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What Unions Need to Know of TPS

As you may have heard, the Department of Homeland Security has announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status for numerous countries. Hundreds of thousands of people receive their work authorization through TPS, so these terminations will have a serious impact on workers, including many union members.

This packet includes essential information to help unions and their members prepare. Here’s what you need to know:

Terminations are not immediate.

Although the Trump administration has announced terminations for many TPS countries, the status will not end for many months. Workers with TPS can and should apply to renew their status, and employers should not take any adverse action against these workers.

Deadlines are approaching quickly.

There are important deadlines approaching that members need to be aware of so that they can successfully reapply for TPS status and work permits. Although they may have filed TPS renewals many times in the past, this likely will be the final opportunity to apply, so they should prepare thoroughly and submit their applications as soon as possible. A schedule of upcoming deadlines is included in the timeline and will be updated as TPS announcements are made for other countries.

Unions have a key role to play.

Working people with TPS need to know that the union has their back during this extremely difficult time. Unions should be informed about the issue, provide information and support to their members, and engage in the fight for legislative solutions.

Workers need to take steps now.

Before the deadlines, TPS holders will need to file the relevant application forms with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and pay the $495 fee to renew their work authorization. This packet includes helpful materials to share with workers explaining how and when to renew TPS status.

TPS holders should face no immediate impact at work.

Employment authorization documents (EADs), or work permits, for TPS holders are automatically extended beyond the printed expiration date to allow time for processing renewal applications. Those extension dates also are included on the timeline.

Employers should not and need not reverify work authorization documents of individuals in TPS status simply based on these announcements regarding the future termination of TPS. Employers are, however, required to reverify work authorization documents upon their expiration. At such time, workers should simply present copies of the Federal Register notices to show the automatic extension of their work permits. Federal guidance on TPS re-registration and EAD renewal, including Federal Register notices, can be found at uscis.gov/tps.

Should an employer refuse to allow a TPS holder to work despite having timely re-registered, the worker should contact the union. Individuals in TPS status also should investigate whether they may be eligible for any other type of immigration relief, and the union can refer them to appropriate counsel.

Materials included in this packet:

• Timeline of upcoming deadlines related to TPS terminations

• Specific alerts for TPS workers from Haiti and El Salvador

• Instruction on how to re-register for TPS

• A sample letter for a TPS worker to take to their employer or human resources representative about their work authorization

• A sample letter urging Congress to enact a path to citizenship for TPS holders

• A fact sheet on the TPS program

For campaign materials and more information about ways to get involved in the fight for a permanent fix for deserving TPS workers, go to go.aflcio.org/immigrationresources.

If you have questions or need additional support, please contact Shannon Lederer at slederer@aflcio.org or 202-637-5308.

Let’s work together to make a better life for Latina women working in the US.

UFCW International Secretary-Treasurer Esther López explains more about today and how we can work together to make a better life for Latina women working in the US:
“There exists a sure-fire way for Latina women to earn the better wages they deserve: joining a union in their industry. Latina women who have joined a union earn more than their non-union counterparts. For decades, the labor movement, constituency groups, women’s organizations and other allies have been fighting for just and safe working conditions for hard-working families. Many of these folks are Latina women who are constantly finding new and innovative ways to bring people together and drive them to action.”

Latina Equal Pay Day Is Nov. 2

Although Latinas make substantial contributions to the U.S. economy, they have the largest wage gap, typically earning only 54 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men. You can help us fight unfair and unequal wages by supporting hard-working Latinas on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Latinas must work more than 22 months to earn what White men earn in 12 months. This disparity in pay hurts not only Latinas, but also has a significant impact on the families and communities they support.

Please get involved and help us draw attention to this economic disparity by joining the Twitter storm (#LatinaEqualPay and #Trabajadoras) on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 2-3 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional information about Latina Equal Pay Day is available here.

UFCW Condemns White House Decision to End DACA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):

“President Trump’s decision to end DACA is cold-hearted, cruel, and a betrayal of what America stands for. 

“Hundreds of thousands of young, hard-working men and women who love America will now be needlessly punished for childhood circumstances. These young people have grown up in this country, passed background checks, pay taxes, go to school, and have worked hard to build a better America. They have earned and deserve fair treatment, but instead their lives are being thrown into chaos with this announcement. 

“President Trump’s decision will not make America great again; rather, it will tear families apart, damage communities, and further fuel a terrible divide that is already hurting the nation we all love. 

“On behalf of the 1.3 million members of our union family, we urge all Members of Congress to immediately do what is right and protect these Dreamers.” 

Background:
  • Terminating DACA needlessly removes 800,000 hard-working men and women from our workforce.
  • It will cost $433.4 billion in GDP loss over a decade.
  • It will cost employers $3.4 billion in unnecessary turnover costs.
  • Contributions to Medicare and Social Security will be cut by $24.6 billion over a decade.
  • Some 6% of DACA recipients have launched businesses that employ American citizens.
  • Almost 55% of DACA recipients have purchased a vehicle, and more than one in ten have purchased their first home.
  • Source: ILRC, The Economic Cost of Ending DACA

Holding the Line on Workplace Rights

Immigration

July 27, 2017

The labor movement strives to make every job in our country a good job. To do that, we must and we will stand with every worker in the fight for basic rights and dignity on the job. We will not allow union members or any workers to lose their rights and status. We will fight for and with them just as they have fought for and with all of us.

Continue Reading…

Women marching against Trump:

Sisters and Brothers

Below is a brief translation of the Article that came out in the New York times (Spanish) after the march and below that is a link showing pictures of marchers that were featured in the Article and you might recognize one of our own Esther Lopez. I thought you might be interested. They all should be commended for participation.

 

Pete Maturino
President United Latinos
 ____________________________________________

Women marching against Trump: “Everything that I believe in is being attacked”

Washington- They started the march early Saturday until the evening hours. Hundreds of thousands of different ages, genders and creeds The women and the men that demonstrated here and other cities the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump for different motives but they were all united against in what to them represented the new president; the intolerance, the misogyny, the lack of appreciation of migrants and Muslims, the arrogance and intimidation.

The march of Women in Washington DC brought together different sectors that repudiated Trump – that responded accusing the media for ignoring his followers – but for many an opportunity to strengthen ties; to pay homage to their mothers, daughters and sisters; to affirm their identity and their values together with others. It was both a political manifestation and a way to ward off collective fear.

The amount of people that gathered was such that it was hard to march from one side to the other. Washington was converted in a city taken by dozens of marches, in an opportunity for the meeting. It was calculated that half a million people were out in the streets on Saturday in the capitol of the United States, a multitude three times as large then  the one that attended the take over of Trump on Friday.

 

The New York Times photographed and talked with different women throughout the day. Read some of their testimonies and their stories by click here on this link.

 

UFCW Names Esther López New International Secretary-Treasurer


PHOENIX, AZ — Today, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Executive Board elected Esther López as the new International Secretary-Treasurer. The historic announcement reflects the commitment by the UFCW, as the largest private sector union with 1.3 million members, to building a diverse and strong union family.

Esther López is a leading champion of hard-working men and women, and has worked tirelessly for decades on behalf of immigrants and all families seeking a better life. López has helped lead the UFCW’s groundbreaking outreach effort to the Latino and immigrant communities, and is recognized as a national leader in the areas of immigration reform, as well as civil, human, and labor rights.

“To become a better and stronger union family, I have been absolutely committed to building a diverse and inclusive union. It is why I’m so proud to announce that the UFCW International Executive Board elected Esther López as our union family’s new International Secretary-Treasurer. Esther is a tireless advocate for the rights of all hard-working men and women. Esther believes, as I do, that our nation’s diversity is our strength, that we must grow our union family, and that by working together we will provide a better life to all our incredible members,” said Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union.

In accepting her position, López said:

“I am truly honored to be elected as the International Secretary-Treasurer. This union and our members are my family. Doing everything I can to improve the lives of hard-working families, and provide them with the better life they’ve earned, has been my life’s mission. It is why the UFCW’s commitment to building a stronger and more diverse union family is so important. It inspires me to never stop fighting to better the lives of our members, and those who deserve to be our members. Under Marc’s leadership, and as part of this incredible UFCW team, I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of our great union family.”

Throughout her career, López has been a champion of the rights of all workers – regardless of where they come from or where they were born. To help provide hope to immigrant workers, López launched a groundbreaking program to ensure eligible UFCW members were first in line to apply for citizenship. Prior to that, she spearheaded the Union Citizenship Action Network, also known as UCAN, to help UFCW members become naturalized and get on the path to citizenship. López was the lead staff person on the UFCW Commission on ICE Enforcement that highlighted civil rights abuses in the 2006 Swift raids. All along, López has never lost focus on the broader goal of giving aspiring Americans the chance to become citizens and ensuring all workers and their families are protected from exploitation.

López began with the UFCW in November 2006 when she was hired as Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department.  In that role, she has helped put the UFCW on the front lines of the most crucial civil rights battles of our time—fighting back against voter suppression, working to end exploitation of refugees from countries like Burma, Sudan and Somalia, creating more opportunities for women, and expanding LGBT equality.

Prior to her career at the UFCW, López played an active role in improving labor conditions within the state of Illinois, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Labor, as well as in the governor’s cabinet as Director of the Illinois Department of Labor.

United Latinos Continue Success of New American Fund

The New American Citizenship Fund is made possible by UFCW Local Union support to the United Latinos of UFCW.  The scholarships are for members who have applied for U.S. citizenship and have demonstrated a strong commitment to building a stronger voice for workers in their Union and in their community through active engagement in advancing social and economic justice.
There have been many UFCW members across the country that have taken advantage of this scholarship and are now proud U.S. citizens. If you are interested in applying, download the application for additional information, scholarship qualifications and selection process.
For more information, contact your UFCW Local president or contact the United Latinos

 

Actor Edward Olmos stands with strikers at El Super in Los Angeles

México, DF. La empresa Chedrahui enfrenta desde este miércoles una huelga en sus tiendas El Super, que opera en Estados Unidos, por parte de trabajadores que desde hace más de dos años la han denunciado por cometer diversas violaciones laborales, entre ellas no contar con un contrato colectivo

Los trabajadores pugnan porque se les otorguen 40 horas garantizadas de labores a los empleados de tiempo completo, suficientes días por enfermedad pagados, protecciones por antigüedad, salarios justos, beneficios de seguro médico accesible, el derecho a organizarnos sin represalias y respeto en los lugares de trabajo, informó el Sindicato de Trabajadores Unidos de la Industria de Alimentos y el Comercio (UFCW, por sus siglas en inglés), al que están afiliados los empleados inconformes y el cual ha logrado extender las protestas contra Chedrahui hasta México a través de la organización Poder.

“Chedraui obtuvo ganancias por más de 100 millones de dólares el año pasado, pero en Estados Unidos mantiene condiciones laborales injustas. Los trabajadores piden mejora de salarios, días de enfermedad pagados y servicios médicos, entre otros”, abundó.

Hace una semana doce personas fueron arrestadas durante una acción de desobediencia civil pacífica frente a una sucursal de Chedrahui, en Los Angeles, y la huelga estalló esta madrugada, un día antes de que se celebre el Día de Acción de Gracias en Estados Unidos, en siete sucursales de El Super, donde además los trabajadores solicitan a los consumidores que realicen sus compras en otros establecimientos.

La UFCW precisó, a través de un comunicado, que desde septiembre de 2013 los trabajadores han laborado sin contar con un nuevo contrato, pese a que la Corte y una resolución de la Junta Laboral de los Estados Unidos ordenó desde agosto pasado a los directivos de la empresa que regresen a la mesa de acuerdos. Llevan más de año y medio de ausencia de la mesa, a la que asistieron  “pero para entablar una negociación de mala fe, ya que se han negado a dar información crucial para que se lleven a cabo las pláticas”, denunció la organización.

Apuntó que después de los arrestos de la semana pasada, Chedraui reanudó las negociaciones con el sindicato durante dos días pero sin proporcionar a los trabajadores información clave para avanzar en las negociaciones. y que resulta necesaria para hacer efectivos beneficios que son un estándar en la industria, como suficientes días por enfermedad pagados y servicios médicos.

Ricardo Icaza, presidente del Local 770 del sindicato UFCW, señaló que Grupo Comercial Chedraui obtuvo ganancias de más de $100 millones de dólares, el año pasado, y consideró que ”los miembros de nuestro sindicato contribuyeron grandemente al éxito de la compañía, por lo que autorizamos esta huelga por prácticas laborales injustas, porque ya es tiempo de que El Super deje de emplear sus tácticas ilegales de estancamiento y se siente a negociar de buena fe, un contrato que compense a nuestros miembros por su duro trabajo”.

President Perrone shares El Super worker Fermin Rodriguez’s story

by President Marc Perrone

Today, millions of hard-working families find themselves struggling to make ends meet. More and more Americans find themselves living just above or below the poverty line. The unfortunate reality of today’s America is that hard-working men and women are grappling with increasing uncertainty like never before.

At a time when income inequality has soared to historic levels, the reality for today’s worker is one of erratic scheduling, and low-paying full-time or part-time jobs that offer poor benefits and little job security. If we wish to create a better America, we must create jobs with better wages and benefits that offer a better future.

Instead, far too many workers are holding down two or three jobs without benefits just to support their families. In comparison, corporations that are reaping billions of dollars in profits continue to ignore their responsibility to improve the lives of their employees.

Take Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, where tens of thousands workers rely on taxpayer-funded programs like food stamps just to survive.

We must not expect better from companies like Walmart; we must demand it.

Already we’ve seen workers from across the country join together to fight and take back control of their lives. Low-wage, part-time workers across the retail and the service industries are standing up for their right to higher wages, better benefits, and a voice on the job.

The simple fact is that incredibly dedicated workers, like Fermín Rodriguez of Los Angeles, California, have been at the forefront of the fight for better wages and working conditions.

Rodriguez works at the El Super grocery chain that has chosen to follow Walmart’s poor wage business model.

Instead of acknowledging their responsibility to workers like Rodriguez, El Super went as far as to illegally fire him for speaking out for workplace changes that would improve the lives of his family and coworkers. Even in 2015, it took a rare court order demanding the company immediately remedy their unlawful treatment to get his job back.

The case of Rodriguez is sadly not new or unique.

Yesterday, at the White House’s Summit on Worker Voice, the struggles of Rodriguez and many other hard-working men and women were heard by the administration, employers, and advocates. It’s time America heard the real life struggles of those across the retail and other industries.

But talk will not be enough. We must take action.

Action must be taken to stop irresponsible employers that cut wages and benefits, misclassify workers as independent contractors or hire temporary workers to avoid responsibilities as an employer, and punish those who speak out and try to better their lives. Action must be taken to help countless men and women who don’t have the adequate protections from being discriminated against or from losing their jobs because of who they love or because of their gender identity or expression. Moreover, let’s finally take action so no company or employer can exploit an outdated and broken immigration system that leaves millions in the shadows.

If we are to change America for the better, let’s not just talk about our problems, let’s commit to taking action.

Perrone is president of the 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.