Union leaders are in Atlanta today continuing their push for
immigration reform, while right-to-work advocates continue to call
the effort hypocritical.
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka claims that "in order to create
shared prosperity and a voice for all, we must address our
immigration process," adding that workers without the protections
of citizenship are subject to enormous abuse by employers.
Fred Wszolek of the Workforce
Fairness Institute (WFI) points out that is a much different
attitude than a few years ago.
"Back in 2007, labor unions helped kill a comprehensive
immigration reform proposed by Senator [John] McCain (R-AZ) because
they didn't want any sort of guest-worker program. They didn't want
immigrants coming into the country," he recalls. "They were as
anti-immigration as anyone else."
But now, with the unionization rate at its lowest level in nearly a century, Wszolek says
unions see immigration reform as a way to bring in more workers.
Then "they hope to go unionize these companies."
"You know, if you're here in this country, maybe your language
skills aren't excellent, and some very aggressive union organizers
come at you saying, Here, sign this, you'd end up probably
signing it," the WFI spokesman poses.
The 14-city campaign will be in Denver on Friday,
with stops in Seattle, San Francisco and Miami planned for later
this month (see earlier story).