Workers’ Center First Annual Picnic Tremendous Success; Draws Over 200 People

Coming from all over Tompkins County, over 200 people attended the first Annual Workers’ Center Picnic on Saturday, September 29th. Speakers included Neisha Butler of the Workers’ Center; Alan Gomez of the Immigrant Rights Coalition; Phoebe Brown who has experienced discrimination in the workplace and in Ithaca; restaurant worker, Yumi Busby, who has experienced unfair working conditions; Alex Berg, President of the Cornell Organization for Labor Action; John Oakley of the new Substitute Teachers Union; Pete Meyers, Coordinator of the Workers’ Center; and Rebecca Elgie of the Health Care Task Force speaking to the need for universal/single payer health insurance

The theme of the Picnic was: “Get Up, Stand Up; Stand Up for Our Rights”, a central organizing principle of the Workers’ Center.

We at the Tompkins County Workers’ Center are seeing a steady uptick of workers coming to us, especially from retail and service sector industries. These workers are sick and tired of: being fired for no just cause; getting paid wages that keep them stuck in lives of poverty in this community and country of great wealth; being treated with disrespect on a daily basis.

We are working closely with hotel workers who are sick and tired of having to clean 20-30 rooms a day for minimum wage, restaurant workers who don’t get the tips they should be getting and/or are not being paid overtime. The list of workers’ rights violations, let alone the poverty wages earned by so many service and retail workers, should no longer be acceptable to us as a society.

For more information, please contact 607-269-0409 or email or go to our website at