Local Union Members Lobby for Healthcare, Immigration Reform in D.C.

Houston-area union members are on Capitol Hill this week lobbying for the healthcare bill and pushing for immigration reform. Megan Hughes reports from Washington.

“‘Hi, Sue Mann, UFCW. ”Hi, how are you doin?'”

About a dozen United Food and Commercial Workers members from Houston and Dallas say hello to Waco Democrat Chet Edwards. Edwards is one of the Democrats opposing the healthcare bill because of cost concerns. Sue Mann from Clute was hoping to change his mind.

“Most of the guys out of our area are supportive of us. We’re here to talk to Chet Edwards, he is not.”

The other issue on Mann’s mind: immigration reform. Many activists are skeptical it will happen this year.

“At some point in time, it’s got to be addressed. We need to get these people on board where they’re paying their fair share towards everything and make them legal workers.”

Mann and Pam Edgerley from Spring worked in Houston-area grocery stores for more than a decade. They’ve seen the issue get hotter over those years…culminating in recent raids at Houston restaurants. Edgerley says it’s a civil rights issue.

“It’s a very hot topic in Texas obviously and there’s very divided views on it. But I think it’s important to think of where we came from and how we had to fight for everything we have.”

Union members will be marching alongside immigrant activist groups including at a rally on Sunday.

From Capitol News Connection, Megan Hughes, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

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