News Flash!: Eviction of The United Workers

News Flash!: Eviction of The United Workers

"Ready for Demolition". Photo from: unitedworkers.org
"Ready for Demolition". Photo from: unitedworkers.org

On December 1st, 2012, The United Workers (UW) celebrated their ten year anniversary. The United Workers stands as a true grassroots community organization that mobilizes with low-wage workers both to meet immediate labor rights victories as well as with the grand end-goal to completely eradicate poverty.

Ten years is quite an achievement. Within these ten years they lead and won a campaign to achieve living wages for workers at Camden Yards, declared the Inner Harbor a Human Rights Zone, and have been endlessly strategizing around this issue for the past several years. The United Workers recently won a victory against The Walt Disney Company, with U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake announcing that the Inner Harbor's previous ESPN Zone location "did not adequately compensate its workers when the Disney subsidiary closed its doors at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on June 16, 2010.[1]

Despite these and many other efforts, on January 7th, 2013, the public was notified that The United Workers were being evicted from their Southwest Baltimore office. In a statement, UW cites this eviction as being due to the expansion of The University of Maryland in West Baltimore. The UW state:

Over the last few years, UM has bought much of the property around our current office for its business school and biopark, setting in motion the dominos of displacement that development inevitably triggers. Due to the UM development, our non-profit landlord has been priced out of a number of community spaces and is now forcing us out to make room for its own relocated community programs.

The United Workers currently have the eviction date of January 31st, 2013. They are trying to push back on this date to garner more time. In the meantime, UW is asking its supporters for help in locating other West Baltimore office locations and help with donations and fundraising considering they will likely have to pay at least double their current rate wherever they move. You can donate to The United Workers by going to this site: http://engage.unitedworkers.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=1 .

Please stay tuned to Indyreader in the upcoming weeks as we follow this important story concerning one of our allies in the struggle for social justice, as well as take a deeper look at the roots of University of Maryland development and gentrification.

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[1] http://unitedworkers.org/2013/01/04/former-espn-zone-workers-win-lawsuit-against-disney-subsidiary/

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Corey Reidy has been an Indyreader collective member since the start of 2009. And.. she adores it with all her heart. When Reidy isn't editing, writing, interviewing, or other Indyreader-centric organizing, she works to do other forms of radical activism -- including, but not limited to, organizing/being a board member of Hollaback! Baltimore. If she's not organizing, Reidy is most likely reading, biking, or practicing/studying yoga (of which she adores and will 100% go to bat to defend and promote).