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WSLC offers resource for immigrant workers

Immigrant and Worker Justice Toolkit available for union, worker advocates to create just and fair future for immigrants


SEATTLE (Nov. 10, 2021) — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO officially launched its new Immigrant and Worker Justice Toolkit on Tuesday.  This toolkit — ver la versión en Español aquí — was designed by the WSLC Labor Immigration Committee to provide documented and undocumented workers, worker advocates and union leaders with the resources and support they need to create a just and fair future for immigrants in Washington state and across the United States. The toolkit was created in response to Resolution #14, approved by WSLC delegates in 2019.

“The unions that comprise the Washington State Labor Council have given us a clear directive: In order to raise working standards for our members, we must work to lift up ALL workers — whether they are unionized or not, and whether they are documented or not — to make sure their rights are protected,” said WSLC Secretary-Treasurer April Sims, who welcomed attendees to Tuesday’s Lunch and Learn virtual event to launch the toolkit. “The WSLC and our affiliated unions have taken on that challenge, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we are doing. Particularly because it is directly linked to the critical work we are doing on Race and Labor.”

Many immigrant workers lack necessary protections to prevent and combat workplace abuse, and the immigrant community is particularly vulnerable to abuse from employers who take advantage of their documentation status. The work of immigrant justice is to ensure that immigrants are treated fairly, equally, and with dignity. As long as there is differential and discriminatory treatment of workers, regardless of there documentation or status, all workers suffer.

The WSLC’s Immigrant and Worker Justice Toolkit includes:

●  An introduction and overview to understand the current challenges immigrants face in the United States.

●  A set of agreements and recommendations to ensure that a racial justice lens is used hand in hand with immigrant justice initiatives.

●  A checklist of essential measures unions or worker organizations can take to support their immigrant workers. This includes recommended contract language, an outline for language access, resources for raids and audits, and much more.

Participants in Tuesday’s event to launch the toolkit were also urged to learn more about and join local chapters of AFL-CIO constituency groups, including the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). Follow those links for more information on how to join.

An archived video of Tuesday’s event will be posted soon at the WSLC’s Facebook page.

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