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(en) US, [nefac newengland] e-Bulletin - Vol. 2, No. 4 - Colibri Workers

Date Fri, 06 Mar 2009 16:40:57 +0200

Colibri Workers Ask Banks to Put Workers First Friday February 27, 2009
Today, Colibri Workers for Rights and Justice filled the courtroom at Superior Court in a
hearing that confirmed HSBC and Sovereign Bank as secured creditors. In a move that
presiding judge Silverstein called "highly unusual," Mike Masi, a Vietnam Veteran and
ex-Colibri toolmaker, took the stand and asked the banks to voluntarily put themselves
behind the workers in the order of payment. He then gave the legal counsel for the banks a
letter signed by the workers, that states: ---- "Today your claim as secured creditors to
be paid from the assets of Colibri is being confirmed by the RI Superior Court. We, the
Colibri Workers for Right and Justice, represent the 280 workers who were abruptly laid
off when Founders Equity forced Colibri into receivership.

It is our understanding that the closing took you by surprise as well. We know that in a
receivership, secured creditors are at the front of the line to be paid after the
receiver. We are here today to ask you to cede your position to the workers of Colibri so
that we may be paid before you.

Banks have insurance. We don't. Banks can wait to be repaid. We can't. For some of us,
both wage-earners in the household were working at Colibri and now we are left with zero
income. Others of us struggle with health issues and greatly depended on our health
insurance, which was cut off as well. All of us were thrown into chaos by an action that
was illegal, namely, Founders Equity's violation of the Federal WARN Act which should have
given us 60 days notice before the closure. Providing notice would have been an easy thing
to do. But Founders Equity, based in Manhattan, had no regard for the damage such an
abrupt closing would cause to us individually and as a community, as RI's unemployed rate
has exceeded 10%.
Unlike Founders Equity, both Sovereign and HSBC have a local presence here in Rhode
Island. We know you have a vested interest in the state and are more committed to its
people, because we are in the same community. We ask you to recognize the power you have
to change this situation.
You may contact us at Fuerza Laboral (Power of Workers) at (401) 725-2700. Thank you.
Sincerely, Colibri Workers for Rights and Justice"

Providence Journal Article

Colibri Workers for Rights and Justice at the March for Jobs and Dignity

Thursday February 26, 2009

Today, Yannery Sarit, a leader with Colibri Workers for Rights and Justice, addressed the
crowd of unions, students, and community organizations who marched to the State House to
demand that our elected officials stand up for working families. Yannery expressed how the
flagrant disregard Founders Equity had towards Colibri's workers is representative of a
larger problem of the lack of enforcement of workers' rights. "We are here supporting your
fight like you have been there for us because we all need to stick together to win," she
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