Job concerns dampen women protests locally

On Wednesday, International Women Day, some South Floroida women joined in the protest movement taking place around the United States called “A Day without Women” but several feared losing the day’s pay or even losing their jobs if they failed to how up for work.

Around mid-morning, approximately 60 people, men and women, turned out to a rally at Miami’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services offices on NW Seventh Ave in Miami. The rally was organized by the Workers Center, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Fanm Ayisyen nan Miyami and the New Florida Majority.

One of the organizers, Morgan Mangle, said the objective of the rally was to support women who are being targeted    by immigration officials based on new immigration policies being implemented by the Trump administration.

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Phyllis Tate, a Jamaican housekeeper with a Watson Island family said she took the day off to join the protest having several female relatives and friends “who are living in the region without documents, and in fear of being deported.” Tate said she attended the rally to also protest  low wages being paid to some women, especially women working at the region’s airports, in restaurants and in domestic jobs.

Mangle said she realizes more women wanted to join Wednesday’s rally, but “had genuine concerns about their job.” She said several women had enquired about protesting “The Day Without Women” besides marching or attending protest rallies. “Many women protested by not shopping on Wednesday. Women comprise the largest percent of consumers, particularly at supermarkets, pharmacies and department stores. Our absence can have a significant impact on the local retail trade, which indicates women in retail should receive better pay and benefits.”

An owner of restaurants in Miami and Miami, Sydmoth Saddler, said he supported the “few employees” who stayed away from his businesses on Wednesday, “Women is involved in almost every crevice of life. From mothers to distant relatives, from nurses to hospital maids; from corporate executives to clerical help. There are several issues which are not right for women. I fully support women protesting to have these rights implemented. I would, could never penalize any of my female employees for taking the day off to protest.”

Enthusiastic protest rallies with larger turnouts, were also held Wednesday evening at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale and at Miami’s Bayfront Park.

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