FIWOP Statement on $15 Now Rally

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Good afternoon, we are from the Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project or FIWOP. We are an organization for Filipino immigrants and workers based in Jersey City, NJ. We aim to educate, organize and mobilize Filipino immigrant workers for the advancement of their rights and welfare.

Today, we stand with our fellow workers in demanding that the minimum wage be raised to $15 now. We call on our fellow workers to join in this growing movement to assert our rights as workers, regardless of immigration status.

Currently, there are more than 100,000 Filipinos in New Jersey. 33% belongs to the working class concentrated in the factories, restaurants, warehouses, nursing homes and other service industries. Like many other workers, Filipino immigrant workers face various issues and problems in the community or at the workplace. We suffer from wage theft, lack of decent pay and work benefits and deskilling.

But as immigrants, we also suffer family separation due to unjust immigration policy, discrimination and unfair treatment. We are here in New Jersey because we are forced to migrate from exploitative working conditions back home in the Philippines – lack of jobs, if there are jobs, they offer super low wages and no job security.  

We need $15 minimum wage now because our rent and cost of living keeps on increasing. These are the reasons why we need to stand together and fight to improve our living conditions.

Our task now is to organize ourselves. Organize our fellow workers to break the fear and join the fight. We must educate ourselves on the roots of our poverty and exploitation. And lastly, we must link ourselves with the youth, the students, and other sectors of the community to build a powerful movement.

Let us continue to fight for $15 now because when we fight, we win! Makibaka! Huwag matakot!

 

Join us for a rally in support of $15 minimum wage on April 3

Dear Community Leaders,

We are inviting you to a day of action in support of raising the living standards of working people across New Jersey. On Sunday, April 3, 1pm at Journal Square, we will be having a rally in support of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. This rally aims to send a strong message to our legislators that our rent and food can’t wait, we need living wages now.

What: Rally and March for $15 Minimum Wage (See facebook event page here)

Where: Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ 07306

When: Sunday, April 3, 2016

Time: 1:00pm – onwards

Why: New Jersey has one of the highest cost of living in the country. Working families are forced to work close to 100 hours per work week on minimum wage to afford a one bedroom apartment. With New Jersey being home to more than 100,000 Filipinos mostly working class, raising the minimum wage is one of the most pressing issues of our community. (See our statement here)

Who: Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP), Anakbayan New Jersey, 15 Now NJ and many more.

Please spread the word and looking forward to see you all there. To confirm your attendance or for more information, you can contact us at FilipinoIWOproject@gmail.com

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Members of FIWOP & Anakbayan NJ at the banner & sign making for the April 3 Rally for $15

 

 

Filipino workers organization commends Fulop, calls for $15 now

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Jersey City, NJ – The Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP) commends the recent executive order by the Jersey City mayor, Steven Fulop, raising the minimum wage of all employees of the city government to $15 per hour.

In a press release, Fulop said, “not only is this the right thing for Jersey City, but it’s my hope that our actions today will help move Trenton towards providing all New Jerseyans a living wage.”   FIWOP shares the vision of ensuring working families are able to earn a living wage in order to stay in Jersey City.

With much of Fulop’s term focusing steadily on ushering newcomers to “revitalize” Jersey City, the rapid gentrification of various neighborhoods has priced out a number of long-time residents.  Raising the minimum wage immediately is long overdue for the majority of Jersey City’s working class communities.

Last summer, FIWOP conducted a community survey within the Filipino community. 10 out of 10 respondents supported raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Some respondents mentioned that one of the main problems they are facing is “making ends meet” and “living from paycheck to paycheck.”

FIWOP member, Doni Manuel, says, “We are not yet done. Our goal is to see decent living conditions for all working class. Giving $15 minimum wage now is a good first step.”

The Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP) seeks to educate, organize and mobilize the low-income and working-class Filipino families in Northeast New Jersey. FIWOP works in partnership with a number of organizations and local agencies to address the urgent issues faced by the Filipino community. We build our members’ capacity through education, research, advocacy, campaigning, networking, and community organizing.

Calling on NJ Filipinos to Join the Push for Driver’s License for all – The Filipino Express

Salamat The Filipino Express for publishing our op-ed with the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice regarding our push for the Driver’s License for All in New Jersey.

“A survey done by the Filipino Immigrants & Workers Organizing Project in Jersey City, the area with the largest concentration of Filipinos in the state, found that 9 out of 10 Filipinos in the area agree with allowing undocumented immigrants the privilege to drive. Being able to drive legally is a big factor for the community because public transportation is just not a feasible option to get to their workplace.”

 

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The New Jersey State Legislature reintroduced a bill this month that if enacted, would allow qualified undocumented New Jerseyans to apply for a license and drive legally in our great state.

Filipinos would be among the 460 thousand New Jerseyans estimated to benefit from this legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano. It will require applicants to provide extensive and verifiable proof of identity and New Jersey residency, pay a fee, and to submit a written and road safety test.

It would also help to bring many New Jerseyans out of the shadows.

Despite New Jersey’s current law requiring proof of lawful status in the United States to obtain a state driver’s license, the simple reality is that driving is a requirement to survive in parts of the Garden state.

A survey done by the Filipino Immigrants & Workers Organizing Project in Jersey City, the second largest home to Filipinos in the state, found that 9 out of 10 Filipinos in the area agree with allowing undocumented immigrants the privilege to drive. Being able to drive legally is a big factor for the community because public transportation is just not a feasible option to get to their workplace.

New Jersey is home to about 525,000 undocumented residents from around the world, representing about 6 percent of the state’s population. These folks are our parents, our children, our neighbors. They pay over half a billion dollars each year in state and local taxes product of their hard work. they deserve the right to drive.

Last November over a thousand people stood outside of the Trenton statehouse in a major action to see the bill passed the Homeland Security Committee. Now that it has been reintroduced in a new legislative session, we hope that more residents stand by our side to push this issue forward until it is approved. This effort would not be possible without a unified voice. We are counting on you to make this happen.

Hanalei Ramos is an organizer for Filipino Immigrants & Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP)

Johanna Calle is the program director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project urges City Council of Jersey City to support the campaign for Driver’s License for All.

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The Filipino Immigrant and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP) joins the rest of the community in urging our City Council to pass the resolution for driver’s license for undocumented immigrants.

This is an important issue in the Filipino community. Based on a survey conducted by FIWOP last April of this year, 9 out of 10 Filipinos in Jersey City agree with allowing undocumented immigrants the privilege to drive and be given driver’s licenses.

This is most especially important to our Filipino workers who are employed in important industries here in New Jersey such as in the warehouse and distribution, healthcare and service industries. According to our constituents, taking public transportation would take them two to three hours to reach their workplaces as compared to 20 to 30 minutes by driving. This greatly reduces their productivity.

New Jersey is home to the 5th largest concentration of Filipinos in the United States. There are 110,000 Filipinos living in the Garden State, with Jersey City having 15,000. 1 out of 6 Filipinos are undocumented Filipinos who simply aim to work decently and provide better opportunities for their families.

With this, we call again on the City Council of Jersey City to be on the progressive side by joining the six other municipalities in New Jersey that have supported this cause. By supporting the campaign for driver’s license for undocumented immigrants, the City Council of Jersey City will be living up to its legacy as the Golden Door of America.

Free Jersey City Immigration Law Community Seminars

Have immigration questions? Get informed at the
Jersey City Immigration Law Community Seminars

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2015
Update on President Obama’s Executive Actions

WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2015
Citizenship & Naturalization

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2015
Business Visa Basics

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2015
Legal Permanent Resident-Know Your Rights

FREE ADMISSION TO ALL SESSIONS
121 Newark Ave., 5th Fl., Jersey City NJ 07302
6:00pm to 7:30pm
For information, email us at
ImmigrationJerseyCity

Sponsored By:
Council President Rolando Lavarro Councilman At-Large Daniel Rivera

Share with your network on Facebook:

JC Immigration Law Community Seminars Flyer.pdf

FIWOP Invites you to a Citizenship and Deferred Action (DACA) Clinic

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Ang Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP) ay ikinararangal na suportahan ang unang Citizenship and Deferred Action (DACA) Clinic ng We Are One New Jersey sa katapusan ng buwan!

Ang hangarin ng Citizenship and DACA Clinic ay makapagbigay ng tulong sa ating mga kababayan para maging U.S. Citizen and para sa mga kwalipikado para sa Deferred Action (DACA) ng libre.

I-click ito para sa facebook event

 

Petsa: Sabado, Ika-31 ng Enero
Oras: 10:00 a.m. hanggang 5:00pm
Lugar: We Are One New Jersey Hudson County Center 830 Bergen Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey 07306

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The Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP) is proud to support We Are One New Jersey‘s first Citizenship and Deferred Action (DACA) Clinic this end of the month!

The goal of the Citizenship and DACA Clinic is to provide assistance to our kababayans to become U.S. Citizens and to those who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) at no cost. 

Click here for facebook event

Date: Saturday, January 31, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00pm
Place: We Are One New Jersey Hudson County Center 830 Bergen Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey 07306

Sponsored by:
New Jersey State AFL-CIO
New Jersey State AFL-CIO Community Services Agency
Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc.
County of Hudson

Supported by:
American Friends Service Committee
American Immigration Lawyers Association of New Jersey
Anakbayan New Jersey
Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project
First Friends of New Jersey and New York
Jersey City Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Jersey Journal
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
National Organization for Women of New Jersey
New Jersey Hispanic Bar Association
New Jersey Youth for Immigrant Liberation
Philippine-American Friendship Committee (PAFCOM)
Saint Peter’s University Center for Undocumented Students Seton Hall University Latin American Law Students Association
United Federation of Fil-Am Educators

Community Members Stage Rally at Alaris Health at the Fountains Following Unjust Termination of Two Filipino Workers

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Secaucus, NJ – Filipino activists and community advocates rallied at Alaris Health at the Fountains- South Campus early Tuesday morning to demand full back wages and job reinstatement for two Filipino workers. Bernadette De Leon and Yolando Simon, both dietary aides, were unjustly suspended on May 29, 2014, and eventually terminated on July 10, 2014. The rally was held coinciding with the arbitration hearing between 1199J, who are representing the workers, versus Alaris Health.

Protesters held a banner saying, “We support Bernadette and Yolando! Reinstatement now!” They also chanted, “When workers rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up!  Fight Back!”

The two Filipino workers were terminated by Patricia Meyers, Administrator at Alaris Health at the Fountains – South Campus for allegedly stealing frozen goods. These were denied by De Leon and Simon. The two workers said that they were not afforded the opportunity to tell their side and were not provided due process.  Both workers were reliable, long-term employees of Alaris Health, who consistently received certificates of recognition.

“We are here to show support for Bernadette and Yolando who are fighting against their unjust termination.  We are here to show that the community is on the side of workers rights.” said Hanalei Ramos, an organizer with the Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project.

The protest culminated with the advocates delivering a letter to Pat Meyers, Administrator of the Alaris site. The delivered letter was also signed by a number of local community organizations, demanding that Meyers be held accountable for her conduct.

“As a Filipino youth organization, we stand with Bernadette and Yolando. We demand that Patricia Meyers be held accountable for the blatant discrimination and unprofessionalism that occurred under her watch,” said Nina Macapinlac of Anakbayan New Jersey. “Workers’ rights are always under threat by employers who seek to exploit their workers. It is therefore important that workers be always vigilant and ready to assert their rights,” Macapinlac concluded.

The rally was organized by Anakbayan New Jersey and the Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project. With more than 20,000 Filipinos in Hudson County alone, these organizations anticipate more Filipino workers to come out with experiences of discrimination, exploitation, and unsafe working environments. Community activists are hoping that De Leon and Simon’s case sets an example of community members uniting to defend workers’ rights.

WE NEED YOU! Important Filipino Worker Actions on 1/13 and 1/14

Dear friends, allies, and supporters,

In June 2014, two Filipino immigrant workers, Bernadette De Leon and Yolando Simon, approached Anakbayan New Jersey to solicit assistance on their abrupt termination from jobs they had held for years at Alaris Health at the Fountains- South Campus in Secaucus, NJ.

The workers were suspended based on an unsubstantiated accusation of stealing frozen food items from the facility. No proper investigation was conducted to prove the accusation beyond reasonable doubt.

With more than 20,000 Filipinos in Hudson County alone, Anakbayan New Jersey and Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project anticipate that there are more Filipino workers who have yet to come out with their experiences facing discrimination, exploitation, and unsafe working environments. The upcoming actions are a declaration to all workers that they have rights we can fight for together as a community.

Please respond if you can participate in any or both of the following actions around this campaign by Monday, January 12, 5pm. Thank you for your support!

WHO: Anakbayan New Jersey, Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project, Bernadette De Leon, Yolando Simon, and the community at large

WHAT: Picket in protest of Patricia Meyer, Administrator of Alaris Health at the Fountains- South Campus, for the unjust termination of dietary workers, Bernadette De Leon and Yolando Simon. This action will be followed by a press conference the next day, announcing the outcome of Bernadette and Yolando’s arbitration hearing.

WHEN/WHERE:

Picket on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 11am-12pm:  The picket will be held in front of Alaris Health at the Fountains- South Campus, which is located at 505 County Avenue, Secaucus, NJ 07094

Press Conference on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 11am-12pmThe press conference will be held at Rutgers University, Hill Hall Room 102, 360 ML King Jr Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102

WHY: Bernadette and Yolando, both Filipino workers, were suspended indefinitely without just cause on May 29, 2014 in violation of their rights.

Bernadette and Yolando were long term, reliable, hard-working employees of Alaris Health at the Fountains- South Campus. Their unjust suspension and eventual termination caused undue emotional distress and financial hardship to them and their families.

Community advocates are urging friends, family, and concerned members of the NJ community to stand with Bernadette and Yolando, ensure justice and dignity for immigrant workers, and express the following demands:

  1. We demand that Bernadette De Leon and Yolando Simon’s names be cleared of the accusation by conducting a credible investigation

  2. We demand that Bernadette De Leon and Yolando Simon’s employment be reinstated at Alaris Health at the Fountains- South Campus

  3. We demand that Alaris Health at the Fountains – South Campus issue a public letter of apology to Bernadette De Leon and Yolando Simon

  4. We demand that Alaris Health at the Fountains – South Campus pay Bernadette De Leon and Yolando Simon full back wages from May 29 to present for their unjust suspension

  5. We demand that Patricia Meyer, the Administrator of Alaris Health at the Fountains – South Campus at the time of the said grievance be terminated for her unfair treatment of Bernadette De Leon and Yolando Simon

For more information, contact us at 347 829 9802 , email filipinoIWOproject@gmail.com , or visit:  www.filipinoimmigrantsworkers.wordpress.com

Jersey City Filipinos Tackle President Obama’s Executive Order

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Jersey City – The Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP) joined forces with the Saint Peter’s University’s Center for Undocumented Students and other community and immigrant rights organizations for a community forum on President Barack Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration.

“We organized a forum on Pres. Obama’s recent Executive Order on Immigration because we want to help our kababayans by providing information about this new immigration relief and about the resources and help that they can get,” said Hanalei Ramos, a member of  FIWOP.

The said forum provided information about the extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). Pres. Obama extended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and expanded it to cover undocumented parents of Legal Permanent Residents/”Green Card Holders” and Citizens called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).

For DACA, age limits were taken out. Now, those over 30 years old can apply.  It also extended the cut off entry date to January 1, 2010. Also, the period for which DACA and the accompanying employment authorization is granted will be extended to 3 years instead of 2 years. This is a temporary immigration relief and does not provide a path to citizenship.

According to FIWOP, this forum also aimed to provide information on resources where to get help and what to avoid. “From the experience from DACA applications in 2012, only 4,000 out of an estimated 22,000 eligible Filipinos applied and some of the reasons are the high cost, lack of information and fear. We want to change that statistic by holding events like this,” said Ramos. “We also want to warn our kababayans on fake lawyers, “notarios”, who are out there to take advantage of those who are planning to apply.”

An estimated 5 million out of the 11 million undocumented immigrants will benefit from the said immigration relief. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

“We celebrate this Executive Order as a product of activists and various sectors of the community’s efforts to pressure Obama to provide immigration relief, but we also recognize that a lot of our kababayans were left out and does not qualify. That is even more reason why we need to come together and push for genuine immigration reform,” said Yancy Gandionco, also a member of FIWOP.

“The Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project is an initiative that came out of the growing need for a Filipino community organization that will empower and advocate for our rights and welfare here in New Jersey. We aim to take on various issues such as immigration and worker’s rights,” Gandionco concluded

The said forum was cosponsored by Action 21, American Friends Service Committee, Anakbayan New Jersey, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and We Are One New Jersey.