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No Match Will Lead to Worker Exploitation.

Change to Win Joins Lawsuit Challenging Department of Homeland Security No Match Program

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Change to Win filed suit last month against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), arguing that the DHS immigration enforcement campaign and "no match" letter program is a misguided rule that violates workers' rights, threatens jobs of U.S. citizens and other authorized workers, and imposes burdensome obligations on employers who receive Social Security Administration (SSA) "no match" letters.

"Change to Win was built on the promise to restore the American Dream by uniting workers in the industries and occupations of the 21st century," said Greg Tarpinian, Executive Director of Change to Win. "We must enact reforms that ensure fair treatment and legal protection for all workers, including immigrant workers. Forcing employers to rely on the Social Security Administration's 'no match' letters to determine legal working status -- a purpose for which they were not designed -- opens the door for discrimination and worker exploitation."

Historically, "no match" letters are sent by the SSA to employers when a worker's W-2 information doesn't agree with SSA's records, which often occurs as a result of typographical errors, name changes due to marriage or divorce, and multiple surnames. The purpose is to ensure that a worker's wages are properly credited to the correct Social Security number.

"No match" letters are not evidence of illegal immigration, yet under the new rule, employers who receive "no match" letters but do not act within 90 days would face harsh penalties. By threatening huge fines, the program could encourage employers to fire any workers for whom a "no match" letter has been received, including citizens and immigrant workers who are authorized to work. Moreover, unscrupulous employers that have traditionally ignored "no match" letters, except as a means of retaliating against workers who try to organize a union or assert other employment rights, can use the new regulations as an additional club against workers.

As stated in the complaint in intervention -- and as set forth in Change to Win's constitution -- we filed suit because among the objectives and purposes of the organization are to promote fairness at work and ensure equal opportunity and rights for women and men of every race, religion, ethnicity, age, national origin and immigration status.

The complaint in intervention was filed last month by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, UNITE HERE, UNITE HERE Local 2 and Change to Win. The original lawsuit was filed in August by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the Central Labor Council of Alameda County, along with other local labor movements.

About Change to Win

Seven unions and six million workers united in Change to Win to build a new movement of working people equipped to meet the challenges of the global economy and restore the American Dream in the 21st century: a paycheck that can support a family, affordable health care, a secure retirement and dignity on the job. The seven partner unions are: International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers' International Union of North America, Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, United Farm Workers of America, and United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

CONTACT: Noreen Nielsen or Greg Denier, +1-202-721-0660, Noreen.nielsen@changetowin.org, chris.ortman@changetowin.org, both of Change to Win
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 3, 2007
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