Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the release of the Department of Labor’s new guidance on immigrant worker protections:
At our convention in June, the AFL-CIO committed to a transformational organizing agenda to help lift standards and rights for every worker in this country, regardless of immigration status. We welcome today’s new guidance from the Department of Labor (DOL), which will support our efforts to build a stronger, more inclusive labor movement and economy, and improve working conditions for all. Working people rely on each other to ensure justice in our workplaces and our communities, but all too often, the threat of immigration enforcement is used as a weapon to crush worker organizing and prevent people from exercising their basic workplace rights. When immigrant workers are scared into silence, violations go unchecked—and that makes us all less safe at work. We cannot reasonably expect to end wage theft and exploitation without protecting those workers who have the courage to take a stand.
It’s going to take all of us to win living wages and safe and fair working conditions. We applaud the DOL for clarifying how immigrant workers can request needed protections, and call for appropriate staffing and resources to ensure that these important new protocols can be effectively implemented. We also renew our call for the Department of Homeland Security to establish a streamlined process for workers to obtain temporary immigration status and work authorization when they take action to help enforce our labor laws. Unions and our network of skilled organizers stand ready to utilize these processes in our fight to ensure that everyone in our country can live and work safely and with dignity.
Contact: Danielle Noel, 202-637-5018