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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts by Luis Santoyo

H-2B Workers Sue in California

Two guest workers from Mexico filed a lawsuit in a California federal district court last week alleging systematic exploitation. The workers claim that during the seven years they worked for Butler Amusements, the largest carnival company in the western United States, they were “consistently underpaid” for their work “setting up, breaking down, transporting and maintaining machinery and equipment” at numerous fair sites in California, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho, as In These Times labor reporter Michelle Chen writes.

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Union Summer Over for Now, but Journey for Social Justice Is Just Getting Started

Union Summer activists protest outside a Gap.

The union days of summer are over for the young participants of this year’s AFL-CIO Union Summer internship. But for some, their journey on the long road to social justice continues.

After nine weeks in their assigned cities, the 40 activists, who were mostly women and people of color, ages 19 to 35, reconvened at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., late last week, ready to share what they learned and ponder their next steps on and off the union path.

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$8 Is NOT Enough: Stories from Minimum Wage Workers

Photo by Organization United for Respect

Meet Shenita Simon. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband and three young daughters. She earns $8 an hour as a shift supervisor at a Brooklyn KFC.

“It’s not enough to support us,” says Simon, whose husband also works. “I work hard to provide for my family. In 2012, my overtime hours were routinely paid in the following week’s check as regular hours.”

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DREAMers and Immigrant Rights Activists Rally Outside the White House to Protest Deportations

Photo by Ana Avendaño, AFL-CIO

With accordion-led protest tunes in the midafternoon air, a group of DREAMers, older aspiring citizens and allies gathered outside the White House today to call on President Obama to end the separation of families caused by deportation.

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Journalist Covers Extreme Violence Against Workers and Union Activists in Colombia

Thirty-eight-year-old Gloria Isabel Ramírez has worked in Colombia’s flower industry since the age of 14. Today, the single mother of one makes $10 a day, works seven days a week and lives in her town’s poorest neighborhood, located less than an hour’s drive from the nation’s capital, Bogotá.  

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Farm Worker Union Leader Visits Mexico’s Most Well-Known Political Prisoner

In a move that went almost unnoticed by American media last week, the president of the Ohio-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Baldemar Velásquez, stepped foot in a prison for the second time in four days, this time in southeastern Mexico on July 4. He had been arrested for civil disobedience at a Moral Monday protest in Raleigh, N.C. on July 1.  

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Rally Tells Republicans It's Time to Unfold Road Map to Citizenship

Photo by Rachel LaBruyere

Nearly 1,000 people rallied on Capitol Hill today urging Republican lawmakers not to deny millions of aspiring citizens an opportunity to achieve the American dream. The rally of immigrants, their families, young DREAMers, union members and other immigration reform advocates reminded lawmakers a majority of the public supports commonsense immigration reform with a road map to citizenship and expects Congress to find a solution. 

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How the SCOTUS Ruling on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act Affects Latino Voters

Photo via the Adios Arpaio Facebook page.

The voting rights of people of color suffered a huge blow last week, hitting Latinos particularly hard.

The same day the Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that helped protect the right to vote for disenfranchised racial and ethnic minorities in select parts of the country, a top Texas state official made headlines by saying Texas would “immediately” enact a strict voter ID law. A panel of federal judges rejected the law last year, which it referred to as “the most stringent in the country,” adding that it would impose “unforgiving burdens on the poor.” Texas is home to the nation’s second-largest concentration of Latinos (9.5 million).

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Worker Abuses Found at Finnish-Owned Maquiladora in Mexico

Managers at a Finnish-owned maquiladora located in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, producing wire harnesses for the North American auto industry, have obstructed workers’ right to freely join a union and sexually harassed female employees, according to a report released today by Worker Rights Consortium, an independent organization that monitors labor rights abuses around the world.

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New York Times Article Highlights Immigrant Workers and California Unions

While, according to official government statistics, union density declined last year, there were a handful of states that actually saw an increase in membership. California placed at the top of this list.

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