FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2017
Media Contact: Emiliano Bourgois-Chacon; (415) 282-6209, ext. 131; firstname.lastname@example.org; Armando Carmona, email@example.com, 323-250-3018;
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The San Francisco Day Labor Program and Women’s Collective of Dolores Street Community Services, a worker-run collective that unites, empowers and organizes immigrant labor and domestic workers, celebrates its 25th Anniversary with the Grand Re-opening of the newly remodeled power center for organized workers on Thursday, February 16th, 2016 from 10:00 am – 2:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP at bit.ly/GrandReopening2017
WHAT: Grand Reopening of Immigrant Worker Center, Ribbon-cutting, kick-off of new wage theft Jornaler@ App, food, music, educational presentations, and histories of immigrant workers.
WHERE: 3358 Cesar Chavez Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
WHEN: Thursday, February 16 from 10:00am – 2:00pm
Admission: This event is free and open to the public.
Hillary Ronen, San Francisco’s District 9 Supervisor is confirmed to cut the inaugural ribbon, accompanied by Patrick Mulligan, Director of the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON), and representatives of the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs.
“Now more than ever, it is paramount to invest in empowering our most vulnerable populations so they can defend themselves against injustice”, said Wendy Phillips, Executive Director of Dolores Street Community Services. “We are investing in infrastructure because we see an expanded set of needs in our immigrant worker population and a growing opportunity to provide solutions in the marketplace”, said Antonio Aguilera, director of the San Francisco Day Labor Program and Women’s Collective. “Day Laborers and Domestic Workers are a needed workforce for many industries, especially at home, where they enable many others to attend work, while their properties and families are receiving proper care.”
Over 40 day laborers and domestic workers have been remodeling the Worker Power Center, creating classrooms, service areas, and office space that will allow them to have more and better opportunities to professionalize skills, discover new vocational pathways for dignified work, and participate in the worker and immigrant rights movement. In addition to work proment and legal defense services, the worker power center offers primary health services, food pantries, chiropractic services, residency and income verification letters, tools lending, works and practical training opportunities. All services are organized by workers with the aim of securing dignified work and fair wages for all.
Over 3,000 jobs and $240,000 are generated for over 300 immigrant and migrant workers that participate in the program every year. The program was started in 1991 by six day laborers with the support of pro-bono attorneys who began organizing workers on San Francisco street corners to recuperate wages that unscrupulous employers were withholding. The collective that formed from these efforts has forced the marketplace to recognize the value of day laborers, and raise wages from $4/hour in 1989 to over $20/hour today.
At the Grand Reopening, workers will be introduced to the Jornaler@ App, kicking off in the San Francisco Bay Area the use of this innovative technology that attempts to reduce cases of wage theft against day laborers. It is a tool to safely combat instances of wage theft by reporting abusive employers and other violations. “Particularly now, as xenophobes seek to divide workers and undermine government institutions, we must organize, innovate, and stand together to defend ourselves. This new App will encourage organizing and will send a powerful message to abusive employers that wage theft will not be tolerated.” said Pablo Alvarado, executive director of NDLON.
“Todas y todos son bienvenidos, everyone is welcomed. Our worker power center was the result of sweat and suffering, and as we finalize this remodeling, we want to encourage our entire community to support our most vulnerable ⎼ it takes a village! Si se puede!” said Guillermina Castellanos, Training and Organizing Manager of the San Francisco Day Labor Program and Women’s Collective, a Latina immigrant and former domestic worker herself.
ABOUT THE DLP/WC
The San Francisco Day Labor Program and Women’s Collective (DLP/WC) of Dolores Street Community Services is a grassroots-organized program deeply rooted in the community with strong support of key stakeholders. For 25 years, the DLP/WC has been extremely successful at uniting, empowering, and organizing immigrant workers for dignified work and fair wages in San Francisco. Workers are organized in two collectives, one of men and one of women, to build collective power, develop skills, and operate a shared business.
ABOUT THE WORKERS’ COLLECTIVES
Members of the collectives work together to eradicate the injustices that affect day laborers and domestic workers, fostering an organized environment where all workers can build their dignity, leadership and power. Members share a vision of a community where day laborers and domestic workers have the same opportunities and rights as any other worker. They accomplish this by offering each other opportunities to learn, work and participate in the movement of immigrant and domestic workers. The collectives are co-founders and leaders in the National Day Labor Organizing Network, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Progressive Workers Alliance, California Domestic Workers Coalition, Jobs with Justice, and San Francisco Rising, among others.
ABOUT DOLORES STREET COMMUNITY SERVICES
Dolores Street Community Services (DSCS) nurtures individual wellness and cultivates collective power among immigrant and low-income communities in San Francisco to create a more just society. DSCS addresses a wide range of issues, from homelessness to housing to immigration to employment because by being involved in the multitude of interconnected issues that affect our communities, we are stronger and better able to deliver meaningful impact.