Supporters of Emeryville living wage payments owed to Woodfin hotel workers troop into City Hall.
Emeryville residents, who passed a living wage ordinance by initiative in 2005, won a victory last niight when their legislators ordered the hotel to pay up.
Unidentified persons inside the city administration building watched a worker rally anxiously.
The Emeryville situation highlights the difficulty immigrant workers have collecting even payments to which they are legally entitled. The hotel responded to worker activism by instigating the Social Security Administration to check their Social Security numbers, then firing activists for whom the Feds returned "no match" letters.
The Bush administration has responded to Congress' failure to pass its "immigration reform" package by moving to make employers to fire all workers who cannot provide proof of valid Social Security numbers. That is, by punishing workers, it hopes to force its business base to provide the muscle to get an immigration law passed over the wishes of its large, vocal, racist constituency. Labor journalist David Bacon has explained the "no match" ploy clearly in this article.
Luz Dominguez speaks out for the Woodfin workers.