Haitian Workers in South Florida Calling For Renewal Of Temporary Protected Status
April 30, 2017
International Workers’ Day Press Conference on the Status of Haitian Workers in South Florida and Renewal of Temporary Protected Status
MIAMI – Hospitality workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 355, Haitian Women of Miami (FANM), and allies are gathering in front of the Fontainebleau Resort (44th Street & Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) for a May Day press conference calling on the Trump Administration to renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of over 50,000 Haitian nationals in the U.S.
The May Day press conference will take place on Monday, May 1st, 8am.
In light of the EEOC lawsuit filed against the SLS Hotel for the discriminatory firing of Haitian kitchen workers, we are calling on the hospitality industry to acknowledge the contribution made by Haitian workers in South Florida.
“I have been in the U.S. for 8 ½ years. TPS has allowed me to work legally and support my five children, two of which are still back home in Haiti. Immigrant workers like me are the engine of the hospitality industry in South Florida,” says Gerdine Verssagne, housekeeper at the Fontainebleau Resort on Miami Beach.
“Failure to renew TPS would not only break apart families and further devastate a country still recovering from natural disasters, but it would also negatively affect the hospitality industry in South Florida which depends on the labor of many Haitian workers currently on TPS,” says Rose Metellus-Denis, President of UNITE HERE Local 355. “We are calling on South Florida employers to urge President Trump to renew TPS.”
Speakers will include Marleine Bastien, (Executive Director of Haitian Women of Miami-FANM), Rose Metellus-Denis (President of UNITE HERE Local 355), and Miami Beach hotel workers.
UNITE HERE Local 355 represents 7,000 South Florida hospitality workers at hotels, casinos, airport food service, and Marlins Park.