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AFL-CIO Now

10 Reasons All Workers Benefit from Fixing the Immigration System

Workers' Defense Project Photo

The AFL-CIO and America’s union movement, along with a broad coalition of other groups, is mounting a new campaign to build a common-sense immigration process that includes a road map to citizenship and one that guarantees immigrant workers the same workplace rights and protections all workers deserve.

We know that immigration reform can be a controversial issue among our union members and all workers. But immigration reform with a path to citizenship and workplace rights doesn’t just benefit aspiring citizens and their families, it's good for all workers. Here are 10 reasons why. 

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Unscrupulous Employers Take Advantage of Immigrant Workers in H-2B Visa Program

Samuel Rosales Rio came to the United States from Mexico under an H-2B visa to work at a food stand in a traveling carnival. When he arrived, he and his co-workers, most of whom also entered the country under the H-2B program, wound up working 16 to 17 hours a day in the sweltering heat for as little as $1 an hour. Workers were only provided a single meal each day and the meager wages made it impossible to supplement. Under the H-2B program, employers are supposed to provide adequate housing, but workers reported sleeping in overcrowded trailers infested with fleas and bedbugs without a place to wash. Rosales wound up in the hospital as a result of dehydration and infections from bug bites.

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Here’s What We’re Reading: Thursday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Thursday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working family’s news we're reading today (after the jump).

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Why Aren’t We Having a Public Debate on Investment Policies in the TTIP?

In early March, the AFL-CIO joined 42 other organizations representing labor, business, public health, environmental concerns, consumers, family farms and good governance as well as three legal scholars calling on the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to match the European Commission’s commitment to holding a public consultation on investment issues, particularly with respect to the pending U.S.-European Union trade negotiations (known as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP).

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One Year After 15 Died in Preventable Texas Fertilizer Blast, Safety Rules Stalled

 

When the West, Texas, fertilizer plant, where 30 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate—stored in wooden sheds without sprinkler systems and near other combustible material—caught fire, exploded and killed 15 people, including 10 emergency responders, the state of Texas had virtually no regulations governing ammonium nitrate and other hazardous chemicals. A year later, it still doesn’t.

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Listen Up, Then Tell Lionsgate to Do the Same

Lions Gate Entertainment (Lionsgate) and other production companies are shipping American musicians’ jobs overseas—musicians who make the music for scores that are so vital to a movie’s story.

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6 Ways Pew Research is Encouraging a Generational War Over Social Security and Medicare

Matthew Yglesias points to a new piece from the Pew Research Center that, it seems, was written to spur a nonexistent (according to its own data) generational battle over Social Security and Medicare. Look, we understand it is difficult to write explanatory text to go along with the pretty sophisticated research included in the article, but the text you write should have at least some connection to that research. Pew failed to meet that standard.

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'I Thought I Wouldn't Survive': Rana Plaza Survivors Tell Their Stories

'I Thought I Wouldn't Survive': Rana Plaza Survivors Tell Their Stories

“I thought I wouldn’t survive,” Aklima Khanam said, as she described how she felt when she was trapped under machinery in the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, one of the most deadly workplace accidents in history. Khanam and Aleya Akter, both garment workers, came to the AFL-CIO on Monday to discuss the ongoing struggle to obtain justice and prevent more needless deaths in the garment industry.

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Global Labor Film Festival Returns in May

Global Labor Film Festival Returns in May

The second annual Global Labor Film Festival (GLFF) once again circles the world with cinematic solidarity, touching down this year in Turkey, London, Vermont, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Rochester, N.Y., and Monterey and San Jose, Calif. 

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Here’s What We’re Reading: Wednesday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Wednesday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working family’s news we're reading today (after the jump).

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Series Exposing Coal Companies’, Lawyers', Doctors’ Roles in Black Lung Denials Wins Pulitzer

Retired miner Steve Day, 67, needs supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day to breathe. Photo by F. Brian Ferguson/Center for Public Integrity

An investigative series by Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity about how coal companies fighting claims of black lung disease, and the disability benefits that sick and dying coal miners are due when they are diagnosed with the crippling and fatal disease, employ “cutthroat” law firms and a select group of physicians—including a small unit of Johns Hopkins radiologists—was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

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