Legislative Platform

LABOR/ RIGHT to ORGANIZE

LCLAA supports unionizing efforts across the country and denounces any actions taken by employers to intimidate, threaten, and harass workers who try to form unions. LCLAA educates elected and community leaders regarding the important role collective bargaining plays in strengthening communities. We ask our allies to stand openly with workers trying to exercise their right to form a union.

LCLAA works with international unions to reach out to Latino working families.  LCLAA supports the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) which will allow employees to seek mediation and arbitration in securing a first contract and increase penalties against employers who violate the law.

 

LCLAA is opposed to the hiring of foreign workers if the jobs are not made available to American workers first.
LCLAA demands that agricultural employers abide strictly  by the Code of Regulations set forth by the Department of Labor with regards to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers; ensuring their protection as well as the enforcement of contractual obligations.  LCLAA calls for penalties to be imposed on employers who violate such regulations.
LCLAA joins farm worker organizations in opposition to the recent Department of Labor administrative changes to the H-2A program.  These changes weaken legal requirements on farmworker recruitment and adequate housing for agricultural workers. This is by all means unacceptable.  LCLAA advocates for the protection of the labor rights of all workers, regardless of their gender, religion, race, ethnicity, place of origin or legal status.
Check out Dr. Gabriela Lemus' message on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)

English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf0CKZ2bfF0
Español: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ueDz_trwxg&feature=related

 

WORKPLACE HEALTH and SAFETY

Latinos have the highest fatality rate in the workplace than any other minority groups.  In 2007, the AFL-CIO reported that Latinos accounted for 16 percent of all workplace fatalities.  We at LCLAA want this to change.

LCLAA strongly supports legislation that will strengthen safety and health standards in the workplace in order to prevent fatalities and reduce the number of Latinos and immigrant workers injured, and exposed to heal hazards.  LCLAA supports policies that will promote awareness and education about workplace safety for all workers.

 

2007 AFL-CIO report, "Death on the Job the Toll of Neglect"

 

CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS

LCLAA advocates for the rights of Latino working families, the equal protection of laws, and political inclusiveness of all.  We demand the protection of our voting rights and support the continuation of affirmative action to ensure diversified workplaces and institutions of higher learning.

LCLAA opposes racial profiling and condemns hate crimes. For this reason,  LCLAA supports legislation that will provide federal assistance to states, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes.

LCLAA opposes legislation that violates individuals' civil rights. LCLAA firmly opposes any legislative initiatives seeking to allow state and local police agencies to enforce immigration law because of the impact they will have on ethnic and racially diverse communities and the adverse effect it will have on local economies.

 

LCLAA opposes the privatization of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other efforts to weaken its ability to serve the public.
Read Press Release:

LCLAA and Global Exchange Concerned with Growing Anti-Immigrant/Latino Attacks

 

VOTING RIGHTS

At approximately 45 million, Latinos are the largest minority in the United States.  The political inclusion of Latino working families in federal, state and local elections is essential to their empowerment through political, social and economic advancement.  LCLAA organizes and advocates to ensure that Latinos are not denied their constitutional 15th amendment right to vote.

LCLAA demands the protection of our voting rights and firmly opposes any legislation that is detrimental to the registration and turnout of Latino and minority voters.

LCLAA organizes voter registration drives and educational campaigns to educate voters about their rights. LCLAA promotes political inclusiveness of all individuals at all levels of our government.

Read article "The Latino Vote" by Dr. Lemus

HOUSING

LCLAA recognizes that affordable housing is essential to the stability, empowerment and economic advancement of Latino working families.  LCLAA supports the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibits discrimination on the base of race, religion, and national origin in the sale or rental of housing.

LCLAA opposes predatory practices in the prime and sub-prime mortgage lending market.  These unscrupulous lending practices induced the housing crisis the country is currently facing, resulting in home foreclosures throughout the country.  LCLAA supports legislation that will regulate lending practices and will strictly enforce penalties on those who victimize homebuyers.

LCLAA supports legislation that provides funding for programs that educate consumers about homeownership and ways to protect themselves from predatory lenders.

 

LCLAA supports legislative initiatives at the federal, state and local level that seek to facilitate access to; or provide funding for; adequate housing for working families.  LCLAA supports legislation that will provide a variety of incentives for housing rehabilitation.
LCLAA demands that guest workers be provided with safe and adequate living conditions.  We support efforts and legislative initiatives to provide guest-workers with decent and standard living conditions.  LCLAA supports enforcement actions to bring to justice those who put the lives of vulnerable workers at risk by subjecting them to a hazardous and substandard living environment.

 

TRADE

LCLAA supports global trade but not at the expense of the American worker. Over the last three years 2.7 million manufacturing jobs and 1.8 million private sector jobs have been lost due to outsourcing. LCLAA understands that trade is vital for our industries and our livelihood. However outsourcing is not the answer. LCLAA supports legislation that pursues trade in a way that considers the rights of workers and the health of our communities while enforcing environmental protection laws.

 

LCLAA is opposed to NAFTA and CAFTA, recognizing them as flawed free trade models that have failed to induce the economic development they anticipated and have exacerbated poverty and unemployment in Mexico and Central America, aggravating undocumented immigration to the U.S. out of economic desperation.  LCLAA advocates for FAIR trade agreements and is opposed to trade policy that mainly serves corporate interests.  LCLAA is opposed to any agreements that will undermine the human and labor rights of workers abroad.  Compliance with ILO international labor standards must be enforced and promoted among trading partners.
LCLAA stands firmly behind the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act introduced on June 4, 2008 and will advocate for its passage because the TRADE Act addresses the American public's demand for change during the Presidential Campaign, with a new way forward on trade and globalization and what trade agreements must and must not include. This initiative sets forth what LCLAA stands for, shutting down claims that labor and the environment are anti-trade or have no alternative vision, because we oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Central America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and similar damaging trade agreements that are pending with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

 

Read the following articles on Trade and Immigration:

15 years Later, Experts Say Revisit NAFTA

Latinos Being Hit Hard by Economic Slump

HEALTH CARE

Nearly 47 million Americans lack healthcare, 15 million are Hispanic, and 9 million children uninsured in the United States.  This is an unacceptable measure by all standards!

LCLAA advocates for affordable, quality health care for all.  Access to quality healthcare by Latino working families is being limited by increasing health insurance costs.  Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in the United State have been rising five times faster on average than workers' salaries.  Latino families are having an increasingly harder time making ends meet, and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 37 million live at or below poverty level.

Working families are faced with the decision to have low-quality/low-coverage health care to none at all.  LCLAA supports legislation that will increase universal and affordable access to preventive, chronic, mental, dental, vision and long-term coverage for all Americans.

LCLAA supports any legislation that will drive Medicare costs down. LCLAA opposes any legislation that denies individuals the right to seek medical attention regardless of their place of origin or legal status.

 

LCLAA supports H.R. 676, The United States National Health Insurance Act which would provide national universal insurance to every person living in these United States.

Read the following article on LCLAA's position on health care:

Latino Labor Group Endorsed HR 676

 

ENVIRONMENT

Latino communities are disproportionately affected by pollution.  In 2002, 71 percent of Latinos lived in counties that violated federal air pollution standards for one or more pollutants. With more than 20 percent of Latinos living in poverty, and many Latinos uninsured, the Latino population is more vulnerable to environmentally-caused health problems.

LCLAA supports any legislation driven to keep our communities safe from hazardous waste. Our communities should not serve as dumping grounds. LCLAA supports efforts to force corporations to comply with U.S. environmental standards abroad and at home.

Environmental discrimination is an appalling reality and LCLAA is firmly opposed to any actions taken to increase the exposure to, and confinement of, environmental burdens such as pollution, toxic and radioactive waste in communities of color.

As the aftermath of Katrina demonstrated, low-income and communities of color were disproportionately affected by insufficient and unsustainable recovery efforts.  Although Katrina brought national salience to the issue of environmental justice, the reality extends beyond hurricane disasters to health conditions.   Environmental discrimination can be seen in the prevalence of asthma among Latinos due to exposure to poor air quality since Latino children are 2.5 times more likely to develop asthma than their White counterparts.

Because Latinos are significantly impacted by pollution, LCLAA keeps environmental issues at the forefront of our advocacy work.

Along with NPRC and NHEC, LCLAA spearheads the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (NLCCC).

LCLAA AND THE GREEN ECONOMY

LCLAA is the most progressive national Latino organization in the nation.   As such, LCLAA seeks to engage and educate our communities by being at the forefront of educating ourselves, our families and our workplace about how to leave a smaller carbon footprint, while promoting a new and environmentally sustainable economy.

 

LCLAA supports innovative policies that will bolster the potential of a "green economy" by promoting renewable energy sources, creating new manufacturing jobs and providing practical applications that help our communities and reduce home expenses.

LCLAA calls for action:
An Economic Stimulus Package with a Side of Green

LCLAA on CAFE Standards:
LCLAA Applauds Senators for Bipartisan Alternative to Improve Fuel Economy

 

IMMIGRATION

LCLAA strongly supports comprehensive immigration reform that takes into consideration demographic changes, national security, family reunification as well as the impact of trade agreements on immigration to the U.S. (see Platform on Trade). LCLAA believes that immigration policies need to protect the civil and human rights of all immigrants.

LCLAA also advocates for humane immigration enforcement that respects the human rights of undocumented immigrants and takes into account the needs of U.S. citizens.  LCLAA is opposed to home and workplace raids that tear families apart.  Over 3 million U.S. citizen children have at least one parent that is undocumented.  The future of U.S. citizens cannot be jeopardized due to the inability of the U.S. Congress to achieve a comprehensive solution to the current immigration problem.

LCLAA supports legislation such as AgJobs which allows guest workers to meet U.S. labor shortages, and encourages undocumented workers to report their presence and enter the legalization process without denying them the protection of their labor rights.

LCLAA opposes any legislation that tries to establish guest worker programs that promote the violation of undocumented workers' rights.

LCLAA opposes the DHS initiative to have the Social Security Administration send "No-Match" letters to employers because they have been used as a way to intimidate unionized and non-unionized workers who try to assert their rights in the workplace.

LCLAA strongly supports the AFL-CIO's lawsuit against the DHS "Safe Harbor Procedures for Employees Who Receive a No-Match Letter".

See LCLAA Press Releases on Immigration:

No-Match Letters

DREAM Act

Relevant Sites on Immigration:

Center on Wisconsin Strategy
Cities and Immigration: Local Policies for Immigrant-Friendly Cities

WAGES

LCLAA is a pioneer in advocating for equal pay.  In 2007, women were paid 77 cents for every dollar men received while Latina women earned 52 cents for every dollar.

LCLAA believes that workers should enjoy the fruits of their labor, and that no one should face wage discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, country of origin or legal status. Wages for Latinos have declined over the last two years, more so than for any other ethnic group in the country (Pew Hispanic Center, 2004).

LCLAA supports legislation that creates wage policies that are fair to all workers.  LCLAA strongly supports the Fair Pay Restoration Act which would overhaul the Ledbetter Supreme Court decision and protect working families nationwide from discriminatory pay practices on the part of their employer.

LCLAA opposes any efforts by the administration to deny workers overtime. Denying workers the fruits of their labor encourages unscrupulous employers to take advantage of their workforce.

LCLAA encourages Congress to invest in human capital, and to invest in education and training programs that increase the capabilities of the U.S. workforce.

WOMEN'S ISSUES

LCLAA supports pay equity for all regardless of gender.  Women have the right to live and work in a safe environment, devoid of sexual harassment and abuse.

 

LCLAA supports and respects the decision of women to bring litigation against the perpetrators of sexual harassment and domestic violence.
LCLAA strongly supports legislation and programs that will increase the education and awareness of Latina women about sexual, reproductive health and family planning.  The education of women is crucial to the wellbeing of the children they care for.

 

Latina women are disproportionately prone to a variety of health problems due to lack of access to information and adequate health care to prevent them.  LCLAA strongly supports any legislation that will increase awareness and education about health issues that impact Latina women, as well as provide the means to address them.

 

LCLAA asserts that women's rights should be observed not only domestically but globally.  LCLAA supports legislation that creates programs that will promote the access of women to higher education and leadership development.
The United Nations has affirmed that 2 out of 3 poor adults in the world are women. This is an appalling figure. LCLAA opposes any legislation, domestic or foreign that will contribute to the feminization of poverty and will perpetuate the exploitation, abuse and discrimination of women.

 

LCLAA supports the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women (CEDAW) along with legislation that will promote the social, political and economic empowerment of women domestically and worldwide.

WORKING FAMILIES

 

LCLAA supports public policies that promote child care, elder care, and family leave so that working families are able to dedicate more time to their loved ones. It is becoming harder and harder for Americans to balance work and family responsibilities.
Working families should not have to choose between promoting their health and being able to put food on the table.  For families living paycheck to paycheck, missing a day of work to take care of health problems is not an option.

 

LCLAA supports paid sick and safe days for workers so that working men and women can seek the care that they need and as well as tend to their loved ones when they are sick without the fear of employer retributions or financial instability.

SOCIAL SECURITY

LCLAA opposes any efforts made to privatize social security. Social Security was created to serve as a long term safety net for working families. It is the foundation for retirement security and not an investment program that Wall Street can use to profit billions of dollars from. Privatization will cut benefits forcing many of our elderly, survivors and people with disability into poverty. Retirees need the financial means to live their last years with dignity and independence. Reforming social security the way the administration intends will cost more than two trillion dollars, not to mention cutting guaranteed benefits by 30 to 40 percent.

LCLAA will continue to advocate to ensure that social security continues to provide a benefit people can count on, protects disabled and low income Americans. There is too much at stake for the Latino community to allow the administration to dissolve Social Security. It is our responsibility to ensure that its protections are there for today's retirees, workers and generations to come.