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Equal Rights for All Workers- Repeal the Modern Slave Law- Informational PPT

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Equal Rights for All Workers- Repeal the Modern Slave Law- Informational PPT

  1. 1. Repealing the Modern Slave Law: Why should equal rights for all workers be the main demand for working people now? Presented by the Break the Chains Alliance equalrightsforallworkers.org/ FB @equalrightsforallworkers
  2. 2. Who We Are The Break the Chains Alliance is a national network of individuals and organizations that is fighting for equal rights for all working people, whether you are native- born or immigrant, blue or white-collared workers. At this moment, we need to repeal the modern-slave law a provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in order to achieve equal rights. Current Organizational Sponsors of the Break the Chains Alliance: , San Pablo Episcopal Church (TX), Rev. Ronnie Lister, New Canaan Missionary Baptist Church, El Pueblo Primero Community Workers Organization (TX), Asociacion de Trabajadores Fronterizos (TX), Council on American-Islamic Relations (TX), Chinese Staff & Workers’ Association (NY), National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NY), Flushing Workers Center (NY), Working People Lead Tulsa (OK), and others.
  3. 3. The Crisis We Face Today- How Do We Fight It? “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas… American jobs are lost to immigrants” - El Paso shooter “Trump is to blame” - Beto O’Rourke “ Our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.”
  4. 4. Root Causes of Racism and Divisions Among Workers ● White and black indentured servants, along with black slaves came together to fight the planting class in Virginia. ● To divide and conquer, the elites gave white indentured servants freedom and land, then institutionalized the slavery of black people. ● U.S. slave laws were the country’s first immigration and labor law. BACON’S REBELLION 1676
  5. 5. ● Leading up to the Civil War, Irish immigrants and other European immigrants had been used to undercut black workers in Northern cities. ● Fearful that the emancipation of slaves would lead to competition for jobs, Irish immigrants attacked black workers after the Civil War draft in a riot that lasted several days. Root Caues of Racism and Divisions Among Workers Race Riots (1863)
  6. 6. ● Southern states passed laws that re-enslaved black workers and maintain an underclass of workers. ● If black workers did not present an employment contract or were found “loitering,” they would be arrested and then leased out as convict laborers. Root Causes of Racism and Divisions Among Workers BLACK CODES 1865-1930
  7. 7. ● White workers pushed for the law fearing competition from Chinese laborers. ● Preceded by state Anti-Coolie Acts, which stripped Chinese workers of any rights. These laws restricted their behavior, dress, and imposed extra taxes on Chinese laborers. Root Causes of Racism and Divisions Among Workers CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT 1882-1952
  8. 8. ● To create an underclass of workers, the U.S. brought in Mexicans as guestworkers, without the same rights as other workers. ● They were housed in converted barns or tents without running water or sanitary facilities. ● Employers would often fire and re-hire them as undocumented workers with no rights at all. Root Causes of Racism and Divisions Among Workers BRACERO PROGRAM 1942-
  9. 9. ● To create an underclass of workers, the U.S. brought in Mexicans as guestworkers, without the same rights as other workers. ● They were housed in converted barns or tents without running water or sanitary facilities. ● Employers would often fire and re-hire them as undocumented workers with no rights at all. Root Causes of Racism and Divisions Among Workers BRACERO PROGRAM 1942-
  10. 10. Today’s Modern Slave Law- Employers’ Sanctions Provision of IRCA Compromise between Reagan and conservatives, immigrant rights groups, and the labor unions. Promised to do the following: ● Protect jobs for Americans ● Boost American economy ● Deter immigration ● Improve conditions for workers ● Amnesty for nearly 3 million undocumented immigrants at the time IMMIGRATION REFORM AND CONTROL ACT 1986
  11. 11. Failed to Protect American Jobs ● As an underclass of workers with no rights, employers began to prefer hiring undocumented workers. ● Forced U.S. citizens and documented workers to compete with them in a race to the bottom. ● Ex. trades industry
  12. 12. Failed to deter immigration
  13. 13. What Were the Real Results the Employers’ Sanctions Provision of the Immigration Reform & Control Act?
  14. 14. What Were the Real Results the Employers’ Sanctions Provision of the Immigration Reform & Control Act?
  15. 15. Aug 7, 2019- 680 Poultry Workers Arrested in Morton, MS ● Workers at Koch Foods and Pecos Foods were targeted after they won a $3.5 Million EEOC Class-Action Lawsuit for sexual harassment. ● Supervisors hit and touched Latino employees inappropriately ● Charged them money for normal everyday work activities ● Denied bathroom breaks ● Fired for complaining
  16. 16. How the MS Poultry Industry Has Maintained an Underclass of Workers and Divisions Throughout Time Poultry industries were racially segregated and black workers were excluded from working in the industry. 1950s to 1960s
  17. 17. How the MS Poultry Industry Has Maintained an Underclass of Workers and Divsions Throughout Time As more people from MS participated in the civil rights movement (Mississippi Freedom Summer) and also as white workers were demanding better conditions in poultry plants, plants became racially integrated. But not without violence from white workers. In front of Sunbeam 1965
  18. 18. How the MS Poultry Industry Has Maintained an Underclass of Workers and Divisions Throughout Time Black workers organized in numbers into the MS Poultry Workers Union, going on strike to demand collective bargaining rights, raises, and safer conditions. In response, employers would bring in white workers to undercut union organizing. 1970s-80s
  19. 19. Dubbed the “Hispanic Project,” poultry companies actively went to Mexico, Guatemala, and border states to actively recruit undocumented immigrant workers. They sought to exploit a more vulnerable cheap pool of labor and undermine black workers organizing, but slowly, black and brown workers started organizing together. After 1986 and the passing of IRCA
  20. 20. How the MS Poultry Industry Has Maintained an Underclass of Workers and Divisions Throughout Time In the past month, Koch Foods in MS has been holding job fairs. The companies are just replacing with one group with another to undermine workers organizing and to pit workers against each other. After 1986 and the passing of IRCA
  21. 21. Fighting the Root Cause- Not Just the Symptoms of the Modern-Slave Law * We must fight for equal rights for ALL workers to assert their rights to organize and unionize - Equal protections for all workers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) - Protect workers against retaliation, including harassment and firing due to organizing - Protect workers from deportation due to organizing * Repeal the modern slave law employers’ sanctions of IRCA * Ensure a pathway to legalization
  22. 22. What Can You Do? ● JOIN the Break the Chains Alliance as an individual or an organizational member ● SHARE this presentation at your church, school campus, or organization ● PETITION: bit.ly/endcriminalization-equalrights ● SOCIAL MEDIA: FB @equalrightsforallworkers ● FOR MORE: equalrightsforallworkers.org

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