DACA, minimum wage hot topics at annual Labor Day union picnic

DACA, minimum wage hot topics at annual Labor Day union picnic

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Pima Area Labor Federation held its 21st annual Labor Day union picnic at the DeMeester Center in Reid Park amid talks about the repercussions of the new minimum wage law and the DACA decision looming in Washington.

President Donald Trump is expected to announce a decision affecting the 28,500 DACA recipients in Arizona on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

DACA is an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program put in place by an executive order by President Barack Obama in 2012.

The program protects youth who were brought to the United States as children, if they meet certain requirements.

There are 800,000 who have signed up for the program nationwide and 91 percent are working and paying taxes.

Now their future in the US is uncertain.

The labor federation said they are working to protect them and keep them in the country.

"Workers are a union issue and a majority of these DACA recipients are workers," said Fred Yamashita, president of the federation. "Yes, it's a union issue."

The picnic attracted a large crowd this year, bigger than in past years. So much so, they ran out of hot dogs and had to send out for more.

Another topic of conversation was the minimum wage increase, which Arizona voters passed last year.

It will raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.

There was concern among the business community that the added expense would add to closings and laying off of employees.

But according to Yamashita, that has not happened.

"There have been jobs created in the service industry since the passage of the minimum wage and the economy continues to grow," he said. "It's been shown in other cities, counties and states that have passed minimum wage that has been the case."

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