Could this be the Boston Tea Party of the Second Millenium? When the first of 595 suspected illegal immigrants were taken into custody on August of 2008 in Laurel, Mississippi by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, union workers broke into applause. They were employees of “Howard Industries”, a producer of products ranging from electrical transformers to medical supplies in the state’s Pine Belt region, known for chicken-processing , commercial timber and over 6% unemployment. The members, largely African-Americans, resented the fact that immigrants, mostly Mexican, were able to work 40 hours of work of overtime per week but they were unable to do so. The vacancies left by the raid are being met by African-American job applicants on the street.
The raid was historic in that it was the biggest in U.S. history and issued from friction from the shop-floor level. Laws to combat illegal immigration have always existed under the Bush administration, the only thing lacking has been the will to enforce them.
Following the Mississippi story is instructive. Robert Schaffer, the head of the Mississippi AFL-CIO, acknowledged that “Union members have long complained in southern Mississippi that companies hire illegal immigrants. Jackson, Hattiesburg, Laurel and all the areas along the coast, it is a little Mexico.” So at the state level, here is an instance of a union bureaucrat affiliated to a nation-wide union evidencing some awareness and empathy for the problems of workers at a grassroots level. But not so fast.
At the same time Schaffer is ambivalent. He is not black like his dues-paying members in Laurel, nor are his bosses in Washington, D.C. either, one can wager. As for the illegal Mexicans, Schaffer says, “I’m not against people trying to make a living. I have a compassion for those folks.” Compassion for lawbreakers who take American jobs? Send this man a membership form in the Green party.
Schaffer’s compassion for illegal immigrants is shared by the AFL-CIO’s national leadership. In a watershed resolution in 1993 they attacked the critics of illegal immigration, and three years later they joined a coalition of business, agri-business and Christian conservative groups to kill provisions of a bill to limit refugee admissions and verify Social Security numbers of newly-hired workers to discourage illegal workers. And, “in February 2000, the executive council of the AFL-CIO announced it was changing its historic position and would now support expanded immigration, lenient enforcement of immigration laws and the legislative agenda of immigrant advocacy groups.” In 2007 the AFL-CIO sued the Justice Department on behalf of illegal aliens and stopped a judge from preventing employers from hiring illegals with fraudulent social security numbers. Why?
The motive is clear. Clear as the motive of the Sierra Club was in abandoning its long-time opposition to an open-borders immigration policy. The flagship of organized labour in America like the flagship of organized environmentalism in America was prepared to throw its traditional constituency to the wolves in order to court and pursue a yet to be organized growing, potential immigrant membership.
The greed for a larger dues-paying membership base trumps the desperate need the workers of America have to hold on to the decent jobs that are threatened daily by out-sourcing and illegal and legal immigration, which pours in at a rate of four million per year. According to the Democratic Socialist Senator for Vermont, Bernie Sanders, five million of these jobs have been lost under the Bush administration from these factors.
Will the union strategy of dropping the American bird in your hand to chase the two Hispanic birds in the bush pay off? Not according to the research of labour economist Vernon Briggs. He has demonstrated a disturbing correlation. In the United States, at least, the percentage of foreign born people is inversely proportional to the percentage of union membership. “In the 1930s and the World War II in the 1940s, immigration levels fell dramatically while union membership levels soared to unprecedented levels.” In 1965 the foreign-born population was 4.4% of the US total, but union membership was 30.1% of the non-agricultural sector. By 2006, 12.1% of the population was foreign-born while union membership was only 12% of the non-agricultural sector.”
Unfortunately the Canadian Labour Congress is infected with the same cosmopolitan attitude as its American brothers, and is apparently unimpressed with such findings as the Statistics Canada study of May 2007 which showed that immigration was implicated in a 7% drop in the real wages of educated workers between 1980 to 2000. Rather than suggest a tightening of immigration, which by growing the workforce by 13% had weakened workers’ bargaining power over that period, they merely demanded that immigrants be informed of their workplace rights. Joining the AFL-CIO chorus, the CLC also calls for a moratorium on all deportation and detention of “undocumented” workers whose skills are in need and “who have been contributing to the economy.” (Contributing by depressing the wages of competing workers or displacing their jobs?)
The British Trade Union Congress, meanwhile, one notices, is on the same globalist bandwagon, calling for “regularization” of all undocumented workers, or to skip the Newspeak, the legalization of illegals. A move that Migration Watch UK found in a 2007 study would cost British taxpayers a cool 1.8 billion pounds, and the British working man, I dare say, a good deal more than that. But what do the trade union bureaucrats care? The further removed they are from the shop floor, the less they care about their own native born workers. One must be grateful, I suppose, that their head offices are not located on Jupiter, or not a single local would have a union card.
The zeitgeist that animates the environmental movement and its parliamentary wing also works its through the labour movement and its parliamentary wing as well. It is a spirit of naked greed cloaked in a guise of compassionate outreach. The union establishment of Anglo-America has made its allegiance obvious. It is captive to the globalist agenda and will willingly sacrifice its own children to Moloch. If only the workers everywhere would react as they did in Laurel. First with the tip-off, then with the applause. If only they would react like they did in Boston harbour 225 years ago. Toss their Union reps overboard, the scumbag Benedict Arnolds of Big Labour.