María Ponce,, 202-394-2139

Issued March 29, 2023

SEIU’s Sáenz: The POWER Act Will Empower ALL Workers to Speak Up Against Unscrupulous Employers

WASHINGTON — Responding to the introduction of the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act by Congresswoman Judy Chuy, SEIU International Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement:

“SEIU’s 2 million members are proud to support Rep. Judy Chu’s introduction of the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act, which empowers all workers to exercise their voice to call for better working conditions and wages without the fear of immigration-related retaliation.

Our power is in our union because it allows all workers to organize and win even against the most powerful bosses. But too often, unscrupulous employers use the fear of deportation to threaten immigrant workers who seek to organize or make a workplace complaint, undermining wages and working conditions for all workers.

That's why we were pleased to see the Department of Homeland Security release new and clear workplace protection guidance earlier this year aimed at making it easier for immigrant workers to stand with their coworkers without fear.

The POWER Act will take the next step by making these changes permanent, and by fixing numerous flaws in our outdated immigration and employment laws that permit the threat of immigration enforcement to stand as an obstacle to organizing and the rights of all workers.

We applaud Congresswoman Chu for her leadership on this issue and hope – despite the odds – that this bill will get a fair hearing in Congress this year.”