Excluded Workers Congress Solidarity Statement for May 1, 2011

The Excluded Workers Congress supports this historic and internationally recognized International Workers Day and encourages all members to organize and participate in regional actions. WORKERS UNDER ATTACK This has been an extremely challenging year for our communities and for the workers that support and hold up our economy and way of life. We have seen attacks on immigrant workers in Arizona and then watched it spread to other states. There has been a wave of hateful legislation aiming to take away the rights of workers from stripping collective bargaining to decimating hard earned pensions. In the midst of an economic crisis that has shaken the foundations of our society, creating massive unemployment that is unlikely to go away anytime soon, hundreds of thousands of workers in the public sector are battling proposals to lose more jobs; restrict or destroy collective bargaining rights; revoke "prevailing wage" laws; terminate union negotiated contracts; remove required binding arbitration; and prevent unions from collecting dues from their members. In this climate, the federal budget crisis has been wrongly blamed on workers and the poor. However, we know that the budget crisis was caused by greedy corporations and the irresponsible housing lenders that took advantage of working people. And then the same corporations have been bailed out and their executives have gotten outrageous bonuses. These same companies are also trying to privatize public jobs, services and utilities and stand to steal even more money from much needed public services. WORKERS MUST UNITE TO FIGHT AND STAND TOGETHER The Excluded Workers Congress was started this year in an attempt to organize and unite different sectors of low-wage workers that have been excluded from workplace labor laws and regulations. We have won significant victories and are building the labor movement: - Farmworkers in Florida have won higher wages for tomato pickers - Domestic workers have won a bill of rights in New York

- Restaurant workers are opening their own businesses and training each other on how to build cooperatives. - Formerly incarcerated workers have “banned the box” in 5 states Hundreds of thousands of protestors came out to support public sector workers. In the Midwest, thousands of workers and their supporters continue to fight for their rights and to receive their well deserved benefits. We know that in order to expand workers rights to organize and collectively bargain, organized union workers and excluded workers must join together under the shared interest of dignity at work and in our communities. As long as one sector of workers is kept from a decent wage and benefits, none of us will be able to fully obtain justice on the job. Around the world, workers are demanding fair wages and have called for May 1 to be an International Global Living Wage day. As multi-national companies have raced to other countries to avoid labor laws and find the cheapest wages possible, we stand by workers around the world to demand a living wage. We recognize that all workers need to receive a wage that can pay for food, housing, living expenses and general support their families. We support a Global Living Wage and commit to joining the international struggle for workers rights. The Excluded Workers Congress is imagining an entirely new framework for organizing. Instead of seeking refuge from antiquated labor law, excluded workers are asserting that they have the human right to organize. The members of the Excluded Worker Congress are national networks of organizations that represent a base of workers that are either by law or by practice excluded from the right to organize in the United States. We are also regional networks and individual organizations in industries where there is no national network. Every network represents a different industry, sector, or kind of work. We recognize that not every sector is nationally represented and we will strive to increase representation in those sectors. The nine sectors of the Excluded Workers Congress currently include domestic workers, farm workers, taxi drivers, restaurant workers, day laborers, guestworkers, workers from Southern right- to-work states, workfare workers and formerly incarcerated workers.

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