Friday, August 11, 2006

Organized Labor Grows the Movement

This is huge.

The AFL-CIO voted yesterday to join forces with a national network of day-laborer organizers in a push for worker rights and legalization for unauthorized workers, a move that could provide day laborers with a potent ally in efforts to establish hiring halls and combat shifty employers.

Six years after organized labor made an about-face to support illegal workers, the agreement further cemented the struggling labor movement's embrace of illegal immigrants as key parts of the U.S. workforce and potential union members. Research indicates that about three-fourths of day laborers are in the country illegally.

linkage - WaPo registration required.

Here in Arizona, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have been powerhouses of support for the human rights advocates that are fighting against the current hostile political climate the Latino community is faced with due to the immigration blather that comes from the radical right wing. The union organizers understand that there is a powerful force waiting to be tapped within the immigrant and immigrant-supporting groups that span the region.

I'm glad to see organized labor's advocacy work being spread on a national level. As the WaPo article mentions, this will open up pathways for employees to organize and demand rights that will extend to all workers in this country. Living wages, safe job sites, security of benefits, etc. will flow out of this.

The naysayers who claim day laborers and the immigrant community are stealing the jobs of Americans need to wake up from their Lou Dobbs-induced coma and smell the sweet scent of facts:

The Pew Hispanic Center found no evidence that increases in immigration led to higher unemployment among Americans, said Rakesh Kochhar, who authored the study.

Kochhar said other factors, such as economic growth, played a larger role than immigration in setting the job market for Americans.


Here's the link to the full report from the PHC. More ammunition to fight against the propaganda that is continuing to demonize the immigrant community and Latinos by extension in many areas.

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