Dec. 18 is International Day of Solidarity with Migrants and marks the date the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. To commemorate this day, we have compiled personal stories of the immigrant experience at the AFL-CIO. As you’ll see, our colleagues’ collective experiences are a tapestry of the immigrant experience.
A disproportionate number of Latinos and immigrants are disproportionately killed in fall accidents in New York, according to a new study by the Center for Popular Democracy, because they work in construction in relatively high numbers; are concentrated in smaller, nonunion firms; and are over-represented in the contingent labor pool.
Several hundred construction workers in Austin, Texas—mostly immigrants—and their supporters from faith, union and community groups saw their months-long fight for respect and fair wages come to a successful conclusion when the Austin City Council last week passed an ordinance requiring employers on construction projects that receive city economic incentives pay prevailing wages, provide safety training and other worker protections.
This Saturday, Oct. 5, a broad and diverse coalition of immigrant, faith, labor, civil rights and family groups will march and rally in more than 80 actions across the nation and call on Congress to pass immigration reform with a road map to citizenship that promotes family unity and protects workers’ rights.
This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to participate in a half-day workshop on immigration reform, sponsored by the AFL-CIO and the Economic Policy Institute. Held at the AFL-CIO's headquarters in Washington, D.C., the focus of the session was on why a road map to citizenship for America's undocumented residents is an essential component of reform, a topic that is increasingly relevant as certain House Republicans argue for creating a legalization process that would exclude citizenship as the ultimate endpoint.
Mahoma Lopez and his mostly immigrant co-workers at the Hot & Crusty Bakery on 63rd St. and Second Ave. in Manhattan have a collective bargaining agreement that includes wage standards, vacations, sick days and more. But organizing their independent union and winning that contract was a struggle as a new “Op-Doc” video on The New York Times website shows.
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.