US, Nationwide – This week, Organizing Departments nationwide kicked off a nationwide campaign designed to educate immigrant construction workers on a multitude of issues including wage theft and changes to immigration policy that will affect hundreds of thousands of workers and their families in 2018.
Unions and employers stand to lose hundreds of thousands of employees which could have a profound, negative effect on the construction industry and the economy as a whole.
We see this next step in the attack on immigrant workers as an attack on labor as well as an attack on the economy. The decision of DHS to terminate TPS would have immediate, expensive ramifications for our country and industry costing taxpayers $3 billion, a $45 billion reduction in GDP, $6.9 billion reduction in Social Security and Medicare contributions and nearly $1 billion in employer costs combined with and already stressed skilled worker pool. Industry icons such as, The Walt Disney Company, has moved the Chamber of Commerce to publicly appeal to DHS to extend TPS for the 300,000 plus beneficiaries that keep local businesses running.
Terminating Temporary Protective Status for 260,000 hardworking Salvadorans, many of whom have been authorized to live in the U.S. for almost 20 years are now faced with a decision: self-deport to a country they no longer recognize or stay in the U.S. undocumented. Many will simply be forced back into the shadows, voiceless and subject to working for employers whose business model is based on wage theft and misclassification. It is projected $109.4 BILLION lost from the U.S. GDP over 10 years. that This is in direct conflict to the work that union organizers perform every day in their fight against the underground economy.
General President, Kenneth E. Rigmaiden, in a press release published today said, “We urge Congress to do what is right and immediately pass a long-term legislative solution that gives every TPS family the stability and security they’ve earned and deserve” said Rigmaiden. “During these uncertain times, one thing is certain: we will continue to represent and support our members to the fullest extent, and we will fight through all the available avenues to protect all working people—we will amplify their voices and stand steadfast, shoulder to shoulder with our labor and community allies until a just solution is reached.”
The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) represents a growing community of over 160,000 active and retired craftspeople in the United States and Canada.
However, the IUPAT membership extends far beyond the workplace. Recognized as one of the most active unions in the labor movement, IUPAT members help shape their communities in many ways: through an abiding commitment to service, by fighting passionately for worker’s rights that benefit all working families, and through effective worker education and mobilization.