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.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.