On Thursday night, Working America held its first of many Workers Clinics in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Lawyers from the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty came in to answers questions on workers’ rights in the workplace.
During the discussion members had questions on wage theft, unjust firing, and filing harassment and discrimination complaints against their bosses. Attendees also asked about what to do when your boss wants you to sign papers without telling you what they say, and how to deal with an employers who pressure workers into quitting to avoid paying unemployment benefits.
Member Ricardo Gonzales talked about why events like the Workers Clinic are important:
“I came to this event because there are many state laws we aren’t aware of. Here they give you options on how the laws work and we become familiar with these laws and can better apply them and ourselves to our workplaces.
I recommend that all citizens, residents, and all the people that live here know this because it is with the knowledge that you can gain from people who do know the law you can better defend yourself.
This would be good to have in the state, Santa Fe, the capital, and all of Albuquerque so that people aren’t being discriminated or abused as they currently are.”
Member Gilbert Armijo agreed:
“Tonight I hope to learn more about what the requirements are for businesses to make sure they paying right. Here in Albuquerque we’ve got a problem because we’ve got a Mayor Richard Berry who in my mind has been derelict in his duty as a public official to carry out laws that have been enacted, and especially ones that have been enacted by the people’s vote.
This was not passed by the City Council or anyone else, this was the people’s vote and Mayor Berry has said, “Screw them,I’ll do what I want to.” And he’s basically ignoring a law and that’s wrong.
And we don’t just need words of compassion, we need action and the minimum wage is one of the most important, fundamental unpinning of helping people become economically self-sustaining.”
Our members will continue to speak out during Working America’s “Got Your Raise Yet?” summer education campaign. Organizers will educate low wage workers on their rights, and continue to pressure the city council and Mayor Berry for the law’s enforcement.
Join us Monday, July 1 at 11:00am in Civic Plaza for the Bernalillo County Commissioners Thank You Event. To get involved text RAISE505 to 30644.