department of labor
department of labor: Page 1
Frank Gaffney Jr.  is relying on the "reporting" to be found at a Breitbart site to block the nomination of Thomas Perez to head the Department of Labor.
In other words, Perez should start plans to decorate his office right now.
At the Washington Times, Gaffney writes (link):
...Here are but a few of the reasons why Mr. Perez must be denied a promotion to Cabinet rank:
Labor Sec'y Hilda Solis enabling illegal aliens to take Gulf oil spill cleanup jobs from legal workers - 06/15/10
In 2005, the Bush administration moved many victims of Katrina out of New Orleans and helped corrupt, connected contractors move in illegal aliens to take the cleanup jobs Americans could and should have been doing. That crooked Bush scheme was done with the assistance of the mainstream media and the Democrats, and it had huge financial and social costs.
Something similar is currently playing out, with at least one part of the Obama administration trying to enable illegal aliens to take Gulf oil spill cleanup jobs from legal workers. From :
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has given assurances that the federal government plans to protect workers’ rights during the Gulf oil spill cleanup – regardless of their immigration status.
“My purpose is to assist the workers with respect to safety and protection,” Solis said in an interview during a visit to Louisiana last week where she met with community leaders and response workers. “We’re protecting all workers regardless of migration status because that’s the federal law.”
...the secretary confirmed that her department was aware that agents from the local office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), had visited at least two work sites on the Louisiana coast in May to verify the legal status of Hispanic workers. While ICE activities are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Labor, Solis said, “We have been talking with ICE and I know that they’re working on that issue now.”
It's not too much to read into the last that she's trying to get the Department of Homeland Security not to do enforcement.
Note that Andrea Nill of the Center for American Progress  and other low-level Democratic proxies  have already tried to dissuade DHS from doing enforcement on the Gulf; expect that to pick up given Solis' comments.
Labor Dep't "We Can Help" wants tips from third-party activist groups (in addition to helping illegal labor) - 04/06/10
A few days ago we discussed how the Department of Labor is actively supporting illegal immigration with their new "We Can Help" program. Now comes this:
[The DOL] is also relying on tips from worker advocacy groups [as part of the "We Can Help" program], widening efforts by the Obama administration to enlist activist groups to help with enforcement in a range of sectors from toy safety to distracted driving...
...The agency and independent groups, including labor federation AFL-CIO, will also distribute posters, fact sheets and booklets on pay and how to report complaints...
...Bill Lurye, associate general counsel for the AFL-CIO, said the group's affiliates would disseminate material to workers, arrange meetings between workers and wage and hour staff, and hold forums at union halls where workers can watch videos about minimum wage and how to track their hours worked...
...(Randel Johnson, senior vice president of labor for the US Chamber of Commerce) also questioned the appropriateness of the agency's partnerships. "Deputizing people outside the government who may have their own agendas is troublesome," he said.
What will most likely happen is that the third-party complaints will come from far-left racial power groups that support massive illegal activity - such as the National Council of La Raza, MALDEF, and so on as well as smaller groups like Casa de Maryland. And, that is indeed troublesome. Some of those groups might do that with federal or state funding. On the bright side, the Chamber isn't happy, when in the past they've been more than willing to join with such groups to support comprehensive immigration reform. Anything that serves as a wedge between far-left racial power groups and corrupt business interests is generally a good thing.
Labor Department actively supporting illegal immigration with "We Can Help" program (Hilda Solis) - 04/03/10
The Department of Labor has announced a new program called "We Can Help": they're beefing up workplace enforcement of labor laws and specifically targeting industries with large numbers of illegal aliens. And, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is rushing to point out that this program covers all workers regardless of immigration status. In other words, one part of the federal government is assisting with something that the other parts of the federal government considers to be illegal.
Obviously, few want workers to be exploited, but the solution isn't to take steps to make the problem worse as the Labor Department is doing. Many of those who claim to care about workplace enforcement are simply corrupt: they obtain money or power through massive illegal immigration and they don't want it to stop. The non-corrupt way to reduce workers being exploited is to enforce both the labor laws and the immigration laws, but most of those on the left only want to do the first. It doesn't work: it encourages more illegal immigration and thus increases the supply of exploitable workers, and at the same time there will never be enough workplace inspectors to sharply reduce abuses. Most of those on the left either can't figure that out or simply don't care. Those on the left who are honest and not corrupt should be outraged about those who are basically crooks hiding behind their movement in order to gain money and power.
For how this works in practice, see this:
"We're the feds, but the good ones," said Paul Ramirez [a DOL investigator], speaking in Spanish inside the Michael Chavez Center, a gathering spot for day laborers. "We're here to help workers... Documented or not, the law is: If you work certain hours, you are owed certain money"... ..."This is the first time we've had this kind of connection," [Mike Van Hofwegen, director of the Concord work center] said. "Someone asked me, 'Is this an April Fools' thing?'"... ...Such a discussion between federal employees and workers who are, for the most part, illegal immigrants, is likely to engender controversy, but could also do everyone some good, he argued. "It helps U.S. citizens because they're not being undermined by abusive labor practices in the community, because things are more competitive," Van Hofwegen said.
Obviously, that's false: the thing that would help low-wage U.S. citizens is a tighter labor supply. The DOL program leads to the opposite: more competition for fewer jobs.
4/6/10 UPDATE: See Labor Dep't "We Can Help" wants tips from third-party activist groups (in addition to helping illegal labor)
The DOL press release (www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/WHD20100411.htm) follows:
Hilda Solis puts interests of immigrants, illegal aliens ahead of U.S. workers, sounds just like George Bush - 12/17/09
Various sources  have recently called for moratoriums on various kinds of immigration and increased immigration enforcement in order to free up jobs for Americans. (Note: I tried to shame the Center for American Progress over this issue way back in March, but I didn't get any help with it).
In response to the recent calls, Hilda Solis of the Department of Labor has shown that - while she's probably interested in workers in general - she has little concern for putting the interests of American workers ahead of the interests of illegal aliens and legal immigrants. Not only that, but in so doing she said something that George W Bush or Michael Chertoff could have said. Speaking at CAP, she said the following which the reader is encouraged to read in the voices of either Bush or Chertoff (video here, writeup thinkprogress.org/2009/12/17/solis-moratorium):
I think we’d have a big shortage of workers out there and I think as we move through this decade, we’re going to see people retiring from different types of jobs…so who is going to help fill those positions?
You would probably see towns shutting down, communities shutting down. You’d see second and third industries being affected – restaurant industries, service sectors industries where immigrants tend to work and be found. It would also impact the current ability to put food on your table because if you don’t have a certain number of people out there doing jobs that others wouldn’t want to do, then how are we going to provide the sustenance we need for all our American families?
March's open letter (link above) and the question I wanted Janet Napolitano to be asked at CAP are designed to discredit that organization and the administration officials who put the interests of illegal aliens ahead of the interests of U.S. citizens. It's unfortunate that despite promoting both in various forums I was unable to get any help with either.
Teen unemployment rate 25.5% in August 2009, highest since 1948. Can we enforce our immigration laws now? - 09/27/09
The unemployment rate among teenagers (ages 16 to 19) reached 25.5% in August 2009 (table here: bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm). That's the highest rate since 1948, the year the Department of Labor started keeping statistics.
Department of Labor, UFCW collaborating with Mexican government, enabling illegal immigration - 08/31/09
From a UFCW press release:
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is proud to partner with the Embassy of Mexico, the U.S. Department of Labor and allied organizations to promote the first "Semana de Derechos Laborales", or Labor Rights Week, UFCW International President Joe Hansen joined the Mexican Consul General of Chicago, Manuel Rodríguez Arriaga, to launch the national outreach and education program that is taking place in thirteen cities across the country.
They refer to "Mexican national workers", but make clear that they're including illegal aliens in that group:
"In the past few years, a growing number of immigrant workers were subject to abuse under a mantle of fear that was created by policy approaches which allowed unscrupulous employers to use immigration status to threaten deportation if workers reported discrimination, wage and hour or health and safety violations. We recognize the leadership of Secretary Solis in this issue and believe that joint efforts like the Labor Rights Week will strengthen our ability to protect the rights of our nationals abroad," said Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan.
One way to do something about this is for those attending townhall meetings to ask their representatives to block any collaboration between Mexico and the U.S. that assists or enables illegal immigration. The problem with that, of course, is that the leaders of the groups encouraging people to attend townhall meetings don't care about things like that.
Interesting: Hilda Solis reviews project using Mexican "guest" workers instead of union workers - 03/04/09
In one of her first official acts as labor secretary, Hilda Solis has asked for a review of how Mexican sheet metal workers were given visas to work on the St. Regis Hotel project in Bal Harbour, Fla., when more than 1,000 members of the Sheet Metal Workers union (SMWIA) are out of work in the same area.They also provide this Solis quote from a meeting she conducted with the AFL-CIO:
The company hired to install the heating and air conditioning ducts, CYVSA International, received approval from the state of Florida and the Bush Labor Department for visas to bring in foreign workers for seasonal work. But the visas are supposed to be granted only if there are no Americans available to do the job.
We are going to have to take a look at it and, hopefully, work closely with [Homeland Security Secretary Janet] Napolitano to see how we better focus so that these things don’t happen and that we avoid them [in the future]. There were before I came into my position visas that were permitted under the Bush administration that we will take a very, very close look at and [with] a very keen eye go through. But, rest assured, we will take a strong view on that. blog.aflcio.org/2009/03/04/ solis-investigating-guest-worker-visas-on-florida-hotel-project
Solis, who is the daughter of Mexican and Nicaraguan immigrants, has been the only member of Congress of Central American descent. She just won a fifth term representing heavily Hispanic portions of eastern Los Angeles County and east LA... Andy Stern, president of the 1.9-million member Service Employees International Union, the 51-year-old praised Solis for her deep roots in the union movement. He recalled marching with her in Los Angeles - well before she was elected to Congress - to seek higher wages and benefits for janitors...
Even those not familiar with her past won't need much to read between the lines: she's a strong supporter of illegal immigration, even going as far as promoting comprehensive immigration reform standing side-by-side with Mexican elected officials at a Washington DC press conference she helped organize. Expect her - like other Obama picks - to support illegal/massive immigration through various means.
This might also have been another quota pick; previously, Obama had named or was set to name four Hispanics to top positions in his administration. However, with the news that Xavier Becerra was dropping out, Solis might have been chosen.
President-elect Obama's selection of a labor secretary who has steadfastly opposed protecting American workers from the impact of millions of illegal aliens in our labor force is yet another blow to hard-working families who desperately need those jobs. Both in Congress and as a member of the California Legislature, Hilda Solis has vigorously opposed efforts to institute and enforce laws against employing illegal aliens.
They list some of her legislative "highlights".
[Pending Bush administration rules would make] controversial changes to the so-called H-2A guest-worker program [that] could cut wages and speed worker recruitment. They also would relax requirements for providing foreign workers with housing and transportation.
A Labor Department spokesman said Wednesday night that the final rules would be made public Thursday and published in the Federal Register on Dec. 18, which means they'd take effect two days before Barack Obama is sworn in as president Jan. 20.
...American farmers, though, consider the 50-year-old program slow and cumbersome, and it provides only a fraction of the U.S. farm work force. California, for example, uses only about 500 H-2A workers annually, while it has about 300,000 migrant farm workers.
The Labor Department announced in February that it would revise the program. The department subsequently received some 11,000 public comments, many duplicative. On Monday night, the final revisions, totaling 166 pages plus explanatory material totaling 393 pages, were posted quietly on the Labor Department's Web site.
The Labor Department dropped some initial proposals that had drawn fire, including one that would allow employers to provide housing vouchers instead of housing. However, many other changes survived.
...By Wednesday, the new rules had been pulled from the Labor Department's Web site. It couldn't be determined Wednesday why the material had disappeared...
See the link for the details. One of those quoted against changes is [[Bruce Goldstein]] from the [[Farmworker Justice Fund]]. One in support is [[Frank Gasperini]] of the [[National Council of Agricultural Employers]]. A release from an opponent is at: causaoregon.blogspot.com/2008/12/bush-administration-to-slash-farm.html
You could lose your job to a foreign worker—not because he's cheaper but because he has better workplace skills and discipline. That's the message Labor Secretary Elaine Chao hears from U.S. executives who are worried about America's competitive future. While losses are low thus far - one study estimates that only 280,000 jobs in the service industry out of 115 million are outsourced each year - that could change. Beyond the cheaper cost of labor, U.S. employers say that many workers abroad simply have a better attitude toward work. "American employees must be punctual, dress appropriately and have good personal hygiene," says Chao. "They need anger-management and conflict-resolution skills, and they have to be able to accept direction. Too many young people bristle when a supervisor asks them to do something."
As one of the commenters on the story pointed out (although I might put it slightly differently):
I found myself getting caught up in the demoralizing nature of her comments and then it occurred to me that's basic PsychOps mind control: hit the enemy and break their spirit then you can control them. Her comments are far too blantant to have really been her idea. So therefore she's just a patsy for a greater scheme to break the spirit of the American people.