Monday, December 18, 2006

Immigrant Worker Struggles in California

EMERYVILLE, CA - 16 DECEMBER 06 - Immigrant workers and their supporters protest outside the Woodfin Suites hotel in Emeryville, the morning after hotel managers fired 20 workers. They accused the workers of lacking legal permission to work, alleging that Social Security said their numbers didn't match its datebase. Workers say the hotel was retaliating against them for trying to enforce the city's new living wage ordinance. The Bush administration has vowed to increase enforcement of employer sanctions, the section of immigration law which prohibits employers from hiring undocumented workers, but which, in effect, make it a crime for an undocumented worker to hold a job. Most unions call for the repeal of employer sanctions.

OAKLAND, CA - 22 NOVEMBER 06 - Airport security workers and their supporters demonstrate against their employer, Aviation Safeguard, at the Oakland airport. Workers, most of whom are Filipino immigrants, are trying to join a union, Service Employees Local 1877. They accuse the company of discriminating against them, refusing to recognize their rights, and not paying the wage mandated by Oakland's living wage law. Many of these workers are former airport screeners, and were driven from their jobs after 9/11, when a citizenship requirement was imposed on employees of the newly-created Transportation Security Administration.

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