WHO: Members of the National Guestworker Alliance, SEIU 1199, United NY, allies
WHAT: Occupy Hershey’s: picket of Hershey’s Times Square store (48th and Broadway) against Hershey’s corporate greed, for good jobs
WHEN: Halloween Day, Oct. 31, 12 p.m.
WHERE: Hershey’s Times Square Store, 48th St. and Broadway, NY, NY
CONTACT: NGA Communications Director Stephen Boykewich, c. 718-791-9162, firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupy Hershey’s picket exposes Hershey’s corporate greed
New York, NY – Dozens of community and labor leaders from the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA), SEIU Local 1199, and United NY will picket Hershey’s flagship store in Times Square on Halloween Day Monday, Oct. 31 at 12 p.m., to stand against Hershey’s corporate greed and for good jobs. Their demands:
- That Hershey’s return of the $3,000-6,000 each paid by 400 cultural exchange students this summer to become captive workers in Hershey’s packing plant in Palmyra, PA; and
- that Hershey’s make its 400 packing plant jobs into living wage jobs for local workers.
The students—who come from China, Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nigeria, and other countries—defied threats from Hershey’s labor recruiter and subcontractors, joined the National Guestworker Alliance, and held a walk-out and strike from the Hershey’s plant that was supported by more than 70,000 Americans.
Four federal agencies have also launched investigations into exploitation of J-1 student workers at the Hershey’s plant.
The students’ story goes to the heart of the Occupy movement that growing nationwide: the corporate greed of companies like Hershey’s has led to decades of downsizing, outsourcing, and subcontracting to rob local workers of living wage jobs, while locking immigrant workers—and even cultural exchange students on J-1 visas—into situations of captive labor.
The National Guestworker Alliance is a membership organization of guestworkers engaging in workplace fights across many industries to win dignified conditions, just migration policy, and new rights and protections for all workers.