For Immediate Release:
Industrial Workers of the World

September 16, 2009

Contact: Joseph Sanchez, 410-829-6834

MPG Reacts to Offer of Support for Employees with Criminal Complaint

Campaign for Equitable Severance Agreement at Advertising Giant Heats Up

New York, NY- MPG unsuccessfully attempted last week to cause the arrest of a former employee and his supporters after they visited the company to offer aid to workers concerned about more layoffs at the company without adequate notice or severance. Former MPG employee Joseph Sanchez and other members of the Industrial Workers of the World labor union discussed the availability of free legal and advocacy support for current MPG workers and distributed informational leaflets.

In a sign of its increasing frustration, MPG responded to the know-your-rights event by filing a criminal complaint with the New York Police Department and warning Mr. Sanchez through counsel that they had done so.

"MPG said that they view our visit 'as a very serious matter' while I view the disrespectful and unfair severance agreement that they are peddling to us as a very serious matter," said Joseph Sanchez, the former MPG employee. "To claim that my co-workers and friends were concerned for their personal safety as MPG is claiming is both ridiculous and potentially defamatory."

The campaign for fair severance at MPG was launched after the company laid off 50 workers in April. The Havas-owned advertising company, which boasts large corporate clients like K-Mart, has refused to negotiate the one-sided severance agreements that were offered. The conditions of the agreement included protection of MPG's right to sue and denigration from employee's while taking away the right to sue from employee's and allowing for the company to denigrate their workers. The IWW has been protesting K-Mart to encourage the company to use its influence with MPG and support a fair severance agreement.

Founded in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World is a global labor union dedicated to workplace democracy and the dignity of all working people. More information is available at  http://www.iww.org.


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