On Thursday January 24, 2013, over 80 Focus on the Food Chain members, friends and allies gathered on a frigid night on the sidewalk in front of Tortilleria Chinantla for a candlelight vigil to remember the life of Juan Baten and to call on the City and Goldman Sachs to incorporate standards and transparency in a new loan program targeted at food manufacturers.
The NYC Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with Goldman Sachs and the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC), has just announced the launch of their Food Manufacturers Fund.
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.
Sentencing for Erasmo Ponce, the owner of Tortilleria Chinantla, has been delayed until July 8, 2013. Ponce was due to be sentenced in early January for workplace crimes uncovered after the death of Juan Baten. On January 24, 2011, Juan Baten was crushed to death by a tortilla dough mixing machine. A simple, inexpensive, and legally mandated machine guard would have saved Juan Baten's life. Erasmo Ponce pleaded guilty in June 2012 to payroll and workers compensation violations. He is expected to receive 90 days in jail and pay $400,000 in restitution.
On October 24th at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, Brandworkers celebrated our Fifth Anniversary with members, community members, and allies. Together we raised over $55,000 to support organizing, training, and leadership development for low-income immigrant workers and their families. The resources raised are an investment in our members to improve their workplaces and help create the kind of economy we can all be proud of.
Si usted vive o trabaja en los condados de Bronx, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland Suffolk o Westchester y perdió su fuente de ingresos económicos a causa de los efectos del Huracán, talvez puede calificar para recibir Asistencia de Desempleo causado por Desastres, DUA.
If you live or work in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk or Westchester counties and you lost your income due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, you may qualify for DUA.
Tom Cat is the leading artisanal bakery in New York City and was once considered a responsible employer. That changed after the company was bought out by wealthy private equity investors in Texas and Illinois. The new owners from Ancor Capital and Merit Capital protected a highly abusive manager, launched two well-coordinated attacks on worker health care, and maintain a fraudulent scheme to undercompensate a group of workers by paying them through a company that no longer exists.
After months of training and strategic planning, truck drivers at Tom Cat who are members of Focus on the Food Chain marched to the plant and submitted a Declaration of Dignity to management. In response to determined action from organized workers, the company removed the abusive manager and backed off from attempts to degrade family health benefits. Two out of the three issues in the Declaration of Dignity had been achieved and workers were hopeful that the company would remedy the third issue - the fraudulent pay scheme.
However, instead of reclaiming its socially responsible history, Tom Cat's private equity owners have launched a negative campaign of threats, intimidation, and falsehoods against Brandworkers, which along with the NYC Industrial Workers of the World, leads Focus on the Food Chain.
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The Hidden History of the IWW's Local 8: Organizing Insights from the Multiracial Union that Controlled the Philadelphia Docks
A Discussion with Historian and Author Peter Cole
For almost a decade during the 1910s and 1920s, Local 8 of the Industrial Workers of the World demonstrated the extraordinary power of every day direct action and working class unity on the Philadelphia waterfront. In a period when most unions excluded blacks or segregated them, the IWW built an incredibly powerful union of longshoremen that brought together black workers with immigrants from Eastern Europe and Irish Americans. Local 8's experience overcoming racial and ethnic divisions and winning substantial improvements in wages and working conditions offer compelling lessons for workplace and community organizers today.
Saturday, November 17
4502 23rd St. 2nd Floor
Long Island City, Queens 11101
Spanish-language interpretation and child care will be available
Thank you for your support, the workers hit their petition goal of 500 signatures - and exceeded it - a day early! With your continued solidarity, Tom Cat workers will press on until their rights are respected!
In English below...
Querid@s compañer@s de Enfoque,
¡No se pierda el Intercambio Cultural de agosto de Enfoque en la Cadena Alimenticia! Iremos a Gantry State Park a jugar fútbol y hacer un picnic. Gantry State Park es un parque en Long Island City muy atractivo y con mucho espacio para varias actividades. Asegúrese de marcar su calendario y únase a nosotros en el último Intercambio Cultural del verano.