Nashville, Tennessee- Sunday, July 23rd Workers’ Dignity organized an action in front of the Nashville West location of Target.  This store contracted an outside firm called “Diversified Maintenance” to clean the store using wage worker labor.  Diversified Maintenance had not paid the workers for their labor up to that date and several thousand dollars were owed to these individuals.  A broad coalition of community members including, Nashville AntiFa, Nashville Feminist Collective, and other economic justice organizations came together to support Workers' Dignity and the laborers who were demanding payment for their hard work.  

 

 
The press release by Workers’ Dignity is as follows:

CLEANING WORKERS PROTEST AT TARGET STORE NASHVILLE WEST, DEMANDING OVER $10,000 THEY SAY THEY ARE OWED

DATE- This Sunday, July 23, at 12 PM, Workers’ Dignity and community supporters will protest in front of the Target Store Nashville West on Charlotte Pike, supporting two people who worked cleaning this Target store who say they weren’t paid for their work. 

Gerson and Antonio say they were hired by Diversified Maintenance to clean this Target store, as well as Kohl’s and Home Depot locations, for several months.  According to the workers, on various occasions they weren’t paid the full amount they were owed for their work.  The workers have tried to negotiate with their former employers- they have sent letters, made phone calls, and visited different stores looking for a solution.  But, they have yet to be paid. 

Gerson explains, “We’re demanding we be paid for our work.  At this point we’re owed over $10,000 in all.  It’s time for this wage theft to stop.”

Workers’ Dignity will continue to support Gerson, Antonio, and all of our members whose wages have been stolen, until their wages are paid.  Workers’ Dignity, based in Nashville is a non-profit worker center which unites low-wage workers to defend their rights.  Through non-violent direct action, more than 150 workers have recovered over $350,000 in stolen wages and compensation since April 2010, and over 120 housekeepers have organized to win wage increases of over $750,000 since 2013.  For more information, call 615-669-6679 or email alexa@workersdignity.org.

Nashville AntiFa collective participated in the Sunday protest which was organized by Workers’ Dignity and had broad community support from several anti-capitalists, as well as progressive and liberal organizations.  It is important to note that our group was inspired to participate this type of collective direct action after observing the December 4th, 2016 action at Popeye’s franchise carried out by the Austin Socialist Collective and San Marcos Socialist Collective who confronted management over wage theft from its employees. 

After the July demonstration, additional actions were planned, including a protest on Sunday, August 20th at a similar Target store location.  In the weeks leading up to the second action, Workers’ Dignity reported that the workers’ wages had been paid in full and released the following statement from the workers’:

"Victory.

Hi everyone, we inform you that the action for Sunday, August 20 was canceled as payment was made by Diversified Maintenance System. We are very grateful to all of you who are part of the Dignidad Obrera family Thank you to the promoters, volunteers, Allies and other workers who participated in each activity for this fight.

We were working in the cleaning area at the Target, Kohl and Home Depot stores at dawn contracted by Diversified Maintenance System.

After several attempts to recover our salary, together with Dignidad Obrera, we were able to achieve them. We would like to communicate to every worker who is frustrated by some employer or company who have not paid him, who are not solxs, so there is Dignidad Obrera that has a process Which teaches us how to recover a wage theft. They give us the tools of how to do it. The worker depends on the struggle,

There are no longer excuses for a wage theft. “If you want you can”.

Victoria.

Hola a todos, les comunicamos que la acción para el dia domingo 20 de agosto fue cancelado ya que hubo acuerdo de pago de parte de Diversified Maintenance System.Estamos muy agradecidos con todos ustedes que forman parte de la familia Dignidad Obrera por habernos apoyado;Gracias a los promotores,voluntarios,Aliados y demás trabajadores que participaron en cada actividad para este lucha.

Nosotros estuvimos trabajando en el área de limpieza en las tiendas Target,kohl y Home Depot.en las madrugadas,contratados por Diversified Maintenance System.

Después de varios intentos por recuperar nuestro salario,junto con Dignidad Obrera,pudimos lograrlos.Deseamos comunicarles a todo trabajador que se siente frustrado por algún patrón o compañía que no le han pagado,que no están solxs por eso existe Dignidad Obrera que tiene un proceso que nos enseña cómo recuperar un robo de salario.Ellos nos dan las herramientas de como hacerlo.del trabajador depende la lucha,

Ya no hay excusas para un robo de salario. “Si quieres puedes”.”

 

Above:  Gerson and Antonio pose proudly with checks for their unpaid wages.

Direct action gets the goods.  We are stronger together and solidarity is our strength.  This praxis is worth replicating among anarchist and antifascist groups and we should consider partnering with collectives like Workers’ Dignity as often as possible to support and amplify the voice of the oppressed working class.

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