Becoming an American with the help of the AFL-CIO

From the AFL-CIO

At the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention, delegates unanimously passed a resolution encouraging an active drive to help naturalize some 9.3 million people currently eligible to apply for citizenship, saying it would “provide concrete worker protections, expand and diversify the electorate, and help us build power to win the sweeping changes that working people expect and deserve.”

Less than two years later, the Texas AFL-CIO and the Texas Labor Citizenship Campaign are using the broad reach of the labor movement to help aspiring Americans realize their dreams.

At a naturalization ceremony in San Antonio yesterday, Raquel officially became an American. She is one of the first beneficiaries of the Texas Labor Citizenship Campaign, a partnership of the Texas AFL-CIO and nearly 20 unions.

The campaign began in August 2018, and so far nearly 350 workers have been helped with the process of becoming U.S. citizens.

The Texas Labor Citizenship Campaign has held more than two dozen union-led informational sessions, trainings and clinics to educate eligible union members and their families about the requirements, process and cost associated with applying for citizenship. In addition, applicants receive assistance from immigration attorneys and nearly 275 union-recruited volunteers.

There are 1.1 million Texans eligible to apply for citizenship—the largest in the United States.

 “This is a long-term project with broad goals, not something that aims at a single issue or specific election. The benefits of citizenship drives will be lasting. We are engaging unions, building strong bonds with community activists, bringing informed voices into the political dialogue and engaging in solidarity with working people who too often do not benefit from the labor rights our movement has achieved.” —Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay on the launch of the Texas Labor Citizenship Campaign.

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Posted In: From AFL-CIO, Union Matters

Union Matters

Human Service Workers at Persad Center Vote to Join the USW

From the USW

Workers at Persad Center, a human service organization that serves the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities of the Pittsburgh area, voted last week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The unit of 24 workers, ranging from therapists and program coordinators to case managers and administrative staff, announced their union campaign as the Persad Staff Union last month and filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“We care about our work and the communities we serve,” said Johanna Smith, Persad’s Development, Communications, and Events Associate. “We strongly believe this work and our connections to our clients will only improve now that we will be represented by a union.”

The Persad workers join the growing number of white-collar professionals organizing with the USW, especially in the Pittsburgh region. Their membership is also in line with the recent work the Steelworkers have been doing to engage LGBTQ+ members and improve contract language regarding issues that affect their lives.

“Workplaces are changing and evolving, and the labor movement is changing and evolving along with that,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees the union’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee as well as the USW Health Care Workers Council. “This campaign gives us an opportunity to diversify our great union while uplifting and empowering a group of workers who give their all for others.”

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work