New Latino Voice Tracking Poll: Clinton 75%, Trump 15%, Other 10%

The latest New Latino Voice (NLV) online tracking poll from Florida International University and Hispanic mobile advertising company Adsmovil has Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump by 60 points with Latino voters.

This week’s poll, which ran from August 1–August 7, has Clinton at 75%, Trump at 15% and Other at 10%. (Click here for previous polls.)

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Clinton has peaked at 81% during the course of the NLV poll, while Trump’s best numbers have been at 17%. Since April, NLV has polled more than 200,000 online Latinos. Its results have been in line with more traditional polls, such as the ones from Univision/Washington Post and Telemundo/NBC News/WSJ.

For the second week in a row, the poll focused on Florida, with Clinton’s numbers remaining at around 76% and Trump moving closer to 14%.

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Each week, the poll also asks respondents about this election season’s most important topic. Immigration continues to consistently top the list:

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When asked about this week’s results, FIU professor Eduardo Gamarra told Latino USA the following:

As you can see the poll continues to show enormous consistency. Secretary Clinton’s numbers dropped a bit and Mr. Trump’s rose some. Both continue to move within their normal range so there are no surprises. Immigration continues to be the principal issue for Latinos; this week it rose considerably, although it is difficult to explain why there was an increase in this issue. Security dropped a bit but note that it has not dropped under 15 since Orlando. Clearly, if we were to combine economy and employment into a single variable, it would be evident that economic issues are the most important to Latinos.

Our second Florida poll shows that Republicans continue to face a large Latino problem. It will be interesting to observe how this moves in the next few weeks.

You can read this week’s full findings below:

This Powerful Poem Is an Ode to Puerto Rico’s Incredible Resilience

Puerto Rican poet Caridad de la Luz, also known as La Bruja, is tired of the injustice the Caribbean the island has witnessed.

The situation in Puerto Rico has become so dire “it seems like it’s 1492 all over again,” de la Luz said during the NAHJ Latina reception on Aug. 5 in Washington D.C. The spoken word artist then recited a powerful poem about Puerto Rico’s resilience and strength from the perspective of the island.

“I have been a refuge politico (political refuge) to the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, the English, the Catholics, the soldiers, the tourists ― I’ve treated everyone as equal and now there is war against my Puerto Rican people,” she said. “We are fighting an elusive creature that owns me as its paraíso (paradise).”

Read more at HuffPost Latino Voices.

Gallup: US-Born Latinos More Concerned About Election Than Foreign-Born Latinos

A Gallup poll released Monday showing how this country is feeling about the 2016 presidential elections noted that Latinos born in the United States expressed more concern towards the stakes than Latinos born outside of the United States.

According to Gallup’s findings:

Sixty-nine percent of native-born Hispanics strongly agree that this year’s election stakes are higher than usual, compared with 31% of Hispanic immigrants. Forty-five percent of Hispanics born in the U.S. strongly agree they are afraid of what will happen if their candidate for president does not win, compared with 30% of Hispanic immigrants.

The Gallup poll of 3,270 adults included a sample of 906 Latinos. Of those 906 Latinos interviewed, 271 of the interviews were in Spanish. Gallup listed the margin of error for the Latino sample at +/- 6 percent, with a confidence level of 95%.

Gallup also said that 87% of U.S.-born Latinos were registered to vote but when it came to foreign-born Latino immigrants, “28% say they are registered, and another 27% plan to register before the election.”

The poll added that only 38% of Latinos (U.S.-born and foreign-born combined) believe “stakes in this presidential election are higher than in previous years” and that 50% of Latinos think “the stakes in this presidential election are higher than in previous years.”

It also concluded that “Hispanics are less likely than either whites or blacks to ‘strongly agree’ that they are afraid of what will happen if their candidate loses.”

Post-DNC Convention Latino Voter Tracking Poll: Clinton 76% Trump 13% Other 11%

The four-point bump Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received in last week’s New Latino Voice (NLV) tracking poll has virtually disappeared in this week’s poll, but instead of seeing those numbers move to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton after her convention in Philadelphia, the “Other” category saw its highest increase since May.

This week’s results, which sampled 2,482 online Latino voters from July 26-July 31, show Clinton at 76%, Trump at 13% and “Other” at 11%. During the week of May 10, “Other” was at 15% and had not reached double-digits since the newest NLV poll. The highest number Clinton achieved so far was 81% during the week of July 5. Trump’s highest number of 16% happened right after the conclusion of the Republican National Convention.

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Another finding from this week’s poll, conducted by Florida International University and Hispanic advertising firm Adsmovil, says that more Latina woman (16%) would choose “Other” over Trump (13%).

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This week’s version of the NLV poll also focused on the swing state of Florida, and those numbers virtually align with NLV’s current national numbers.

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Latino USA has been publishing results of the NLV poll since April. For a summary of the poll’s methodology, click here. The full poll results for this week are below.

Another Powerful ‘What Is Going on in Venezuela?’ Video Goes Viral on Facebook

In what is fast becoming its own Facebook video genre, a new video from Pero Like features the personal story of Alejandro Toro, an actor born to a Puerto Rican father and Venezuelan mother. According to Toro’s bio, as a young child, the Miami-born Toro relocated to Margarita Island, Venezuela with his family. He returned to the United States in 2010. As of this posting, Toro’s video has gotten more than 2 million views in 16 hours.

As Toro posted on his own Facebook page:

This is a very emotional video I recently had The opportunity to produce with the very talented Gadiel Delorbe, a Dominican who has joined me in raising awareness about our beautiful Venezuela and its current struggles. Please share, let’s save the world! “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” MLK

Not surprisingly, when it comes to the topic of Venezuela, president Nicolás Maduro and the country’s current crisis, reactions to Toro’s video have been both positive and negative. Here are just two examples from Pero Like’s Facebook page:

“What Is Going On In Venezuela? Short answer, we are experiencing the results of left-wing politics which are based on controls… controls on the economy ending free market, controls on guns disarming law-abiding citizens and disarming the police forces and giving those weapons to criminals that support the regime, controls on the education system making it a tool for indoctrination, and finally controls on the food supplies resulting in people being dominated because if you don’t eat you’ll die.”

“What we all need to understand is that the current situation in Venezuela is mostly due to the US led efforts to sabotage and destabilize the country. If the government didn’t have to deal with all of the US attacks, they could focus more time in bettering the country for their people. At the end of the day, this is a battle about who is going to control that country’s oil; will it be the people of Venezuela or will it be the US and their puppets? If you REALLY care about Venezuela and their people, do your part by telling the US government “HANDS OFF OF VENEZUELA!!” They are a sovereign country and their people have voted to have a revolutionary government and although the US may not like it, they HAVE to respect it! Don’t forget that event President Jimmy Carter’s foundation that was witness to several elections in Venezuela said that they have the best electoral process in the world. They have a TRUE democracy! Que viva Venezuela! Que viva Chavez! Que viva Maduro! US OUT of Venezuela!!”

Dascha Polanco Won’t Forget the Designers Who Refused to Dress Her

“Orange is the New Black” star Dascha Polanco wants to everyone to know you don’t have to be a certain size in Hollywood to be a fashion icon. However, the task can be challenging when designers refuse to dress her because of her size.

The 33 year-old actress opened up about her experiences with being turned away by some of her favorite labels in an interview with Vogue on Monday.

“I had a situation with a high-end brand the other day where I had personally invested so much money purchasing their items, and I love what they do, so I had my publicist reach out to their PR team. Their response was, ‘Oh, you’re not the sizes we have, not right now, maybe in the future,’” Polanco told the magazine, adding that she won’t easily forget the brands who wouldn’t consider dressing her either.

Read more at HuffPost Latino Voices.

Why Did Workers at Johnson Controls’ Ciudad Juárez Plants Walk Off the Job?

Written by Miguel Juárez

There are over 300 maquiladoras in Ciudad Juárez that employ over 250,000 workers at substandard wages. The Johnson Controls wage dispute is the latest struggle in a series of ongoing labor issues.

On July 5, 2016, 790 workers from Johnson Controls plants 1, 3, 4 and 6 walked off the job seeking better pay. They also demanded that the company end the exploitation of workers, especially after the company introduced a work method known as “bumping.” This practice was first introduced in Spain and consists of one worker doing three to five tasks to produce one piece on the assembly line. Bumping makes it possible for workers to produce more pieces at the same wage.

According to their webpage: “Johnson Controls, Inc. is an American-based multinational conglomerate producing automotive parts such as batteries and electronics and HVAC equipment for buildings.” The company states that it employs 170,000 people in more than 1,300 locations across six continents. Johnson Controls includes an Ethics Policy that states that they do not tolerate and actively oppose corruption in their businesses, but they seem to have turned a blind eye to their operations in Mexico.

Workers’ Demands

Workers have made the following demands: (1) that Johnson Controls respect basic workers’ rights; (2) that workers get a wage increase; (3) that the company eliminate the practice of “bumping;” (4) that the company contract at least three workers per line, to cover absences of the rest of the workers at lines, to allow workers to go to the restroom, to offer workers required special permits to be able to leave plant for health reasons, etc.; (5) that workers be able to take their vacations when they have their continuously on a yearly basis, and not only when the company allows it; (6) that the company end the abuse and hostility towards workers, especially the sexual abuse that occurs daily. They are also seeking damages for loss of wages that have been withheld.

Susana Prieto Terrazas, the attorney representing the workers, said the workers are not the problem. It’s systemic, she said. Johnson Controls plants in Puebla, Reynosa, and Monclova, Coahuila, have similar issues and all are on strike. Workers are also seeking wage increases in Tijuana and Italy. This isn’t the first time Johnson Controls has had labor disputes in Mexico. In 2012, just a year after an independent union gained recognition in a Puebla plant, the company closed it.

Significance of the Johnson Controls Wage Strike

The significance of the Johnson Controls Wage Strike in Ciudad Juárez is the number of people involved: 790. That’s 10 times the number of Lexmark workers who staged a three-month occupation outside that maquiladora last winter. In addition to Lexmark workers, 432 workers from other companies experienced labor issues issues in 2015: 37 workers from Eaton Industries (June 2015), 20 from Eaton Bussman, 125 from Foxconn (August 2015) and 250 from Commscope (September 2015).

Gathered workers

Around the world, 27 million workers (mostly women) work in factories like Mexico’s maquiladoras under similarly exploitative conditions, and the reawakening of their resistance in Ciudad Juárez is important.

The maquiladoras are constantly adopting new scams to enhance lean production. Lexmark workers were urged to raise productivity using the Shingo Price model. Workers at Johnson Controls faced an unscalable ladder of six wage levels before they walked out. Level seven —the highest level, paid 210 pesos a day ($11.36)— has not been achieved by any worker. Many workers earn 100 pesos a day ($5.41). The average age for workers is between 35-40. Most of the workers have reached Level 4 and earn 153 pesos daily ($8).

Workers also suffer from foot spurs after standing on the job for shifts of 9½ hours and often overtime shifts of 6 hours. A worker injured on the job has to wait until the company physician arrives to be taken to a private hospital, where they get 15 days of care. At the end of the 15 days, they are released but many are only compensated for 60 percent of their benefits.

At the publication of this article, Johnson Controls workers are laboring from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday due to the firing of 360 workers and the retention of salaries from more than 390 workers. The company is working with 770 to 790 less employees, and that has forced people to work overtime. They have also brought 140 workers from Monclova to work Monday through Sunday as well.

Johnson Controls workers sew seats and airbags for Lexus and an array of luxury vehicles, including Japanese cars. Sewing is the best-paid job for maquiladora workers in Ciudad Juárez, but it is also one of the most injury-laden. Sewers must stand all day. They cannot turn around to talk with co-workers. If they do, they are asked to resign by the human resources managers. Most workers do not protest or seek legal representation; most comply with their managers, fearing repercussions for future employment.

Company Corruption at All Levels

Workers in Ciudad Juárez report widespread corruption among supervisors. One production supervisor offers women overtime in return for sexual favors. A group of very productive workers pays 200 to 1,000 pesos “commission” to their supervisor for the privilege of working overtime. Johnson Controls offers a $6,000-peso sign on bonus to new workers that have experience, but payments are spread out over a 13-week period, and they only get them if they have perfect attendance. Due to the excessive work demands, most people often resign after their first week.

Bonos

In addition, maquiladoras also ask for a “carta de no antecedentes penales” or a letter that attests to no prior arrests. According to Prieto Terrazas, Mexican federal employment law does not require presenting such a document to obtain employment, but maquiladoras require it. The letters are sold to workers because the Mexican government profits from their sales. The Mexican government sells the letter for 82 pesos. Workers seeking employment in Ciudad Juárez maquiladoras need to pay the 82 pesos for the letter, as well as 28 pesos round-trip ride to go to the State’s General Finance Agency. Many workers simply do not apply for work because they lack the 110 pesos needed to obtain the letter that they technically do not need to look for employment in maquiladoras.

Maquiladora workers are paid via electronic debit cards and workers are laden with superfluous bank charges. All these charges reduce workers’ take-home pay. All Ciudad Juárez banks accept maquiladora deposits that impose unnecessary charges on workers’ accounts.

Johnson Controls’ corruption is not limited to Mexico. In a July 11, 2016 article in the Wall Street Journal, Stephen Dockery reported that “Manufacturing company Johnson Controls agreed Monday to pay $14 million to settle Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission over conduct in China, while the Justice Department closed its investigation into the matter partly because of extensive cooperation by the company.”

How Johnson Controls Seeks to Break the Current Strike

Johnson Controls is bringing 500 workers from Monclova and Saltillo in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila to replace the workers who have walked off the job. Recruitment for the positions was limited to experienced workers who were offered a 5,000-peso bonus for three weeks of work that will be paid after their three weeks in Ciudad Juárez. Workers who were offered the opportunity and who refused to work were told they would be fired. The first 500 workers arrived on Friday, July 15. After three weeks, another 500 will be bused in. In a situation that looks a lot like human trafficking, they work from Monday to Sunday and are housed in a local hotel, unable to leave.

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The striking Johnson Controls workers fear police repression and provocateurs. Recently the police tried to provoke violence during a protest where 40 police vehicles, provocateurs and two sharp shooters arrived to immobilize workers, but the workers were saved when a reporter showed up to cover the event.

Read more at Latino Rebels

Representing the Underrepresented

Farai Chideya has been a journalist for 25 years. At times, being a black woman in journalism was difficult, especially when it came to dealing with little diversity and stories not getting enough attention.

Chideya took those experiences and wrote a book on how to navigate these issues. The Episodic Career talks about surviving in your career path while experiencing all the ups and downs.

“I do believe journalism serves as an early warning function and a problem solving function in society,” Chideya said.

She believes that jobs have an effect to what’s going on in society. If the work force (particularly journalism) doesn’t match what society looks like, then stories won’t be told the way they should.

“Demographics of people producing the news that don’t at all match not only where we are today but where we’re going,” Chideya said. “If journalism is pulling up the rear on that instead of taking the lead, that’s disturbing.”

In this conversation with Maria Hinojosa, Chideya explains why this is a problem and what needs to be done to fix it.

Mexican American Textbook Wars in Texas

In Texas, where half of all public school students are Latino, the State Board of Education (SBOE) is in the process of approving a new Mexican American studies textbook. The proposal for the textbook was approved two years ago after a petition for a separate curriculum for Mexican American studies was denied in 2010.

“The official curriculum in the state of Texas underrepresents and misrepresents the historical presence of Mexican origin people in this country as well as women and African Americans,” said Emilio Zamora, a professor of Mexican American history at the University of Texas at Austin.

That’s important, because Latino students who learn about their cultural history are more likely to graduate from high school, according to a University of Arizona study in 2015. In the United States, the dropout rate for Latinos is almost three times higher than it is for non-Latino whites.

Only one textbook has since been submitted for review, but it has attracted scrutiny for its contentious handling of Mexican American history. Zamora fears that it will cause more harm than good.

“It was very offensive that they would select people that are not trained or professional historians in the field of Mexican American history,” he said.

The textbook has been submitted by a new company called Momentum Instruction.

Cynthia Dunbar, a member of Momentum Instruction who also served on the SBOE in 2010, says her company hired authors who could review the history fairly.

“They did not want a biased or a skewed viewpoint, they did not want liberally biased, but neither did they want conservatively biased. They wanted people who were willing to just go out and exhaustively review every side of the issue,” she said.

Texans have until November to submit comments about the book, at which point a committee will review them and make recommendations to the SBOE. If recent history is any indication, it’s going to be a big fight.

Featured image of the textbook in question. (Photo by Brenda Salinas)

Mexico’s Lydia Cacho on Bravery and Journalism

From a young age, Lydia Cacho wanted nothing more than to solve the problems of the world.

Born in Mexico City in 1963 to a French Portuguese mother and Mexican father, Cacho experienced firsthand the effects of oppression and poverty. Today, she attributes her passion for human rights activism to her grandparents and her feminist mother who worked as a psychologist and sexologist in Mexico City. Like her mother, Cacho believes that it’s the responsibility of every citizen to be a human rights activist, no matter the profession, but says that it’s even more critical for journalists.

“You have to be very aware that journalism is not what is used to be 100 years ago or even 60 years ago. Journalism, it’s not only a way to narrate what is happening in the world, it is a huge responsibility,” Cacho said.

In this interview, Cacho shares stories from the start of her career as one of Mexico’s most courageous investigative journalists. She is the author of seven books and the recipient of many awards for her reporting on human trafficking. After the release of her book, Los demonios del Edén (The Demons of Eden), Cacho was kidnapped, tortured and sexually assaulted in retaliation.

Despite numerous threats and attempts on her life, Cacho manages to stay optimistic while working as an educator and journalist in Mexico during a time where many journalists are feeling vulnerable.

Featured image: Mexican writer and journalist Lydia Cacho poses prior to a press conference at the press association of Madrid, on November 23, 2009. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)