NEW YORK – Hundreds of workers, many of them Latino immigrants, commemorated International Workers’ Day in New York City today with a march that took to various streets in lower Manhattan to demand better working conditions and salaries, the right to employment for undocumented immigrants, that sex work be legalized and respected.

The slogans ‘workers united will never be defeated’ and ‘yes we can’ of agricultural workers’ rights activist César Chávez (1927-1993) were heard loudly today during a march in which Nine organizations from various sectors took part, including the defense of immigrants or prisoners, trade unions or legal services.

Street vendors, domestic workers, restaurant workers, cleaning ladies, doormen, construction workers with their hard hats, the LGBT community and transgender sex workers, among many others, gathered today in the popular Washington Square, a few steps from New York University, where in a festive atmosphere, between Latin music and banners, they made their demands known.

One of them is that the city council approves the bill that would prevent unjustified dismissals because it would force the employer to give an explanation.

Also that the State Legislature give its approval to the project that would create the “unemployment bridge program” so that workers without work permits, domestic workers and self-employed workers can have an economic income if they lose their employment, a situation that thousands of people have experienced during the covid pandemic.

That was the claim of Carmen Canela, who works in the restaurant industry, a single mother with three children. “I don’t have unemployment insurance and I’m not the only one. We went looking for a better future and we found an uncertain future,” the woman said to cheers from other workers. , who carried signs (several in Spanish) such as “the struggle of workers has no borders”, “support immigrant workers”, “never excluded again” or “without essential workers, the United States will not are nothing”.

Construction workers have raised their voices for safety in their workplaces and to demand a $40 an hour wage in a job that has claimed the lives of many people, including many Latinos.

This year, transgender sex workers seeking legalization were also present.

“I am here to make it clear that sex work is work, that we demand rights and protections,” said Nathan Brown, and assured that since arriving in New York she has faced discrimination because She is a transgender woman, a situation she assures others have gone through like her, so they have not been able to find employment.

“I’ve been to different places to apply for a job, they look me up and down, they tell me they’re going to call me and they never do. Because of this, many women in my community end up by prostituting themselves to be able to send money to their families, to pay their debts and to put food on the table”, declared the Latina and affirmed that “it is time” that the legislature of the state decriminalizes “the buying and selling of sexual services between adults”.

The workers marched from there, to the sound of drums and other instruments, through the streets of New York, to the surprise of many while others took photos or recorded the colorful demonstration.

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