Chinatown and the Lower East Side say “No Way!” to Extell’s Luxury Tower

 Call on Mayor de Blasio to Support Community-Based Rezoning Plan

For Immediate Release

Community based organizations, residents, and small businesses of the Lower East Side and Chinatown are rallying to demand that Mayor de Blasio stop Extell from constructing an ultra-luxury skyscraper for the 1% on the Lower East Side waterfront. The tower could potentially rise 700 feet and be twice as high as any surrounding development. Despite recent news that Extell is bringing the tower down from 72 to 56-stories, the community is still opposed.

The Extell tower is being built on a former publicly-owned lot (the Two Bridges Urban Renewal Area) that housed a Pathmark on 227 Cherry St., the only affordable supermarket serving the surrounding low-income community. Since the Pathmark was closed in 2012, residents have struggled to find quality affordable groceries. Furthermore, the Extell tower will be built in the middle of several NYCHA and publicly subsidized low and moderate income developments.

The local community fears that the Extell tower will accelerate the privatization of the surrounding public housing and will result in the mass displacement of low-income families of color that will ultimately destroy Chinatown and the Lower East Side. We are demanding that the Mayor support a community based re-zoning to protect the local neighborhood, and especially public housing, which is at risk of being privatized.

Location: Across from 227 Cherry St., NY, NY 10002 (Corner of Cherry St. and Pike St.)

Date:Tuesday, 4/28/2015

Time: 11 AM

Hosted by: Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Chinatown Tenants Union (CTU), Chinese Staff and Workers Association (CSWA), CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), Mujeres Y Hombres Luchadoras, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NMASS)

On March 8, Commemorate International Working Women’s Day

Workers protested this summer and called on Costco to boycott Sweatshop manufacturer Reynolds.

Workers protested this summer and called on Costco to boycott Sweatshop manufacturer Reynolds.

Shame on Costco for Selling Sweatshop Products!

What: Rally for Working Women’s Rights!

Date: March 8, 2015 | International Working Women’s Day

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: Brooklyn Costco

976 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232 (between 37th and 38th Streets)

Take the D/N/R to 36th Street or contact us to coordinate.

For more info, visit

Celebrate the New Year with CSWA!

 Please RSVP for our annual Lunar New Year Celebration and help us usher in the Year of the Ram!

Sunday, March 15, 2:30pm
@ PS 1, Chinatown / 8 Henry St.
New York, NY 10038



Happy Lunar New Year! We are charging forward in 2015, breaking new ground:

Taking Back our Community

After years of condemning the racist East Village Rezoning Plan and fighting to include Latino organizations into Chinatown Working Group (CWG), we recently won a battle against developers. On January 5, 2015, CWG adopted important principles of the People’s First Plan. The plan includes 100% low-income housing on NYCHA public land and placing height limits and 55% low-income housing on private land in waterfront area, which encompasses the hotly-contested former Pathmark lot. Armed with this victory, and encouraged by the recent arrest of Assemblymember Sheldon Silver, Chinese workers are leading the fight for change and coming together with communities across the city to tell Mayor DeBlasio that our communities are not for sale.

Fearless in the Fight to End Wage Theft

In 2014, we supported East Market Restaurant workers to launch a picket line in front of the restaurant, in the heart of the Fuzhounese community, to kick off the campaign against the wage theft. Later, joined with hundreds of workers from other communities we held demonstrations monthly in front of NYS Department of Labor (DOL) to demand Governor Cuomo enforce the labor law and increase the minimum for tip-workers. The action successfully forced the Cuomo administration to convene the Wage Board to increase wages from roughly $5 to $7.50 for ALL tipped workers. Furthermore, we brought to light the need for better enforcement as well as new legislation to make enforcement possible. Currently, the DOL has a 17,000 case back-log, which is unacceptable.

Taking Back the 40-hour Workweek

Chinese women workers have made huge strides, putting time at the forefront of the debate in workers’ struggles and women’s struggles. We connected with workers in Pactiv’s Arkansas factory who are facing retaliation for organizing against 12-hour mandatory overtime shifts. On March 8, International Women’s Day, we are launching a national boycott of Costco, urging the company to stop buying Pactiv and Reynolds sweatshop products. This May, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the demand for a 40-hour workweek, the Ain’t I A Woman?! Campaign will join students, faith groups and workers’ organizations across the country who are teaming up to take back control of our time.

We invite you to join us in fighting these struggles during this year of the Ram which symbolizes determination and steadfast bravery in the face of difficult opposition. We also hope you will join us at the celebration on March 15th to welcome in the Year of the Ram!

The Coalition for a Real Minimum Wage Increase is happy to hear that Governor Cuomo has finally announced that his administration will convene the wage board and raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, the majority of whom are women.

But we are not stopping here. We continue to to rally in front of the Department of Labor and keep up the pressure to make sure the wage board is inclusive, and to make sure Governor Cuomo and the DOL commit to enforce the law by investigating wage theft claims 6 years back and supporting the SWEAT bill to strengthen the current law and make enforcement possible.

Furthermore, we call on Governor Cuomo to raise the minimum wage to more than $8 so workers can survive and stop giving millions in subsidies to corporations for hiring teen workers.

We urge all workers and supporters to join the picket line. This is a crucial time for New Yorkers to speak out and demand Governor Cuomo take action.

Governor Cuomo: We Demand a Real Minimum Wage for All Workers

Not Second-Class Treatment, Not Corporate Welfare!

The New York State bill is a sham. It will enrich employers and corporations to the detriment of all working people. New Yorkers deserve a real wage raise, one that improves conditions for all workers.

  • The bill is too little, too late: Raising the minimum wage to only $9 over 3 years is not enough for anyone to survive on. New York’s minimum wage would be over $10.70 if it had kept up with the cost of living since 1970.
  • The bill is discriminatory against tipped workers: This bill does not include a provision to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. It directs that decision to a Wage Board. This excludes the hundreds of thousands of tipped workers who are predominately women and people of color.  Due to increases in the cost of living, going without a raise in reality means a pay cut.  Separate is never equal.
  • The bill subsidizes Corporations to hire young workers, encouraging them to replace those who are currently employed. Businesses will receive a refundable tax credit for hiring youth aged 16-19. This encourages businesses to lower the wages of especially older workers or replace them with teenagers. It is projected to cost the public hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
  • Furthermore, the bill does not hold corporations such as Dominos Pizza, McDonalds, etc. accountable and does not put resources into enforcing the labor law.Many workers receive less than minimum wage and work long hours without overtime pay, but when they come forward, it often takes years for the Labor Department to investigate the cases. This lack of enforcement encourages employers and corporations to violate the labor law.

This bill is harmful to all working people. Hold Gov. Cuomo accountable!

We demand:

  1. The minimum wage should be increased to be at least $10/hr, indexed to inflation.
  2. Tipped workers should not be treated as second-class citizen. Tipped workers should receive a minimum-wage increase along with all other workers.
  3. Put resources into enforcement and strengthen the labor law, instead of giving millions to corporations in subsidies to hire youth to replace workers currently employed.