By Kari Lydersen from Working In These Times
BALTIMORE—The hundreds of workers who staff crab shacks, souvenir shops, night clubs and ice cream stands in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor are accustomed to serving visitors from around the country who flock to the historic brick and cobblestone waterfront. But now these workers are visiting cities nationwide to share their demand for an Economic Human Rights Zone in the tourist-friendly area marketed as the “crown jewel of Baltimore.”
On Oct. 10 Inner Harbor workers and supporters will visit a GGP waterfront mall in lower Manhattan known as South Street Seaport, to coincide with a faith-based day of action for human rights and labor rights sponsored by The Micah Institute.
Earlier this month, United Workers members were in Chicago – joined by the local Arise Chicago Workers Center — delivering a letter to GGP’s corporate headquarters and demanding a meeting with company officials. No one from GGP met with them in Chicago and the company so far has not responded, according to Hufnagel. In coming months they plan to visit GGP malls and meet with groups involved in similar struggles in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and other cities, along with making return visits to Chicago and New York.
“It’s not just about the Inner Harbor,” said Gray. “Workers should get a living wage everywhere. We deserve it.”