Latino Worker's Center

Award Recipients - 2002

Monica Santana, Co-Founder

The Latino Workers Center (LWC) is dedicated to organizing low-wage immigrant workers in New York City to achieve economic, racial and social justice.  Since 1992, LWC has organized workers for better wages, working condition and civil rights and assisted in developing collective strategies to fight unpaid wages, unjust firings and employment discrimination.  LWC trains workers in basic labor rights, organizing and interpreting collective bargaining agreements.  Members participate through committees and as individuals no conduct citywide outreach and educational activities that promote immigrant rights.  
In 1997, LWC organized the Campaign for Amnesty and Fair Wages to promote laws to protect immigrant workers and gain legalized status.  A year later, LWC co-founded the National Coalition for Amnesty and Dignity for all Undocumented Immigrants, an alliance of more than 150 grassroots, labor, religious and ethnic organizations.  The goal is to legalize undocumented immigrants living in the United States regardless of country of origin or reason for migration as well as create a new temporary resident status to allow immigrants to live and work in the United States for three consecutive years.    
In 1997, LWC joined with other worker organizations to reform New York State labor law.  The groups gained passage of the Unpaid Wage Prohibition Act, which provides that when a worker makes a claim, the employer has to demonstrate she s/he paid the legally required wages.  Statutory penalties for underpayment or non-payment of wages were increased, as was the maximum fine.

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