Yesterday, Forbes reported on an open letter addressed to Chobani’s Founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, calling on him to support the right of farmworkers to unionize. Chobani recently announced that it will partner with Fair Trade USA to certify dairy suppliers, including on “Worker Wellbeing.” But we are concerned about Fair Trade USA’s spotty record on respecting workers’ rights to organize after the organization certified a Central American melon farm with a history of union busting and grave worker exploitation. The letter was co-signed by WJCNY along with our partners, the Workers' Center of Central New York, SEIU Local 32BJ, and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Read about it here in Forbes!Read more
Anti-Human Trafficking Autumn Update by Renan Salgado.
"WJCNY's Anti-Human Trafficking program continues to excel in its role as the leading organization focusing on labor trafficking in the state of New York. Thus far in 2019, the program has assisted 29 victims of human trafficking. In addition, WJCNY’s expertise on the subject of labor trafficking continues in high demand across the country..."Read more
Autumn Update from the Advocacy Department by Emma Kreyche.
Call-to-Action on the harmful pesticide Clorpyrifos by Sara Curtis, Advocacy & Communications Specialist.
"The WJCNY staff and board are beyond overjoyed with two major legislative wins in 2019. The passage of the “Green Light NY” bill permitting access to driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrant New Yorkers along with the Farm Laborers’ Fair Labor Practices Act were long-overdue victories for NY’s immigrant and farmworker communities. These are historic victories!..."
Survivor Services Autumn Update By Cheryl Gee.
"WJCNY works with some of the most vulnerable survivors of domestic violence – undocumented workers. For undocumented workers, barriers to leaving abusive relationships include immigration status, fear of deportation for themselves or family members, language access to systems of care, and cultural barriers in close-knit undocumented communities..."
Autumn update from Outreach and Education, by Irene Sanchez.
"Driving across New York State performing outreach to agricultural workers has its perks: beautiful sunsets, the glaze of snow in the winter, the bloom of the apple trees in the spring and colorful autumn landscapes..."Read more
WJCNY executive director, Lauren Deutsch, has been named in City & State New York magazine's Labor Power 100 - a recognition of the state's most influential labor leaders. “I’m honored to be a part of the team at Worker Justice, building power with the workers who are the foundation of our larger New York community. City and State’s inclusion of our work is deeply gratifying, as is sharing this honor with all the amazing leaders transforming Labor in NY," said Deutsch. In this inaugural year of the magazine feature - its release timed with Labor Day - NY's labor leaders are recognized alongside the many victories won in 2019 impacting the labor movement were also highlighted. WJCNY is proud to have played integral roles in the passage of the Green Light NY legislation and the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act, long-fought battles to win rights for predominately immigrant workers.
WJCNY filed a New York Human Rights Law lawsuit on July 10, 2019 on behalf of Javier Amigon against KTF Enterprises, Inc. and Kirker Enterprises, Inc. in Orange County New York State Supreme Court. Javier Amigon is an individual with a disability with a below the knee left leg amputation and a partial right foot amputation who was a long-term, highly reliable factory worker in Defendants’ international large-scale beauty supplies production and distribution business. Mr. Amigon performed his job responsibilities as a line-worker faithfully for many years while having access to a stool as a reasonable accommodation.
In the summer of 2015, Defendants acquired the company and production facility where Mr. Amigon had served as a long term employee. Shortly thereafter, they callously threw Mr. Amigon’s stool into the garbage and forced him and other employees to stand while performing their job responsibilities. Mr. Amigon pled for continued access to a stool, provided numerous doctors’ notes, and sustained serious injuries while fighting to keep his livelihood during his attempts to work standing up. He was denied this simple and economical accommodation, his doctors’ notes were ignored, he was forced out of work, and he was ultimately terminated on July 11, 2016.
Under New York State Human Rights Law, Executive Law 290, et. seq., employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations that enable them to perform the essential functions of their job. The NYSHRL also prohibits employers from discriminating against a qualified individual on the basis of their disability. Click here to read the full complaint.