This Thursday, January 24th will mark the second anniversary of the death of Juan Baten at the Tortilleria Chinantla tortilla factory in Brooklyn. At 5:00 in the evening, we will be gathering for a public candlelight vigil in front of the factory, which is located at 975 Grand Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
Federal safety investigators found that Tortilleria Chinantla recklessly failed to install a legally required machine guard which would have saved Juan's life. With your support over the last two years, we were able to raise awareness in the media and work with the State Attorney General's Office to achieve a measure of justice. Factory owner Erasmo Ponce has pleaded guilty to payroll and safety violations, and is expected to be sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution.
While we have won a measure of justice for Juan's family, the conditions which led to his death continue to run rampant in the food factories that supply NYC's restaurants and grocery stores. To ensure that Juan's death was not in vain, we must ensure that each and every one of the City's 35,000 industrial food workers have a safe place to work with dignified pay. Regrettably, we have learned that Mayor Bloomberg is planning to bestow taxpayer dollars on companies just like Tortilleria Chinantla without any transparency or assurances of basic legal compliance. We cannot and must not let our tax dollars contribute to another preventable tragedy like Juan's death.
On this second anniversary of his death, please join us once again to commemorate Juan's life and to galvanize a movement in support of the workers, mostly immigrants, who provide us the food we all need to survive and thrive:
We Remember Juan Baten
2nd Anniversary Candlelight Vigil
A call for safe jobs and respect for human dignity in NYC's food system
Thursday, January 24th at 5pm
975 Grand Street
L Train to Grand St.