November 25, 2013
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—Pundits have been saying that voters have elected the most progressive New York City government in 50 years, but low-wage workers in a variety of sectors aren’t waiting for the new City Council members and Mayor-elect to begin governing; they’re planning a week of actions in December to make clear they expect the new city government to take action on the campaign issues they ran on. Watch Video
Some of these workers gathered at 32BJ’s offices on Thursday evening to discuss how fast food, carwash and supermarket workers and Cablevision technicians can support each other in their struggles to improve their economic condition.
One of the organizers said that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is on their side but just as with President Obama’s reelection the workers will have to take action to hold the new mayor accountable to his campaign positions such as raising taxes on New Yorkers earning $500,000 or more annually to fund universal pre-Kindergarten.
She then asked the workers what are their hopes for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.
A supermarket worker said he hopes the new administration takes into account all of the workers of the city and another said he hopes the Mayor-elect can face them because they really need him right now.
A member with Teamsters Local 813, which represents workers in the private sanitation industry, said he hopes Mr. de Blasio addresses the low wages that abound in the industry.
“That has to change because it’s a hard and dangerous job. Companies like Five Star [Carting] and Imperial Sanitation [Corporation] are paying workers only $100 per shift whether they work eight or 14 hours,” said the Local 813 member.
During the strategizing session where workers shared ideas about how they can better their working conditions, a member of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 talked with a supermarket worker earning only $35 per day about a possible action he and his 35 fellow workers can take.
“We all have to boycott them, peacefully, like they did in the 1960s. You have to walk off the job for one day. I can’t because if I strike I lose because of the Taylor Law,” said the Local 100 member.
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