On April 29, 2015 the Department of Labor, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, issued long awaited regulations to greatly improve protections for persons coming to the U.S. on H-2B visas to work in temporary, seasonal jobs. As the program is currently constituted, labor trafficking flourished and foreign and U.S. workers alike frequently suffered from depressed wages and exploitative conditions. We applaud the government’s actions.
Now is time for the Department of Labor (DOL) to take bold action to reduce the chronic exploitation in the H-2B temporary visa program. Prompted by years of advocacy by Global Workers and many other organizations across the country, in 2012, the DOL issued new regulations to address many of the abuses documented by Global Workers and others. The reaction from the business community against these protections was swift and fierce. A few employers sued DOL claiming that it had no legal authority to regulate the H-2B program at all, which lead the court to temporarily enjoin or halt the implementation of the new regulations. Additionally, some businesses community members turned to Congress and successfully advocated for two years in a row to prohibit DOL from spending money on enforcing the new regulations.
The mission of the Global Workers Justice Alliance is to combat worker exploitation by promoting portable justice for transnational migrants through a cross-border network of worker advocates and resources.
Global Workers coined the term portable justice to describe the right and ability of transnational migrant workers to access justice in the countries of employment even after they have departed for their home countries.