Washington Metro Cafeteria Workers Rally for Contracts
February 15, 2012
(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)With bright orange buckets and loud, cheering voices, Unite Here Local 23 hit the streets with a colorful bang last night as this newly-formed local held its first rally. Workers from cafeterias across the DC area marched and chanted, beating out rhythms on the bucket drums. As a light drizzle began to fall, the group gathered together and individual workers stepped up to the megaphone. “I was born here, I was raised here, and I’ll die here” said Leon, a cafeteria worker in the District. “We all need to stand united so we can get what we need.” Mary, a restaurant worker, said she was there to show her solidarity for the workers who were headed into contract negotiations, because her workplace also would be in negotiations soon. “We want the same support we’re giving you because we’ve got to let them know we mean business!” she said, as the surrounding group cheered. Emilio Abate, Local 23 Staff Director, closed out the rally, reminding everyone that it was just the beginning and encouraging workers to “take this fire back to the cafeterias and organize!” – report/photos by Julia Kann with Washington DC Metro Labor Council.