Press Conference with fired Pacific Steel workers

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CONTACTS: 510-234-1046 / 415 946 9910

David Herrera davidherrera74@live.com

Jesús Valencia jesus240sx@gmail.com

Ignacio Sánchez ignaciosanchez1970@yahoo.com

Adrian Pacheco abipacheco12@hotmail.com & Juan Zaragoza

 

MARCH FOR DIGNITY

  • More than 200 workers of the Pacific Steel Casting plant in Berkeley, CA. laid off due to a "silent raid" conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or “ICE”.
  • These laid off workers have organized a mutual support committee and will hold a public march, Friday, February 17, to fight the unjust lay offs they've suffered.
  • One laid off worker, Jesús Navarro, waiting for a kidney transplant, has been denied further treatment by UCSF due to his immigrant status.
  • 2010-2011: a record-high year of undocumented, immigrant worker deportations.

WHO: The Pacific Steel Workers' Committee

WHAT: Press Conference to announce the "March for Dignity"

DATE: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TIME: 10:30 am

PLACE: Berkeley City Hall, Main entrance. 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA.

 

Down with unjust lay offs!

Defend Immigrant human and labor rights!

For Immigration reform!

 

MARCH FOR DIGNITY. Friday February 17, Berkeley, CA.

More than 200 workers of the Pacific Steel Casting plant, that is, one-third of the workforce, suffered a terrible blow after a forced layoff from their jobs at the end of last year, resulting from a "silent raid". This sweep took place in a renowned "sanctuary city", Berkeley, CA. The reason given for this massive firing was a federal Immigration and Customs Enforement (ICE) "I-9" audit. According to this rationale, the workers were impacted by an ICE intervention. These audits require an employer to provide ICE with employee "I-9" form documents to verify U.S. government authorization to work in this country.

 

These "silent raids" are part of an anti-immigrant policy started in April 2009 by the Obama Administration. Since then, ICE has reportedly carried out approximately 3,015 audits, in comparison to 503 in 2008. This represents an increase of 154%. The workplaces most affected have been companies employing unionized workers.

 

The GMP union, Local 164B, representing the laid off workers, stated it tried to halt the layoffs, but couldn't. However, the workers believe union leaders took a passive stand, and today they feel abandoned by their union. Presently, these workers do not have any income to raise their families and have also lost access to their health care insurance benefits. The majority of those laid off had from 5 to 20 years seniority with the company. The workers have organized a mutual support committee and will hold a public march, Friday, February 17, to fight the unjust layoffs they've suffered.

 

The general public is invited to join the March for Dignity, and in this manner send a strong message to Pacific Steel Casting Company, the U.S. government and President Obama to demand an immediate Immigration Reform that permits all workers access to work within a framework of peace, fair working conditions and unity with their families.

 

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