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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:52 PM
Original message
AFL-CIO joins immigrant rights effort
The largest U.S. labor federation has joined forces with the largest organization of day laborers as the languishing labor movement taps the potent energy of the immigrant rights movement.

The AFL-CIO labor organization said that its partnership with the National Day Labor Organizing Network would seek to improve wages and conditions for tens of thousands of laborers and other immigrant workers.

With the agreement, which was signed Thursday, the AFL-CIO is embracing workers who have been accused by many union members of driving down wages. The partnership connects the labor federation with a network that largely represents illegal immigrant workers, many of whom have had run- ins with the police as they stand on street corners soliciting jobs.

The day laborers' network, which is a loose association of day laborers and workers' centers across the country, and the immigrant groups it works with were pivotal in setting up large demonstrations across the country this spring in support of immigrants' rights.

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funkybutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. they need to get down here
to New Orleans with that advocacy. Immigrant laborers are not being treated fairly at ALL. Hearing some of their stories makes me ashamed to be an American. Gutting homes with no gloves, no masks, no water (in 90+ temps). They aren't supplying them with the proper tools...treating them like animals. It's upsetting to see. :(
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. By request AFL-CIO Announces $1 Billion Program to Rebuild Gulf Coast

Full story: /

In the States

Jun 14

E-Mail This Article
AFL-CIO Announces $1 Billion Housing and Economic Development Program to Rebuild Gulf Coast

Click this for video news on the original story link.

The AFL-CIO today announced a $1 billion Gulf Coast Revitalization Program to build badly needed affordable housing, spur economic development and create family-supporting union jobs in Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina last year.

A year after the hurricane, little has been done to reclaim the destroyed neighborhoods and businesses in much of New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast. Some of the worst-hit areas, such as New Orleans 9th Ward, are eerily vacant. Thousands of residents who were evacuated to other cities and states still are unable to return to the Crescent City because there are no jobs to support their families, no schools to educate their children and no homes for them to live in.

The AFL-CIO investment is the first major infusion of private capital into the Gulf Coast since last summers hurricanes. In the absence of meaningful help from the federal government, the AFL-CIO project is expected to open the door for other substantial investments in rebuilding the area.

Under the Gulf Coast Revitalization Program, investments by the AFL-CIOs Housing Investment Trust (HIT), Building Investment Trust (BIT) and Investment Trust Corporation (ITC) will produce housing for low- and moderate-income working families and provide mortgage loans, good jobs and revitalization of the hospitality industry as well as health care facilities in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities. The investments are expected to generate nearly 6 million hours of union construction work and result in $1 billion in development activity over the next seven years.

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. More info on AFL-CIO Katrina housing initiative

Union fund awarded buildings for Katrina housing initiative

NEW ORLEANS -- The AFL-CIO's investment trust and a partner charity were awarded 196 properties owned by the city as part of a plan to develop housing here.

Most of the properties were taken from owners by the city before Hurricane Katrina because of failure to pay taxes. The properties were awarded to the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corp. and Catholic Charities' Providence Community Housing Inc.

The properties will redeveloped as part of a $35 million housing program for low- and moderate-income families in a city where housing has become a critical post-Katrina need.

The housing program is part of a $1 billion housing and economic development program being funded with union pension funds.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. I hope the union leadership knows what they are doing here.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 09:09 PM by w4rma
This could potentially be very bad for the union, depending on whether they just work for higher wages (good) or expand the partnership to include things like amnisty (bad) and fast tracking citizenship for folks who cut the line by breaking the law and sneaking across the border (very bad).
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. A little more info in this area to get an idea where this is going

Laborers Union Working To Organize California Construction Day Laborers - 08/10/06

By Doug Cunningham

The Laborers International Union says its also launching a new collaboration with the National Day Laborer Organizing Committee to help organize thousands of California residential construction workers. The Laborers union says these workers face hazardous working conditions, substandard pay and job insecurity despite a booming construction market.

Change to Win Helps Uphold Immigrant Workers' Rights; Workers Unlawfully Disciplined Win Reinstatement, Back Pay

8/9/2006 12:26:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: Carole Florman of Change to Win, 202-721-6045 or 202-262-1513 (cell),

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Workers at eight companies have returned to work as the result of settlements reached with their employers, many including back pay, after they were unlawfully fired for participating in immigration demonstrations during April and May of this year. The settlements were the result of unfair labor practice (ULP) charges filed by Change to Win with the National Labor Relations Board.

Federal labor law guarantees workers the right to engage in "protected concerted activity." The charges filed by CtW asserted that workers who left work to participate in the immigration actions were engaged in legally protected concerted activity. CtW lawyers filed briefs in regional offices throughout the country arguing that the fundamental issue underlying the immigration rallies, protests and demonstrations was protecting the employment status of immigrant workers. The NLRB agreed and notified employers that formal complaints would issue unless the employers settled the charges.

"When workers stand up for their rights, Change to Win will stand side by side with them," said Anna Burger, Chair of Change to Win. "We are proud to have supported these workers in reaching just settlements, and will continue our efforts to protect the rights of other workers who are still fighting for those rights."

Following is a list of companies that have reached settlements with their employees. An additional 21 cases are still being investigated affecting numerous other workers. CtW continues to file additional charges as problems arise.

1. Universal Form Clamp, Bellwood, IL. Approximately 30 workers reinstated.

2. Cobra Metal Works, Elgin, IL. Workers achieved a settlement with the assistance of local representatives and groups.

3. Wolverine Packing, Detroit, MI. Workers returned to work with back pay.

4. Laitala Painting Co., Woodinville, WA. Workers returned to work.

5. Delta Services, Inc., Indianapolis, IN. Workers reinstated.

6. Leef Service, Minneapolis, MN. Settlement was achieved in cooperation with the representative UNITE HERE in Chicago.

7. Octopus Car Wash, Madison, WI. Terminations withdrawn.

8. Taylor Recycling, Des Moines, IA. Seven employees offer reinstatement and the company agreed to pay $13,000 in back pay.

About Change to Win

Change to Win was founded in September 2005 by seven unions representing 6 million workers devoted to building a movement of working people with the power to provide workers a paycheck that supports a family, affordable health care, a secure retirement and dignity on the job. The seven affiliated unions are: Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers' International Union of North America, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and United Farm Workers of America. Web: /

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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. good on them
and let's hope they DO expand their partnership to include other aspects of social justice. That's what the labour movement was always supposed to be about -- the rights of working people.

A thread in the Choice forum talks about pressure now being brought to bear on the AFL-CIO leadership to take a stand against violations of women's reproductive rights:

If they keep it up, they'll catch up to where Canadian and European unions have been for decades. ;)

Aha, here we are:

The AFL-CIO is a voluntary federation of 53 national and international labor unions and represents workers from all walks of life. Together, we seek to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation.
Fine words indeed.

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