by Radical Education Collective / Events
SYRACUSE – The Radical Education Collective is in full solidarity with our companeros and companeras of the Workers’ Center of CNY. We are calling on ALL community members that support immigrant farmworkers fighting for dignity and respect to attend this action. The time is NOW!
On July 27th, Workers’ Center member Fernando led a rally and campaign to retrieve his stole wages from Frazee Farms in Fabius, NY. We are extremely proud to report and celebrate a victory in this campaign! On Aug. 14th, Fernando received a check for $7,167.81. In his demand letter to the employer he intitlaly demanded $8,000 but after negotiations, agreed on the $7,167. Time and time again, we see that collective action gets the goods!
Fernando’s story also demonstrates why having access to housing is absolutely essential for farmworkers who are organizing and taking risks. The day that Fernando was fired from the farm because he was sick and unable to go to work and because he had no where to go after losing his job and subsequently his housing. Homeless and with no job, Fernando was on the verge of taking a bus to Texas, where he knew absolutely no one. Luckily, because farmworkers who are standing up for justice and organizing have had a place to stay at Slocum House, he was able to stay in Syracuse and lead this victorius campaign to get back the wages that were stolen from him.
Unfortunately, the solidarity that farmworkers thought they were being extended was not solidarity at all but charity, and it has unjustly and abruptly come to an end. On July 27th–the same day that Fernando led this courageous campaign–Keith Cieplicki and Bill Cuddy from Slocum House and Jail Ministries, left a note under the
doors of farmworkers living there, adivising them to be out of the house by September 1st. with a possible extension to October 1st.
When we were aware of the “transition” workers were told they could take as long as needed at the house to find another place.
We are very saddened by Keith Cieplicki and Bill Cuddy’s decision, as well as Andrew Lunetta’s participation in this “transition” as they have called it. Syracuse, a sanctuary city, can not be the place where social justice organizations betray immigrants in this way. On behalf of the workers currently at Slocum House, as well as activists and the WCCNY, we invite you to join us to celebrate our victory with Fernando and to talk about next steps to fighting for REAL hospitality, sanctuary, and solidarity with farmworkers.