“A Day Without Immigrants” May Day Strike Announced

Press Release for April 3rd, 2017 - Click here to download

Washington, DC - Immigrant Rights Organizations, Workers Centers and Unions launch a national strike billed as a “day without immigrants” to demonstrate that the country depends on the labor of immigrants and working class people of color. Hundreds of thousands of workers have already pledged to strike in what organizers expect to be the largest national strike since the Megamarches of 2006.

Speakers at the press conference included Erika Andiola as well as representatives of Movimiento Cosecha, the SEIU United Service Workers West, and the Food Chain Workers Alliance.

“May 1st is the first step in a series of strikes and boycotts that will change the conversation on immigration in the United States,” said Maria Fernanda Cabello, a spokesperson from Movimiento Cosecha. “We believe that when the country recognizes it depends on immigrant labor to function, we will win permanent protection from deportation for the 11 million undocumented immigrants; the right to travel freely to visit our loved ones abroad, and the right to be treated with dignity and respect. After years of broken promises, raids, driving in fear of being pulled over, not being able to bury our loved ones, Trump is just the final straw. As we saw during the spontaneous strikes  on February 16th, our people are ready.”

Tens of thousands of members of the SEIU United Service Workers West have pledged to strike on May 1st, to demand an end to the criminalization of black and brown communities, an end to raids and deportations, and an end to worker exploitation. “The policies of the Trump administration are motivated by cruelty. They villainize black and brown people and call us rapists and violent criminals. They break apart immigrant families and separate parents from their children, and for no reason,” said Denise Solis, first vice-president of the SEIU USWW. “We are shutting it down on May 1st to stand up to these policies and show that most Americans don't support cruelty and racism.” High School and College students, as part of the Sanctuary Campus movement, will also be joining the May 1st Day Without Immigrants Strike with mass walkouts.

“I’m a cafeteria worker at one of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies, Intel, and my coworkers and I organized and won significant raises and healthcare. Now, we’re coming together with hundreds more cafeteria workers on May Day to stand united,” said Cristina Moreno, member of UNITE HERE Tech Cafeteria Workers and cashier at Intel, 20 years of service in tech cafeterias. “Immigrants like us are the backbone of the Valley’s tech industry, and we won’t tolerate Trump and his racist policies."

“On May Day we have the opportunity to stand up for undocumented workers and those in our community who have been targeted by the hate, racism and xenophobia from the Trump administration,” said prominent Immigrant Rights Activist, Erika Andiola. “This is the day we can unite our voices and make it loud and clear that our communities deserve respect, protection and dignity. We are ready to strike, and it's just the beginning.”  

The Food Chain Workers Alliance has also announced that thousands of workers across the food system, from farm workers to restaurant workers will be striking on May 1st. “We are a workforce made up mostly of immigrants, women, African Americans, and indigenous people,” Jose Oliva of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. “Without workers, who does Trump think will harvest the crops, craft the food, transport it to market, stock the shelves, cook in kitchens, and serve the meals?”

“Workers going on strike May 1 have the full support of the Fight for $15,” said Terrence Wise, a Kansas City McDonald’s worker and member of the Fight for $15 National Organizing Committee. “Walking off the job is never an easy decision, but we know first-hand that it also gets results: By standing up and going on strike for $15/hour and union rights, workers in the Fight for $15 have won $62 billion in raises for 22 million people across America. The brave workers striking on May 1 are sending a powerful message that every person who lives and works in this country deserves to have their basic rights respected. The Fight for $15 supports them, and will stand with them every step of the way."


Sponsors: The Cosecha Movement, The Fight For 15, the Food Chain Workers Alliance and the SEIU United Service Workers West and UNITE HERE Tech Cafeteria Workers