Protestors boycott the Mi Pueblo supermarket’s use of the E-Verify immigration screening system

Mi Pueblo Foods management recently announced they would implement the controversial E-Verify program. E-Verify allows employers to contact a database maintained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to verify the immigration status of job applicants. Mi Pueblo management has said it is obligated to use the E-Verify system. However, the Department of Homeland Security does not force employers to use the E-Verify program.

Protestors allege Mi Pueblo’s owners have instead used the immigration enforcement system to threaten and intimidate workers during their effort to organize a Union in the Mi Pueblo stores. Some workers also say the chain is demanding that current employees reverify their immigration status, which is unlawful.

Intimidation tactics, such as the use of the E-Verify system, make already vulnerable workers more susceptible to pressure by employers.

Workers have been trying to join Local 5 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union for the past two years, which has led to the firing of hundreds of Mi Pueblo employees. These workers and their supporters demanded that Mi Pueblo sign the Mercado Code of Conduct, and announced a boycott of every Mi Pueblo Foods store.

The boycott continues. Support shown for Mi Pueblo workers, who continue to face intimidation, would be much appreciated at this time.

By Lisl Duncan

Legal Developments