UNITE Negotiates Seniority for Illegals (even afterdeportation)

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at yale.edu
Thu Mar 9 18:56:19 PST 2000

>On Behalf Of Eric Beck
> Nathan Newman wrote:
> >>From today's NYT, a really progressive approach to undocumented workers,
> >>actually putting protections in the union contract.
> Yes, and it'll probably continue until(if?) unemployment approaches 7
> percent, when the labor bosses will call on La Migra to step-up
> enforcement, again. That, of course, was the theme of the article you
> quoted, Nathan:

No it's not the theme. But some people will bash unions when they do even the right thing, which just shows the complete ideological bias of those on the sectarian side of these debates.

When unemployment was a lot higher in 1984, the unions came out across the board against Prop 187, the anti-immigrant initiative. Unions like SEIU 1877, the janitors union, campaigned heavily on the initiative, making it one of their highest priorities in that election.

When HERE was organizing restaurante workers in Oakland in the early 90s, they mobilized large numbers of community supporters to picket an employer when he threatened to check workers social security numbers, forcing him to back off, and the workers - legal and undocumented - were unionized and kept their jobs.

I can cite example after example of unions fighting for the rights of undocumented workers in the last decade. I am sure there are examples otherwise, but can you name any of them? Or are you just bashing the unions without any personal knowledge?

Why this constant bashing of other labor activists who spend their lives fighting for progressive causes? What gives all the people on this list the right to challenge their integrity?

Having a different political analysis is fine and a good thing. Analytically challenging other assumptions is healthy.

But these "lefter than thou" accusations are pretty despicable. Accusing others of being willing to call the INS without citing evidence is disgusting cop baiting, no better than red baiting.

-- Nathan Newman

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