by Pedro of the SEIU-USWW opposition caucus, 3-26-14
The recent audit made to the cleaning contractor Medallium raises the question again- what is the current situation of the immigrant janitors? This is especially the case for the janitors from the San Francisco Bay Area. In the last years ,and more intensely since the year 2009, cleaning contractor companies have been object of audits by the Office of Immigration. The audits of ABM in San Francisco have resulted in layoffs of 600 janitors; 1000 layoffs in ABLE in Sacramento; among others. And now Medallium probably means 400 layoffs for janitors. What is our union SEIU-USWW (union) doing against the audit firings? To our understanding, nothing important because they have the wrong idea on how to defend immigrant workers
There is no fight from SEIU-USWW against the government’s offensive to immigrant workers. The union has focused its activities on mainly looking for the political support of Democratic Party (DP) representatives in the hopes that they support the union, and as said by President of the Union, Mr. Mike Garcia, gaining power. As if being with the politicians of the Democratic Party means “power’’. The DP, with Mr. Obama at the head, has deported more than 2 million immigrants in this country; they have fired hundreds of thousands immigrants with the audits to the companies. Is this government defending immigrant workers? NO!!. However our union continues to spend money on supporting the Democrats. Do we gain “power“ with the political support? NO. The old idea that managing or lobbying for politicians as means to achieve our rights once more demonstrates that this is a misconception.To leave aside our organization and the mobilization of workers to achieve our rights, which are the correct strategies, is what our union beurocracy does not understand.
We believe that the fight for the defence of jobs of the hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers is the actual task of the union. We say NO to the audits of the Democratic Government to fire immigrant workers. Thousands of workers are being laid off, which is generating more poverty and misery in the families of immigrants. Not only are they deported and divided from their families, but also fired from their jobs. La Opinion (newspaper) has published articles that say that the majority of this nation supports the legalization of millions of immigrants. The majority of janitorial workers are immigrants, and thus we must fight so that Obama’s government stops the layoffs that are taking place through the Office of Immigration.