Good to note that the Teamsters are fully on board in principle with the general union position in support of immigrant rights and expanded amnesty programs -- Nathan Newman
----- Original Message ----- From: "David Bacon" <dbacon at igc.org>
GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD RESOLUTION ON IMMIGRANT WORKERS
WHEREAS, immigrant workers are among the most exploited and abused in the workforce, but they possess few of the resources necessary to effectively advocate for their own rights; and
WHEREAS, membership in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters would provide these disadvantaged workers with the ability to assert their rights to a fair wage, decent benefits, and a safe working environment; and
WHEREAS, unscrupulous employers are using the threat - and, in some cases, the action - of reporting undocumented workers to the Immigration and Naturalization Service in order to discourage, frustrate, and defeat Teamster organizing drives involving immigrant workers; and
WHEREAS, many workers who are vulnerable to this threat have been living in the United States for years, working in the most difficult, labor-intensive jobs, paying their taxes, investing in our neighborhoods, contributing to our communities, and joining our Union; and
WHEREAS, expanding upon the immigration reforms - particularly limited legalization - passed in the 106th Congress will protect thousands of these workers from unscrupulous employer threats, drastically weakening the effectiveness of this union-busting tool; and
WHEREAS, many immigrant workers who already call themselves Teamsters face tremendous challenges in dealing with visa applications, naturalization requirements, the Immigration and Naturalization Service bureaucracy, as well as other legal needs specific to immigrant workers and their families; and
WHEREAS, Local Unions that possess the ability to assist in these matters could, in addition to helping their current membership, use this expertise to earn the trust of non-organized immigrant workers.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters declares its commitment to the rights of immigrant workers, in particular their right to join a union; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the General Executive Board of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters endorses the resolution supporting immigrant workers' rights passed by the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO on February 16, 2000 (see http://www.aflcio.org/publ/press2000/pr0216d.htm); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the General Executive Board of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters charges the Government Affairs Department with formulating a progressive approach to meeting the needs of immigrant workers, including: § soliciting from Local Union leaders their front line experiences and any other relevant information, as well as their input into prioritizing the challenges facing immigrant workers and their families; § working with Local Unions to develop pilot programs that will provide these workers with immigration assistance, other legal services, language instruction, job training, and outreach programs to immigrant communities; § working with Local Unions, businesses, and immigration advocacy organizations to find creative ways to use current visa programs to promote unionism; § promoting a legislative agenda aimed at reforming current immigration laws that empower anti-worker employers while disenfranchising immigrant workers. This agenda includes further limited legalization, expanded family unification measures, and other provisions that protect immigrant workers already residing in the United States; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will educate its members on this commitment to the rights of immigrant workers and communicate to its Local Unions new opportunities for participating in this effort.
Passed unanimously by General Executive Board on January 18, 2001