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Preview: Industrial Workers of the World - Upstate NY GMB

Industrial Workers of the World - Upstate NY GMB

This is the news page for our Upstate New York General Membership Branch. To get an overview about our contact info, news and events, please visit our home page.


Utica, NY: IWW and Community Groups Mobilize to Halt Deportation

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 21:42:12 +0000

By anonymous - It's Going Down, June 8, 2017

(image) A father, soccer coach, and Utica resident Ricky Morgan was separated from his family on June 5th during a routine check-in with ICE and will now be deported to Jamaica. Family members, community members and local activists are struggling to come to terms with this sudden, grim reality.

Over the last few months, a broad coalition of organizations, including ICE-Free Capital District, the labor union Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Troy Sanctuary Movement and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Saratoga Springs have come to Ricky’s aid and accompanied him for monthly check-ins with ICE. Ricky was inspired by a previous rally activists held for a mother and immigrant from Hudson, NY who was facing deportation. He hoped that similar support from the community would help him in the future. For a while, Ricky was only checking in with ICE once a year until he was told after the election of Trump that he became a priority for deportation and had to check in with ICE monthly.

Ricky moved to the US in the 1990s on a work visa and is still permitted to work in the US. He was targeted in the past by ICE during the Obama administration and was separated from his family by ICE for six months while he was kept in Batavia’s ICE Detention Center, one of countless jails in the US that exist to house immigrants. He will now be sent back to Batavia before his deportation.

Joe Paparone, an organizer with ICE-Free Capital District stated: “We need to start telling the truth. Immigration enforcement has nothing to do with criminality, and it’s regular people like Ricky – people with families, communities, workplaces, neighbors, that are having their lives torn apart, for no reason other than the racist scapegoating of a pathological liar. Those of us who care about our communities are going to keep fighting this racist deportation regime, and keep standing up for vulnerable members of our communities.”

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Sweatshop Hall of Fame

Thu, 21 Jul 2005 04:36:00 +0000

The Upstate N.Y. IWW Branch and its anti-sweatshop committee will stage their second informational picket in support of Sweatfree Baseball in Cooperstown, N.Y.on Saturday, July 23rd, beginning at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Main street.

The IWW here and in other locations in the U.S., including Pittsburgh, Baltimore Milwaukee and other cities, continues to call on Major League Baseball to create justice for workers who toil under miserable conditions to produce highly profitable MLB licensed logo gear. Factory production of MLB items like hats, shirts, jerseys and team jackets takes place in the larger context of globalization, in facilities all over the world whose common denominator is low pay,intimidation and harassment of workers, hostilitytoward unions and many other documented abuses.

The IWW and other groups with concerns about sweatshop production abuses have conceived Sweatfree Baseball to bring about a transformation of how licensed sports logo gear is produced. The recommendations for change are based on a 3 point plan. The gear must be produced via a process that allows citizens of the MLB Baseball system to serve in an advisory capacity to team owners and league officials to ensure that community standards and legal requirements are met for the items -- Community Collective Bargaining. Next, the production facilities who supply Major League Baseball with clothing must participate in Certified Payroll verification to prevent some of the worst abuses in pay shortages and other employer intimidation. And Free Speech rights must be honored for the factory workers and at the ballparks, often virtual lockdowns against public protest about such inhumane and anti-worker practices. The fans often pay for the stadiums through their tax dollars, so let's let them speak!

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Starbucks New York Worker Says She Was Fired For Union Activity

Sat, 11 Jun 2005 18:12:16 +0000

Audio Link (IWW piece is second story):


June 10, 2005

A worker at a Starbucks in New York City is claiming she was fired for encouraging others to join a union. Sarah Bender was a barista at the 17th Street and 1st Avenue store. She says she became interested in joining the Retail Workers Union, a branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, after she heard about successes at the Madison Ave and 36th Street shop. The battle on Madison Avenue has led to Starbucks being called before the National Labor Relations Board on charges of union busting and threatening employees. Bender says once she brought up unions with her coworkers, similar actions occurred.

[Bender1]: Workers at my own store where getting interrogated and having closed door meetings with the manager. Some people were getting threatened to not get promoted if they were involved with me or involved with the union. A lot of things went on for about eight months before I got fired.

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