Officials, workers rally on May Day in New York City calling for stronger labor protections

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, May 1, 2023
Officials, workers rally on May Day in New York City
Hundreds of people took to the streets on the first day of May for a May Day rally and march in New York City.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Hundreds of people took to the streets on the first day of May for a May Day rally and march in New York City.

People from all different occupations are fighting for workers' rights.

One worker says she was unjustly fired from her warehouse job.

A man who was incarcerated for decades and is now fighting for incarcerated workers to receive unemployment, and compensation for the work they do like producing New York State license plates.

Hundreds of people marched from Washington Square Park to Foley Square on May Day.

The annual march brings together a wide spectrum of workers who say they have been marginalized.

Delivery workers, sex workers, street vendors, freelancers, even union workers, to name a few.

The big focus this year is pushing for the Secure Jobs Act to be passed.

Supporters say this would legally require employers to provide two weeks' notice or written explanation prior to termination.

Warehouse worker Tiffany says she wasn't given a valid reason when she was fired.

"If I come to you, I need you to address my concerns, but not fire me. And that's why many workers are scared to talk about wage increases or talk about discrimination on their jobs because they're afraid they'll be fired," said Tiffany Munroe, a terminated worker.

"Employers can still fire for misconduct, any legal, good reason for firing your employee, you can do that, but what this prevents is unjust firings or firings with no reason at all," New York City Councilmember Tiffany Cabán said.

Councilmember Cabán says she introduced the Secure Jobs Act to protect workers.

This year's May Day as legislators in Albany are finalizing the state budget for fiscal year 2024.

Those rallying are also demanding a meaningful increase to the minimum wage and establishing a permanent program to give marginalized workers access to unemployment.

Meantime, women of color home attendants, elected officials, labor organizations and other civic groups planned to rally to denounce City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams' support of 24-hour workdays and call on the world to stand with workers.

Previously, Speaker Adams announced that she welcomed "an open dialogue" on NYC's system of 24-hour workdays which those in opposition say "are destroying women's bodies."

ALSO READ | Brooklyn residents get scare after several manholes explode

While the cover did not hit anyone, the force of the explosion was so intense that it shattered the front window of one man's apartment. Kemberly Richardson has more from Crown Heights.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.