Yesterday, the AFL-CIO hosted the "We All Do Better" conference, which focused on an important discussion on advancing an immigration agenda for all working people. Attacks against working people come in many forms, but we must stand against the idea that some of us are more worthy of freedom and worker protections than others.
At the opening of the conference, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) said:
We need workers to understand America’s broken immigration system puts downward pressure on pay and benefits for all of us. Our answer is to stand united, as a politically independent movement of working people, for an immigration agenda that lifts us up. That starts with a path to citizenship for the millions and millions of people who live and work here and are American in every way but on paper.
But it doesn’t stop there. It’s time to reform captive work visa programs so they are based on actual industry needs and include full labor rights and fair wages for every single worker. We must end the enforcement overreach and provide explicit protections to workers who want to organize a union or have the courage to speak up about unsafe conditions. We must keep families together, offer safe harbor to refugees and open our doors to working people from all over the world who want nothing more than a better life, just like my family did.
If we do it right, immigration reform will make jobs better for everyone, improve the health of our democracy and empower us to organize millions of workers into unions.
Here are some of the key tweets sent from the event:
Ramped Up Immigration Enforcement + Weakened Labor Laws and Enforcement = Cheap and Exploitable Labor. #WeAllDoBetter— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 21, 2018
“We have to go back to the basics of organizing, the same people that are against Labor, women’s rights, workers rights are attacking us every single day, we need to go back and talk to those people who may have voted for the 45th President” - @MontseTXAFLCIO #WeAllDoBetter— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 21, 2018
Kicking off the 2nd Immigration panel at the @AFLCIO with Esther Lopez Sec-Treas @UFCW, Rachel Micah-Jones @CDMigrante, VP Fred Redmond @steelworkers, Melissa Maria @CWAUnion and John Carr Georgetown University. #WeAllDoBetter pic.twitter.com/WiuNCO8ADb— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) May 21, 2018
If our economy is approaching that of a dystopian novel, it is up to us to stop bemoaning it & work to change it. Divided we beg, united we negotiate for better. @lizshuler at @AFLCIO #WeAllDoBetter conference #AllWorkHasDignity #1u #CIR #GoodJobs— Celeste Drake (@CDrakeFairTrade) May 21, 2018