Belated report-back. Saturday night February 2nd was very cold and windy. At 7:30p.m., on the corner of New York and Church Avenues in Flatbush, about 30 members from the New York Communities for Change’s (NYCC) Flatbush neighborhood chapter and the NYCC Workers Committee met and then marched down Church Ave. towards 18th Street. Why? To fight for justice for immigrant workers.To clean up Church Avenue! To make Flatbush an exploitation free zone. No more wage theft. No more 72+ hour work weeks for sub-poverty wages. Sick days for all. Living wages for all.
Why the late start time for the march? Because most march participants worked during the day and could not participate until later in the evening. March organizers wanted to go directly to the very workers inside the restaurants, green groceries, nail salons, etc., that remained open at that hour. People working and on the street were informed about their rights and encouraged to organize. Employers were put on notice.
Juan, Junior and Lucas spoke about why they were going to march:
At 18th St. and Church Ave the marchers stopped and were ferried in a van to the most famous green grocery in all of Brooklyn. GOLDEN FARM!
Once there a few Occupy Kensington members joined the marchers and called upon Golden Farm owner Sonny Kim to sign the contract and guarantee his employees paid sick days, vacations, personal days, holidays, annual raises and job security.
Comite de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores de NYCC
Sandra Castro marched on Feb. 2!
Why was it a beautiful night? Because workers from other stores that have organized, fought and won were present to support their brothers and sisters at Golden Farm.
Golden Farm and the Fight for the Rights of Low-Wage Workers
As everyone in the Kensington neighborhood knows by now, the Golden Farm grocery has been the site of an ongoing fight by the store’s workers to obtain their rights to fair wages and working conditions. This fight began over a year ago when the Golden Farm workers took the store’s owner, Sonny Kim, to court to put an end to his illegal practice of wage theft. With the Kensington community’s support, and the support of dedicated community organizations and local leaders, the workers won their fight to be paid the legal minimum wage, had a union certified to represent them, and are now fighting to get Kim to sign a contract guaranteeing them their basic rights.
What everyone may not know is that the Golden Farm workers courageous effort is part of a citywide movement that has been going on over the past decade made up of low wage workers, many of them new immigrants, to stand up against the rampant exploitation that takes place in many industries and demand that they be treated fairly, legally and decently as valued workers and members of our communities.
MEET WORKERS and find out more about this vibrant new wave of organizing that is taking place in Kensington and beyond with Professor Immanuel Ness of Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center for Worker Education and author of Immigrants, Unions, and the New U. S. Labor Market. Professor Ness has been actively documenting these important and exciting developments for the past 15 years, and has much to share about the history of workers and communities coming together in the fight for fairness—where we have come from, and where we can go together.