Las Noticias—News From The Workers’ Center

From the May/June 2018 PNL #860

By Workers’ Center Staff and Volunteers

Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants (Green Light NY: Driving Together)

The Green Light NY Coalition is mobilizing to Albany to say the time is NOW to pass the Drivers Licenses Bill A10273! The coalition, made up of directly affected community members, advocates, and allies, have been organizing around licenses for years. New York is behind 12 other states, and the benefits in public safety, economics and community integration are clear. The time is now to pass the bill and we are calling on everyone in the community from across the state to join us in Albany on May 14 and send the message to our legislators loud and clear: Our communities can not wait, our economy can not wait, pass the GREEN LIGHT NY BILL NOW! Please call 315-218-5708 to join us on May 14.

Slocum House is Saved!

Thanks to community support and workers who spoke up we are now closer to our dream of having a house in Syracuse to provide hospitality for farmworkers and immigrants. A big thanks to Michael De Salvo and Nick Orth as well as the many people in the community who supported farmworkers in this effort. Immigrants and farmworkers are asking for your support. Please go to for more information on how you can contribute toward the $30,000 price of the house.

Farmworkers Speak Up for Dignified Housing and Win Back Stolen Wages

On February 20th a group of farmworkers and community members mobilized to protest in front of Melrose Farms, a dairy farm in the town of Owasco, about 30 minutes from Syracuse. We delivered a letter to the owner of the farm demanding he pay at least minimum wage and that he fix the deplorable living conditions of the employer provided housing.

We are happy to report that due to the quick mobilization of the community and the workers one week later the workers received $1,600 from their employer to pay for their stolen wages! Code Enforcement from the town of Owasco deemed the housing at Melrose Farms unfit for human habitation. It is the responsibility of the employers to pay at least minimum wage and provide safe and dignified housing. Workers and allies have organized many similar collective actions to improve the workers’ living conditions and to recover thousands of dollars in stolen wages. We will continue to build worker power to organize for workplace justice.

Immigrant Women Declare: “We Will Not Be Caged!”

On March 28, roughly 50 immigrants and allies gathered outside of the Batavia Detention Center in Batavia, NY, protesting the detention center’s expansion to hold immigrant women in addition to men inside their walls. More broadly, this rally called for the end of the inhumane detainment and deportation of immigrant women and mothers. Supporters also accompanied Arely Tomas, local community member and immigrants rights activist, who was asked to attend her monthly ICE check-in in Batavia on this day rather than at Syracuse’s 401 S. Salina St. office. Arely was allowed to leave after her check in and will not have to report back until May. Moving forward we will continue to support Arely in her fight to stay in Syracuse with her husband and three children, and continue the struggle for the rights of all immigrants.

Border Patrol Off the Bus!

The Immigrant and Refugee Defense Network (IRDN) is a local group of allies supporting the Workers’ Center’s work with the undocumented community.  Due to border patrol’s increased presence at the Regional Transportation Center (RTC) and other bus stations nationwide, the IRDN is participating in a nationwide campaign to get border patrol off the bus. The IRDN is working to ensure that travelers know their rights when confronted by law enforcement, as well as contributing to an effort to pressure Greyhound to refuse to allow Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) onto their buses at “checkpoints” within the 100-mile range of the border. If you see racial profiling or harassment carried out by law enforcement at Syracuse’s RTC, document the incident and contact the IRDN at 315-552-1670.

Fair Wages for All! (One Fair Wage Campaign)

The Workers’ Center of Central NY invites restaurant and other tip workers to participate in the  the NYS Dept of Labor Wage Board Hearings across New York about potentially eliminating the sub-minimum wage for those who work for tips throughout the State. The proposal will not eliminate tips, but will make sure these workers receive fair wages. One of the first hearings will be in Syracuse, on April 30. For other dates and locations. Please go to


Congratulations to Dolores Bustamante, Carly Fox, and Arely Tomas, who received

The “Mujeres al Poder”  award for their activism and dedication to immigrant workers’ rights at the Workers’ Memorial Day Unit Breakfast on April 27th!

Thank you to Kayla Kelechian and Crispin Hernandes for joining the Workers’ Center team!

Stand With Workers! Support the Workers’ Center!
Regular donations from individuals such as yourself are what sustain the work done by the Workers’ Center of Central New York. Your support will directly benefit low-wage workers in the Central New York region in their fight for dignified working conditions. To become a monthly sustainer, go to and click “Donate.” When choosing your donation amount, don’t forget to click “I want to contribute this amount every month”!