labor and the immigrant rights movement ucla labor center

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  • Slide 1
  • Labor and the Immigrant Rights Movement UCLA Labor Center
  • Slide 2
  • Brian Chang, LAT, 5/1/06 Damon Winter, LAT, 5/1/06
  • Slide 3
  • Immigration History America is a land of immigrants. America is a land of immigrants. More than 100 years ago, immigrants from Europe, including Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Russia, built some of the first unions. More than 100 years ago, immigrants from Europe, including Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Russia, built some of the first unions. Today, most immigrants come from Latin America and Asia, and are following the tradition of working hard for low wages. Today, most immigrants come from Latin America and Asia, and are following the tradition of working hard for low wages.
  • Slide 4
  • The 1990s witnessed the largest influx of immigrants during any period in American history. The 1990s witnessed the largest influx of immigrants during any period in American history. From 2000-2006, immigration accounted for approximately 45% of the change in the U.S. population. Immigrants today represent over 12% of all U.S. residents. From 2000-2006, immigration accounted for approximately 45% of the change in the U.S. population. Immigrants today represent over 12% of all U.S. residents. Immigrants compose an increasingly large share of the U.S. labor force and a growing share of low-wage workers. Immigrants compose an increasingly large share of the U.S. labor force and a growing share of low-wage workers. In 2005, immigrants made up about 15 % of the U.S. civilian labor force and 20% of low-wage workers. In 2005, immigrants made up about 15 % of the U.S. civilian labor force and 20% of low-wage workers. About 22 million, or 68 percent, of the foreign-born were in the U.S. labor force in 2005. About 22 million, or 68 percent, of the foreign-born were in the U.S. labor force in 2005. Between 2000 and 2004 immigrant workers constituted nearly half of the net increase in the U.S. labor force. Between 2000 and 2004 immigrant workers constituted nearly half of the net increase in the U.S. labor force.
  • Slide 5
  • Region of Birth of Employed Foreign-Born Workers in 2005 Mexico and Central America- 37% Asia- 26% Europe- 12% Caribbean- 9% South America- 7% Other Areas- 8% U.S Census Bureau, 2005 Robert Gauthier, LA Times 5/1/2006
  • Slide 6
  • 90% of new immigrants work in the private sector for wages and salaries. 90% of new immigrants work in the private sector for wages and salaries. 28% of new immigrants work in the construction and manufacturing industries. 28% of new immigrants work in the construction and manufacturing industries. Another 25% are employed in the leisure/hospitality and other services industries. Another 25% are employed in the leisure/hospitality and other services industries.
  • Slide 7
  • Of the 17.7 million foreign-born wage and salary workers in the United States, 1 in 10 are members of unions. The number of foreign-born union members has increased since 1996, while the number of native-born union members has declined since 1996.
  • Slide 8
  • Robert Gauthier, LA Times 5/1/2006
  • Slide 9
  • AFL-CIOs Historic Decision to Support the Rights of Immigrant Workers On February 16, 2000, the AFL-CIO's executive council unanimously called for: (1) the repeal of employer sanctions; (2) legalization for the millions undocumented immigrants in the US; and (3) increased workplace protections for immigrants.
  • Slide 10
  • Linda Chavez-Thompson (2000) "Employers often knowingly hire workers who are undocumented, and then when workers seek to improve working conditions, employers manipulate the law to fire or intimidate workers. This subverts the intent of the law and lowers working standards for all workers. The law should criminalize employer behavior, not punish workers." Rick Loomis, LA Times 5/1/06
  • Slide 11
  • AFL-CIO Town Hall In 2000 the Labor Movement sponsored a series of Town Halls to announce their new policy on immigration. In 2000 the Labor Movement sponsored a series of Town Halls to announce their new policy on immigration. The Los Angeles Town Hall event drew national attention, filling the Sports Arena with 16,000 immigrants, while thousands rallied outside. This historic gathering helped to build a strong coalition between labor and immigrant rights groups. The Los Angeles Town Hall event drew national attention, filling the Sports Arena with 16,000 immigrants, while thousands rallied outside. This historic gathering helped to build a strong coalition between labor and immigrant rights groups.
  • Slide 12
  • Immigrant Worker Organizing Time Line in California 1988-1992- The Los Angeles labor movement launches the California Immigrant Workers Association (CIWA) to build an associate membership organization of immigrant workers linked to the labor movement. 1988-1992- The Los Angeles labor movement launches the California Immigrant Workers Association (CIWA) to build an associate membership organization of immigrant workers linked to the labor movement. June 15, 1990- Justice for Janitors Campaign Janitors and supporters beaten in Century City during an organizing campaign. SEIU organizing campaign ended in a huge victory. June 15, 1990- Justice for Janitors Campaign Janitors and supporters beaten in Century City during an organizing campaign. SEIU organizing campaign ended in a huge victory. July 1991- Following a wild cat strike at American Racing Equipment, 1200 immigrant workers join the International Association of Machinists (IAM), and win a contract. July 1991- Following a wild cat strike at American Racing Equipment, 1200 immigrant workers join the International Association of Machinists (IAM), and win a contract.
  • Slide 13
  • 1992- Drywall Strike- Thousands of mostly immigrant workers from Mexico launch a massive strike among residential construction workers. 2400 immigrant drywallers join the Carpenters Union- one of the largest organizing victories in the building trades in recent decades. 1992- Drywall Strike- Thousands of mostly immigrant workers from Mexico launch a massive strike among residential construction workers. 2400 immigrant drywallers join the Carpenters Union- one of the largest organizing victories in the building trades in recent decades. 1994- March Against Prop 187- Over 100,000 people march in Downtown Los Angeles against the anti- immigrant initiative, the largest immigrant rights rally in the country to date. 1994- March Against Prop 187- Over 100,000 people march in Downtown Los Angeles against the anti- immigrant initiative, the largest immigrant rights rally in the country to date. 1999- 74,000 home care workers in Los Angeles join the union, the largest union victory in decades. Most are women, people of color, and immigrants. Within 10 years, 200,000 home care workers are unionized in California. 1999- 74,000 home care workers in Los Angeles join the union, the largest union victory in decades. Most are women, people of color, and immigrants. Within 10 years, 200,000 home care workers are unionized in California.
  • Slide 14
  • February 2000- AFL-CIO changes immigration policy. Supports a new general amnesty, an end to employer sanctions and increased labor protections for immigrant workers. February 2000- AFL-CIO changes immigration policy. Supports a new general amnesty, an end to employer sanctions and increased labor protections for immigrant workers. Oct. 2003- Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride organized nationwide bus trips, culminating in lobby visits in D.C. and a massive rally in New York Oct. 2003- Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride organized nationwide bus trips, culminating in lobby visits in D.C. and a massive rally in New York 2006- Largest Immigrant Rights Marches in U.S. history held throughout U.S. 2006- Largest Immigrant Rights Marches in U.S. history held throughout U.S.
  • Slide 15
  • Immigrants and Politics The large infusion of immigrants into the electoral arena has changed the political landscape. The large infusion of immigrants into the electoral arena has changed the political landscape. Eligible immigrants have become citizens and registered to vote in record numbers. Eligible immigrants have become citizens and registered to vote in record numbers. The immigrant vote has resulted in more victories for pro-labor, progressive candidates, and helped to transform politics throughout the country. Communities of color and immigrants overwhelmingly support Obama for President in 2008, providing the margin of victory. The immigrant vote has resulted in more victories for pro-labor, progressive candidates, and helped to transform politics throughout the country. Communities of color and immigrants overwhelmingly support Obama for President in 2008, providing the margin of victory.
  • Slide 16
  • Immigration Legislation The last major piece of immigration reform was in 1986, providing amnesty for millions and enacting employer sanctions. The last major piece of immigration reform was in 1986, providing amnesty for millions and enacting employer sanctions. For 23 years, there has been no major change in immigration law, and 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today face harsh exploitation and abuse at the hands of unscrupulous employers. For 23 years, there has been no major change in immigration law, and 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today face harsh exploitation and abuse at the hands of unscrupulous employers. Today, a labor and community coalition is again demanding Comprehensive Immigration Refo

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