Unions bargain for “sanctuary workplaces”

Catholic social justice advocates are well familiar with the concept of “sanctuary,” from its ancient expression in Mosaic Law, to the Sanctuary movement of the 1980s that protected refugees fleeing violence in Latin America, to the present movement for “sanctuary cities” that prioritize protecting immigrants over deporting the undocumented. Now labor journalist David Bacon has published an article about how unions are working to make the workplace a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.

Perhaps most interesting are the efforts to bargain protective language into contracts. Bacon describes how the hotel workers’ union in Oakland, UNITE HERE Local 2850, is seeking contract language requiring employers to notify the union immediately in the event of an immigration raid – and to deny ICE agents access to the premises if they lack a warrant. CLICK HERE to read Fighting for the Sanctuary Workplace: Unions Mobilize to Protect Undocumented Workers in its entirety.

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