Raising Labor Conditions And Immigration Reform
We have proven that regular folks, coming together for a common cause can break the inertia of the status quo in Washington. Even when faced with an angry, vindictive wall of lies and intimidation by special interest mobs.
It is the effort of so many giving so much of their talent, time and money to see this through, that has finally made positive, progressive change a reality. Nice Work!
For working families this was a momentous win Richard Trumpka President of the AFL-CIO said Sunday,
The legislation will finally put us on a path toward quality, affordable, health care for all Americans and long-term health security. Overcoming a $100 million opposition campaign by the insurance industry, the legislation stops insurance companies from denying health care due to a preexisting health condition and dropping coverage for people who get sick. It stops the relentless rise of health care cost and expands coverage for 32 million Americans. The legislation makes prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and helps small business struggling with skyrocketing cost. It is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to save 1.3 trillion over the next two decades.
We’ve won the right for quality, affordable health care, and we’ve run a mad, befuddled GOP back into the wilderness. But the fight is far from over.
Immigration reform is another battlefield that is as critical as it is challenging. Schumer and Graham have a plan that has the backing of the Chamber but has failed to bring the AFL-CIO back to the bargaining table:
Our framework would facilitate this desired circular migration by allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can show they were unsuccessful in recruiting an American to fill an open position; allowing more lower-skilled immigrants to come here when our economy is creating jobs and fewer in a recession; and permitting workers who have succeeded in the workplace, and contributed to their communities over many years, the chance to earn a green card.
In the Chambers words, this is their “raison d’être” for immigration reform:
From the business perspective the most important element of immigration reform is a program to supply the U.S. economy with the workers it needs to recover from the downturn and grow in years ahead, replacing the current unlawful influx with a legal flow.
The goal of the Chamber, generally speaking, has always been to crack the critical solidarity of union labor. Rather than the Chamber arguing to revitalize the economy by raising wages for families they are lobbying for a policy of downward pressure on workers earning potential, using immigrant labor, desperate for work, to do their union scabbing for them. The Chamber claims the wealth generated from the productivity of cheap labor will lead to trickle down prosperity for us all. I have my doubts…
The Chamber’s position of a revolving door immigration policy will undercut collective bargaining, lower the demand for labor and lower working conditions and wages.
The Chamber says it needs cheap immigrant labor to do the work Americans won’t do.
Rather than bringing in cheap labor to work in poor conditions shouldn’t we first fight for to strengthen the ability of labor to expand the middle class and raise the conditions and wages to meet America’s more exceptional standards. Giving workers a real opportunity for economic mobility.
If working conditions are so deplorable that Americans won’t do the job for the wages offered, it seems counterproductive to undermine the efforts of collective bargaining to raise those standards with non-union workers. How can an economically regressive position on immigration result in economic growth for middle class working families.