New Center Opens to Aid Workers

Workers with questions about their rights have a valuable new resource in the fight against unfair labor practices. The Santa Fe Worker Center officially opened its doors this week at the headquarters of Somos Un Pueblo Unido (1804 Espinacitas St.). 

Somos is a well-known immigrants’ rights organization, but the new center is open to anyone, regardless of race, with questions about employment practices like wage theft, where a boss illegally pockets part of an employee’s paycheck. 

Unions like CWA and the Northern New Mexico Central Labor Council will join with other organizations like Interfaith Worker Justice to form “a unified labor force in Santa Fe,” said Alma Castro, an organizer at Somos (who also played violin in the mariachi band at the party to celebrate the Worker Center’s grand opening). 

Castro said the center has three components: a legal team including a part-time labor attorney to advise workers on their claims, the Somos Un Pueblo Unido Worker’s Committee, and an advisory board. 

The center is open to answer questions, and will also help workers route claims or complaints to the correct government agency.

“This is so people can do the physical things and take the steps they need for continuing to organize and change the conditions of their employment,” Castro said.

Training sessions on worker’s rights will be held at the new center, including a presentation by the Department of Justice on discrimination on May 21.

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