MPG Files Charges v. Leftist Who Staged Office Invasion After Security Gave Him a Visitor's Pass

Last Updated Sep 16, 2009 2:46 PM EDT

MPG has filed a criminal complaint with the New York police against Joseph Sanchez, a former employee, after he and three comrades from the Industrial Workers of the World snuck into MPG's Manhattan office to "offer aid" to employees there. The move comes after Sanchez and his fellow labor movement radicals (pictured) staged several protests against MPG's policy of only paying severance to laid off workers if they sign a statement promising not to sue MPG. MPG makes no such promise in return, Sanchez claims. Havas has laid off at least 1,200 people in the recession.

It also shows that MPG's security at its Manhattan office in the financial district totally sucks. Sanchez told BNET how he got into the building, on Aug. 20.:

We went through security. We said we were there to see various people at MPG and they gave us a visitor's pass. Then we went inside.
Sanchez did not have a specific appointment to see anyone, he said. So there it is: Want to sneak into an Havas office to precipitate capitalism's final crisis? Just ask at the desk and go right in!

The Wobblies' revolutionary plot was partially foiled when it emerged that CEO Shaun Holliday and COO Steve Lanzano, whom they planned to confront, were in Boston that day. So they spent some time trying to hand out leaflets offering lefty legal advice before security finally extracted them from the building.

MPG's letter to Sanchez states:

MPG employees found the incident deeply upsetting, and expressed alarm and concern regarding their personal safety in the office environment.
The full text of the IWW press statement follows:

For Immediate Release: Industrial Workers of the World September 16, 2009 Note: Letter from MPG's counsel attached 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.