March for Jobs

Jobs and Rights for All Workers

The Dignity Campaign supports the August 28 March for Jobs, Peace and Justice in Detroit, the October 2 One Nation March for Jobs, and all the marches and demonstrations around the country for a real jobs program. Anyone in this country who wants to work should have a job. We need to protect jobs from corporate downsizing, the relocation of jobs out of the country, and firings of workers trying to organize.

We must defend the rights of all workers, not just some. Recently 1200 union janitors were fired in Minneapolis, 300 in Seattle, and 475 in San Francisco, and over 500 farm workers were let go in Washington State and guest workers brought in to replace them. 2000 nonunion sewing machine operators were fired in Los Angeles, some of whom had risked their jobs to organize.  All were fired because the government accuses them of being undocumented. Employer sanctions, part of immigration law, make it a crime for undocumented people to work. In 1999, after seeing how employers used this law to fire thousands of workers when they tried to organize, the AFL-CIO called for the repeal of employer sanctions.

Firing undocumented workers will not decrease unemployment. No undocumented worker ever closed a plant, sent a job out of the country, or laid people off to boost profits. Firing an undocumented worker doesn’t create a single job. We need to create jobs, not fire workers.

The Dignity Campaign supports immigration reform that would end the criminalization of immigrant workers and their firing, by repealing employer sanctions. We also propose ending trade agreements like NAFTA that drive Mexicans into poverty, making migration the only way to survive.  Agreements like NAFTA hurt US workers as well, when companies close plants in order to send work to low-wage countries. When we march for jobs, let’s defend the jobs and rights of everyone, including immigrants, migrants and the undocumented.

  1. Everyone has a right to work. Let’s stop the layoffs, plant closures and the firing of workers for their immigration status. Economic recovery cannot happen at the same time thousands of workers are fired. Firings cover up the true causes of the economic crisis, and pit us against each other. We need more unity, not less, to protect the jobs of all workers.
  2. We need a Federal jobs program for everyone who wants to work. If private companies can’t or won’t create jobs, then the Federal government must. We can fund jobs by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our military involvement in other countries. Job programs should treat all people equally without a color line, or a sex line, or a line based on nationality or immigration status. We all need to support our families and put food on the table.
  3. Jobs must come with rights. All workers need the right to organize, and the right to fight for better conditions. Employers use immigration law to threaten and fire undocumented workers when they try to use those rights. We need to enforce the right of all workers to organize, by passing the Employee Free Choice Act, and by repealing employer sanctions. And finally, we need to get rid of guest worker programs that deny immigrants their rights as workers and members of our communities.

An injury to one is an injury to all!