Workers Defense Project

In the news in 2008 and earlier…

News 8 Austin (TV)
December 13, 2008
Immigrant construction workers take blow from economy
Ramiro Mora is a hard-working U.S. citizen. He immigrated from Mexico 20 years ago, made a decent living in construction and started a family with his wife and two boys. Then the economy fell, and it all went away…

American Public Media: Weekend America (Radio)
November 29, 2008
Homes for No Pay
Home sales in the third quarter of this year were almost 17 percent less than a year ago. Falling housing prices are hurting everyone who owns a house, and is undermining the entire economy. But one group has been particularly hit hard – Hispanics. And that’s because during the housing boom, Latino workers came to this country and found work building homes. In the Austin area, a 2007 survey found 55 percent of the workers on construction sites were foreign born. Now many of them are unemployed.

LBJ Journal (Magazine)
November 29, 2008
Undocumented Immigrants: Supporting or Threatening Public Safety?
Austin’s Chief of Police, Art Acevedo, has made the following statement about undocumented immigrants: “The vast majority of these people are not criminal aliens, they’re economic aliens. They are not a threat to our public safety.” Chief Acevedo has a point…

This American Life (Radio)
November 28, 2008
Poultry Slam 2008 (Act Three. A Pastor and His Flock)
Working in a poultry processing plant is one of the most unpleasant jobs you can get in this country. It’s low-paid, dangerous and difficult. Barely any poultry plants are represented by a union, especially in the South, where most of the plants are located. So worker rights advocates rely in large part on the church to help them organize workers. And in the past few years…

The Austin Chronicle (Newspaper)
November 7, 2008
A Long-Awaited Payday
Well, it took several long months, but why dwell on the negative? KB Home finally came through! After waiting six months, the seven construction workers who were owed back wages from the housing giant got paid last week for work they did back in April…

The Austin Chronicle (Newspaper)
September 17, 2007
The Workers Defense Project, an immigrant-rights group in Austin, is hoping to ignite a grassroots backlash to a plan by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers…

The Austin Chronicle (Newspaper)
September 12, 2008
KB Home Workers Await Payday
Last April, seven construction workers were hired to work on several homes owned by housing giant KB Home. They did the work, but four months later, they’re still waiting to get paid…

AFL-CIO Now News Blog (Weblog)
July 2, 2007
Worker Center Alliances: The Austin Example
Paul Sherr, a retired officer of the Texas State Employees Union-CWA Local 6186, wrote to tell us that Proyecto Defensa Laboral, the Workers Defense Network in Austin, Texas, has been working through the Austin Area AFL-CIO Council for about six months—and says the partnership is a huge success…

Austin Business Journal (Magazine)
October 20, 2005
Gatherings of day laborers create quandary at Home Depot
Austin day laborers who gather in front of the St. John’s Avenue Home Depot store looking for work asked the Austin City Council for help Thursday. “We urge Home Depot to recognize its corporate responsibility,” says Victoria Gavito, staff attorney for the Central Texas Immigrant Worker Rights Center, who led a group of about 20 day laborers calling themselves the Day Labor Committee of Home Depot of St. John’s…

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