August 25 through August 31 is National Labor Rights Week. Throughout the country, staff members working in regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are meeting with immigrant workers, community groups, employees and employers to discuss the rights guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act.
“We are placing a particular emphasis on educating Mexican workers employed in the United States by partnering with Mexican consulates in many communities,” said NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce. “Along with other federal labor agencies, including the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, we are participating in events designed to ensure that Mexican employers and workers in the United States understand their rights and obligations under American law.”
“Since its passage in 1935, the National Labor Relations Act has promised generations of workers the right to join together, with or without a union, to seek improvements and a voice in their working lives,” notes Acting NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon. “But that promise can only be fulfilled if individuals understand and are able to exercise their rights under the law.”
Among the events taking place this week:
- In California, NLRB Regional Directors will attend the Los Angeles and San Francisco Mexican Consulates’ opening celebration for Labor Rights Week, representatives will hold briefings on the NLRB for the Los Angeles consulate’s professional staff, and attorneys will participate in a telethon designed to provide callers with information on their rights and the agencies best suited for assisting them; in San Francisco, staff will participate in outreach programs hosted by the consulate.
- In Illinois, the Regional Director signed a Local Agreement with the Consul General of Mexico in Chicago as part of the opening ceremonies for Labor Rights Week, while Regional staff will participate in numerous events throughout the week at the consulate and throughout the community;
- In New Jersey, the Regional office is participating in the Mexican Consulate’s New Brunswick Labor Week events, scheduled for August 27 and 29;
- In New York, the Regional Directors in Manhattan and Brooklyn, along with other NLRB staff, trained members of the New York City Mexican consular staff on the NLRA and the NLRB’s processes; staff from both regions participated in three Labor Rights Bureau events at the New York City Mexican Consulate, answering questions and providing information to workers; and staff participated in El Centro, a community outreach event, on Staten Island with the Mexican Consulate;
- In Raleigh, North Carolina, attorneys from the Regional office will participate in a presentation at the Mexican Consulate, including an overview of the rights of employers and employees under the NLRA;
- In Oregon, NLRB staff will pass out literature and meet with the public at booths in The Dalles, Portland and Woodburn;
- In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, attorneys from the Regional office will participate in a briefing sponsored by the Mexican Consulate, highlighting the work of the NLRB and responding to questions;
- In Texas, Regional staff are participating in events planned in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio;
- In Washington State, representatives from the NLRB Seattle office will discuss employee and employer rights and obligations at a booth located in Centro de la Raza.
“These activities around the country build on the letter of agreement I signed last month with Mexican Ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza,” Acting General Counsel Solomon said. “We are committed to working together to provide outreach, education, and training on the rights of workers under the National Labor Relations Act.”
“All of this week’s activities will help to guarantee the right of workers to engage in protected-concerted activity to improve their working conditions without fear of discrimination, harassment or retaliation,” Chairman Pearce said.