Student newspaper urges Yale to evict Gourmet Heaven

Yale Daily News has published a strongly worded editorial urging the university to evict Gourmet Heaven if the deli does not respond to new allegations of retaliatory firings and continuing wage theft. Here’s an excerpt:Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

The law, in this case, seems feebly equipped to protect the people that are most vulnerable. The only remaining path to justice is through direct action on the part of our University, which serves as both Gourmet Heaven’s landlord and clientele.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

First, University Properties should pressure Cho to ameliorate employee conditions with the threat of eviction. University Properties is complicit in mistreatment at Gourmet Heaven. It has only been willing thus far to issue a vague statement, promising that it “will not renew the lease of any tenant not in complete compliance with the labor laws.” But we cannot wait until July 2016, when Gourmet Heaven’s lease expires, to address these violations.

Administrators must ensure that the many allegations against Gourmet Heaven — including workplace intimidation, cash payments and deplorable housing conditions  — are fully investigated. And should any allegations be substantiated, University Properties has the legal basis, and the moral obligation, to terminate the lease immediately.

Second, we call for a continued protest and boycott of Gourmet Heaven, both to pressure Cho as well as University Properties. For students to boycott a business on Yale’s property sends a clear message to administrators that we believe something is wrong. And as Gourmet Heaven is our only late-night food option, the boycott sends a message directly to Cho: It’s not that we prefer a different sandwich, but that we will not stomach his unjust labor practices.

The approach we take toward Gourmet Heaven matters beyond this specific case. We have little power to change wage theft on a national level, but we can set the precedent that our community will not tolerate open allegations of worker abuse going unchecked. We do not know the scope of labor injustice in New Haven, or even within University-owned properties. But acting on this one case, we can establish how the University should act when allegations of worker mistreatment arise in the future.

Read the whole editorial on Yale Daily News

Feb. 19: Court solidarity with Javier Marin

Javier Marin appears in immigration court February 19 to fight his deportation. Join us in the courthouse at 8:15 am, and then join us to visit the offices of our US senators and ask them to help free Javier Marin.

Wednesday, Feb. 19
8:15 am
Immigration Court, 450 Main Street, Hartford
(undocumented people should not enter the courthouse)

To read about Javier’s case and ask Immigration & Customs Enforcement to release him from detention, click here.

Feb. 18: Public hearing to raise minimum wage, stop wage theft

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014
1:00 pm
Public Hearing
Legislative Office Building, Room 1E, Hartford

This hearing provides an opportunity to testify on two important bills:Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

S.B. No. 32 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKING FAMILIES’ WAGES
would raise the minimum wage to $10.10

H.B. No. 5071 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING CIVIL ACTIONS AGAINST AN EMPLOYER FOR FAILURE TO PAY WAGES OR COMPENSATION OR MAKE PAYMENTS TO AN EMPLOYEE WELFARE FUND
would require employers guilty of wage theft to pay double the wages owed

If you want to submit written testimony or testify in person, contact us. Written testimony is due by Monday, Feb. 17 at 5:00 pm.

Jose Luis Piscil petitions DHS to expand DACA and suspend deportations

Luis at Yes You Can press conferenceToday ULA member Jose Luis Piscil joined a group of undocumented individuals to file a rule-making petition to the Department of Homeland Security. The “Si Se Puede (Yes You Can)” rule-making petition argues that DHS can and should alter its rules to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to the fullest extent possible and suspend deportations for undocumented workers, just as DHS did for undocumented childhood arrivals. The petition was drafted by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo School of Law on behalf of Jose Luis and other undocumented immigrants in deportation proceedings.

Under the Administrative Procedures Act, members of the public are allowed to petition agencies for changes to existing rules. DHS must provide a response and explain its decision to grant or deny petitioners’ request.

During a press conference this morning at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington DC, Thomas Chew of Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic stated, “The Constitution gives the President unilateral power to determine when it is, and when it is not, in the national interest to initiate deportation proceedings. The only question that remains is whether this President will exercise his power to protect our nation’s immigrants and our nation’s economy from the devastation his immigration policies have wrought.”

LuisFamilyFor Jose Luis, a factory worker who has lived in New Haven for seven years, the petition is part of his urgent attempt to remain with his family, including his two US citizen children. He was apprehended by ICE in 2012 when police arrested him for a minor charge that was later dismissed.trailer movie Logan

“ICE put me in jail, not because of any criminal conviction, but because I had entered the country without papers,” says Jose Luis. “In jail, I thought about my wife, who was five months pregnant. I thought, ‘What if I never meet my son? What if my children grow up without their father?’” For about 80% of people in deportation proceedings from 2008 to the present, DHS initiated proceedings based on immigration violations, not criminal convictions, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

NDLON Staff Attorney Jessica Karp says, “This petition gives DHS the opportunity to correct years of reckless enforcement and also grant relief to immigrant workers and families who the President and leaders on both sides of the aisle all agree belong here.”Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Click here to stop Jose Luis’s deportation!

Click here to read the rule-making petition

and learn more about why Obama can and should use Executive authority to suspend deportations

6 things Obama can do to reduce deportations

During the State of the Union address, President Obama pledged to take executive action on just about every issue EXCEPT immigration. Here are six things that Obama can do — and he doesn’t need Congress — to rein in his massive deportation-military-prison-immigration system. Next week Jose Luis Piscil, a New Haven father and ULA member facing deportation, will join other people in his situation in Washington DC to deliver this list.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

From National Day Laborer Organizing NetworkNDLON exec action

NH Register: “Workers claim they were fired”

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“They told me straight up, ‘Cut the bull—-, you no longer work here,’” said a worker named Julio, who would not give his last name, at a noontime protest in front of the Broadway business. Julio is 26 and lives in New Haven.

More than 75 people rallied for the workers, carrying signs and chanting. Three of the four workers who allegedly were let go attended, filing into the store at one point to ask for their jobs back. They were rebuffed and the group left the store.

Read the whole article on New Haven Register

VIDEOS: Students & fired workers unite

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During Christmas break, while Yale students were away, the on-campus deli fired four workers in retaliation for their Department of Labor complaint. More than 75 students and community members showed up on January 15, 2014, to demand their jobs back, a living wage, and full payment of back wages owed. Check out the video from WTNH channel 8 above!

Check out the video from Fox News here.

Join us every Friday at 5:30 pm outside Gourmet Heaven on 15 Broadway!  Help us raise awareness. Show the workers they are not alone!