Labor Rivals Unite to Push Immigration Reform

Yes on legalization, no on guest-workers, say AFL-CIO, Change to Win
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2009 8:40 AM CDT
Labor Rivals Unite to Push Immigration Reform
In this May 1, 2008, file photo, thousands of May Day protesters take to the streets in downtown Los Angeles, to call for immigration reform.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

America’s two labor umbrella groups may be archrivals, but on immigration reform, they’ve agreed to put up a common front, which could be a big boon to White House hopes, reports the New York Times. The AFL-CIO and Change to Win have agreed to push for the legalization of current undocumented immigrants, and to oppose a guest-worker program. “These groups understand that one of the main reasons they lost before was that they were not together,” says a former Labor secretary.

The stance on guest-workers puts unions at odds with big business. “If the unions think they’re going to push a bill through without the support of the business community, they’re crazy,” says a Chamber of Commerce official. Instead, the unions want a “depoliticized” commission to assess labor needs and calculate how many foreign workers to admit.
(More labor unions stories.)

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