This LA Times piece uses the experience of Los Angeles to emphasize the point we've made that cracking down on sweatshop conditions is the best way to deal with the negative effects of immigration.
With a higher minimum wage, a crackdown on sweatshops, and tougher regulation of slum landlords, Los Angeles put the sweatshop employers out of business and deflecting an estima
One thing you can say-- the current debate on immigration is at last focusing attention on the pervasive violations of our labor laws in sweatshops and other parts of the low-wage economy. But instead of getting national legislation to shut down sweatshops around the country, we are getting policies to punish some of the victims – while leaving the underground economy that breeds undocumented immigration largely in place.
The facts of illegal violations of our wage laws have been clear for years:
Albuquerque's City Council President Martin Heinrich has reached a deal with the Mayor to increase Albuquerque's minimum wage to $7.50 an hour by 2009. While the final ordinance is not yet worked out, it may provide a $1.00 an hour allowance to employers who provide $2,500 per year in health care or child care benefits.
The move comes after New Mexico's Senate killed minimum wage legislation earlier this year. Santa Fe already has a higher minimum wage.
For the right wing in the Arizona state legislature, their only response to sweatshop employers using low-wage undocumented immigrants has been to try to make criminals of the undocumented workers themselves, even as they've opposed raising minimum wage standards to eliminate the sweatshops which financially benefit from exploited immigrants in the first place.
PLAN's First LegAlert is live. This one focuses on the four versions of Fair Share Health Care that are being adopted in various locations in the U.S. It looks at the reasons why Fair Share is needed and the bogus arguments against Fair Share and why they don't hold up. It's an easy-to-use bullet-point summary of the legislation already out there.
New York's Drum Major Institute deserves high marks for ingenuity. Today, they're proving that in a new way. They've released a new scorecard rating legislators from 2001 to 2005 on a whole host of issues affecting the middle class: insurance fraud, fair wages, college tuition, day care, and health care. Of course, putting out a scorecard is nothing new.
In Monday's Stateside Dispatch, we gave an update on the progress of "fair share" health care legislation in the states. This LegAlert is designed to give a few more details on the legislative models currently being debated, key resources available to use supporting them in your state, and talking points on responding to common arguments by opponents.
New York State could take national leadership in health care reform if it approves the ambitious health care bill introduced this week based on a proposal by the New York Working Families Party.
The bill would require all companies in the state with one hundred employees or more to provide health care to their employees, or pay a tax of $3 an hour per worker to cover the states expenses in caring for