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NBC Studios Food Service Workers Have No Appetite for Trump

May 2, 2017
By Joe Maniscalco

New York, NY - Food service workers from NBC Studios in Rockefeller Center on Friday joined with fellow UniteHere Local 100 members ahead of Monday’s May Day job actions to oppose the Trump administration’s ongoing anti-immigrant agenda.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Laurel Ward told LaborPress. “This country was built by immigrants. Most of the people I work with upstairs are from different countries. We come here to work, and we like what we’re doing.”

One-hundred days in the Oval Office hasn’t softened Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric or ensuing policies aimed at building a border wall with Mexico, deporting scores of stateside workers and outright banning Muslim travelers.

As an immigrant from the West Indies now residing in the Bronx, the 47-year-old Ward says he is “highly offended” by Trump’s actions as president.

“I was highly offended by him taking action against immigrant workers,” Ward said. “We’re here to build the country and make it better — not make it worse.”

Members of Unite Here Local 100 working at world-class venues including the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, as well as JFK International Airport in Queens, wore buttons on Friday in clear defiance to the Trump administration's ongoing anti-immigrant agenda. 

Many of the NBC Studios workers speaking out ahead of the May Day rallies have been on the job - often feting NBC executives - for well over 10 years. 

“We workers are sending a message to the Trump administration,” NBC service worker Carlos Herrera said. “New York’s immigrant workers are here to stay. We really like you, we are one of you guys.”

Nationwide, more than 4,300 unionized food service workers are expected to take part in May Day actions opposing the Trump anti-immigrant agenda. 

“Our communities are under attack,” said Francisco Espinal, a prep cook at JFK.  “Workers’ rights are human rights and we must stand united with workers and immigrants from across NY in solidarity.”

“Madison Square Garden bartender Gerrard Cerda also said the Trump administration is threatening to strip unions of their ability to organize and fight for workers. 

“We will fight back against any attempts to strip workers like myself of our rights to organize for better working conditions,” Cerda said.

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