[Marxism] Fwd: Meet the Workers Who Are Exploited at $5 an Hour to Make Breakfast Sandwiches | Alternet

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 3 07:20:12 MDT 2015

Meet the Workers Who Are Exploited at $5 an Hour to Make Breakfast 
A new documentary chronicles the abusive conditions faced by 
undocumented workers at one NYC deli—and their fight to change them.
By Allegra Kirkland / AlterNet April 2, 2015

On any given night in New York City, while most of us are sleeping, an 
entire workforce is moving through the streets. They’re taking the 
elevated 7 train out to Elmhurst, Queens on their way home from late 
shifts, cleaning midtown office buildings and delivering boxes of fresh 
produce to cavernous restaurant basements.

Immigration activists like to use rhetoric about “living in the shadows” 
to describe the status of the undocumented, but for many without papers, 
life literally is conducted in shadows, as they work through the night 
to support themselves and send remittances home. In New York, these 
undocumented laborers work in construction, childcare, and above all 
else, in the food service industry.

InThe Hand That Feeds, a powerful documentary opening in theaters on 
April 3, filmmakers Robin Blotnick and Rachel Lears chronicle the plight 
of workers at one Upper East Side deli. At the 63rd Street location of 
Hot & Crusty, employees—many of whom are undocumented immigrants from 
Mexico, Ecuador and elsewhere—toil seven days a week for less than 
minimum wage, with no overtime pay or sick leave. They receive a 
constant stream of verbal abuse and threats from their manager, who 
frequently reminds them that at any moment they could be fired and 
deported. In one of the opening scenes, a worker shows his payment for a 
60-hour workweek: $290 in $20 bills, stuffed into an unmarked white 


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