Workers at Sunny Day Car Wash in the Bronx, N.Y., who joined the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) last year, ratified a three-year contract this week. The pact mirrors the contract the workers made with another carwash in Queens less than two weeks ago.
Temporary foreign workers, from teachers to agriculture workers to au pairs, typically pay recruiting fees to individuals or agencies retained by U.S. employers seeking foreign labor. These fees can range from $500 to well over $10,000, even for temporary jobs that pay little. That means these workers arrive in the United States deeply in debt because they must borrow money, often at high interest rates.
As commonsense immigration reform moves through the U.S. Senate, people and groups on the losing side of the debate are making outrageous claims in bogus studies and TV commercials. Let’s take a minute and revisit some of the facts about immigration reform.
Workers at a Queens, N.Y., carwash are the first “carwasheros” east of Los Angeles to win a collective bargaining agreement. The new contract, announced Tuesday by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), is a part of the union movement’s continuing effort to bring workplace justice to low-wage immigrant workers.
I can’t remember how old I was before I knew my father was undocumented. By the time I was 5 or 6, my father’s long and arduous journey from Michoacán, Mexico, to our small American town of Redwood City, Calif., had already become part of our family lore. I heard how hard and exhausting it was for him, as a young boy and then a teen, to have to work every day picking cotton, strawberries and grapes in 100-degree heat. His stories captured my imagination when I considered how hard he worked and how far he had come to make a better life for himself.
Gregory Cendana, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), warns that the national debate around creating a commonsense immigration process “has largely ignored a disturbing trend in businesses: the modern-day indentured servitude of temporary workers.”
With reports that comprehensive immigration reform legislation being shaped by the U.S. Senate’s “Gang of Eight” may reduce the number of family visas for aspiring citizens, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and a group of faith leaders today reiterated that family reunification is a core tenet of creating a commonsense immigration process.
This week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) joined what Washington Post's Greg Sargent calls the "slow down" caucus. Meaning Rubio, who is a member of the "Gang of Eight", and a group of Republicans are starting to back away from creating a commonsense immigration process for the nation's 11 million aspiring citizens.
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.
The AFL-CIO and the SEIU are standing up to Republicans and business groups for fair wages in federal immigration reform. While the group of bipartisan senators, called the “Gang of Eight,” working on the immigration bill say that the bill is 90% done, much contention remains around the "guest" worker provisions in the bill. [In fact, the so-called “guest” worker provisions in the bill are not “guest” worker provisions at all. The AFL-CIO has insisted that any new foreign workers be allowed a road map to citizenship and portability between employers so that they are not indentured to a single employer as a condition of remaining in the United States —as is the case under most existing temporary worker programs.]