September 8, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 36
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Saturday, Dec 05, 2020



Stirring, joyful celebration of Women's Rights Day brings together issues of immigrant workers and the growing women's labor movement
Stirring, joyful celebration of Women's Rights Day brings together issues of immigrant workers and the growing women's labor movement
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

After a delicious and refreshingly cool salad buffet put together by Radical Women members, a panel of speakers from the growing women's labor movement spoke on issues involving local and global worker's rights.

The first speaker, Maritza Mera, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and a member of WFSE 304 talked about how employers in her home country have in the past treated women workers, and how, as a worker in Washington State, she has put up with some of the same type of treatment. She also added that workers have begun to organize more in her home country and have gained many more freedoms and victories in the workplace over time, and she urged the audience of working people and activists to continue the struggle.

Adding to these words, Glenda Dunmore, the gourmet soul food cook who made the wonderful meal that accompanied her group's singing at an earlier benefit and program for Katrina survivors, told story after story of mistreatment of workers in the food service and care-giving industries and how workers were fired - after being hungry on the job, they'd take a roll from the banquet they were serving to the more privileged clients they worked for. Her eyes on fire, Dunmore urged more actions against employers who throw out food, when workers are going hungry or are eating meals less elegant, though they are the ones serving the meals.

Also present were members of Unite/HERE, a group of hotel workers who have organized and held actions against the Westin Seattle Hotel, because of unfair labor practices that include overloads of work and unreasonable lifting demands on less physically capable workers. They spoke of actions they'd done in the past and promised that until The Westin negotiates with them-a problem, as the hotel chain has put off and put off times to sit down with the group to hear grievances-they'll continue their actions. They also urged all working people to join the immigrant rights march on the 4th of September, to demand better treatment for all working people, especially women, who still make less than men.

Finally, Maxine Reigel, a member of Radical Women and member of Teamsters 117, and longtime labor activist spoke. She reiterating a need for all workers to stand up to the current attacks on worker's rights, women's rights and immigrant's rights. Speaking from her experiences with her union and from a point of view of being a working woman, Reigel again urged those present to strive harder for better labor practices and a decent minimum wage, and to join the September action for immigrants.

A hopeful and inspiring evening, the night ended with groups of people discussing issues and networking for more actions in the future. For more information on future Radical Women events, call: 722-6057, or go to, or

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