Picket at Goodfellas for Wage Theft Leads to Arrest of Protest Leader

by Unidad Latina en Acción

On Nov. 20, 2015, New Haven Police arrested John Lugo, one of the leaders of Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA), during a workers’ rights protest outside Goodfellas Restaurant. “You have no right to be here,” said the police to ULA. (Video at http://www.facebook.com/ULANewHaven/videos)

Stand with us: We will not be silenced. We will not be intimidated.

We have been picketing Goodfellas for 6 months. We have been picketing businesses that steal wages from workers for 10 years, and we will not stop. Arrest the owner of Goodfellas, not the peaceful protesters. Wage theft is a crime. Protesting for our human rights is not a crime. The CT Department of Labor and US DOL have found Gerry Iannaccone, owner of Goodfellas, guilty of stealing from dozens of workers. Yet this crime goes unpunished.

New Haven gets a lot of credit for being a welcoming city for immigrants. Is New Haven a welcoming city when immigrants are criminalized for peaceful protest and wage theft goes unpunished? Unidad Latina en Acción is currently supporting workers in cases of wage theft and discrimination in Goodfellas, Gourmet Heaven, 116 Crown, Thai Taste, Fair Haven Clam & Oyster, El Buen Gusto, La Carreta, among other local businesses.

In a press conference in 2014, Chief Esserman stated that wage theft is a crime under Connecticut law and that the NHPD is willing to act to enforce that law. In spite of those good words, the NHPD is doing the opposite: punishing the victims of wage theft and their advocates. On Nov. 6, 2015, Esserman walked into Goodfellas to eat dinner while ULA was picketing the restaurant, ignoring our attempts to speak with him. On Nov. 20, after the NHPD arrested John Lugo, one of the officers entered the restaurant and came out with a bag of food for the police. NHPD, which side are you on?

This is not the first time that the NHPD has colluded with the owner of Goodfellas to intimidate workers. In 2011, ULA filed an internal affairs complaint against NHPD after a sergeant demanded that protesters show ID at a workers’ rights picket outside Goodfellas, and he threatened that the owner of Goodfellas would use the IDs to create a “blacklist” so that protesters would not be employed by other restaurants. [See: http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20110122/complaint-filed-against-new-haven-cops-over-goodfellas-protest.]

March for Good Jobs Thursday, June 11

Jaime Myers-McPhail, New Haven Rising

new-haven-risingTogether with our allies in the labor and faith communities, New Haven Rising calls for a March for Good Jobs on Thursday, June 11. Meet at the Amistad Statue outside City Hall (165 Church Street) at 5 p.m.

There are over 83,000 jobs in the city. Yet less than 1 in 4 of those jobs is held by a New Haven resident. And of the livable wage jobs only 2,000 are held by residents of neighborhoods of need like Dixwell, Fair Haven and the Hill. This needs to change. We call on the city’s large employers, developers and construction companies to do their part to solve this jobs crisis. It’s time to hire qualified New Haven residents and create a strong, prosperous future for all New Haven communities.

Contact us at risingnewhaven@gmail.com or (203) 533-2283 for more information.

Milada Marsalka’s Memoirs Now Available in New Haven

PAR Planning Committee

pursuing-peaceMilada Marsalka, founding member of PAR (1993), long-time president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, New Haven County Branch, and a fiery activist in countless struggles for peace, labor rights, equality and justice, had the foresight to write about her life. She died in 2000 at the age of 95, leaving a manuscript that could inform and inspire others.

Through the diligence of Milada’s nieces, Regina Stevenson and Catherine Nathan, Pursuing Peace: Memoirs of Milada Marsalka has been published.

Thanks to New Haven/León Sister City Project, a box of books was shipped to New Haven. You can purchase your copy of Pursuing Peace from PAR for $15. Please call Paula at (203) 562-2798 to arrange your pick-up. This book makes a great gift!

For a description of the book go to the publisher’s site: wordassociation.com/memoir%20book%20page/ pursuingpeace.html.

Labor History Association to Give Awards to Rick Wolff and Mike Dennehy at June 7 Annual Conference

by Joan Cavanagh, Archivist/ Director GNHLHA

The Labor History Association will hold its annual conference and meeting on Sunday, June 7, 2015 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Council/Teachers Building, 267 Chapel Street, New Haven CT. The recipients of this year’s Augusta Lewis Troup Preservation Awards are Rick Wolff and the late Mike Dennehy.

Named by The New York Times Magazine as “America’s most prominent Marxist economist,” former long-time New Haven resident, Rick Wolff, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts. Since his move to New York City, he has been an organizer of the Left Forum, broadcasts a program on WBAI (Pacifica Radio), and writes regularly for The Guardian and Truthout.org. He has appeared on a number of high-profile TV interview programs including Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, Charlie Rose and Glen Beck.

His books include: Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What To Do About It (2009); Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian (2012); and Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism (2012).

Mike Dennehy, 55, passed away on April 22, 2014, while attending an arbitration hearing for a member of the Greater CT Area Local 237 of the American Postal Workers Union. He gave 34 years of service to the United States Postal Service and was a union member or officer for all that time. He held numerous offices in his union, from Vice President of the Bridgeport local to his final position as a Vice President of the Greater Connecticut area local in charge of representing associate offices. He was a credit to labor and his profession. Labor History will be presenting his Augusta Lewis Troup award posthumously, to be accepted by family members.

Further details of the conference will follow. For more information, contact joan@laborhistory.org.

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