Sebastian Velasquez saw his family for the last time when they were helping him move into his Georgetown University dorm before the start of his first semester. A few months later, he found out that his father, mother and sister were in deportation proceedings. They were eventually deported to Colombia.
Where does the Republican Party put its energy? On anything that furthers the interests of the wealthiest. Tax cuts and kicking government are right at the top of that list.* Also near the top comes blocking minimum wage increases, blocking workplace safety rules and keeping lots of people unemployed so they are desperate to take any nasty, dirty, low-paying job, etc. But next to tax cuts and keeping the government from operating, Republicans fight to keep unions from being able to organize because the power of working people acting together collectively begins to challenge the power of concentrated wealth that corporations represent. To this end, Republicans hate and fight the Labor Department and, now, the new nominee for secretary of labor.
Talk about team work. House and Senate Republicans have come together with a unique new strategy to attack workers’ rights and shut down the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). And their corporate sponsors are loving it.
Apprentices develop, and experienced workers refresh, skills at the International Union of Operating Engineers' state-of-the-art training center in Wilmington, Ill. The Local 150 center houses classrooms, testing labs, welding facilities, an equipment simulator lab and an indoor training arena large enough for 18 pieces of equipment to be used simultaneously.
In this video, meet the apprentices who now hold a promising future and the employers eager to receive a trained workforce.
A beat-up van pulls to a stop just up the road. A creaky screen door opens from the apartment at the end of the building. A young African American girl runs out toward the van, barely hanging onto a large gym bag that was obviously not meant for such a pint-sized carrier. The driver of the van, a middle-aged white man with glasses and a beard, throws the passenger door to the van open and the little girl tosses the bag onto the floor before climbing in. The apartment door, which had banged shut in the meantime, creaks open again as the girl’s mother waves goodbye.
“Be good. Have fun,” she tells her daughter.
“I’ll have her back by eight,” the driver replies, as the little girl shuts the van door and waves goodbye to her mom.
What’s behind Republicans’ demands that surfaced last week that legislation to create a commonsense immigration process for America's 11 million aspiring citizens institutionalizes poverty wages and drags down workers already in the United States? Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson sums it up succinctly.
Who wants to adversely affect “wages and working conditions” of American workers? Employers, that’s who….Businesses (read: “Republicans”) would like an oversupply of labor to ensure a cheap price.
A bill that creates a commonsense immigration process for America's 11 million aspiring citizens is in jeopardy because of Republican demands for poverty wages.
Key Republican senators in the "Gang of Eight", negotiating on the behalf of the business community, corporations and the extreme right-wing, rejected adding language to the bill that would ensure new W-visas would only be issued when employing foreign workers would not hurt wages and working conditions of workers already in the United States.
This language is already a longstanding law for temporary worker programs including the H-2B and other visa programs. The Chamber of Commerce in negotiations with the AFL-CIO already agreed to including this language.
Six global apparel brands took the unusual and welcome step this week of publicly calling on a government to improve its labor laws.
In their March 4 letter to Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso, New Balance, Nike, PVH Corp. and three other brands said that current labor law that allows maquilas (apparel and other exporters) to use short-term contracts undermines worker rights and the ability of these companies to ensure compliance with their codes of conduct.
Members of the Reagan High School band stopped rush hour traffic yesterday in front of the federal building in Austin, Texas, along with hundreds of advocates, community leaders, families and construction workers, as they celebrated the Workers Defense Project’s (WDP's) biannual Day of the Fallen.