Ariz. immigration law’s impact on labor

Jeff Tyler May 28, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Ariz. immigration law’s impact on labor

Jeff Tyler May 28, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

by Jeff Tyler

Anyone working in the U.S. needs at least a visa to do so legally. But there’s no such requirement for joining a union.

“For unions to organize workers, they can’t ask to see their green card first and then have them sign a union card second. They seek to organize everyone in a workplace, whatever their immigration status,” says Harley Shaiken, a professor at U.C. Berkeley specializing in labor issues. “Many of these industries that have a lot of immigrant workers are vital for the growth of unions.”

Labor leaders voice other motivations.

Ana Avendano with the AFL-CIO says the new law could have a chilling effect on worker complaints.

“Our employment laws rely on workers to file complaints with the government to expose dangerous workplaces, non-payment of wages, discrimination, and other violations of law,” says Avendano.

She says the Arizona law could be used to bust unions. When faced with a picket line, Avendano says, employers could just call the sheriff and have their problems deported.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.