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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Immigrant Rights | Labor & Workers
US Labor, Immigration & Obama: Why AFL-CIO/SEIU Are Supporting "Guest Workers"
The AFL-CIO national leadership is supporting a compromise "reform immigration" bill that includes a slave labor "guest worker" plan. This was debated at the San Francisco Labor Council on February 25, 2013 and Al Rojas a Sacramento labor leader and a leader of LCLAA spoke at the SFLC meeting on these issues.
US Labor, Immigrants, Immigration & Obama
Why The AFL-CIO & SEIU Are Supporting "Guest Worker Programs"
At a San Francisco Labor Council meeting on February 25, 2013, Al Rojas who s a labor leader from Sacramento and also is in LCLAA discussed the Obama "reform" legislation and how it will affect immigrants and US workers. This includes a proposed "guest worker" program that will pit immigrant workers against US workers with legal documentation. He also talks about the effort by AFL-CIO officials to limit a real debate on immigration and labor and instead are mobilizing for Obama's "reform" legislation.
For more information
Immigration Reform May Come with Big Gifts to Employers
For more information on the campaign of Sacramento LCLAA contact
nadm916 [at] aol.com or barajasm [at] saclink.csus.edu
Production of Labor Video Project
SF Resolution to Support an Immigration Policy Based on Labor and Human Rights
Resolution to Support an Immigration Policy Based on Labor and Human Rights
WHEREAS, Thousands of U.S. union members have been fired as a result of the enforcement
of employer sanctions against workers in the workplace, including 1200 janitors in Minneapolis,
300 janitors in Seattle, 475 janitors in San Francisco, as well as workers who have stood up to
lead organizing drives into our unions, including 2000 sewing machine operators at American
Apparel in Los Angeles; and
WHEREAS, Immigration reform bills in Washington, including the Schumer-Graham proposal,
the REPAIR proposal by Senator Schumer and several other senators, and the CIR-ASAP
proposal by Congressman Luis Gutierrez, all strengthen employer sanctions, which will cause
more of our members to be fired through programs like E-Verify, the national ID card and
employment verification, and will make it more difficult for unions to organize non-union
workplaces by making immigrant workers even more vulnerable to firings, deportations and the
denial of their rights through workplace enforcement; and
WHEREAS, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has said that that “we need to make sure
every worker in America—documented or undocumented—is protected by our labor laws” and
that we need immigration reform that “allows immigrants to be securely part of our country
from day one-able to assert their legal rights, including the right to organize, without fear of
WHEREAS, The North American Free Trade Agreement, the Central America Free Trade
Agreement, and other similar agreements, and structural adjustment policies and other so-
called economic reforms continue to boost corporate profits while creating massive poverty in
countries like Mexico, El Salvador and others, and that as a result, millions of workers and
farmers are displaced and have no alternative but to migrate in search of work, and therefore
will continue to come to the United States to work, join our unions and participate in our
organizing drives; and
WHEREAS, President Trumka has said that “the failures of our relationship with Mexico ...
cannot be solved with guns and soldiers and fences. They must be addressed through an
economic strategy for shared prosperity based on rising wages in both countries;” and
WHEREAS, The Mexican government fired 44,000 electrical workers and has tried to smash
their union, the Mexican Electrical Workers (SME), and brought thousands of heavily armed
police into Cananea to try to smash the 3-year strike of the Mineros, in both cases to create
better conditions for giant corporations by breaking unions, privatizing workplaces and
throwing workers out of their jobs, and that as a result many of those workers will be forced to
come to the United States in order to find work and help their families survive; and
WHEREAS, The largest corporations and employer groups in the United States, including
WalMart, Marriott, Smithfield, the Associated Building Contractors and others have sought to
expand guest worker programs, forcing people to come to the United States only through
those schemes that treat them as low wage workers with no rights, in conditions described as
“Close to Slavery” by the Southern Poverty Law Center; and
WHEREAS, Our labor movement has called for basic reform of our immigration laws, and adopted a
position at the AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles in 1999 that demands the repeal of employer sanctions,
immediate amnesty for all undocumented workers, protection of the right to organize for all workers, the
strengthening of family reunification as the basis of immigration policy, and opposition to guest worker
WHEREAS, Our labor movement believes that solidarity with workers fighting for their rights in Mexico and
around the world is an important part of immigration reform,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council reiterates its support for the
immigration position adopted by the AFL-CIO Convention in 1999, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council rejects all the proposals in Congress
that promote the firing of undocumented workers, open the doors to new guest worker programs, and do not
contain a program for the quick and inclusive legalization of undocumented workers, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council supports only those proposals for
immigration reform that would force the renegotiation of NAFTA, CAFTA and all other trade agreements, in
order to stop the enforced poverty that displaces communities abroad and to protect jobs in the United
States, and will oppose any new trade agreements that cause such displacement and do not protect jobs,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council, supports the proposal for an
alternative immigration reform bill made by the Dignity Campaign, because it is based on protecting the
labor and human rights for all people, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council supports the SME and the Mineros,
and calls on union members and working people to defend their rights by picketing the Mexican consulate
and taking other supportive actions, and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council forwards this resolution for adoption to
the California Labor Federation, the AFL-CIO, and to other local unions and central labor bodies.
Submitted by Alan Benjamin, OPEIU 3; David Bacon, SF/LCLAA; Cesar Garibay, ILWU6; Tom Edminster,
UESF/AFT 61; Allan Fisher, AFT2121; Maria Guillen, SEIU 1021; Karl Kramer, SF Living Wage Coalition;
Gloria LaRiva, Media Workers Guild; Alice Y. Lindstrom, APWU; Bobbi Lopez, SEIU 1021; Frank Martín del
Campo, SF/LCLAA; Denis Mosgofian, GCC-IBT 4N/388M; Olga Miranda, SEIU87; Fred Pecker, ILWU6;
Francesca Rosa, SEIU 1021; Renee Saucedo, SF/LCLAA, Rodger Scott, AFT Local 2121; Eric Cisneros,
OPEIU Local 29; Ramses Teon-Nickels, SEIU 1021; Jean Taylor, APWU; David Welsh, NALC 214 and
David Williams, SEIU 1021 and adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council on July 12, 2010.
OPEIU3 AFL-CIO 11
Call To Endorse "United Front For Justice & Dignity" Statement on Immigration "Reform"
: El Organizador
Subject: Please Endorse the "United Front For Justice & Dignity" Statement on Immigration "Reform"
Date: February 22, 2013 4:57:05 PM PST
WHO ARE WE?
THE UNITED FRONT FOR JUSTICE & DIGNITY!
The United Front for Justice and Dignity is a statewide network formed with the purpose of community education and the defense of working-class and immigrant communities across California. We are labor organizations, students, individuals, and grassroots cultural, political, and community groups that have united to fight for a humane and just immigration reform that won't compromise our basic dignity, civil rights, or social protections. Our efforts aim to uplift the aspirations of our communities in obtaining positive change that truly progresses our living conditions.
Through deceptively named organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce's "Essential Workers Immigration Coalition" and the bipartisan, Fortune 500-based "Project for a New American Economy," both Wall Street and the Democratic/Republican parties are promoting what they call "sensible Comprehensive Immigration Reform" (CIR). However, these versions of CIR will involve increased militarized enforcement, continued detentions and family separations, the continuation of Poli-Migra partnerships and information-sharing programs (S-COMM, 287g), employer sanctions via E-Verify, and a tortuous "path to citizenship" that involves crippling expenses and years spent "in line."
For Wall St. or the "1 percent", the main interest in immigration reform is the introduction of "managed migration" schemes that allow those sections of the economy built on a base of criminalized migrant labor to be formally replaced with "guest worker" programs in the fields of agricultural, service, hospitality, and science/technology/engineering/mathematics ("STEM"). Under such schemes, future migrant workers in these industries will be subject to a regime similar to the notorious "Bracero Program" of indentured servitude, with grave repercussions for workers' rights.
Despite a lack of honest consultation with our families and communities, many have endorsed these "devil's bargain" forms of immigration reform. Unconditional and premature endorsement of the impending versions of CIR dictated by the Obama administration and Congress can only result in major disservice to our communities, and a dishonor to the sacrifices and contributions of countless organizations and individuals in our legacy of struggle.
Our movement must be driven and led by the community itself. History and experience have demonstrated how unity and organization can transform situations of passive acceptance, allowing us to defend ourselves from positions of strength and take initiative in the fight for a dignified future -- this purpose is what has brought us together and these are our demands:
* Documents and permanent residency rights for all: the right to work, higher education, drivers' licenses and public benefits for all.
* An immediate end to raids and deportations.
* No to getting in the back of the line.
* No to new "Bracero"/Guest Worker programs (modern indentured servitude).
* Workers must have the unconditional legal right to organize.
* No to the militarization of the border and our communities.
* No to E-Verify & Secure Communities [S-COMM];
* No to military service "option/backdoor draft" for Dreamers
YES to a just and humane immigration reform that eliminates the terror and anxiety in our communities, and respects the human rights of undocumented workers, families, and youth.
The United Front for Justice and Dignity is a community-based, action-oriented network fighting for the interests of both immigrants and non-immigrants alike. Reaching beyond our communities, we invite all honest forces to join us as we build this United Front in defense of our human rights and basic dignity.
* * *
PLEASE ENDORSE THIS STATEMENT AND JOIN US ...
Union / Organization (list if for id. only)
[Please fill out and return asap, preferably before next Thursday's press conference in Sacramento, Calif., to Al Rojas at and Manuel Barajas at .]
Farm workers face dangerous heat conditions in the fields. US bosses and Obama want a "guest worker" program to further exploit our farm workers in the United States rather than allowing unionization and decent wages for farm workers.