We Will Defend and Resist

Too often, workplace raids and audits are used as cover to suppress the rights of working people who speak up for safe, just and dignified working conditions. Below are many of the materials and tools we developed to prepare for, and resist, the unjust workplace raids and audits that undermine the rights of all workers.

This toolkit seeks to equip labor and community organizers, advocates and law practitioners with the necessary information to navigate escalating attacks on immigrant workers and their families. Under the previous administration, worksite enforcement mainly was pursued through I-9 audits, or “silent raids,” in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents review an employer’s I-9 records for irregularities and target individuals for enforcement based on that information. However, in the current political climate, we expect a return of more aggressive workplace enforcement actions, including raids that result in the immediate arrest of workers.

As such, this toolkit will explain the processes and players involved in worksite enforcement, and provide resources and guidance on how to prepare for and respond to a raid or audit. We have provided many useful sample materials to help inform and equip worker advocates, including sample immigration-related contract language and responses to “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration, as well as sample letters for advocates and union officials, and other helpful resources.

It must be noted that the most current regulations and rulings at the time of publication are the basis for the recommendations in this toolkit, but the immigration enforcement and policy landscape is shifting quickly in the new administration. This toolkit provides only general information; you should consult legal counsel about any specific issues or questions that may arise. The AFL-CIO will work to update this information as new developments unfold, and will stay in active communication with advocates and organizers on the ground in order to understand how we can be most effective in defending workers’ rights in the context of evolving worksite enforcement practices.

By providing these resources in a single toolkit, we hope labor organizers and advocates may be better prepared to tackle the many challenges that arise in their efforts to help immigrant workers assert their labor rights and gain a voice on the job.

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“you have to see it to believe it”

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This is one of those “you have to see it to believe it” videos: Just two minutes after sitting down with local reporter Josh Scheinblum of KCRG-TV, Republican Rep. Rod Blum, who represents Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, went completely batshit in response … Continue reading

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Workers’ Rights in Crisis Classes – West Burlington and Creston

May 13: Workers’ Rights in Crisis – Burlington: Join labor and community leaders to learn from the past and discuss the future of workers’ rights in Iowa. Workshop will consider origins and impact of key labor struggles in Iowa’s history; case studies, trends, and lessons from recent struggles; and what challenges and opportunities the future may hold. Sponsored by Western Iowa Labor Federation and Des Moines-Henry Labor Association AFL-CIO. Free and open to all area union members and allies. Lunch provided.

May 20:  Worker’s Rights in Crisis – 10 AM   Meal Site room in the Old Depot (City Hall)  116 W Adams St, Creston:  Join labor and community leaders to learn from the past and discuss the future of workers’ rights in Iowa. Workshop will consider origins and impact of key labor struggles in Iowa’s history; case studies, trends, and lessons from recent struggles; and what challenges and opportunities the future may hold. Sponsored by Western Iowa Labor Federation and Des Moines-Henry Labor Association AFL-CIO. Free and open to all area union members and allies. Lunch provided.

May 25: The North Iowa Nine Labor Assembly is having a meet & greet at 5:30PM in Clear Lake Iowa on Thursday May 25th . This is a chance for unions and allies in that area to share ideas and meet people who can help one another in the fight for workers rights in the state . Pizza and drink will be provided .The Other Place – Clear Lake, IA 200 US Highway 18 W, Clear Lake, Iowa 50428

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Labor History

Today’s Labor Quote:  A. Philip Randolph
“Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political and religious relationship.”

 
May 12
Laundry & Dry Cleaning Int’l Union granted a charter by the AFL-CIO – 1958

Int’l Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots merges with Longshoremen’s Association – 1971

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raid the Agriprocessors, Inc. slaughterhouse and meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, arresting nearly 400 immigrant workers. Some 300 are convicted on document fraud charges. The raid was the largest ever until that date.  Several employees and lower and mid-level managers were convicted on various charges, but not the owner—although he later was jailed for bank fraud and related crimes – 2008
(Mobilizing Against Inequality: Unions, Immigrant Workers, and the Crisis of Capitalism: Are immigrant workers themselves responsible for low wages and shoddy working conditions? Should unions expend valuable time and energy organizing undocumented workers? Unions in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States have taken various approaches to confront the challenges of this significant segment of the workforce. As U.S. immigration policy is debated, readers will gain insight into how all workers benefit when wages and working conditions for immigrant workers are improved.)

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Labor History

Labor Quote of the Day: Theodore Roosevelt
“If I were a factory employee, a workman on the railroads or a wage-earner of any sort, I would undoubtedly join the union of my trade. If I disapproved of its policy, I would join in order to fight that policy; if the union leaders were dishonest, I would join in order to put them out. I believe in the union and I believe that all men who are benefited by the union are morally bound to help to the extent of their power in the common interests advanced by the union.”

 

May 11
Nationwide railway strike begins at Pullman, Ill. Nearly 260,000 railroad workers ultimately joined the strike to protest wage cuts by the Pullman Palace Car Co. – 1894

Seventeen crewmen on the iron ore freighter Henry Steinbrenner die when the ship, carrying nearly 7,000 tons of ore, sinks during a violent storm on Lake Erie. Another 16 crewmen survived – 1953

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CEO Pay Increases to 347 Times Average Workers

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2017 Executive PayWatch features Mondelēz International’s Pay Inequality www.PayWatch.org  (Washington, DC, May 9, 2016) – CEO pay for major U.S. companies has risen nearly 6 percent, as income inequality and outsourcing of good-paying American jobs have increased. According to the … Continue reading

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RunAwayRod.com Launched to Hold Blum Accountable

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#RunAwayRod has shut out Iowans from town hall meetings, and stormed out of an interview when questioned about it DES MOINES — Progress Iowa today launched RunAwayRod.com, to hold Congressman #RunAwayRod Blum accountable for dodging questions from Iowans and fleeing a … Continue reading

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Labor History

Today’s Labor Quote:  Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“It is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic nation that it have free and independent labor unions.”
photo: at Sunday’s DC LaborFest “FDR and Labor” tour of the FDR Memorial; photo by Chris Garlock

May 10
Thanks to an army of thousands of Chinese and Irish immigrants, who laid 2,000 miles of track, the nation’s first transcontinental railway line was finished by the joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines at Promontory Point, Utah – 1869

U.S. & Canadian workers form Western Labor Union. It favors industrial organization and independent labor party politics – 1898

A federal bankruptcy judge permits United Airlines to legally abandon responsibility for pensions covering 120,000 employees – 2005

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Labor unions unite at march in SE Iowa

Labor union leaders from across Iowa were out to rally members from the Heartland for the mid-term elections.

Though the election are still over a year away, they want to make sure legislatures stay on track with promises made during the 2016 election.

Wapello County is typically a Democratic stronghold, but President Donald Trump erased that long-running streak with an over 20 point lead over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“We had one of the candidates really adopt our message, and our members voted for the candidate who adopted our message,” President of the Iowa Federation of Labor Ken Sagar said.

Trump received mixed to poor reviews from marchers due to issues ranging from jobs, the economy and the elimination of the Trans Pacific Partnership.

“I like that he shut the TPP out, but other than that, I would give him a zero,” event organizer Chris Laursen said.

Sagar said their message hasn’t changed, and investment in America still needs to be made.

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Ottumwa Courier Article

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Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive!

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Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm for the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive! Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs): When do I put out the food? On the … Continue reading

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Labor History

Today’s Labor Quote: Jerry Wurf “Government workers have proved that when they are not dealt with justly, they will defy the law. And they have proved that, in such situations, government is powerless.” May 08 The constitution of the Brotherhood … Continue reading

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Forums for this weekend

ALTOONA Saturday May 6 – 10 AM HyVee Upper Level Meeting Room,  108 8th st. BURLINGTON Saturday May 20, 9:15 AM Partnership Office, 610 North 4th, suite 200 CEDAR FALLS Wednesday May 10 – 7 PM  Congressman Blum Cedar Falls … Continue reading

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Events this weekend

May 6: Lee County: Steward School Saturday, May 6, 9 am – 3 pm, 301 Blondeau St., Keokuk (Labor Temple) Agenda will include roles and responsibilities of union stewards; legal rights under labor law; handling grievances and solving workplace problems; communication and organizing skills; and updates on the changing landscape for labor. Sponsored by Lee County Labor Council AFL-CIO. Lunch provided. Please RSVP to Penny Logsdon: 319-520-8742.

May 6:Workers’ Rights in Crisis 10 AM   UFCW #6 Hall,  1200 1/2 3rd Ave NW, Suite # Fort Dodge. Join labor and community leaders to learn from the past and discuss the future of workers’ rights in Iowa. Workshop will consider origins and impact of key labor struggles in Iowa’s history; case studies, trends, and lessons from recent struggles; and what challenges and opportunities the future may hold. Sponsored by Western Iowa Labor Federation and Des Moines-Henry Labor Association AFL-CIO. Free and open to all area union members and allies. Lunch provided.

May 7: Working Families Celebration, Ottumwa.  Rally BBQ – Shelter at Sycamore Park, 101 Church St. 

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Labor History

Today’s Labor Quote: Bartolomeo Vanzetti
“If it had not been for these things, I might have lived out my life talking at street corners to scorning men. I might have died, unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life could we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man’s understanding of man as now we do by accident. Our words — our lives — our pains — nothing! The taking of our lives — lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish-peddler — all! That last moment belongs to us — that agony is our triumph.”

May 06
Works Progress Administration (WPA) established at a cost of $4.8 billion—more than $80 billion in 2015 dollars—to provide work opportunities for millions during the Great Depression – 1935

Four hundred Black women working as tobacco stemmers walk off the job in a spontaneous revolt against poor working conditions and a $3 weekly wage at the Vaughan Co. in Richmond, Va. – 1937

May 07
The Knights of St. Crispin union is formed at a secret meeting in Milwaukee. It grew to 50,000 members before being crushed by employers later that year – 1867

Two die, 20 are injured in “Bloody Tuesday” as strikebreakers attempt to run San Francisco streetcars during a strike by operators. The strike was declared lost in 1908 after many more deaths, including several in scab-operated streetcar accidents – 1907

Philadelphia’s longest transit strike ends after 44 days. A key issue in the fight was the hiring and use of part-timers – 1977

—Compiled and edited by David Prosten

Union Communication Services

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Working Families Summit 2017

We are inviting you to an exciting event which will bring dozens of progressive Iowa organizations together, at a Working Families Summit on Saturday, June 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Scheman Building in Ames. (On the ISU campus)

The event features speakers, a full day of action, break-out sessions, and discussion on issues like Building a movement, Raising Wages, Protecting Civil Rights, and Making Work Family Friendly.

The event is FREE and open to the public. We are asking that you bring a donation of: Crackers, soups, ramen noodles, rice, hamburger helper, toilet paper or hygiene products, that will be donated to a charity.

For many Iowan’s the recent legislative session was devastating. Economic recovery is still a distant dream. Minimum wage jobs taken away , student loan debt and rising health care costs are just a few of the everyday factors that keep families from getting ahead. Bringing a coalition of progressive organizations together for a day of discussion and action to work together to help strengthen working families, determine a road map to change, and work toward effective legislative remedies is a step in the right direction.

If you want to see change and a better future for the 90 percent of Iowans who are not positively affected by economic gains, come to the summit and find out how to make a difference.

Click here now to register or call 515-262-9571 for more information. Space is limited, so register now. Registration ends June 5th.

To be a sponsor and/or have a table the day of the event—call 515-262-9571 or email Lance@iowaaflcio.org.

 

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Trumpcare Bill Strips Health Care from Millions to Finance $600 Billion Tax Giveaway to Corporations, Wealthiest

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Small business owners say this bill is not only immoral, but also hurts their business Today’s House vote to pass the American Health Care Act is a shameful display of partisan politics at its worst. Despite unprecedented outrage from constituents, … Continue reading

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Voting For Health Care ‘Scam’ Defining Moment For David Young

Young’s vote for President Trump’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act threatens 1.2 million Iowans and 343,000 of his constituents with pre-existing conditions DES MOINES — Congressman David Young today voted for President Trump’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), and … Continue reading

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Government Funding Bill Puts Special Interests Above Working Families

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Congress passing a short-term government-funding bill:

While the funding bill does provide assurance that we will have functioning government for the next five months, it undermines programs that help and empower working families. Our elected leaders have settled for a budget that underfunds our priorities and deepens austerity, setting the bar low. America’s working people deserve better.

Every time politicians take America to the edge of a government shutdown, working families pay the consequences. This irresponsible and dangerous political maneuvering should not be the norm.

Thankfully, House Democrats held the line against almost all of the poison-pill amendments and restored much of the funding that would have been cut under the administration’s original draconian budget proposal. As work begins on the 2018 budget, we call on politicians from both parties to put the needs of working families above the special interests

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Arbitrator rules in union’s favor under Iowa’s new collective bargaining law

DES MOINES — Iowa’s largest public employee union scored what its leader called a bittersweet victory in a recent arbitrator’s ruling.

In one of the first arbitration cases under the state’s new collective bargaining law, which dramatically reduced public employee unions’ bargaining authority, an arbitrator recently ruled in the union’s favor in a case involving secondary wage issues, including pay dates, salary structures and direct deposit requirements.

“The arbitrator’s ruling is bittersweet,” said Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Council 61, which represents 40,000 Iowa public employees. The case affected 18,500 of those public workers. “On one hand, I’m happy that the award was in our favor, on the other hand, I’m sad that this now is what we consider a win for state employees — the ability to negotiate pay days and pay grades.”

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Labor History

  Today’s Labor Quote: William J. Adelman “No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but … Continue reading

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