One of the leading labor unions in the United States said recently that illegal immigrants should not have to be afraid about speaking out against unsafe working conditions. Leaders of the AFL-CIO say that changes are needed in deportation policies so that people are not afraid to report dangerous work situations — regardless of their citizenship status. The recommendation was part of a list released recently that offered a look at the union’s stand on immigration policies and how they affect the workforce.
Officials say it is not unusual for illegal immigrants to suffer in silence if their working conditions are unsafe. This is probably true in California and many other locations. Many immigrants are afraid to register any complaints. In some cases, their employer has threatened to report their illegal status if they do so.
Union officials claimed that to combat this practice, the laws concerning deportation should be adjusted. They say illegal immigrants who are working in this country should be given a reprieve from the threat of deportation if they are reporting conditions in their workplace that are dangerous and/or unfair. They said that would erase the power some employers wield to keep their employees afraid and under their control.
For many people the idea that a workplace should be safe for all workers — even those without citizenship — seems fairly self-evident. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Advocates for immigrants in California and elsewhere will be monitoring the situation to see what, if any, lasting effects the union’s recommendations bring.
Source: FOX News, “Union Demands Deportation Exemption: These Workers Should Report Unsafe Conditions”, Tim Devaney, April 21, 2014