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A lively labor day as 300+ workers march, and together raise $11,650 in grassroots donations!

Nashville workers and their allies come together to celebrate their contributions to society and this year’s victories in struggle:

We revived the tradition back in 2013 of massive outreach on the street by parading, and handing out flyers to working families in the multi-ethnic neighborhoods along Nolensville pike. This year, we got to a new level in Nashville’s 4th annual Labor Day parade, co-hosted with the Central Labor Council and Middle TN Jobs with Justice!

As you can see by the sweeping views of the gigantic crowd, hundreds attended from dozens of community organizations and union local chapters on the march headed by Workers’ Dignity and Music City Riders United:

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The march looped through Nolensville pike, during which the police unfortunately escalated tensions with the crowd, attempting to stop the march, in a manner that was unprecedented in the three previous years of celebratory parades. Thankfully, marchers were disciplined and kept themselves safe and there are plans to improve the safety team next year.

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After the march, many gathered for a festival of four musical acts, face-painting and games for kids, food, and testimonies from members of Workers’ Dignity and Music City Riders United. Workers told of winning back stolen wages, organizing on-the-job at hotels to improve pay, and organizing their fellow bus-riders to improve conditions. Patrick Green, president of the bus driver’s union (Amalgamated Transit Union, ATU Local 1235) spoke of joining the struggles of the bus drivers and depot worker together with the struggles of the riders, who are riding the bus to work and home each and every day.

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Finally, the time for fundraising came and we did really well! The total amount raised was an awesome $11,650 which was a 50% increase from last year, letting us continue to rely heavily on grassroots donations to power our organization!

Here’s more photos from the beautiful day:

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Thanks to everyone who supports Workers’ Dignity and attended the Labor Day parade!

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We’ve got some good Labor Day news to share!

We’ve already raised $7,500 in grassroots donations towards our goal of $15k!

Plus, a grant of $3,000 to “match” your donation!

Before we all gather together on September 3rd for the Labor Day Festival, we’re asking everyone to think about how much they can contribute to Workers’ Dignity this year.

This year, additional donations will be doubled up to $3,000 total by a “match” from the The Unitarian Universalist Funding Program to encourage grassroots fundraising! So that makes this a great time to give to the movement we’re involved in.

What can you pitch in?

You can get your ticket for the event here and make a donation while you’re at it.

Large groups of people making small donations make up a majority of our fundraising. Know that every bit – $1, $5 – helps keep this movement running and helps it grow.

And see you at the parade & festival on September 3rd! Parade starts at 3:30 at Coleman Park and the festival is 5:30-8:00 at SEIU, 521 Central Avenue.

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The Labor Day Parade & this year — Festival!

One big party!

Four years ago we began bringing together the Nashville community for the first labor day marches in many decades. Afterwards, we always hold a picnic. This year it’s going to grow, and we’re calling it a festival!

This September 3rd, come celebrate Labor Day with us! The parade begins at 3:30 at Coleman Park Community Center, and the festival begins at 5:30 at SEIU Local on 521 Central Ave. 

Come and hear about us, the workers, and our struggle to get better condiciones on the job, and our victories this year getting different hotels in the city to raise pay. From January to July this year, 52 housekeepers have organized, demanded and won raises amounting to $92,000 a year in the hotels where they work!

Also come hear about Music City Riders United (MCRU), a new bus riders group led by African American residents demanding major improvements in public transit as a civil rights cause affecting 10,000s of riders daily.

There will be food, live music, culture and dancing, art for kids and family-friendly fun.

Don’t miss it! Go ahead and RSVP on Facebook.

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NEW VIDEO & PRESS: Workers confront hotel industry accepting city’s millions

Workers draw a line in the sand against million-dollar giveaways with no labor standards, in public press conference releasing report

This Monday, more than forty housekeepers, occupational health professionals, and concerned community members gathered for a press conference followed by the online release of the report “Hotels Shouldn’t Hurt” (click here to download the report).

The event took place in front of the Westin Hotel, a project that was gifted $15 million in Tax Increment Financing by the Metro Development and Housing Agency.

Over the last week this press conference has been covered in the Tennessean, and the Scene.

Now, you can take a look at what workers had to say themselves by watching our video. Make sure to share it with others.

And check out the press coverage below:

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Join us Today for release of ground-breaking report!

Join Workers’ Dignity TODAY as we release our report “Hotels Shouldn’t Hurt.” Hear directly from former and current housekeepers about our experiences working in Nashville’s hotels.

We’ll share about poverty wages, wage theft, being pressured to work dangerously fast, and having to pay our own medical costs when there are accidents at work.

We’ll also announce the results of our survey of hotel workers across Nashville, showing that these stories are not isolated events but rather business as usual for Nashville’s hotels. And we’ll share about hotels that are receiving millions of dollars in public subsidies from the tax dollars we all pay.

When: Today, Monday, May 23, at 5:30pm

Where: Roundabout between the new Westin Hotel and the Music City Center (8th Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard)

Our report “Hotels Shouldn’t Hurt” shows that nearly 4 out of 5 housekeepers injured on the job were denied emergency medical care, and over half of housekeepers do not have sick days – paid or unpaid.

Want to know more? Read the report here, and share it on facebook with this link.

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PHOTOS: Anniversary celebration draws hundreds, raises record $16,750!

The crowd swells, worker testimonies ring out powerfully, and the piggie bank overflows in a record-setting day planned and executed by low-wage workers:

Workers’ Dignity began with a handful of volunteers passing out flyers out of the trunk of a car. What started small has since grown tremendously. You can mark the growth of power low-wage workers are building each year in Nashville by the size of our marches, and the growth of community by the size of the crowd at the anniversary party. On this past Sunday, it showed that we haven’t been just building power in the street, but community as a people.

Angela joined as a member in the first months of 2016.
That community is ready to burst back into the city’s headlines as it targets the hotel and hospitality industry for its sub-poverty pay and abusive working conditions. As Diana said in her speech, “Right now we are in a campaign to uplift hotel workers, mostly women cleaning workers, and after winning my case what really kept me here was this broader Campaign for Just Hospitality.” Ana, Celestino, Mario, and Angela also spoke on what it means to be a worker and to be fighting for economic and social justice.
The performances by REBELFUSION and Ballet Folklorico Sol de Mexico captived the crowd and drew applause and a dance party in front of the band, but the biggest highlight of all was the almost unbelievable fundraising count. A stunning $16,750 — more than double last years final count, and more than 150% of our goal — shows with practice, our fundraising muscles are growing stronger. Every time we make an fundraising ask of the people, we show that we rely on workers and their allies, not outside influences. Unity is strength!
Photos by Lissete P. and Brenda A.

Thank you for attending the party & supporting our organization.

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The grassroots fundraising surge continues:

When workers and allies sat down six weeks ago to plan a fundraising goal for this years’ anniversary celebration, they set a lofty goal of ten thousand. It’s usually one of our biggest in-person fundraisers that we rely on as a grassroots organization, but that was our biggest goal yet.

We have to tell you though, we’ve already blown that away — with five more days before the anniversary event, where many people choose to bring their pledges.

So we’ve reset the goal to $15,000. We wanted to share the good news with you and ask you to consider how much you can give towards another year of workers’ victories. It’s important we continue to rely of small donations from workers and their allies.

Thank you for being a part of this movement, and we’ll see you Sunday afternoon.


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Two fantastic acts lined up for our Sunday anniversary celebration…

REVOLFUSION & Ballet Folklorico Sol de Mexico confirm another year of artistic support for Workers’ Dignity, will perform this Sunday afternoon:

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There’s nothing to bring a community together like music, and art — and there isn’t a more powerful community in Nashville than the workers who have fought over the last year to recover wages, and improve conditions in Nashville hotels.

Nashville-based REVOLFUSION opened the roof-shaking “Rebels with a Cause” concert this fall attended by hundreds supporting our developing radio station, and before that they have played at several WD events, connecting with workers and playing revolutionary Latin fusion.

Ballet Folklorico Sol de Mexico have been turning heads with their colorful show & soul. Expect their dancing to mix in with audience dancing, if you’re ready.

If you’re town this Sunday, make sure not to miss the performances, and a whole lot more like fundraising, food, and worker testimonies.

Get your tickets online or pay at the door:

3 – 6pm Sunday
Woodbine United Methodist Church at 2621 Nolensville Pike.
$5 for low-wage workers & family-members, $10 for others.

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6 victories for our 6th anniversary: location announcement & more…

Join us on May 1, International Workers’ Day, as we celebrate 6 years fighting for workplace dignity and justice for Nashville’s housekeeping workers!

Our 6th Anniversary festival will celebrate our first 6 victories of 2016. Ana, Celestino, Ernesto, and other cleaning workers will share their experiences in winning back more than $12,461 in stolen wages through our Just Hospitality Campaign and direct actions.

It’s the best party in town! There will be live music from Jugal Vandy, delicious food, and kids’ art-making. Of course, we’ll also hold our raucous, drumbeat fundraiser to hit our $15,000 fundraising goal to expand our organizing work. Stay tuned – more announcements about performers to come!

Workers’ Dignity member Angela hopes to see you there:

“If you are a victim of mistreatment or harassment at your job, don’t stay silent! We invite you to be part of Workers’ Dignity. This May 1st, we invite you to a big celebration commemorating our anniversary. We will celebrate having supported many people who have struggled to win their cases.”

Join us on Sunday, May 1st, from 3-6pm at the Woodbine Methodist Church, 2621 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211.RSVP on facebook.

Can’t make it to the celebration? Make a donation & help us surpass our goal.

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Victory for Mario Flores!

SHARE THE NEWS / COMPARTIR

Mario fought for 10 months; we edited this video for 8 hours. Take a look at how we go from planning to victory, in just under one minute! Make sure to share the video on Facebook!

Mario luchó por su salario durante 10 meses; hemos editado este video en 8 horas. Mira como logramos esta victoria en un minuto!!!

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Workers’ Dignity media team

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