Wednesday, January 24, 2007

[olympiaworkers] Support IWW Workers Fired and Locked Out in New York

Fellow Workers and Friends,

We write to you in need of solidarity of the financial kind. Please make a
donation to support illegally locked out workers. Your donation will help
workers fight for better lives for themselves and their
families, against a viciously anti-union and anti-worker boss.

Over the last year and half, food distribution warehouse workers in New
York City have organized a union with the IWW. The campaign has met with
resounding success: workers have organized in five different warehouses,
several of which have been certified in National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB) elections, they have forced their bosses towards full compliance
with wage and hour laws, and they have won several major wage and hour
violation cases while still other complaints totaling more than $100,000
have been filed with the Department of Labor. Before they organized with
the IWW workers were systematically denied minimum wage, threatened, and
kept in deplorable conditions.

Lester Wen, owner of the restaurant wholesaler EZ-Supply, refused to
bargain in good faith after workers won an NLRB union election almost a
year ago. In response, the union has put pressure on EZ-Supply by
targeting its customers' restaurants­ and convincing them to switch to
other companies. At the end of November, the union and Mr. Wen's lawyer
reached a tentative agreement on a landmark contract, with workers winning
wage increases, a grievance procedure, paid time off, and much more.

On December 26, 2006, in a shockingly crass maneuver, EZ Supply management
reneged on the agreement reached in negotiations and illegally threatened
workers regarding their immigration status. In response, workers went on
strike, and returned to work with the understanding that legal action
would be taken.

As a result of their successes, workers have met escalating employer
opposition. This week owners from four different warehouses illegally
threatened to call immigration or terminate union workers due to their
immigration status in clear retaliation for the workers' union activities.

While this week's coordinated threats by warehouse owners regarding
workers' immigration status may be their trump card, it represents only
the latest in a series of unsavory maneuvers designed to hamper the union

There are fifty workers presently who have been fired and are out
leafletting because of this management assualt. They desperately need our
solidarity to sustain the organizing, win their jobs back, and maintain
the standards they've brought to the industry. We're asking you to make a
contribution to our lockout fund, and help these workers continue their
struggle for justice.

Thank you for your support.

Checks are to be made out to: IWW IU 460

Send checks to:
PO Box 7430, JAF Station,
New York, NY 10116

More information on the workers:

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