Issues - LCLAA

ISSUES

Latino working families must have a place at the table if we are serious about building a strong and effective movement capable of creating fair jobs, access to healthcare, education, fair immigration, and environmental policies, as well as an inclusive and non-discriminatory agenda that embraces the LGBTQ+ community. In this regard LCLAA is dedicated to advocate in favor, and to protect the civil and constitutional rights upon which our democracy is founded. Latinos represent 17% of the U.S. population. However, they are often faced with harsh economic struggles, with 18% of them enduring food insecurity, and 26% of Latino and immigrant kids having less than a highschool education. LCLAA’s goal is to fiercely pursue a life of dignity and prosperity for our communities.

Latino working families must have a place at the table if we are serious about building a strong and effective movement capable of creating fair jobs, access to healthcare, education, fair immigration, and environmental policies, as well as an inclusive and non-discriminatory agenda that embraces the LGBTQ+ community. In this regard LCLAA is dedicated to advocate in favor, and to protect the civil and constitutional rights upon which our democracy is founded. Latinos represent 17% of the U.S. population. However, they are often faced with harsh economic struggles, with 18% of them enduring food insecurity, and 26% of Latino and immigrant kids having less than a highschool education. LCLAA’s goal is to fiercely pursue a life of dignity and prosperity for our communities.

HEALTHCARE

In 2010 President Obama signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This health policy has been our nation’s most significant health care law passed in recent history, allowing Latinos with the opportunity of signing up to affordable and quality health coverage. The ACA advanced new health insurance marketplaces that were established by either the States or by federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. People who live in poverty, most always lack health insurance coverage, and a significant number of Latinos fall under this category. Research shows that economically and socially disadvantaged individuals have a harder time obtaining health care, they usually also receive lower-quality care, and have poorer health outcomes than other groups. As the Hispanic population has become the largest racial/ethnic minority group in our nation, LCLAA is committed to continue advocating for the creation and development of critical programs that target Hispanics, and are capable of providing access to medical care and furthermore, research trends in order to avoid preventable diseases within this segment of the population. LCLAA is also committed to working with other organizations to help provide health insurance literacy education, and to continue advocating to remove obstacles for undocumented individuals from registering to health exchanges, and purchasing health care insurance.

ENVIRONMENT

Latinos are among those most affected by environmental degradation. This minority is disproportionately impacted by pollution and toxic exposure. Half of all Latinos in the U.S. live in our nation’s most polluted cities, thus illnesses such as asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are more prevalent within this minority. Although Latinos account for about 16 percent of the labor force, they make up 43 percent of ground, maintenance and construction workers, as well as an estimated 75 percent of agricultural workers. Women and men in these occupations are exposed to health hazards, bad air quality and the economic impacts of extreme weather. Through its Latino Worker Priorities LCLAA has strongly advocated for the protection of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) which provides communities with a voice in some of the most consequential government decisions that are capable of impacting where, and how our communities work, as well as the rights and safeguards they have on the job. In many instances, Latino, immigrant workers and working families, bear the grunt of federal projects, making them victims of environmental racism. This administration has sought time and time again to skirt the requirements of significant parts of this review process, thus allowing federal agencies to conceal how government’s actions can have an impact on the well-being of communities and the environment, and limiting the public commenting period. This last move can play a detrimental role in the lives of racial and ethnic minorities, by blatantly silencing public opinion, which in itself hinders democracy. Protecting regulations that protect the environment and Latino working families is one of LCLAA’s main goals, as we strive to attain fair living conditions and environmental justice for all Latino and immigrant workers.

EDUCATION

The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement seeks to empower Latino workers by contributing to their leadership and development through education and by giving them the tools to access professional opportunities. Latino workers are less likely to be in the highest paying job categories within management and professional positions than their White and Asian counterparts. Latinos have historically lacked many of the opportunities and access to a comprehensive education, which is critical to achieving success in any career or profession. As the demographics of our nation change, our future economic competitiveness will largely depend on the educational attainment of our growing Latino community. Increasing the rate of Latinos that graduate from high school and college will translate to higher salaries and better living standards for millions of Latino families, while at the same time strengthening the economic base of our country. LCLAA promotes fairness and economic opportunity to members of our community, as well as encourages high quality public education. We are committed to advancing these relevant issues through the power of collective bargaining, advocacy, civic engagement, and above all, through the commitment and work of our chapters and members.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE

Latinos represent the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. workforce. They also face a racial wealth gap, which impedes an expedited entrance into the middle class. Many times Latinos face a series of challenges that reduces their professional opportunities, like limited education and English proficiency. These circumstances have an impact on their economic development.  Latino workers are much more likely to work in America’s growing low wage economy. In general, workers of color are more likely to get paid poverty-level wages as compared to white workers. Nevertheless, the moment a Latino worker gets a union contract, they start earning better wages and working in a safer and healthier environment. Union membership boosts median weekly earnings for Latino workers and improves their overall conditions. 

Over the years, LCLAA has been active in fighting legislation that aims to cut Social Security and Medicare funding. An estimated 75% of retired Latinos’ income comes from Social Security. Although much has been said about undocumented workers gaining unfair access to social welfare program, these workers pay into and support Social Security, yet are unable to receive any benefits until naturalized. LCLAA recognizes how important securing economic stability in retirement is for the Latino community, and continues to support Social Security and Medicare as essential programs for Latino retirees, and as a key component for achieving economic justice for the Latino community.

IMMIGRATION

The United States has a rich immigrant history. Immigration continues to be an integral component of the cultural and social fabric that makes up our nation. But while the U.S. contends  to be a nation of immigrants, our current immigration system is creating a crisis for Latino families while increasing the vulnerability of immigrant workers. The scapegoating of undocumented and immigrant workers has caused real hardships. Hate crimes against immigrants and Latinos have reached a historic high. Families are being separated and immigrants suffer high incidences of wage theft, death and injuries at the workplace.

 LCLAA has consistently advocated for immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. All workers, regardless of their legal status, should have access to key labor protections, fair wages and safe working environments. Furthermore, we have actively advocated for our immigration, asylum, and naturalization policies to respect the dignity of individuals, as well as for an immediate end to the criminalization of Hispanic immigrants. These unfair and inhumane practices have an impact on our country’s commitment to human and civil rights. LCLAA will continue to call on Congress to provide a permanent legislative solution to this crisis while calling on President Trump to put an end to senseless deportations, separation of families, attacks on immigrants, and implement a more humane immigration policy that builds stronger communities.

LGBTQ+

LCLAA vehemently stands with the LGBTQ+ community and joins their fight for social and economic justice. The LGBTQ+ community is at the forefront of our national dialogue, and just like our sisters and brothers in the Latino community, they too have been victims of an increase in hate crimes and violence, which is why it is of dire importance to highlight our unwavering commitment to this segment of our nation’s population, and together advocate for full equality, and respect for LGBTQ+ workers and their families. This includes opposing to all forms of discrimination on the job and within the labor movement based on sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion or political views. Unionization is key for the protection and advancement of LGBTQ+ working rights. Unions have the moral and legal obligation to provide the members with fair representation. LCLAA is committed to joining the fight in pursuit of a labor movement that appreciates diversity, encourages openness and safeguards the safety and dignity of all workers.

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