May 2011

On May Day, Workers Rally and March for Meaningful Immigration Reform

A Statement from SEIU United Service Workers West President Mike Garcia

Los Angeles, CA–On Sunday, May 1st, SEIU United Service Workers West members will join thousands of workers across California and the country to rally and march for comprehensive immigration reform and the rights of all workers to organize. From Sacramento to San Diego, they will urge elected officials to protect all workers from exploitation by finding commonsense solutions to our broken immigration system and by defending workers’ right to collectively bargain.

SEIU supports a comprehensive immigration solution that includes an earned path to legal status for the millions of hard working immigrants in the country, enhanced enforcement of labor laws, family unification, future flow of immigrant workers, secure borders, interior enforcement, immigrant integration, and bilateral partnerships with immigrant producing countries.

Mike Garcia, the president of California’s largest union of property service workers, released the following statement:

“From Arizona to Wisconsin, immigrants and workers are being scapegoated by conservative and irresponsible corporate interests who wield immigration as a tool to keep us distracted from the real culprits behind the economic collapse. But targeting certain workers and immigrants only opens all workers to exploitation—immigrant or not, legal or undocumented.

When workers are left behind, forced to work without legal protections and without a voice on the job, we all lose. Companies can’t compete fairly against those that exploit powerless workers for cheap labor. Workers can’t speak up against abuses for fear for retaliation.

We can’t get back on the path to prosperity this way. We can’t sustain the greatness of this country if hard-working people don’t all have a fair chance at the American dream. We need to get back on the right path, to defend the right of all workers to have a voice on the job, and to find commonsense solutions to fix our broken immigration system. We’re all in this together, and in order for us all to rise and prosper, we can’t leave millions of workers and immigrants behind so that only a few can move ahead.

As we march on May Day, we look to our elected officials in Washington to do the right thing: to step up and make comprehensive immigration reform a priority. Our families and our country simply can’t wait.”

List of May 1st marches and rallies in California:

10 a.m. Rally on the west steps of the Capitol
10th and Capitol, Sacramento
Contact: Lino Pedres, 916-275-2039

San Jose
3 p.m. Rally and march from the intersection of Story and King Road
to San Jose City Hall
Contact: Sylvia Ruiz, 408-660-6907

Los Angeles
10 a.m. Mass and rally
Olympic and 11th Street, Downtown Los Angeles
Contact: Ernesto Guerrero, 213-216-3341 or Jessica Lopez, 323-637-7508

San Diego
11:00 a.m. Festivities in Chicano Park
2 p.m. March from Chicano Park to Civic Center
3 p.m. Rally at Civic Center in Downtown San Diego
Contact: Sandra Diaz, 619-534-2927

Santa Ana
2 p.m. March and rally at Sasscer Park
5th and Ross, Santa Ana
Contact: Marisol Rivera, 714-448-5378


SEIU United Service Workers West represents more than 40,000 janitors, security officers, airport service workers, and other property service workers across California. SEIU is the largest and fastest growing union in North America, with more than 2 million members.

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