From the Laundry Workers Center:
Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Hot and Crusty Cafe,1201 2nd Avenue (NW corner of 63rd street and 2nd Avenue, NYC)After a grueling 47 days on the picket line and weeks of negotiations with the potential new ownership of the store, the resolve of the Hot and Crusty workers is being tested once again. With the prospect of a new lease being signed this week and the possibility of returning to work immediately, members of the Hot and Crusty Workers Association are being asked to make significant and unacceptable concessions to the collective bargaining agreement we were in the process of negotiating–most notably the removal of a previously agreed upon hiring hall and the imposition of unilateral management control over the workplace. It is clear that the new ownership, while eager to open the store, is testing the unions power. They are banking on the workers acceding to these concessions out of sheer financial necessity, knowing they have been without income for almost 2 months now.They have grossly underestimated the commitment of the workers to this struggle.While everyone is understandably eager to get back to work, the workers refuse to be strong-armed by these new investors. Despite holding the picket line this long without a strike fund or any source of financial support, the H & C workers have pledged to see this fight though to the end. They refuse to return to work under broken promises and a CBA that has essentially been shredded and retooled in the employers favor. They view their struggle within the broader system of exploitation of low-wage immigrant workers and the attacks on workers rights across this country, and refuse to be treated as disposable. They will not leave the picket line until their demands are met.
Your support is needed now more than ever.Please join Laundry Workers Center, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association, the Hot and Crusty Solidarity Committee, Occupy Wall Street, unions, worker centers, immigrant rights groups and community supporters THIS THURSDAY, 10/18, FROM 4-6PM for a rally and speak-out in support of the Hot and Crusty workers. Please sign the attached endorsement form or e-mail me back on behalf of yourself or your organization and let us know you’ll be there to support the workers Thursday. Our tactics are working, and the community support has been critical in moving the negotiation process forward. Join us Thursday in one unified show of strength to show the new ownership we are here, we are watching, and we are not going away!
The Hot and Crusty workers have shown the labor movement, with what little resources they have, what it means to organize, fight and win these critical battles, no matter how small the shop or bargaining unit. We hope you will support them in their efforts.