Press Release
For Immediate Release

April 24, 2006

Contact: Chris Mahin 773-726-1284

Organized Labor Announces Its Support for Immigrant Workers Rights March,
Speaks Out Against the Recent Raids By Homeland Security

CHICAGO - April 24 - Chicago labor leaders and union members held a press conference at a labor landmark earlier today to declare their wholehearted support for what is expected to be a massive rally/march on May 1 calling for immigrant workers' rights.

The gathering at Chicago's historic Haymarket Square was moderated by Dennis J. Gannon, the president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. Among the other speakers were: Tom Balanoff (President, SEIU Local 1); Lynn Talbott (International Vice President, UNITE HERE); Elizabeth Drea  (Communications Director, Local 881, UFCW); Tom Stiede (Trustee for Joint Council 25, Teamsters); John Cameron (Director of Legislative and Political Affairs, AFSCME Council 31); Carl Rosen (President of the Western Region, UE); and Jorge Mujica, a member of the steering committee of the March 10th Movement. They all highlighted the importance of immigrant workers' rights for all.

The press conference took place in front of the Haymarket Monument, a sculpture which commemorates what is known throughout the world as "The Haymarket Tragedy." On May 4, 1886, a peaceful labor rally held at the site to protest police brutality against striking workers was attacked by police.

When asked by journalists to predict the size of the May 1 demonstration, the speakers pointed out that more organizations have endorsed the May 1 immigrant workers' rights march than the previous March 10th mobilization. It was confidently predicted by most that the turnout should match or exceed by far the turnout on March 10.

Jorge Mujica closed the press conference by stressing the urgency of immigrant workers obtaining their workers' legal rights to be able to join unions to increase their standard of living. "Poor undocumented workers would continue to be poor documented workers," he pointed out, "if they don't embrace a union after obtaining their workers' rights."