South Bay Labor Council Resolution Against Firings – 2013


WHEREAS: the labor movement has called for basic reform of our immigration laws since it adopted a position at the AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles in 1999, supported by resolutions passed since then by the South Bay Labor Council, which demand the repeal of employer sanctions, legalization for undocumented workers, protection of the right to organize for all workers, the strengthening of family reunification as the basis of immigration policy, and opposition to guest worker programs, and

WHEREAS: The immigration reform bills being proposed in Washington would cause more of our members to be fired through programs like mandatory E-Verify and other forms of workplace immigration enforcement, and would make it more difficult for unions to organize non-union workplaces by making immigrant workers even more vulnerable to firings, deportations and the denial of their rights, and

WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security has been conducting a wave of “Employer Sanctions” audits of companies in the Bay Area over the last two years, including Joseph J. Albanese Construction, Mi Pueblo Markets, Pacific Steel Castings, Do Bake Bakery and others, and

WHEREAS: Thousands of other U.S. union members have been fired as a result of the similar enforcement of “employer sanctions” against workers in the workplace, including hundreds of union janitors, steel workers and others in the Bay Area, and

WHEREAS: these “silent raids” have targeted mainly union companies, or companies where workers have been trying to organize unions, and are therefore a direct attack on organized labor and workers trying to organize to improve their working conditions, and

WHEREAS: Joseph J. Albanese Construction is an important source of good union jobs in the South Bay, and its continued operation is jeopardized by the misplaced efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to enforce immigration law, and

WHEREAS: at the Mi Pueblo Markets workers have been trying to organize a union, and the audits and use of the E-Verfiy database has been used to intimidate them to keep them from exercising their internationally recognized labor rights, and

WHEREAS: at DoBake Bakery in Oakland workers have belonged to Bakery, Confectionary and Tobacco Workers Local 125, and have worked many years in this facility, and

WHEREAS: over 200 union members of Laborers Union Local 270 and other building trades unions are in danger of losing their jobs because of current and ongoing misguided immigration enforcement action by the Department of Homeland Security, including workers who have over a decade working at this company, and

WHEREAS: when these workers lose their jobs they are in danger of losing their homes, their vehicles and tools, they may no longer be able to pay for the education of their children, and will suffer great hardship and deprivation, and

WHEREAS: A basic and underlying cause for these workers and millions of immigrants like them to migrate here, is the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Central America Free Trade Agreement, and other similar agreements that have boosted corporate profits while creating massive poverty in countries like Mexico and El Salvador, and leading to the loss of jobs here in the United States, and so long as unfair trade agreements make people poor, and pro-corporate governments break unions, people will continue to be forced to come to the United States to find work and help their families survive, so

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council supports Laborers Union Local 270 and its members, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, and other unions and their members as they resist the misguided effort by the Department of Homeland Security to force their employers to fire them, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council calls on our elected representatives to make clear to DHS that our entire community opposes this method of enforcing immigration law, and calls on our Senators and Congress members to do likewise, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council reiterates its support for the immigration reform proposal adopted by the AFL-CIO Convention, and subsequently adopted by the South Bay Labor Council, which calls for ending employer sanctions and the E-Verify program and the consequent firing of immigrant workers, stopping guest worker programs, and including the quick and inclusive legalization of undocumented workers, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council calls for renegotiation of NAFTA, CAFTA and other unfair, so called “free trade agreements” to stop the loss of jobs in the United States and the poverty that displaces communities in other countries, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the South Bay AFL-CIO forwards this resolution to the Senators and Congressmembers that represent this area, to our affiliates, Northern California Labor Councils and Building Trades Councils, the California Labor Federation and California Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO, and to the community organizations with Which we work, asking for their concurrence and action.

Passed May 20, 2013