The Tompkins County Workers’ Center (TCWC) will hold a Community Celebration on Thursday, February 12th, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Workers’ Center (115 The Commons/E. Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Ithaca) where free pizza, beer, and wine will be served. The entire community is invited! The purpose of the celebration is to celebrate our victories in 2014, including:
- our collective victory, starring Milton Webb and Stanley McPherson; the Tompkins County Workers’ Center and its supporters; along with the important work of the County Legislature and County government to ensure that workers at the Casella Solid Waste Recycling facility are all paid a Living Wage (beginning on 2/3/15). This is part of the larger victory as related to the County Living Wage Contingency Fund which saw workers at Foodnet’s Meals on Wheels; Suicide Prevention Hotline; and Tompkins Literacy Partners all being newly-guaranteed a Living Wage as a result of a County contract;
- assisting in the organization of a union, through our Workers Rights Hotline, at the Ithaca Health Alliance, which decided to ‘voluntarily recognize’ the unanimous non-managerial worker desire to organize. Our Hotline handles approximately 300 cases a year, which is quite high given the size of our community;
- educating the larger community, based on a case that came through our Worker’s Rights Hotline as to the prevalence of abuse of laws around ‘salaried/exempt’ workers is in our community and society (as of 12/31/14, a worker living in New York cannot be considered ‘salaried/exempt’ if making under $656.25/week.) Many employers misclassify workers as salaried/exempt as a way to avoid paying overtime;
- celebrating the formation of a union by Adjunct Professors at Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), in addition to providing community support to the union in order to better their workplace conditions through collective bargaining. Anticipating the support of very recently formed Adjunct Professors union at Ithaca College http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/local/2015/01/26/ithaca-college-adjunct-union/22374775/;
- certifying 10 new Businesses in 2014 as Certified Living Wage Employers, bringing up our list of total Living Wage Employers to 88 (2,293 workers work for these 88 employers);
- working with the national organization, Interfaith Worker Justice, to roll out our Living Wage Employer Program nationally;
- training over 120 local immigrant and vulnerable workers in their Occupational Health and Safety rights (and will be increasing this number to 180 in the coming year).