Emergency Action to Demand Stolen Wages for Farmworker

Thursday, July 27th at 2pm (Meeting at WorkersCenter at 1pm to carpool)
8770 Number 4 Road East, Fabius NY 13063

WCCNY Members will be engaging in a collective action against an unscrupulous farm owner in Fabius, NY. The employer fired a worker last week because the worker was sick for two days. Additionally, the employer not only paid this same worker sub-minimum wages, but he has also illegally withheld the worker‘s first paycheck.  Join the WCCNY worker leaders and members in a collective action as to demand stolen wages, respect and dignity in the workplace, an end to illegal deductions from paychecks, and no violence against workers!

Wage theft, illegal paycheck deductions, verbal and workplace violence happening at dairy farms in New York.

In June we released our report “Milked: Dairy immigrant Farmworkers in NY State” where 88 dairy farmworkers exposed thru in depth interviews the workplace and living conditions at the dairy farms. Please join us tomorrow to hear it from more dairy workers speaking up.

We are calling all of our friends and allies to join us for an emergency rally tomorrow in front of Frazee Farms in Fabius, a place were exploitation and workplace abuses have been going on for years. Last week we met Fernando, a dairy worker who had been fired after missing two days of work because he was sick. If Fernando had health insurance and easier access to his own transportation (this is why all immigrants want access to driver licenses) he could have provided a doctors note, but instead Fernando got fired and was about to be homeless. The employer owed him the last paycheck and also the first paycheck (the employer routinely keeps workers first paycheck as a “security deposit for the housing he provides” – and he also thought about getting money reimbursed because he bought a washer and drier, that he was not going to be able to take with him, and that the employer “helped” him to pay for and then charge him for it, deducting from Fernando’s paycheck. Fernando was desperate to have his paycheck and the “security deposit” and possibly to get the money from the washer and drier that now was going to benefit the employers housing. The employer gave him his last paycheck but said he was holding on to the “security deposit” until he checked the house, the issue is that that first check is from hours he worked! and employers can only charge up to $18.95 a week for a room in a shared house, like the one Fernando lived, the employer took all of his 30 hours worked!

At the brink of homelessness and with so little resources, Fernando remembered to call the WCCNY of central NY. We came in and helped him to have a plan to speak to the employer, we also informed Fernando about his right to at least minimum wage, as we noticed that the employer had been stealing from him, he had been paying him below minimum wage for almost all of the time Fernando worked there. On top of that there were illegal deductions for uniforms and other deductions from his paycheck. Fernando is homeless right now and needs his stolen wages. Fernando’s story also brings us to the need for agricultural workers of places they can go when they are unjustly and abruptly fired, for speaking up and asserting their rights or because they are sick or injured. We are proud to stand with Fernando and all of the dairy workers like him who experience these injustices but then speak up and lead their own campaigns for them and others. As outlined in MILKED, our recent report, wage theft and the other injustices experienced by Fernando are rampant. PLEASE JOIN US TO DEMAND JUSTICE FOR FERNANDO ALL WORKERS LIKE HIM.

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