Home Depot: Treat day laborers with respect!
For the past 8 years, day laborers have sought work from the Home Depot on Roosevelt Blvd in Northeast Philadelphia. Anywhere from 30 to nearly 100 workers wait for work from contractors that come from all over, contributing significant revenue to Home Depot . Unfortunately, last June the new Home Depot manager began calling the police. For the past year, workers have been ticketed, gotten their cars towed, and lost crucial earnings to support their families.
This unjust harassment led workers to organize and form the Philadelphia Workers Association (PWA). After months of organizing and strategizing, PWA launched a campaign this May to bring Home Depot, police, and the city to the table to find a solution. On Friday, May 23 workers delivered the letter to the Home Depot manager along with 65 worker signatures asking Home Depot to come to the table. The letter urged Home Depot to confirm their participation within one week or the workers would have to take further action.
On Wednesday, May 28, Home Depot responded that THEY are willing to come to the table if invited by the city. However, their response also suggested a resistance to collaborating in meeting the workers’ goal: a recognized site to wait for work.
After a year of unjust criminalization of workers, this response represents an important victory, but it is also a fragile victory. Without pressure from community allies and workers alike, Home Depot is unlikely to contribute to a real solution for workers. As more and more workers are signing on to the campaign, we are seeking the support of community allies like you who can help push Home Depot to engage in meaningful negotiations with workers. Please sign the letter and share it with your networks!
Treat day laborers with dignity!
- The Home Depot
- Home Depot
We are the Philadelphia Workers Association, an organization of day laborers who seek work in the Home Depot parking lot in order to feed ourselves and our families. This letter is a request to come to the table and find an amicable solution for the situation in the parking lot.
We seek work here because it is where employers know to find us. They come from near and far, seeking workers and bringing significant additional business to your store. For the past eight years we have been coming here to seek work. Unfortunately, for reasons we do not understand, Home Depot management started calling the police on us last June. This has been very harmful to us. We have been unjustly treated like criminals, been fined, and had our cars towed simply for trying to earn a living andto provide for our families.
This adversity has not stopped us from coming because we have no alternative to seeking work here where employers know to find us. That is why across the country criminalizing day laborers has never led to workers leaving a site. Instead it leads to a permanent lose-lose situation that robs workers of their livelihoods, Home Depot of its revenue, and the community of scarce police resources.
We want to find a win-win solution. Many cities have achieved this but only through the collaboration of workers, Home Depot, and the police. We want to work with you to establish a site that is safe, clean, and organized.
With the summer approaching, a resolution is especially urgent as more and more workers are coming to the site. Therefore, we request that you:
(1) Confirm your participation at a meeting with workers and police facilitated by local City Council representative Derek Green.
(2) Immediately stop calling the police on workers until a resolution is reached.
If you do not comply with these requests, we will have no other choice than to take further action. We sincerely hope that Home Depot comes to the table and collaborates in finding a win-win solution.
Philadelphia Workers Association started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,322 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.