Immigrants and Workers Protest Labor Violations
Yesterday, in spite of the bone-chilling cold and snow, 250 people turned out to protest the abrupt closing of the Colibri Company in East Providence, RI. Fuerza Laboral, a FIRM partner, organized the protest after Colibri closed their doors and laid off 280 workers without warning, violating the Federal WARN Act.
Fuerza Laboral argued that Colibri violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, known as the WARN Act. The law, passed in 1988, compels companies with at least 100 employees to provide a minimum of 60 days' notice before closing a plant.
Greg Pehrson , director of Fuerza Laboral, said the group expects to file a federal lawsuit against the company. Workers are seeking to get back 60 days pay, 60 days health care and severance for years worked.
In the current economic climate, we must stand up for the rights of workers and call companies on illegal and unethical practices. Click here for a video report of the protest.
Pehrson led the crowd in a chant, "They outsourced wealth, they in-sourced pain, but we stand united to say, 'Never Again.' "
"Many workers had given 10, 20 and 30 years of their hard work to the company," Fuerza Laboral said in an announcement about the rally. "Federal Law requires a minimum of 60 days notice for a major plant closing. We didn't even get one day."
Kudos to everyone who showed up for this protest and lets hope justice will be served as this goes to court.