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Immigration and Free Trade Policies

Monday, November 28, 2016
6:15 PM - 7:45 PM
Event Type:
Karl Kramer
Location Details:
Plumbers Hall, 1621 Market Street (near Gough), San Francisco

Visitors are welcome to attend

Report to the San Francisco Labor Council by a delegation representing Bay Area groups that went to the U.S.-Mexican border to report on free trade policies and immigration policies.

The groups include the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition, Bay Area Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, Global Exchange, Marin Task Force on the Americas, School of the Americas Watch West and Trabajo Cultural Caminante.

The Bay Area delegation went to Nogales, Arizona, from October 6 to 10, to participate in a convergence on the border, in which more than 430 human rights, social justice, faith-based, labor and immigrant rights groups participated, to highlight the militarization of the southern border, the U.S.-sponsored militarization of Central American borders, and the human rights crisis of an unjust immigration system.

Members of the delegation continued to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, from October 11 to 14, to support Mexican maquiladora, or factory, workers who had been striking for an independent union, to highlight the failures of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in protecting workers rights, and to demonstrate the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Factory owners are depressing wages and working conditions in Mexican factories in anticipation of the TPP.

The delegation met with workers from 10 maquiladoras, who described mass firings of workers in retaliation for union activities, denial of union recognition by the government, visits by the federal police, black listing, and a failure of the Mexican labor authorities to defend workers labor rights.

The delegation also met with the political and economic section of the U.S. consulate in Juarez to raise concerns that the 2012 labor law reforms of President Enrique Peña Nieto are not protecting workers’ rights to organize and that the U.S. State Department has been pushing Mexico and Guatemala to militarize their borders to prevent asylum seekers from reaching the United States.
Added to the calendar on Sun, Nov 27, 2016 6:27AM
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