Monday, May 04, 2020

LULAC Defends Essential Workers - Recorded Town Hall

LULAC, The League of Latin American Citizens, held a Town Hall this morning with Vice President Biden and several key congresspeople on Protecting Essential Workers including a focus on meat packing and farm labor. 

Speakers.  Congresspersons able to make a difference.

Domingo Garcia, National President, LULAC
Sindy Benavides, CEO, LULAC
Joe Biden, Vice President
Bennie Thompson, Homeland Security Committee Chair (MS-2)
Zoe Lofgren, Judiciary Subcommittee Chair (CA-19)
Joaquin Castro, CHC Chair (TX-20)
Filemon Vela. Agriculture Subcommittee Chair (TX-34)

Here is the recording.

Biden made a strong case for defending workers in the meatpacking plants. He described meat packing and chicken packing plants accurately and their lack of safety precautions,    Unfortunately, most of the plants are non union. If we had a pro union president this would not be happening – such as FDR in the 1930’s. 
 And, the Trump Administration is using OSHA to not enforce workplace safety rules.   This is not an accident. See the history of union busting in meat packing,. 
There was extensive discussion of undocumented workers in these plants and their exploitation.  Congressman Vela and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren were clear and engaged in seeking to extend worker protection to these workers and to reign in ICE.  One effort was to urge that all these workers receive TPS during the crisis.  They also recognized the need for permanent immigration reform to protect these workers and their families, 

There was significant discussion of how work place safety could be improved, including by facilitation unionization.

A number of speakers were family members of workers in these plants, several with Covid 19 cases.  I hope to find the recording a post a link to it.

Joaquin Castro, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus was particularly effective in arguing for multiple reforms to protect workers during the pandemic and in the future.  All agreed that testing and tracking was needed, and few of the plants provide testing and safe work places- even while they are required to stay open and subsidized by recent legislation, 
Congressman Castro particularly urged all community  activists to demand change now, to not wait until the fall elections,  Yes, the elections are important, but the crisis is now. 

LULAC is a moderate to conservative Civil Rights Organization.  Like the NAACP, and the National Urban League, it accepts donations from corporations,.  For example, they have recently accepted many donations from Tyson foods, 

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