–For immediate release: May 4th, 2018–
Contact: John Doherty (617) 592-2230
The Trump Administration Deals Yet Another Blow to Hardworking Families Protected By TPS, This Time It Is Honduran Natural Disaster Survivors, The Painters And Allied Trades Calls On Congress to Act
WASHINGTON (May 4) — The following statement was released by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, on today’s White House decision to end TPS protections for 60,000 hardworking survivors of natural disaster from Honduras:
“We will not give up nor will we ever back down” said IUPAT General President, Kenneth Rigmaiden. “As long as hardworking people are targeted or put on the chopping block for deportation, you’ll see us there. The nation’s economy depends on us, the workers depend on us, the very core of American Values depend on us!”
The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades as well as many other trade unions depend on our members to be safe and respected. We need a thriving workforce in all construction industry sectors.
Stripping away these worker’s documentation puts our members, their communities, those industries and local economies at risk. Many will find themselves back into the underground, black market of labor brokers and low road contracting that is rampant in the construction sector. Trade Unions have fought for years to change those exploitative situations.
“I am from Honduras and have lived in the United States for 20 years, I am single father. My biggest fear is being deported, losing my children, and no one to be there to take care of them,” said Gerardo Mejia, a Honduran immigrant and our union bother “I have built my whole life here in the U.S., escaping violence and extreme poverty in my own country. I am a union painter member of IUPAT District Council 35, and have worked in my craft for 20 years. What this administration is doing to my family and community is inhumane; imagine what your life would be like, if you would live in fear of being picked up on your way to work any day and losing everything you have built in your life. That’s why I will continue to fight and make sure that my family or other families are not separated.”
To expand these efforts, the IUPAT is supported by a larger effort, Working Families United, a coalition of labor unions, including the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, UNITE HERE, the Ironworkers, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), seeking immigrant worker justice. Together, we represent 2 million U.S. workers. http://www.workingfamiliesunited.org
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. 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 workers’ rights that benefit all working families, and through effective worker education and mobilization.