Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Friday 27 October 2006

Cintas, a uniform company (they make and launder uniforms for nurses, security guards, etc.), has decided to follow a DHS proposal—it doesn't have the force of law—that encourages employers to fire workers who have Social Security-number mismatches or in other ways fail to re-verify that they are authorized to work in the U.S. The effect of this action will be to intimidate immigrant workers, legal or not, and help them keep their payroll costs down.

The thing is, this is none of the company's business. The affected workers may have legal problems with the IRS or with ICE, but for all practical purposes this doesn't affect the company one way or the other. I don't think Cintas can make a straight-faced claim that the legal status of a minimum-wage seamstress or launderer threatens their business. On the other hand, if their workers worry that in addition to having an expensive and frightening experience with Immigration they also might lose their jobs, they'll be a lot less likely to agitate for a living wage or safe working conditions.

One of my long-standing clients, a labor-rights organization, has documented so many of Cintas' anti-worker policies (starting with poverty wages) that this is really only the latest, not the worst. So if you ever have to rent uniforms for your business, don't use Cintas.

Thursday 26 October 2006 19:27:30 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Politics | US#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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