Two bills currently under consideration in Maryland would offer significant protections to immigrant workers and families—the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act and the Regulation of Farm Labor Contractors and Foreign Labor Contractors Act.
The measures proposed in these bills would help ensure that our law enforcement policies respect due process and protect civil rights in the workplace and community, and would expand protections within guest worker programs.
In a letter to the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate, the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO called on lawmakers to pass the Trust Act to "help prevent unscrupulous employers from manipulating the deportation machinery to undermine the exercise of workers’ rights."
All too often, employers use the threat of deportation to keep workers silent about labor violations, and the treat of deportation often keeps immigrant families from engaging with law enforcement and other public services when they are needed.
Immigrant and faith groups from around the state came out to support the Trust Act, which would create a firewall between immigration enforcement and labor inspectors, local police and state institutions.
The Maryland and DC AFL-CIO, the Baltimore Teachers Union, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, the Maryland Catholic Conference and other faith groups also testified last week on behalf of the Foreign Labor Contractors Act, which would bring needed protections and reforms to guest worker programs in Maryland.
On today's labor calendar, today's metro flyerings against rate hikes will be from 7-9am at the Farragut North station and then from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Anacostia station.
For details and all the latest local labor calendar listings, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1890, the leadership of the American Federation of Labor selected the Carpenters union to lead the 8-hour movement. Carpenters throughout the country struck in April; by May 1, some 46,000 carpenters in 137 cities and towns had achieved shorter hours.
In 1894, a U.S.-China treaty prevented Chinese laborers from entering the U.S.
In 1968, staffers at San Francisco progressive rock station KMPX-FM struck, citing corporate control over what music was played and harassment over hair and clothing styles, among other things. The Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and other musicians requested that the station not play their music as long as the station is run by strikebreakers.
And in 2000, Boeing and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace come to terms on a new contract, settling the largest white-collar walkout in U.S. history.
Today’s labor quote is by Ken Bernstein
Maryland social studies teacher Ken Bernstein, who said
"Too few Americans know labor history and how they have benefited from the efforts of unions. We have a 40-hour work week, defined benefits, higher wages, paid vacations and sick leave, largely as the result of union activity in the 20th century. We built a middle-class society in the period after World War II, also a period when the work force was, compared with today, heavily unionized."
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