After failing to achieve amnesty for illegals, the nation’s largest union federation has launched a toolkit geared toward helping union organizers as they target illegal aliens for unionization during the Trump presidency.
The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), a federation of 57 mostly-national unions has launched an online “toolkit” for union organizers and other advocates to “prepare for, and resist” workplace raids and audits that unions are expecting during President Donald Trump’s presidency.
“This is needed because the workers our unions represent are threatened daily by the possibility of raids and deportations under President Trump’s agenda,” wrote Laurie Stalnaker, a union leader in southern California.
“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,” the AFL-CIO states on its website. “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.”
The launch of the AFL-CIO’s toolkit is a seemingly natural extension of the federation’s 20-year old reversal of its position on immigration.
Prior to 1996, when AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and his predecessor John Sweeney took over the executive leadership of the federation, the AFL-CIO was primarily opposed to open borders and unionizing undocumented workers.
Despite the practical consequences upon their members, as illegal immigrants and lax enforcement of immigration laws drove down wages in construction and other industries, under Sweeney’s and Trumka’s leadership, the federation changed its position and began to advocate for immigration reform, or “amnesty” as it is more commonly called.
During the Obama presidency, the AFL-CIO’s Trumka urged then-President Obama to bypass Congress to aid immigrants who were flooding across the nation’s southern border.
On the federation’s toolkit page, union organizers are told of the Memorandum of Understanding “between ICE, DOL, NLRB and EEOC, which indicates that ICE should refrain from engaging in immigration enforcement practices at a worksite that is currently the subject of a labor dispute investigation.”
The toolkit then gives suggestions to organizers on how to communicate with illegals, as well as employers.
“Remind workers not to panic,” the AFL-CIO suggests. “If workers have concerns about the I-9 audit, they should immediately contact a union representative or a workers’ rights organization.”
The toolkit also suggests that language for ICE audits be built into union contracts.
Readers can request a copy of the AFL-CIO’s “defend and resist” toolkit here.