CFL News
March 26, 2013

Chicago’s labor movement to stand with Latino community, students and others to support comprehensive immigration reform

Leaders from the Chicago labor movement were joined by Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO, and Joseph Hansen, UFCW, students and community leaders to call for a fix to the nation’s broken immigration system that protects workers and keeps families united.

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UFCW President Joseph HansenWorking families in Chicago received support from national leaders when they joined community activists and students in calling for commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship recently.  AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and United Food and Commercial Workers International President Joseph Hansen joined leaders of the Chicago Federation of Labor and others at Instituto del Progreso in Chicago to lend their voices to a national push for reform.

“From hotel workers to custodians to painters and carpenters, we are here today with our allies in the community because we share a common belief that all workers should be treated with fairness, dignity and respect,” said CFL President Jorge Ramirez. “All workers should have rights and protections to speak out against injustice and unsafe working conditions without fear of retaliation or retribution. These are human rights that every working man and woman should enjoy.”

President Trumka echoed Ramirez and reaffirmed the AFL-CIO’s resolve in leading the push for a comprehensive plan to protect workers and keep families united through immigration reform.

“Now is the time for real immigration reform and I’m here to demand that this reform must include...a workable and clear and practical road map to citizenship for every aspiring citizen in America,” he said.

President Hansen has been another vocal proponent of comprehensive reform at the national level. His union, the UFCW, represents workers, including many immigrants, in industries such as meat packing and food processing.

“It is the workers we represent who are most victimized by our current immigration system,” said Hansen. “For the UFCW, this issue hits close to home.  We remember the ICE raids in 2006 where our members were treated like criminals.  We remember hearing the stories of workers terrorized just for doing their jobs.

“America has always prided itself on being a country where anyone who is willing to work hard and pursue their dreams can find success,” he added. “We must live up to that ideal.”

The AFL-CIO, UFCW and other unions have made immigration reform a top priority this year. In February, the Chicago Federation of Labor became the first central labor council in the nation to pass a resolution calling for reform. 

Sign the petition today to call for a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring citizens