FYI: Here’s How You Can Help Local Day Laborers
For the past 8 years, day laborers have sought work from the Home Depot on Roosevelt Blvd in Northeast Philadelphia. Anywhere from 30 to nearly 100 workers wait for work from contractors that come from all over, contributing significant revenue to Home Depot . Unfortunately, last June the new Home Depot manager began calling the police. For the past year, workers have been ticketed, gotten their cars towed, and lost crucial earnings to support their families.
This unjust harassment led workers to organize and form the Philadelphia Workers Association (PWA). After months of organizing and strategizing, PWA launched a campaign this May to bring Home Depot, police, and the city to the table to find a solution. On Friday, May 23 workers delivered the letter to the Home Depot manager along with 65 worker signatures asking Home Depot to come to the table. The letter urged Home Depot to confirm their participation within one week or the workers would have to take further action.
On Wednesday, May 28, Home Depot responded that THEY are willing to come to the table if invited by the city. However, their response also suggested a resistance to collaborating in meeting the workers’ goal: a recognized site to wait for work.
After a year of unjust criminalization of workers, this response represents an important victory, but it is also a fragile victory. Without pressure from community allies and workers alike, Home Depot is unlikely to contribute to a real solution for workers. As more and more workers are signing on to the campaign, we are seeking the support of community allies like you who can help push Home Depot to engage in meaningful negotiations with workers. Please sign the letter and share it with your networks!
You can sign the petition here.