Business, labor get deal on worker program

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Labor and Senate officials say big business and labor have struck a deal on a new low-skilled worker program.

The agreement removes the biggest hurdle to completing sweeping immigration legislation allowing 11 million illegal immigrants eventual U.S. citizenship.

The agreement was reached in a phone call late Friday night with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue, and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who’s been mediating the dispute.

The deal resolves disagreements over wages for the new workers and which industries would be included.

The deal must still be signed off on by the other senators working with Schumer, including Republican John McCain of Arizona, but that’s expected to happen, according to a person with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity.

With the agreement in place, the senators are expected to unveil their legislation the week of April 8.

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