Dec 5, 2013
CWA Rallies with New Day New York
Today, Cablevision employees, fast food workers, unions, community activists, faith leaders and everyday New Yorkers who want to fight inequality rallied and marched for New Day New York.
NYC activists rally outside the home of Cablevision director Vincent Tese.
The message: "In 2014, we'll have a new mayor, a new City Council and new citywide officials. Our city and state governments can and should begin a new era – by stopping the special deals for Wall Street and the people who have rigged the system, and building a city that works for all of us. To make progress, we'll fight to stop the unchecked power of the 1%, break the links between big-money interests and the politicians that serve them, demand development policies that build broad prosperity not wealth for a tiny few, and support organizing to boost paychecks for low-wage workers."
Thursday's rally was the culmination of a week of action that focused public attention on economic inequality. On Wednesday a group of activists rallied outside the home of Cablevision director Vincent Tese to send him a message that workers deserve a fair contract.
The protests started at Foley Square, the staging ground for the 2011 mass rallies and marches in support of Occupy Wall Street. And they continued marching downtown to the Financial District.
Find out more at http://www.newdaynewyork.org/.
Walmart Workers Stand Up on Black Friday
In a series of some 1,500 Black Friday protests across the country, Walmart workers and supporters called for an end to poverty level wages and for respect on the job.
CWA Local 1103 Secretary-Treasurer Joe Mayhew plays Scrooge outside Walmart.
Walmart workers, faith leaders and community supporters are calling for an end to Walmart's illegal retaliation against workers who are standing up for fairness, for Walmart to publicly commit to paying wages of $25,000 a year and for more full-time work. While posting $17 billion in profits last year, Walmart continues to pay workers poverty wages.
In New York, members of CWA Local 1103 joined members of the Westchester- Putnam AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, IBEW, SEIU, Young Democrats and others at a protest outside the White Plains Walmart. Walmart workers earn way too little to survive in one of the state's wealthiest counties, said Local 1103 Secretary-Treasurer Joe Mayhew, who also played Scrooge for the day. Across the state, union members and community activists joined similar protests to focus attention on Walmart's negative affect on NY communities.
Learn more at http://forrespect.org/.
CWA Supports Fast4Families
On the National Mall, just across from the U.S. Capitol, activists are continuing their fast as an act of support for the families who are torn apart daily by deportations and our broken immigration system. CWA's Executive Board visited the activists on Monday night.
SEIU's Eliseo Medina began his fast on Nov. 12 with Dae Joon Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, and Mi Familia Vota's Cristian Avila. Since then they've been joined by thousands of supporters who are all urging House Speaker John Boehner and House Republican leadership to fix our country's broken immigration system and bring a vote to the House floor.
CWA President Larry Cohen begins his fast with SEIU's Eliseo Medina.
The day after CWA's visit – following 21 days of fasting – Medina, Yoon and Avila ended their fast and passed the torch to a new group of activists that will continue fasting in the same tent on the National Mall. The group includes Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.), a grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and several religious leaders.
Last month, CWA President Larry Cohen fasted for 24 hours with the activists. "This is a human rights story. It's a question of what America is about," he told them.
Here's Cohen's message on why he joined Fast4Families:
I am fasting for 24 hours to unite, in my own small way, with the families that are seeking a basic American right – a path to citizenship and to keep their own family together. In my own case, I never had to question those rights.
More than 100 years ago, my ancestors came to this country with nothing but the promise of making a life here. They were not educated or very skilled as workers. But they knew that in five years they could be citizens. There was always a path to citizenship.
At that time, all immigrants were "legal" regardless of their backgrounds. With few exceptions, restrictions on legal immigration began about 90 years ago.
Now we must stand with the families and the children. We cannot ignore their goal of citizenship as immigrants do the toughest jobs among us. We must open our hearts and our arms and embrace all who work by our side.
We must also realize that nearly all immigrants are working class people who share our values and our dreams. As we struggle to build a movement for economic justice and democracy they will be among our best allies. We cannot afford to be divided; when united, our dreams can become a reality, if not today, one day.
In recent days President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, plus a number of other elected officials and celebrities have all visited the fasters.