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Central Florida LCLAA Chapter Officers
Victor Sanchez (President)
304 Appaloosa Court Sanford FL 32773
(407) 924-1802

David Fernandez (Vice-President)
9973 Timber Oaks Court Orlando, Florida 32817
(407) 494-1572

Mayra Uribe (Treasurer)
5319 Lake Jessamine Drive Orlando FL 32839
(407) 721-3433

Denise Diaz (Recorded Secretary)
231 East Colonial Drive Orlando FL 32801
(407) 451-2472

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    Archive for February, 2014
    Union Membership Ticks Up In The Private Sector

    WASHINGTON — Despite long-term declines in union membership, the proportion of U.S. workers who belong to a labor union held steady overall last year and even grew slightly in the private sector, according to data released Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    The percentage of public-sector workers who are in a union remained high but dropped a touch, from 35.9 percent in 2012 to 35.3 percent in 2013, numbers that could reflect government layoffs as well as rollbacks in collective bargaining rights in places like Wisconsin. But the percentage of private-sector workers who are in a union ticked up, from 6.6 percent to 6.7, a likely sign of union employers doing more hiring.

    Although one year’s numbers don’t reverse a decades-long trend, the gain of 281,000 private-sector union members should serve as welcome news to organized labor, particularly after a notable drop in union density the previous year.

    In a statement, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO labor federation, celebrated the gains made in manufacturing and construction but bemoaned the layoffs in the public sector. He praised non-union workers like fast-food employees for“pushing back” in 2013 against falling wages.

    “Make no mistake, the job of rebuilding workers’ bargaining power and raising wages for the 99 percent has a long way to go,” Trumka said. “Collective action among working people remains the strongest, best force for economic justice in America.”

    Accounting for all jobs in both the public and private sectors, the national union membership rate was 11.3 percent last year, the same as in 2012. In a sign of how much unions have contracted over the past few decades, the overall rate was 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year for which BLS has comparable data.

    Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in a statement Friday that bargaining power in the workplace was critical to a strong middle class.

    “The decline in union membership over the last few decades has contributed to more working families struggling to get by,” Perez said. “When workers have a seat at the table, they are better able to bargain for their fair share of the value they helped create, and that leads to greater economic security and economic mobility for everyone.”

    The modest gains made by organized labor last year didn’t escape the notice of the industry-backed anti-union group Center for Union Facts, which said in a press release that “an animal is most dangerous when cornered and wounded.”

    “While this uptick is by no means a tectonic shift in the long-term trend of waning union membership, it certainly is something employers should pay attention to going forward,” said J. Justin Wilson, the group’s managing director.

    Higher work injury and death rates for Latino and immigrant workers
    For those who work in the construction industry, grueling manual labor is an expected part of the workday. However, no one goes to work expecting to be seriously injured, or worse, to lose their life before the end of their shift.

    January 31, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ — For those who work in the construction industry, grueling manual labor is an expected part of the workday. However, no one goes to work expecting to be seriously injured, or worse, to lose their life before the end of their shift.

    In the Metro New York area, the vast amount of construction happening on a daily basis results in high numbers of workplace injuriesand fatal workplace accidents. The New YorkDaily News has reported on disproportionate figures between a study by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and census numbers. While the census indicates that only 41 percent of construction workers in nearby New York City identify themselves as Latino, a study by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, using data from 2003 to 2011, indicated that 74 percent of construction workers who were victims of fatal falls on the job, identify themselves as Latinos or immigrants. A representative from the Center for Popular Democracy expresses concern over the figures, seeking to explain the reasons that Latinos and immigrants are dying on the job at higher numbers than others.

    The study came about after a series of deadly falls happened in the New York City area in 2011. The incidents included the collapse of a floor which crushed a man pouring concrete, a shifting floor of a warehouse which caused the death of a man who fell while removing pipe, and a live electrical wire which claimed the life of a man who accidentally came into contact with it before falling through the ceiling of a building and dropping to his death 92 feet below. When the incidents were investigated further, they all had certain things in common: multiple workplace safety violations, and a box on a form checked, indicating that the worker was identified as “Latino and/or immigrant.”

    The report indicates workplace injuries are more common with smaller contracting companies, that are not associated with unions. These companies are often more likely to hire day laborers from immigrant communities, and in turn, do not always provide the training and safety equipment that is required by law. Furthermore, the study indicates thatimmigrant workers, usually working as day laborers are less likely to report workplace injuries and safety hazards on the job, because they fear being told to leave without being paid, or from losing the opportunity for long-term work. Similarly, the results suggest that Latinos and immigrant workers may be performing certain tasks on the job that are particularly dangerous.

    For workers who are not American citizens, a work-related injury may seem like the least of their problems. Many who define themselves as “immigrants” fear that they will be deported if they report unsafe conditions at work, or an injury experienced in the workplace. However, courts have held that denying wage-replacement benefits, includingworkers’ compensation would not deter undocumented aliens from obtaining employment under the Immigration Reform and Control Act.

    For any injured worker, it is vital that you seek the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, to assist you in obtaining all of the benefits you are entitled to under the law. If you are unsure as to whether you would qualify for benefits, or another form of legal recovery, contact an attorney today for a confidential consultation.

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    Chairman Rubén Hinojosa on House GOP Immigration “Principles”

    Washington, DC- Today, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Rubén Hinojosa(TX-15) released the following statement in response to the House GOP immigration reform”principles.”

    “It is encouraging that House Republican leadership is taking a step forward by outlining a set of broad immigration reform ‘principles.’  While there are no specific legislative proposals put forth in the document, I hope House Republican leadership will continue to take critical steps so that Congress can fix our nation’s broken immigration system.

    The Congressional Hispanic Caucus released its own set of immigration reform principles two years ago, in 2012, which the CHC believes are consistent with our nation’s commitment to fairness and equality.  The CHC’s Principles on Immigration Reform include a pathway to citizenship because having a second class of residents is contrary to the core values of our country.  We believe workers must pay their fair share of taxes, fully integrate into our way of life, bear the same responsibilities and be able to pursue an earned pathway to citizenship.

    More than ever, America needs comprehensive immigration reform and now is the time to make that happen.  Reforming our nation’s immigration system will grow the economy, reduce the national deficit and create jobs.  In addition, immigration reform will allow 11 million people who are already contributing to and playing a role in our country, to finally come out of the shadows.

    There are 196 Democratic and Republican Congress Members supporting H.R. 15, the comprehensive immigration reform bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The legislation and the votes are there to take action in the weeks and months ahead.  The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will continue leading on this important issue and will work with Republicans in a bipartisan manner to turn principles into legislative action.”