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Willy Gonzalez, organizer for the UNITE-HERE (Needletrades, Industrial, and Hotel/Restaurant Workers) union, is starting a program to explain his union's long-term approach to the immigration question in America. The union launched their effort in front of the City Hall at Farmers Branch on June 24. State Representative Roberto Alonzo addressed an audience of about 65, including UNITE-HERE, Ironworkers, and Jobs with Justice folks, in front of TV cameras and print-media reporters. Dr. Joerg Rieger talked about the necessity of appealing to the religious community to stand up for what's right. Gene Lantz said simply, "The working class has only one strength: unity, solidarity!"
Farmers Branch was chosen because of the infamous anti-worker ordinances that they have passed. They intend to keep trying even though the Texas Supreme Court has already struck down their efforts to fine landlords if they fail to exclude tenants who might be undocumented. Beginning with the August JwJ meeting, UNITE-HERE will take testimony and do even more to publicize the solutions to this issue.