Support Immigrant workers at UW!

. Monday, May 25, 2009

Democracy Insurgent, a student group at the University of Washington, is a member group of the Anti Budget Cuts Coalition. We have been organizing at the university to oppose the devastating budget cuts facing students and staff. We wanted to inform you of some actions going on this Thursday, May 28th at the University of Washington. Students and custodians have been organizing to try to prevent the University from cutting the custodians' swingshifts. If these shifts are cut, many of the custodians will face incredible hardship and may lose their jobs. Those that currently work swingshifts do so because there is some reason they can't work the day shift. For example, their spouse may work during the day, so they need to take care of the children during the day; or they work a second or third job during the day.

The overwhelming majority of these custodians are immigrant workers from places like Korea, The Phillipines, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mexico and Central America, and Vietnam. Because of their immigrant status, the custodial management has threatened to call ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to intimidate workers and discourage them from organizing to oppose the unjust cuts. To combat these racist actions by the management, we need to mobilize a broad base of students, workers, and community members to protest these cuts and unjust labor practices, and to let the people on top know that we will not allow this exploitation and racism to continue.

So, we are calling on all communities to make a show of support for these immigrant workers, as they demand the right to keep their jobs and work under safe and fair conditions. There are several ways that you can provide support:

1) Bring people out to the actions on Thursday, May 28th. The more people we have and the wider base of support that is shown, the more pressure we will be able to put on management.

2) Advertise it to your respective communities through community centers, organizations, and networks. Below is an email template you can use, and attached are some flyers describing the events that can be distributed. Also, below is a Facebook page that provides details of the events, as well as a blog with more information about the issue.

3) Write and send us a statement of solidarity and support for the custodians from your community or community organization. If no one from your community can be there on Thursday, then we can read it to the crowd to let them know that your community supports the custodians. If someone can come from your community, then perhaps they could read the statement to the crowd.

To contact us for more information or to send statements of solidarity, email us at


My pen name is Mamos said...

just to clarify, this letter was just sent out to relevant workers centers, ethnic and mutual aid organizations across the city