Mar. 25, 2013 | Posted by: D. Michael Dale
Department of Labor Enjoined from Using Bush-Era Prevailing Wage Rule for Guestworkers
Thanks to D. Michael Dale for this synopsis:
On Thursday, March 21, 2013, the United States District Court in Philadelphia ruled in C.A.T.A et al v. Solis that the Department of Labor can no longer use the flawed methodology for calculating the H-2B prevailing wage that was adopted by the outgoing Bush administration in its waning hours. Earlier, the C.A.T.A. court had found the prior rule to be unlawfully adopted and ordered the department to adopt a new methodology promptly. However, in order to avoid a regulatory vacuum, the court had left the Bush rules in place in the interim. DOL adopted a new rule that more or less uses the mean wage paid to workers in the job classification and area, which would have increased prevailing wages in the H-2B program by an average amount of $4.38 per hour. Unfortunately, that rule has never gone into effect because of a Congressional rider placed on DOL's appropriation forbidding the use of the new methodology. DOL has reverted to using the old rules, and expressed no intention or plan to the court as to how it would bring the program into compliance with the H-2B statute. The court has now ruled that, 30 months after the Bush rule was declared to be unlawful, DOL cannot continue to use the invalid rule. The court has given the Department of Labor 30 days to come into compliance.Read More >
Mar. 11, 2013
SPLC report exposes dangers faced by Alabama poultry workers
When Oscar heard that a poultry processing plant in Alabama was looking for workers, he thought he could apply the skills he learned from studying mechanical engineering in Cuba.
But after the 47-year-old arrived in Alabama from Miami, he was asked to fold chicken wings on the production line. Oscar had to fold them fast enough to meet a quota of approximately 40 chicken wings per minute – or roughly 18,000 wings per day.
“I did my job well,” he said. “But little did I know I was harming myself in the process. They don’t warn you that this can happen.”
After about a month, Oscar developed serious hand and wrist pain. He was diagnosed with tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. When his injuries made him no longer useful to the company, he was fired.
Oscar’s story is all too common within the poultry industry, according to a new report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.Read More >
Feb. 1, 2013
Upcoming Conference on Food and Immigrant Life
The New School's Center for Public Scholarship is sponsoring a conference on Food and Immigrant Life: The Role of Food in Forced Migration, Migrant Labor, and Recreating Home, on April 18-19, 2013 at The New School in New York City.
The conference will examine the complex relationships between food and migration. Food scarcity is not only at the root of much human displacement and migration—the food industry also offers immigrants an entry point into the U.S. economic system and it, simultaneously, confines migrants to low wages and poor, if not unsafe, work conditions. In addition, food allows immigrants to maintain their cultural identity. The conference places issues of immigration and food service work in the context of a broader social justice agenda and explores the cultural role food plays in expressing cultural heritage.
The keynote address will be given by Dolores Huerta, co-founder and first Vice President Emeritus of United Farm Workers of America, on Thursday, April 18 at 6:00pm. The complete conference program and speakers' bios are available online.Read More >
Jul. 30, 2012
Immigrant Worker News Update, July 30, 2012
Striking Pizza Workers Say Immigrants Were Fired to Stop a Union [NY Times]
Arizona’s Immigrants and Unions Organize Against ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Law [Labornotes]
America’s Irrational Immigration Fear [Washington Post]
Unprotected by Laws, Latin Domestic Female Workers Face Exploitation [Prensa Latina]
Supporters of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers Rally at Estero Publix [Ft. Myers News Press]Read More >
Jun. 6, 2012 | Posted by: Eunice Cho
Food Chain Workers Alliance Releases New Report: The Hands That Feed Us
The Food Chain Workers Alliance has released a new report, The Hands That Feed Us, the first of its kind that looks at wages and working conditions of workers across the entire food chain – a sector that employs 20 million people in the U.S., comprising one-sixth of the nation’s workforce.
The Hands That Feed Us is based on nearly 700 surveys and interviews with workers and employers in food production, processing, distribution, retail and service, which collectively sell over $1.8 trillion dollars in goods and services annually, accounting for over 13 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.Read More >