Many Languages One Voice
Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) fosters leadership and facilitates community-led initiatives to increase the meaningful inclusion of immigrants in the District of Columbia who do not speak English as their primary language.
To learn more, visit www.mlovdc.org.
New Campaign Campaigns
Matchbox: Respect Your Workers' Rights to Organize!Background: Ana Hernandez, Altagracia Reyes, Alejandro Roman, Lucas Efrain, and Angel Morales were all fired from their jobs at Matchbox throughout March, 2017. They believe that they were fired in retaliation for taking concerted action to protest unfair working conditions and have organized to take community and legal action. Read their testimonies below and add your signature in support! (Ana Hernandez, Altagracia Reyes, Alejandro Roman, Lucas Efrain, y Angel Morales salieron despedidos de sus trabajos en Matchbox en varias fechas en Marzo, 2017. Creen que han sido despedidos en represalia organizarse para protestar condiciones laborales injustas, y se han organizado para tomar acción comunitaria y acción legal. Lean sus testimonios aquí y agregue su firma en apoyo!) TESTIMONIES: Ana Hernandez: "I had been working for Matchbox in the kitchen for nearly 8 years when I was fired. I worked at Matchbox Chinatown for the majority of the time, until March 1, 2017, when they told me that I had to accept a transfer to Pentagon City or I would not have any more work. As soon as I started at Pentagon City, I saw the amount of abuses that there were there. There was no break, we didn’t eat all day, we didn’t even want to drink water because there wasn’t any time to go to the bathroom. The list of tasks for the prep workers is so long that I was never allowed me to leave on time to go to my English classes at night. I started a petition and asking my coworkers to sign to demand better working conditions. I had gotten eight signatures, when the sous chef asked my coworker Alta why I was asking for signatures. Three days later, the chef called me and said that he wanted to talk to me. The next day, after my shift, the chef called me over and fired me." Altagracia Reyes: "I have worked in the kitchen at Matchbox on various occasions since 2006, in Chinatown and Pentagon City. When I started at Pentagon City, they increased the amount of work and started being disrespectful. I signed Ana’s petition because I agreed with the goals. The day after Ana was fired, I had to defend my coworker, because she was being given too much work and she is a pregnant woman. I asked the chef to give us more staff to help us with the prep work. My coworker started to cry and explained to the chef that her doctor says the baby is underweight and that she isn’t allowed to eat all day. I stood up for her, but the chef said that it didn’t matter to him neither if anyone is pregnant or if we use the bathroom. The next day, I went with three coworkers from Matchbox to the corporate office. We told the president of the company about the abuses that we were experiencing in his restaurant. But the next day the chef sent me a text that just said, 'No más trabajo (no more work).'" Alejandro Roman: "I have worked in the kitchen at Matchbox Chinatown for seven years, without a break and without a vacation. In January, they started changing us around to different stations, without training us or asking us, and they started to fire people, reducing the amount of staff working at each station and increasing our total amount of work. On the Day Without Immigrants, on February 16, we all agreed to participate in the strike. The chef called us to him individually and asked us if we were going to work that day. It was my day off, and when he asked me to work that day I told him I couldn’t. Two weeks later, the chef changed our stations around again. He put my coworker, Angel, on the station making dough and on the oven. I helped Angel tell the chef in English that he couldn’t work at that station, because he didn’t have the necessary training and because the heat from the oven hurts his eyes. The chef said, “I don’t care.” I told him that he needed to be respectful of his people. I told him that I was going to go and speak with his superior, and he immediately gave me a punch card, and told Angel and I, and our coworker Efrain, that we were fired." Angel Morales: "I’d worked about two years in Matchbox before I was fired. When I heard about the general strike on February 16, I decided to participate with my coworkers. When the chef asked me if I was going to work that day, I told him that I couldn’t because I was participating in the Day Without Immigrants. Two weeks after the strike, they moved me to a different station, they sent me to make the dough and to put the pizzas in the oven. Besides that I don’t know that station, I also have a problem with my eyes and it’s damaging to them to be in front of the oven. I asked my coworker Alejandro to help me explain to the chef my problem in English, and the chef said that it didn’t matter and that I had to do it. I told him again that I couldn’t, and he fired me. That was when Alejandro argued with the chef, and they ended up firing all three of us." Lucas Efrain: "I started to work at Matchbox in 2012, left in June, 2014, and started to work there again in December, 2016. Before the Day Without Immigrants, the chef asked us individually if we could work that day, and I told him that I couldn’t. He asked me why, and I told him because I was going to support the Day Without Immigrants. “If you don’t work, I will take other measures,” he said. About two weeks later, when I got to work in the morning the chef sent me to work on the salad station, although I am always on the fry station. I told him that I didn’t know how to prep the things for the station, but that when all the ingredients were filled, I could take the tickets because I knew how to make the salads. He said that it didn't matter, that I had to work there. I can’t, I said. While this was happening, the chef was also arguing with Alejandro. He said “bye” to all three of us, and were were all fired together. We aren’t the first nor the last people suddenly fired unjustly. They have a pattern of firing people without any justification. Many people have been fired."1,723 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Ana Hernandez
Reinstate Julia to Whole Foods!My name is Julia Flores. I am a single mother of two from El Salvador. I have given fifteen years of my life to Whole Foods Market as a dishwasher. I have also fought many times for better working conditions for myself and my coworkers. However, in September I was fired. I am asking John Mackey to reinstate me to my job. I was fired by my store manager Victor Vasquez because they accused me of theft. I have worked there for fifteen years and would NEVER knowingly steal anything. I believe that they have fired me in retaliation for always standing up for the rights of my coworkers and for my pending workers’ compensation lawsuit for a torn shoulder ligament that I suffered in June. What I need is to work. I want to work. I have always liked working at Whole Foods. I want to be working there. That is my goal. I do not believe that it is not just for them to have fired me this way. Why wouldn’t they just give me a warning? I want to be reinstated to my job. I would also like for Whole Foods to change their policy about thefts. I am not the only one who has been fired after many years of work when accused of theft of a small product. Therefore, I also will demand that Whole Foods change their corporate policy so that theft of an item worth $10 or less to be covered under their policy for corrective action. To my coworkers still working at Whole Foods: Don’t give up on defending your rights! We cannot be silent. Thank you for helping me win back my job. ---- Mi nombre es Julia Flores. Soy madre soltera de dos hijas del Salvador. Yo he dado quince años de mi vida a Whole Foods Market trabajando como dishwasher. También he luchado muchas veces para mejorar las condiciones de trabajo para mi y mis compañeros de trabajo. Sin embargo, en Septiembre salí despedida por Victor Vasquez porque me acusaron de robo. Yo he trabajado allí quince años y NUNCA hubiera robado conscientemente. Yo creo que me han despedido en represalia por siempre defender mis derechos y los derechos de todos los trabajadores y también porque tengo una demanda pendiente por mi accidente laboral cuando me accidente el brazo en Junio. Lo que yo necesito es trabajo. Yo quiero trabajar. Siempre me ha gustado trabajar en Whole Foods. Quiero seguir trabajando allí. Esta es mi meta. No creo que es justo que me hayan despedido de esta forma. Por que no me hubieran dado solamente una advertencia? Quiero regresar a mi trabajo. Yo también quiero que Whole Foods cambie su póliza sobre los robos. No soy la única que ha sido despedida después de muchos años de trabajo cuando somos acusados de un robo pequeño. Entonces, también quiero exigir que Whole Foods cambie su póliza en su corporación para que los robo de minimis de productos que valen $10 o menos sea bajo su póliza para acción correctiva, en vez de ser una infracción mayor. A mis compañeros que siguen trabajando en Whole Foods: No dejen de defender sus derechos! No podemos quedarnos callados. Gracias por ayudarme a recuperar mi trabajo.958 of 1,000 SignaturesCreated by Julia Flores
PMM Companies: Reinstate Me To My Job!My name is Deisy Velasquez, and I am a mother of three children originally from El Salvador. I was working at PMM Companies for a year and a half, cleaning classrooms at KIPP DC's Douglass campus. I was one of only two women working in the building who have children. They were very discriminatory towards us. If we asked for permission to take a day off to take our children to a doctor’s appointment, they would make us take off for a whole week in retaliation, without pay. The supervisor, Geovany, said many times that employees with children caused too many problems - and that he was no longer interested in hearing that we could not work when we couldn’t find childcare or for a doctor’s appointment. What interested him was the work, he acted like he didn't care about our families. Over the summer, I worked from 8am to 4pm. One day, I was told that they would immediately be changing my schedule to 12pm to 9pm. I told Geovany that he had to give me time to coordinate with my babysitter. He told me that if I didn’t like it, that I shouldn’t come back the rest of the week, or the next week. I called him the next Friday, and he didn’t answer. Geovany never answered my call - he told someone else to tell me that if he needed me that he would call me, and if he didn’t call me, then he didn’t need me anymore. He never called me, so I ended up being fired. I have tried to communicate with the central office of PMM Companies, but they told me that my complaints were childish and not important enough for them to handle. I tried to set up an appointment with them, and they canceled it without explanation and without any follow-up. It was devastating to lose my job right before my children went back to school. I did not have the money to buy them back to school supplies. My son's birthday is coming up and he is sad because I don't have money to celebrate. Now we are struggling to get by. I want PMM Companies to reinstate me to my position with my full time schedule, or for them to pay me a severance of two weeks’ wages for the harmful discrimination that I have faced. I also want PMM Companies to fully comply with DC’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act and not make employees take off for a whole week in retaliation for taking a sick day. I don’t want anything bad for the company, I just want my job back. I’m not asking a lot, just my job back for the well-being of my children and my family. --------- Mi nombre es Deisy Velasquez, y soy madre de tres niños y originalmente soy del Salvador. Yo estuve trabajando en PMM Companies por año y medio, limpiando las aulas en la escuela KIPP DC Douglass. Era una de dos trabajadoras no más en el edificio que tengo hijos. Nos agarraron una discriminación contra nosotras. Si pidiéramos permiso para llevar a los hijos a una cita, nos mandaron a descansar una semana completa como represalia, y sin pago. Dijo el supervisor, Geovany, varias veces que las trabajadoras con niños causaron muchos problemas - que a él no le interesaba más que dijéramos que no podemos trabajar cuando no tenemos babysitting o para una cita. Lo que a él le interesaba era el trabajo, que no le importaba asuntos familiares. Durante el verano, yo trabaje de 8am a 4pm. Un día, me avisaron que iban a cambiar mi horario, de 12pm a 9pm. Yo le dije al Geovany que me tenía que decir con tiempo para hablar con mi babysitter que cuidaba los niños. De allí, el mandó a decirme que si no me gustaba, que no me preocupara en venir toda la semana, ni la semana que venia. Yo le llame el viernes, y no me contestó. A través de otra persona, Geovany me dijo que si me necesitaba que me iba a llamar, y si no que ya no me necesitaba. Nunca me llamo, asi que salí despedida. He tratado de comunicarme con la oficina central de PMM Companies, pero me han dicho que mis quejas son cosas de niñerias y no tan importantes como los asuntos que ellos atienden. Yo puse una cita con ellos y me la cancelaron sin explicación y sin darme seguimiento. Fue un desastre para mi perder mi trabajo justo antes de que los niños regresaran a la escuela. No tuve el dinero para comprarles sus materiales de la escuela. Y ahorita mi hijo va a cumplir años y no tengo para celebrarlo. Es bien tristoso para mi hijo. Ahora no tenemos para sobrevivir. Yo quiero que me devuelvan a mi trabajo con mi horario de full time, o que me paguen una indemnización igual a dos semanas de pago por la discriminación y el daño que me han hecho. Tambien quiero que PMM Companies cumpla totalmente con la Acta de Días de Enfermedad Pagadas y no tomar represalias contra los trabajadores que toman un día de enfermedad. No quiero un mal para la compañía - quiero nada más que me devuelvan al trabajo. No es mucho que pido, sino que necesito mi trabajo de vuelta para el bienestar de mis hijos y mi familia.145 of 200 SignaturesCreated by Julia Flores