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News ::
12 Sep 2003

By Sharon Black
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Sept. 18, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper


By Sharon Black

On Sept. 7, some 300 union and community activists gathered at St.
Matthews Catholic Church in Baltimore's Eastside community to kick off the Immigrant Workers Freedom March, which will culminate in Queens, N.Y., on Oct. 4.

Members of UNITE, the garment and textile workers union, who are
involved in a campaign to organize the Mayflower laundry, helped fill
the hall. There were also members of Hotel and Restaurant Employees
Local 7, and Food and Commercial Workers Local 27.

Advocate groups for immigrant workers and community groups joined the
effort. They include CASA of Maryland, Hispanic Ministry, Catholic Labor Committee, All Peoples Congress, American Friends Service Committee and many others.

Those present represented workers from around the world. Workers from
Kenya and other African countries participated along with immigrant
workers from Mexico and other parts of Central and Latin America.
Filipino workers clapped as undocumented workers discussed how they
suffer at the hands of ruthless bosses.

Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO President Fred Mason was cheered as he
proclaimed, "The Bush regime creates the conditions in many poorer
countries that force workers to emigrate." Mason, the state's highest-
ranking African American labor leader, recounted his own plight in rural Virginia and how he was forced to emigrate to find adequate work.

Steven Ceci, an organizer of daycare workers with the Service Employees union, remarked: "Every worker should support the upcoming Oct. 4 demonstration. There are no boundaries in the workers' struggle. This country was built on the labor of millions of kidnapped people from Africa. Workers from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and so many other parts of the world have been forced from their countries for economic and political reasons. Their labor along with that of many other workers keeps the hotels, laundries, kitchens and factories running. You can see by the great turnout tonight that Baltimore's unions are beginning to forge the unity capable of breaking the reactionary racism of the post- Sept. 11 frenzy."

- END -

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allowed. For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011; via e-mail: ww (at) Subscribe wwnews-
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