Illegal Labor is somehow Good for Labor? AFL-CIO Endorses Illegal Labor Agenda

It seems the AFL-CIO and the SEIU have made a deal. In the past the SEIU, insane as they are, have promoted illegal labor and the AFL-CIO has been more true to labor economic realities. Now it appears they struck a deal. No increases in guest worker Visas in exchange for amnesty for illegals.

Here are the details of this Faustian bargain:

The nation’s two major labor federations have agreed for the first time to join forces to support an overhaul of the immigration system, leaders of both organizations said on Monday. The accord could give President Obama significant support among unions as he revisits the stormy issue in the midst of the recession.

John Sweeney, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., and Joe T. Hansen, a leader of the rival Change to Win federation, will present the outlines of their new position on Tuesday in Washington. In 2007, when Congress last considered comprehensive immigration legislation, the two groups could not agree on a common approach. That legislation failed.

The accord endorses legalizing the status of illegal immigrants already in the United States and opposes any large new program for employers to bring in temporary immigrant workers, officials of both federations said.

“The labor movement will work together to make sure that the White House as well as Congress understand that we speak about immigration reform with one voice,” Mr. Sweeney said in a statement to The New York Times.

But while the compromise repaired one fissure in the coalition that has favored broad immigration legislation, it appeared to open another. An official from the United States Chamber of Commerce said Monday that the business community remained committed to a significant guest-worker program.

The idea now is to create an independent commission to determine future immigration numbers based on the labor market.

Now, that sounds great doesn't it? One small problem. Not only does the DOL have statistics delayed by almost a year in occupational areas, absurd occupational growth protection numbers that never seem to correspond to labor market reality but they do not track on offshore outsourcing. The DOL also mix guest workers into unemployment statistics which gives skewed numbers. So what exactly is this commission going to base it's findings on? Data that is not real time or doesn't exist?

Even worse, immigration is permanent whereas labor markets are more in flux. Another truth is a temporary worker doesn't actually exist. Once here, temporary workers don't actually leave and if they cannot simply get another legal job, many become....tada....illegal.

Then, let's move onto higher education. The rejection rates to even get in are sky high as well as the costs. So what happens when they turn our educational system into a glorified green card machine? The answer is obvious. One will further squeeze out Americans from opportunity and defocus higher education into simply being a backdoor immigration system.

While guest worker Visas are the most notorious method to labor arbitrage, the reality is when one floods the labor supply, that will indeed erode worker rights, wages and increase the unemployment statistics, even in a reasonably growing economy.

Onto the dangerous ground of an independent commission to determine immigration flows. Shame few are talking about the lack of real data. So what happens when this commission tries to obtain raw data, say everyone's immigration status in the country? This would be a critical piece of information to determine labor markets. Can you hear the name calling? Racial profiling, discrimination, racist xenophobe just to obtain the data necessary to determine accurately some labor market truths?

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Sad to say

but this is really more about the business end of labor unions. Organized labor has been looking to expand its numbers. Here they have a potential pool of dues paying members.

I personally know unionized carpenters, machinists and such who are in dire need of a job. A lot of machinists who could not find work, and I'm speaking for around here, have gone back to school to learn things like auto mechanic work. Yet when they return to the work field, their carpenter bretheren, are finding illigal immigrant labor being utilized. There was a garage right by me, just prior to the owner dying, who several years ago laid off his mechanics, when on vacation then returned and hired illegals.

The economic angle to this is classic supply and demand. Now I don't know what can be done with 14 or so million illegal aliens. Maybe I'm wrong at this point and we have no choice but to legalize them because the alternatives are either not available or worse. Yet one of the aftereffects that should be expected is an increase in the surplus labor. Actually, it's already here, just under the table if you know what I mean. Going back to the idea of surplus labor, this is now a global phenomenon, and its one of the pillars that keeps up the current version of globalization.

This also reminds me of the dellema with GM. What's good for business may not be good for the worker. For GM, sadly at this point, if I was a turn around specialist (and speaking as a devil's advocate here), I would go the BK route then take the new company to the Southern US unless I could get what I wanted from the UAW. Bloomberg radio reported that several reps from some southern states are already chatting with the beleaguered car company. For the execs at GM its about bringing in the revenue and profits first. I wonder if the same can be said right now for the AFL-CIO and dues?


I believe (electrical contractors) has said "screw you" to the AFL-CIO on this and tried to get enforcement first because they are getting undermined by illegal labor continually.

I think you're right, they are after dues and increasing the ranks, but on the other hand, ...that begets more illegals who will undercut their wages (as well as the supply/demand problem).

I think they should enforce employment law first and foremost and also fix the system....because addressing what to do about those already here and so on. i.e. piecemeal.

At the risk of facing the wrath of many on this site

Oh I am gonna take a whopping for this. I know someone's gonna call me a fascist or a union buster, which I'm not. But here goes....

If this labor-version of a conglomerate won't do the right thing, then perhaps its time that a lot of the unions that make up this "company" need to secede and form a new organization. I'm sorry, but if I were a member, my number one goal would be to maximize the value of what I do. There are only so many jobs to go around, and increasing the supply of candidates for those jobs doesn't help. And if the folks who are supposed to support me are going to do what was just mentioned just so they can say they helped bring in a voter pool for a particular party, then it's time to say good bye.

I'm sure the IBEW and others can form a better organization. Is it that the heads of the AFL-CIO are out of touch with the worker on the ground? I just don't see how increasing the supply of workers helps. If I'm wrong here, please enlighten me.

organized labor

Hey, you can express whatever your views are and problems you see on EP, as long as we're in some sort of reality and on topic.

That's one of the things that drives me nuts on some blogs, where you must participate in group think or be damned to eternity for being a troll, when it's simply a well thought out different view.

The SEIU has had some well broadcast fights trying to wipe out local nurses union in CA and I read the complaints and it sure seemed the SEIU wasn't interested in the real labor issues.

I don't know what the answer is, maybe more of a guild type of organization. There are professional societies but very often, they also do not represent the labor interests of members.

A fundamental problem seems to be the power structure in these things. They are not democratized enough.

Locals should have more autonomy

Unions were once organized into "Locals" for a reason- and so were corporations for that matter. These international unions and international corporations- they're too big to succeed in my opinion. The larger your organization is, the less contact you have with the people who actually get things done- the workers on the ground so to speak. And that is a bad thing all around.
Executive compensation is inversely proportional to morality and ethics.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Agree with you Robert

Robert Oak.......... I agree 1000% with what you say!

I swear that many of the blogs are either:

A. Filled with kids
B: Filled with people that act like bullies

There are a lot of blogs that people move and thing more like a herd of sheep than people that want to debate ideas.

I make my own decisions and more often than not, those decisions can not be button holed into a certain group. It makes me an odd animal. If a Dem or Rep President makes what I consider a good decision I will give kudos to them. If they make a bad decision I will say it was wrong.
It often gets me painted as a troll because I don't follow any one party line.

EP is an "all things $$" site for this reason

We are officially non-partisan for this reason, although politics, but more in the way of policy is a big topic area I like to write about.

If you notice NDD can go against "group think" because he's looking at the numbers, graphs and so does midtowng quite often, again looking at the graphs, numbers.

BTW: and yes I do know this is poor design and I have major guilt on the upgrade at this point, but people need to hit that little "reply" link when replying to someone else's comment. That's how the tracking system works in the account section and if people don't hit that reply, it doesn't show up that someone replied to your comments.

I agree

It's why I've not done much on DK (well not much in general...but that's cause of my health and other things at the moment), the 'Kos site is just too partisan. While I like to think I hold some liberal views, I know I don't have all my issues angled the same way. When you don't hold the same views on every issue, I've noticed on some sites, you're virtually nailed to the cross. That's why I like this place, I may not agree 100% on everything, but you don't have people calling you a troll or what have you.