Skip to comments.Organized labor pushes for policies to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants
Posted on 02/10/2013 4:21:31 PM PST by Kaslin
Some of the nations most influential labor leaders have heaped praise on comprehensive immigration plans that will help grant citizenship to many of the nations 11 million illegal immigrants.
The AFL-CIO, one of the nations largest labor unions, kicked off a 14-city rally backing the presidents plan on Wednesday.
This is a top priority for Americas unions because a roadmap to citizenship for those who are American in every way except on paper is critical for all working people AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. We understand that solidarity means standing together with predominantly immigrant workforces to improve wages and workplace safety.
Some labor and immigration experts say Big Labors enthusiasm for legalization efforts stems from solidifying political support for the Democratic Party, as well as declining union membership.
Organized labor is a wing of the Democratic Party now, even tighter than it was in the past, and Democrats are heavily invested in open immigration, said Vincent Cannato, professor at University of Massachusetts Boston. Organized labor is hoping that this creates a strong Democratic Party, which will play into their own interests.
The vast majority of illegal immigrants who would be amnestied are Hispanic; Obama won between 70 and 75 percent of Hispanic voters according to 2012 exit polls. That voting bloc is even more reliably Democratic than unions; AFL-CIO exit polls showed that 65 percent of union members cast ballots for the presidents reelection.
Peter List, a former union member turned anti-labor activist, said that if Democrats retain that level of support from illegal immigrants, it could secure even more union influence on labor policy. Hoped-for future initiatives include controversial proposals such as doing away with secret ballots in union elections.
The unions are doing it to shore up their political base, he said. Theyre trying to make conservatives a permanent minority because they need to get these labor reforms through.
Illegal immigrants could also help reverse sagging union rates. If the nations resident aliens unionize at the same rate as citizens11.3 percentlabor groups stand to add more than 1.2 million people to its membership rolls. The gains could be even higher because of the trades that employ illegal immigrants, according to Cannato.
Unions see their future growth in organizing service industriesWal-Mart, janitors, restaurantsjobs that are largely held by immigrants, he said.
The blue collar manufacturing jobs that have traditionally served as organized labors base has disappeared over the last 30 years thanks to technological innovation and outsourcing.
The Heritage Foundation found that nearly 80 percent of union manufacturing jobs vanished between 1975 and 2010, while nonunion manufacturing held steady at 11.8 million workers. Organizing service workers recognizes the realities of a globalized economy, according to List.
[Unions] recognize that structural changes to the economy have made blue collar union manufacturing jobs go away, so theyve had to adapt, List said. Service sector jobs cant be outsourced, thats the unions target group and its made up mostly of immigrants.
Fewer than 10 percent of Hispanics belonged to unions in 2012. That accounts for the second lowest unionization rate among ethnic groups, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Legalization would take down a major barrier to Hispanic entry into unions, according to Peter Skerry, professor at Boston College.
Elements of labor union movement, especially service workers, have been championing illegal immigrants and organizing them, Skerry said. But its not a very feasible task when illegal immigrants are very unstable, very transient, and not planning on sticking around let alone bothering to join a union.
There are a lot of barriers to joining, but I think this will make it easier.
For more than a century labor leaders have been among the most ardent supporters of restrictions on both legal and illegal immigrants because they were supportive of the idea that immigration was bad for unskilled workers, said Cannato.
Members are holding the line on opposition while union bosses like Trumka may have allied themselves to the presidents agenda. The majority of union members oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants, according to a January survey from Rasmussen Reports.
[The bosses are] not representing 100 percent of their members on this, but it is tactical, Cannato said. They’re trying to organize service workers, not miners or steel workers. This is their way of reaching out.
Would the unions and the dems if we were to say;
Let’s legalize them all with two caveats
Can’t join a union
We'd do that whether or not you wanted to be a citizen. Then we could tax them and send our carrier fleet after them to begin paying up!!!!!
Certainly something like that ought to have some appeal to the Democrats.
Not American in ANY way.
The commie ‘RATS want voters dependent upon DemocRAT politicians and the union Neanderthals want dues paying slaves. “Immigration reform”.
Union thugs willing to damage the nation to get more union dues $$$.
Dick Trumpka has publicly stated that he is a communist. As such he is a tool of the international unionists.
I see the hand of Leo Gerard, President of the International Steelworkers Union, in all this.
When the unions rally for illegal immigrants they always tout Ceasar Chavez, but in fact Chavez was against the illegals because it lowered everybody else’s wages.
The rank and file have always opposed liberalizing immigration because they're afraid of being outsourced right on their own turf by immigrants willing to work for low wages. In “Gangs of New York” Bill talks about the impact immigrants have on wages: “I don't see no Americans. I see trespassers, Irish harps. Do a job for a nickel what a ni___r does for a dime and a white man used to get a quarter for. What have they done? Name one thing they've contributed.”
The problem for labor is that Obama may be their last hope for survival. So they adopt the notion that what's good for Obama is good for the AFL/CIO and ignore the protests of their members.
That’s all this is. They don’t give a hoot about those people, as long as they are “D’s” on the voter registration and paying dues.
They are the unions’ cannon fodder.
And the idiot rank and file sit silently while thier furlows get longer and longer because the union grabs as much union dues as it can from the new illegal alien members while the fraud and chief kills the economy. Unions at work only your the one not working.
Union bosses are not affected hen illegals will roof for 8 bucks an hour. Roofers otoh are affected and the smart ones know this is lose lose.
Jus payin’ the dues ‘murcans don’t wanna pay...
Oh this is just grand. I guess the “union’s” are not aware of La Raza’s motto. I’m laughing already. Once these “union’s” sign up millions of newly minted “americans”, their butts are toast when the realize they have a new union within their union. It’s gonna be anarchy and racism galore by the unionista’s.
"Organized labor is a wing of the Democratic Party now, even tighter than it was in the past, and Democrats are heavily invested in open immigration," said Vincent Cannato, professor at University of Massachusetts Boston. "Organized labor is hoping that this creates a strong Democratic Party, which will play into their own interests."The union bosses are entirely behind this. It's not a wedge issue, because union rank-and-file, no matter how conservative they may be in other ways, regard Republicans as lackeys of "corporations" and "management". They hate the Republican Party more than the skinheads over on Lew Rockwell.
Once these guys are legal and demanding more money and benefits who will want to hire the undereducated and unskilled who can’t speak English?