NDLON in the News

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Rally to Call on Gov. Brown to Protect Civil Rights of Californians and Expand Protections for Long-Excluded Workers


Domestic Workers, Day Laborers, and Supporters Urge Gov. Brown to Sign Two Landmark Bills into Law


Los Angeles – Hundreds of Californians from throughout the state will hold a major rally in Los Angeles September 29, 2012, urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign two measures that would expand basic protections to long-struggling workers and protect Californians from family-shattering deportations. Each proposal would create a national model for powerful, progressive policy.

It is a matter of leadership, vision, and state pride, say supporters of the two bills.  The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (AB 889 – Ammiano) would end the outdated exclusion of domestic workers from basic labor protections by extending rights such as overtime pay and meal and rest breaks to the caregivers, childcare providers, and housecleaners caring for California’s families and homes. The TRUST Act (AB 1081 – Ammiano) would bring relief to families who fear deportation as a result of the most trivial of arrests, and rebuild confidence in law enforcement. The bill prevents the costly detention of aspiring citizens in local jails for deportation purposes, only allowing immigration “holds” for those charged or convicted of a serious or violent felony. 

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Ariz. immigrants taught to cope with new law – CBS News

Critics of Arizona’s controversial immigration law are on alert. This week, a federal judge gave the state the go-ahead to enforce the “show me your papers” provision of the law. Now some undocumented immigrants are being taught how to respond. As night falls on a Mesa, Arizona park, worried families, many of them undocumented immigrants, are instructed on what to say if questioned by police. Instructor: “You want a lawyer?” Woman: “Yes.” Civil rights groups are also teaching people how to use cell phones to record video if stopped by the police. The training session was a response to Arizona’s law that took effect this week. It allows police to investigate the immigration status of anyone they stop, giving rise to fears of racial profiling. Defenders of the law say police will not use race when deciding whom to question about immigration status.

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Working for Professional Grade Construction was a death sentence for Winston Gillette.


Written by Jessica Acee, Board member of the Workers Justice Project.

 A vigil was held September 25th for Winston Gillette, a construction worker killed 2 weeks ago when the roof of the building he was working on caved in on him.  That building, located at 227 Carlton Ave in Brooklyn’s Fort Green neighborhood, was under construction by Professional Grade Construction company.   To date, the company has not issued an apology.

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“WE ARE NOT DISPOSABLE!”

                                                                               For Immediate Release, September 17, 2012

Contact: Nadia Marin-Molina | nadia@ndlon.org |  (516) 984-5755                                                                          Ligia Guallpa |ligia@workersjustice.org | (646) 479-4769                          

 
                “WE ARE NOT DISPOSABLE!” 

                   Construction workers marking death of Winston Gillett with Vigil, Call for Action

   

Brooklyn, NY – On Monday, September 24, 2012 at 6PM, the Workers Justice Project (WJP) along with other worker centers will gather in front of 227 Carlton Ave. Fort Greene, Brooklyn to strongly condemn dreadful working conditions and labor exploitation in residential construction sites in and around New York City, where low-income men and women are employed. 

Winston Gillett, 62, was crushed to death after a roof collapsed at one of the townhouses. Gillett was working at the Carlton Mews Townhouse project, which was being built by Professional Grade Construction Corp. However, this year many other workers have also died while being crushed under the weight of thousands of pounds of building materials, being buried alive in a trench, or falling to their death from a scaffold with no harness.

In New York City residential construction, these types of incidents are so common that the contractors, building owners and developers, and the city do not pause for breath before ordering workers to climb back on the scaffolds. They all know that low and sometimes no wages, complete disregard for health and safety protections, and treating workers like they are disposable are part of a regular day’s work in residential construction. Meanwhile, residential construction spending increased to $2.9 billion in 2011 and is expected to climb to $4.8 billion in 2012, benefiting immensely from this exploitation.   

Camilo Hernandez, a member of Workers Justice Project (WJP), feels fortunate to have only cut off part of his on his left hand while working on a roof at a home rather than losing his life like Mr. Gillett. “I know how it feels not to have security on the job and being treated as disposable,” he says. “Our safety is a priority and a responsibility of everyone. We must all work together to take action and bring justice.”  

Join us on Monday, September 24, 2012, 6 p.m. to raise our voices against exploitation in residential construction and to ensure that the deaths of Winston Gillette, Santos Garcia, Adrien Zamora, and many other workers in the construction industry result in real protections for workers in the future.

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