Workers rally for minimum wage, immigrants' rights on May Day

Paul Kurtz
May 01, 2019 - 5:13 pm
Make the Road PA

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Rallies and celebrations were held throughout the world Wednesday to commemorate International Workers' Day, or May Day, and marches in Philly gave a voice to the unemployed, the underemployed and the exploited.

"I have to work two jobs and don't have time to get anything done because we get paid so little," said Luis Rivera at a rally in Northeast Philly, led by the activist group Make the Road PA.

Rivera was among about 30 people who chanted and held signs as they marched along Rising Sun Avenue.

"If in Pennsylvania we would get paid at least even $12 an hour, it would make a big difference," he added.

Make the Road PA held similar events in Allentown and Reading.

During another rally at Five Points on Cottman Avenue, special attention was placed on immigrant workers. Temple University law professor Jennifer Lee spoke about her work with people who face an increasingly hostile U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.  

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"ICE has been told that any undocumented worker is a target. ICE has restarted workplace raids, and it's now invading the courthouse to make arrests. What is the intended result of this?" she asked. "It's to create fear and intimidation in immigrant communities. 

"Immigrants are less likely to come forward and assert their rights for fear of jeopardizing the lives of their families."

"Immigrants need the rights just like everybody else here too, and that's what we're fighting for," added Robert Kee, one of the organizers from Make the Road PA.