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Aug 2, 17

Combatting Wage Theft in Nashville Through Collective Direct Action

Nashville, Tennessee – On Sunday, July 23rd Workers’ Dignity organized an action in front of the Nashville West location of Target. This store contracted an outside agency called “Diversified Maintenance” to clean the store. Diversified Maintenance has not paid the workers for their work to date and several thousand dollars are owed to these individuals. The press release by Workers’ Dignity states:

CLEANING WORKERS PROTEST AT TARGET STORE NASHVILLE WEST, DEMANDING OVER $10,000 THEY SAY THEY ARE OWED

This Sunday, July 23, at 12 PM, Workers’ Dignity and community supporters will protest in front of the Target Store Nashville West on Charlotte Pike, supporting two people who worked cleaning this Target store who say they weren’t paid for their work. 

Gerson and Antonio say they were hired by Diversified Maintenance to clean this Target store, as well as Kohl’s and Home Depot locations, for several months.  According to the workers, on various occasions they weren’t paid the full amount they were owed for their work.  The workers have tried to negotiate with their former employers – they have sent letters, made phone calls, and visited different stores looking for a solution.  But, they have yet to be paid. 

Gerson explains, “We’re demanding we be paid for our work.  At this point we’re owed over $10,000 in all.  It’s time for this wage theft to stop.”

Nashville Antifascist Action collective participated in the Sunday protest which was organized by Workers’ Dignity and had broad community support from several anti-capitalists, as well as progressive and liberal organizations.

It is important to note that our group was inspired to participate this type of collective direct action after observing the December 4th, 2016 action at a Popeye’s franchise carried out by the Austin Socialist Collective and San Marcos Socialist Collective who confronted management over wage theft from its employees.

This praxis is worth replicating among anarchist and antifascist groups and we should consider partnering with collectives like Workers’ Dignity as often as possible to build solidarity and amplify the voice of the oppressed working class.

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