Immigrant workers and community leaders testified before a panel of national union leaders during this forum. Immigrant workers spoke of how their employers routinely violate their most basic rights- the rights to a safe work place, overtime pay, minimum wage, and the freedom to form a union. When Immigrant workers stand up for their rights, they routinely get threatened and/or fired.
Forum testimonies will be used to develop recommendations for the union movement and public policy proposals. Speakers included a Thai garment worker, a Latino farmworker, a Caribbean medical intern, a Palm Springs immigrant hotel worker and a Seattle construction worker.
Over more than 70 community and faith-based organizations participated in Saturday's forum, along with members of Congress Joe Baca, Howard Berman, Lucille Roybal-Allard, and Loretta Sanchez, and other State and Local elected officials.
AFL-CIO's Executive Council called for replacing employer sanctions routinely used to punish workers with laws that criminalize employer exploitation of immigrant workers. The AFL-CIO also called for changes in laws that would allow undocumented immigrants who are in the U.S. to become U.S. Citizens which will allow them to continue their contributions to their communities.
For more information on the AFL-CIO Executive Council's statement on immigration, visit www.aflcio.org/publ/estatements/feb2000/ec_immigr.htm