Union leaders discuss rights of immigrants, push for Reid

Supporters of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance met Saturday to hear a panel of local and national union leaders discuss the rights of immigrant workers.

About 300 people attended the event at Painters Hall in Henderson, which featured U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis , appearing as part of a White House civil rights initiative targeting Asian immigrants.

Most of the attendees were clad in red Culinary Workers Local 226 T-shirts.

The group focused on getting workers politically motivated.

"If we don't send Harry Reid back to the U.S. Senate, shame on us," said Danny Thompson, executive secretary-treasurer of Nevada AFL-CIO.

"We need to get out there and vote."

Speakers made it clear to union members that voting Reid back into office was a priority for getting comprehensive immigration reform passed and improving healthcare reform.

Chants of "Si se puede!" -- Spanish for "Yes we can!" -- filled the room.

Luisa Blue, APALA national president, said it was important for workers to be heard in the workplace by employers and to "reform the nation's broken immigration system."

"After all, we are a country of immigrants," Blue said.