December 18, 2018
4:00pm March starts from 1710 W. Lake Street
6:00pm Celebration at CTUL (3715 Chicago Ave)
CTUL invites you to "Las Posadas: March for Dignity and Respect”. Construction workers who are members of CTUL are calling on large developers in the Twin Cities metro area to work with Building Dignity and Respect Standards Council to end labor trafficking, wage theft, and other serious abuses in the construction industry.
Join us December 18, 2018 at 3:00pm at the CTUL office to carpool, or 4:00pm for at 1710 W. Lake Street for a rally, march and street theater, followed by a celebration at CTUL (3715 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis) at 6:00pm.
Las Posadas (Spanish for “lodging) is a centuries old tradition held throughout Mexico and Central America commemorating Mary and Joseph’s difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a warm place to stay the night. The story carries a powerful moral and political message, in which a people who are subjected to the brutalities of the Roman Empire stand up to have a voice in ensuring basic dignity and respect.
In the story of Las Posadas, Mary and Joseph (a carpenter by trade) are poor migrants who are seeking refuge in their journey to Bethlehem. They are consistently turned away until they arrive at the poorest of poor homes where they are offered a stable for them to stay and give birth to their child. Their first visitors are shepherds, who at the time were among the poorest, most marginalized people in Judea. Las Posadas commemorates the beginning of a movement led by a subjugated people against the Roman Empire.
In the spirit of this tradition, construction workers who are members of CTUL are standing up to demand a voice in ensuring basic dignity and respect in the construction industry. Recently the Hennepin County Attorney’s office filed charges against a local construction contractor for labor trafficking, theft by swindle, and insurance fraud. In this case, Ricardo Batres, owner of American Contractors and Associates, was working on construction projects led by Reuter Walton, one of the largest Developers / General Contractors in Minneapolis, and Lennar, the single largest home-builder in the Twin Cities metro area for every year since 2006. Unfortunately this is not an isolated case but is a symptom of a much larger problem in the industry where workers report rampant wage theft, dangerous working conditions, and at the extreme labor trafficking.
With this march, workers have put together a theater skit in which the main character is a carpenter who migrates to the big city only to be surprised by modern and historical injustices such as wage theft, labor trafficking, and other labor abuses. The worker is consistently turned away from having a voice, until he finds other workers and together they stand up to demand basic dignity and respect.
Join us in this interactive play where we will march from the offices of Reuter Walton to Wells Fargo (a major lender to Lennar) to one of the largest proposed development projects in Minneapolis at the old Arby’s location in Uptown. Following the march we will go to CTUL to celebrate the beginning of a movement to win dignity and respect in the construction industry.