In 2011, the current directors decided to create Laundry Workers Center United as an opportunity for empowering workers and their communities to make change through leadership development and organizing campaigns.
Laundry Workers Center is founded!
Workers at Hot & Crusty attend the Progressive Block Leadership Institute, an eight-week training in political consciousness, race and gender equality, and campaign organizing skills.
2 Thayer Street Tenant Association launches campaign!
December 15, 2011:
Laundry Workers Center members of the 2 Thayer Street Tenant Association attend the Community Board Manhattan 12 and talk about the challenges they face in their communities. As part of the Progressive Block Leadership Institute we promote community participation.
December 18, 2011:
Laundry Workers Center participates in its first major event! On International Migrants Day, LWC marches with other immigration organizations for the Immigrants Rally.
January 21, 2012:
Hot & Crusty Campaign goes public after months of underground organizing.
Workers from Hot and Crusty drop demand letter by confronting management with the support from the community in an LWC Day of Action.
February 20, 2012: Laundry Workers Center members participate in Occupy Wall Street’s march against the Prison Industrial Complex.
April 26, 2012:
LWC and Hot & Crusty workers speak in the Immigration and Labor Press Conference for OWS May Day, along with others in the May Day Coalition.
May, 1, 2012:
Laundry Workers Center members participate in a May 1st Rally in favor of immigrant and workers rights.
May 23, 2012:
Victory! Hot & Crusty Workers win union recognition and form the Hot & Crusty Workers Association in a historic contract!
August 20, 2012:
Mark Samson, owner of the Hot & Crusty store, gives the Hot and Crusty Workers Association 11 days notice of eviction from the property.
August 31, 2012:
Management shuts down Hot & Crusty in retaliation to successful union election. Occupy Wall Street members occupy the store for 24 hours and 6 Job Defendants are arrested. Workers and community members picket and leaflet around the neighborhood.
September 3, 2012:
Workers set up the Worker Justice Cafe on the sidewalk outside of the store. Coffee and baked goods are donated by community supporters, including Zabar’s and others.
September 10, 2012:
Due to the pressure of workers and community members picketing, the company promises to reopen the store, rehire terminated workers and resume bargaining with the union, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association. It proposes to reopen in 2 weeks, and workers commit to picket until the store re-opens.
October 18, 2012:
Labor/Immigrant Rights Rally in Solidarity with the Hot and Crusty Workers.
October 26, 2012:
Victory! After 55 days on the picket line, Hot & Crusty Workers Association wins three Year Contract.
October 29, 2012:
The newly formed union holds a Hot & Crusty Press Conference to announce their victory.
March 13, 2013:
Dishes Campaign Launches! After being subjected to years of mistreatment, unlawfully low wages, general disrespect, and retaliatory discharges of workers, the workers of Dished rally together for change. Inspired by the Hot & Crusty Campaign, they approach LWC to help organize. A lawsuit against Dishes is filed.
Workers, LWC and community members march on the store. Joshua Duah, the fired worker, delivers to management the workers’ demand letter and the announcement of lawsuit served.
May 1, 2013:
Participation in May Day NYC. On International Workers Day, Occupy Wall Street, student, labor, and immigration groups mobilize for justice. Rally and March for workers and immigration. Community allies visit Dishes with 500 people to demand that the owners rehire the illegally fired workers and come to a just settlement.
May 4, 2013:
Mahoma Lopez, member of Laundry Workers Center and leader of the successful Hot & Crusty union campaign, sits on a panel on Labor's Radical History and Future put on by the NYC International Socialist Organization.
May 10-17, 2013:
June 4, 2013:
Community Assembly and Immigrant Workers Forum, in Clifton New Jersey. LWC participates in a coalition to put this on. The forum brings together immigrants and community members in order to organize around issues that affect the community.
July 11, 2013:
The Hand That Feeds is announced as one of twenty-nine Sundance Institute documentary grant recipients.
Laundry Workers Center with other community organizations will participate in a day of informative action about the new law on paid sick leave in NYC. July 16, 2014!
Have questions, want to volunteer, need legal support, or want to start a campaign in your workplace or community?
Emergency Contact: 347-210-3132