Jun. 12, 2013
Petition to U.S. Congress: Protect Guestworkers for the Sake of ALL Workers
From the National Guestworkers' Alliance:
As the Senate votes this week on amendments to the immigration bill drafted by the “gang of eight,” it needs to make sure that it doesn’t bring one group of immigrant workers out of the shadows while trapping another in captive labor.
Hundreds of guestworkers have emerged from labor camps across America in recent years to expose severe labor abuse in federal temporary worker programs. From food processing to construction, from the Wal-Mart seafood supply chain to the Hershey’s Chocolate packing plant, guestworkers have revealed how employers and their recruiters abuse guestworker programs as a source of cheap, exploitable labor. When they do, they also drive down wages and conditions for tens of millions of U.S. workers who work alongside guestworkers.
Please sign a petition to tell Congress that immigration reform must include key guestworker protections--for the sake of all workers.Read More >
Mar. 25, 2013 | Posted by: D. Michael Dale
Department of Labor Enjoined from Using Bush-Era Prevailing Wage Rule for Guestworkers
Thanks to D. Michael Dale for this synopsis:
On Thursday, March 21, 2013, the United States District Court in Philadelphia ruled in C.A.T.A et al v. Solis that the Department of Labor can no longer use the flawed methodology for calculating the H-2B prevailing wage that was adopted by the outgoing Bush administration in its waning hours. Earlier, the C.A.T.A. court had found the prior rule to be unlawfully adopted and ordered the department to adopt a new methodology promptly. However, in order to avoid a regulatory vacuum, the court had left the Bush rules in place in the interim. DOL adopted a new rule that more or less uses the mean wage paid to workers in the job classification and area, which would have increased prevailing wages in the H-2B program by an average amount of $4.38 per hour. Unfortunately, that rule has never gone into effect because of a Congressional rider placed on DOL's appropriation forbidding the use of the new methodology. DOL has reverted to using the old rules, and expressed no intention or plan to the court as to how it would bring the program into compliance with the H-2B statute. The court has now ruled that, 30 months after the Bush rule was declared to be unlawful, DOL cannot continue to use the invalid rule. The court has given the Department of Labor 30 days to come into compliance.Read More >
Feb. 7, 2013
Coalition Sheds Light on Abuses Suffered by Internationally Recruited Workers
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2013 - Yesterday CDM, along with a coalition of labor, migrant rights and anti-trafficking leaders, released a new report, The American Dream Up for Sale: A Blueprint for Ending International Labor Recruitment Abuse. As the immigration debate heats up in the nation's capitol, labor rights, migrant rights and anti-trafficking organizations have come together to speak out against immigrant worker abuse and to call on Congress to address their concerns as part of comprehensive reform of the nation's broken immigration system.
With their publication today of a new report-The American Dream Up for Sale: A Blueprint for Ending International Labor Recruitment Abuse-the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM), Farmworker Justice, Global Workers Justice Alliance, National Employer Law Project, National Guestworker Alliance, Southern Poverty Law Center, and a diverse group of other international and national labor organizations, joined forces to highlight the abuses experienced by internationally recruited workers.Read More >
FILED UNDER: Guestworkers
Dec. 19, 2012
Labor Recruiting Firm Ordered to Pay $4.5 Million to Exploited Immigrant Teachers
Congratulations to the Southern Poverty Law Center!
A jury ordered a labor recruiting firm and its owner Monday to pay $4.5 million to 350 Filipino teachers they lured to teach in Louisiana public schools and forced into exploitive contracts after arriving in the United States through the federal guestworker program.
Universal Placement International of Los Angeles and its owner and president, Lourdes Navarro, were ordered to pay the damages following a two-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.
“The jury sent a clear message that exploitive and abusive business practices involving federal guestworkers will not be tolerated,” said SPLC Legal Director Mary Bauer. “This decision puts unscrupulous recruitment agencies on notice that human beings – regardless of citizenship status – cannot be forced into contracts that require them to pay illegal fees.”Read More >
FILED UNDER: Guestworkers
Dec. 4, 2012
Mexican Government Sides with Migrant Workers and Seeks Consultation with the U.S. DOL to Remedy
From Centro de los Derechos del Migrante:
The Mexican National Administrative Office (NAO) issued an opinion in response to petitions filed by U.S. and Mexican workers' rights advocates for violations of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). In its decision, the NAO agreed that apparent violations had occurred denying workers protection under the NAALC. The opinion calls on the Mexican Department of Labor to meet and confer with U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to examine what is being done to guarantee H-2 workers' rights. Rachel Micah-Jones, Executive Director of Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., (CDM), stated, "This opinion is groundbreaking and comes at an incredibly important time - on the heels of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's visit last week with President Obama, and the renewed bipartisan interest in addressing immigration reform."
Read More >