Latino Union of Chicago
Our mission: Collaborate with low-income, immigrant workers to develop the tools necessary to collectively improve social and economic conditions
Our goals are: 1) to develop grassroots leadership from within the immigrant worker community; 2) to create feasible alternatives that address the injustices faced by immigrant workers in Chicagoland; and 3) to help build a grassroots movement for immigrant workers' rights.
Founded in 2000 by women day laborers, Latino Union collaborates with low-income immigrant workers to develop the tools necessary to collectively improve social and economic conditions. The organization builds the leadership of low-income immigrant workers, addresses the needs of the community, develops alternatives as a community to the injustices experienced, and builds support among stakeholders.
Organizational achievements include passing the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Service Act in 2002 that regulates temporary worker agencies; founding the first and only day laborer workers' center in the Midwest in 2004; coordinating the largest immigrant rights march in Chicago history in 2006 and 2007; founding the Working Hands Legal Clinic in 2007 to increase immigrant workers' access to legal services; passing Sanctuary legislation in Cicero, IL in 2008 that protects 85,000 immigrants; conducting a paradigm shifting workplace health and safety program from 2009 – 2011 that certified 500 low-wage contingent workers in six cities through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and passing the strongest statewide protections for workers against wage theft – or unpaid wages for completed work - as a member of the Just Pay For All Coalition in 2010.
In 2011, Latino Union launched the Women Workers' Project – now called the Chicago Coalition of Household Workers - to create just conditions in the workplace, home, and community for domestic workers. In 2013, Latino Union united with six other Chicago based workers centers and the Working Hands Legal Clinic to found the Raise the Floor Alliance to create systemic change and bring together expertise in low wage worker community organizing. The organization is an affiliate of the National Domestic Workers' Alliance (NDWA) and a founder and member of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).