Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Miranda Remains As Head Of Esperanza Unida, Inc. Despite Community News Of Resignation

Robert Miranda

Photo: Facebook

Miranda lashes out at rumors circulating in Milwaukee's South side that he has resigned or been ousted as executive director.

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 24, 2011

Milwaukee - On Wednesday, Robert Miranda, executive director of Esperanza Unida, Inc. confirmed, he hasn't resigned yet, nor that the Board of Directors had ousted him from the non-profit organization. When contacted, Miranda lashed out at people for circulating the underground community news (rumors) that he is finally leaving Esperanza Unida. Miranda stated, "it's bullshit and they can suck my big toe." He wouldn't comment any further, but affirmed that the rumors were untrue.
Despite his unpopular and shrewd management of the organization, Miranda who earned about $48,000 in 2009 as executive director has kept Esperanza Unida afloat and operating, since he took office in 2005.
He tried to create a multi-million welding program partnership between Esperanza Unida, Bucyrus, Inc. and Milwaukee Area Technical College (M.A.T.C.), but he failed to worked with two Hispanic Board members, Pedro Colón and Attorney Peter Earl several years ago. The welding project was rejected by the M.A.T.C. Board. Weeks later, the Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan sent out a letter saying that Bucyrus didn't need the welders as previously planned, saving M.A.T.C. millions. Miranda continued to blame both Colón and Earl for the misfortune.
In 2007, Miranda led and helped establish a sister city economic agreement between Turkey and Milwaukee.
Five months ago, Miranda lost an employee related complaint dealing with payroll issues. Both Jose Toledo and Nydia Millan had filed a complaint with Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) about not getting paid in time. VDLF in the complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleged that Miranda terminated both Toledo and Millan in November 2010 for complaining about not getting paid and receiving payroll checks that bounced.
Miranda fired both employees citing a confidentiality clause, but NLRB found that the clause was meant to protect trade or product secrets and not to bar employees from complaining about work related issues as payroll. He settled the case on April 27, 2011 by agreeing to reinstate both employees and pay Toledo in back pay wages with interest totalling $15,000 and Millan $7,371. Toledo had worked in Esperanza Unida for five years as a mechanic instructor, Millan had worked as a day care instructor, according to the NLRB case records.
In July 2008, about 20 Esperanza Unidad employees signed a petition against Miranda claiming they weren't getting paid in time.
Last July, Miranda wrote an article in support of SB 137, which penalizes employers with $10,000 fine for each undocumented immigrant that they knowningly hire in Wisconsin. It also prevents employers from qualifying for tax credits or state funded projects. In the article published in both the Spanish Journal and BizTimes dot com, Miranda wrote,  that "the state should enforce ban on hiring illegal immigrants," which drew criticism from the immigrant community.
State bill SB 137 was introduced by state Senate Democrats, Dave Hansen, Robert Wirch, Jon Erpenbach, Jim Holperin and Tim Carpenter and one State Representative Tony Staskunas (co-author).
"To just come forward to say that SB 137 is “divisive” indicates lazy research and innate ignorance of the issue of undocumented immigration. Turning a blind eye to undocumented workers, as U.S. immigration authorities have done, harms U.S. citizens, documented immigrants and the undocumented," Miranda wrote.

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