council, Sweatshop Free Upper West Side, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants Rights, Independent Workers’ Movement, Industrial Workers of the World, Jornaleros Unidos, Brandworkers, Million Workers March, People’s Organization for Progress, Philippine Forum, Sisa Pakari Labor Committee, International Action Center, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Nodutdol, May 1st Coalition, Project Reach, Global Action Project, CUNY Law Labor Coalition for Workers Rights & Economic Justice, Rabbi Neal Kaunfer-Director of Judeotutor Educational Services, Hunger Action Network of New York State