What are day laborers and what do they do? “Latino immigrant workers are a crucial part of Portland’s urban and rural economies, yet most have little or no stability in their jobs” (Voz). Another term for day laborers is jornaleros. Thousands migrate through the city every year. Exposed to unsafe working conditions. Most live under poverty level.
Problems faced by day laborers System encourages abuse Unpredictable employment
Issues with Day Laborers Day laborers can hurt local businesses Some harass women Harder to lease buildings Increased drug activity Sanitation problems Scare off customers
Day-labor sites, pros and cons Permanent day-labor site/center Sites can make wages too high Aiding and abetting illegal activity
Groups for and against Illegal Immigrants The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps The Oregonians for Immigration Reform VOZ: Workers’ Rights Education Project
Day Labor Sites The City of Portland unanimously approved $200,000 of funding to establish a day labor site in 2007
Domestic Work- A Brief History According to DWU, Domestic Work began back in the time of slavery and has since become the work of the immigrants and minorities. 1450-1860: African slave trade provides labor that builds colonial economy. 1870-1970: Slavery abolished. Domestic work becomes “ black women ’ s work. ” 1970-2006: Immigrant women of color provide domestic labor that supports U.S. economy. http://www.domesticworkersunited.org/media/files/6/homeiswheretheworkis.pdf
History of Exclusion NLRA in 1935 FLSA in 1938 OSHA in 1970; Civil Rights Laws NYLL (New York Labor Law)
Domestic Workers United We have a dream that one day, all work will be valued equally. Founded in 2000 is the Domestic Workers United [DWU]. http://www.domesticworkersunited.org/
Home is Where the Work Is: A survey of New York’s Domestic Workers http://www.domesticworkersunited.org/media/files/6/homeiswheretheworkis.pdf
National Domestic Workers Alliance What is the National Domestic Workers Alliance? What does the Alliance do? U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta Who is represented at the Forum? http://blog.aflcio.org/2007/07/09/national-alliance-of-domestic-workers- formed-at-social-forum/
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) What is the International Longshore and Warehouse Union? http://blog.aflcio.org/2007/07/09/national-alliance-of-domestic- workers-formed-at-social-forum/ People Organized to Win Employment Rights (Power) What are the goals of POWER? ILWU President Robert McEllrath and Barack Obama greet each other
Worker Centers Worker Centers- have grown from 5 centers in 1992 to at 139 in over 80 US cities and 32 states By Janice Fine, Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper #159 (December 2005) What are Worker Centers?What are Worker Centers? Who do Worker Centers advocate for?Who do Worker Centers advocate for? What do Worker Centers achieve?What do Worker Centers achieve? MLK and Everett in Portland
Domestic Workers- Nannies Lack of minimum wage compensation + Lack of suitable working conditions + Lack of Health care = CHIRLA
Wages- The Argument Between Employer and Employee The absence of minimum wage is often claimed to be compensated by room and board. Gray areas of compensation exist.
Organizations of Domestic Workers Dispersed work locations Long work hours CHIRLA organizes and motivates workers to exercise their rights
The Politics of CHIRLA Educating domestic laborers of their unique situation Domestic laborers often have a strong connection to the family (especially the kids) The victories of lawsuits in favor of domestic workers have brought credibility to CHIRLA Court cases are compromised when influential people who employ domestic workers are involved.
Progress! - Domestic Workers were reluctant to excersize their rights. - CHIRLA continues to work to educate domestic workers. - Communication is key.
Immigrant Workers’ Rights in the Meatpacking Industry Immigrant Workers’ Rights in the Meatpacking Industry:
Students against Sweatshops USAS organizes campaigns that seek to improve wages for campus workers, be it a contract negotiation fight, an organizing drive, a living wage campaign, or any other student-worker campaign.
Student Farm worker Alliance worked to improve wages and working conditions for people working in tomato fields
Coalition of Immokalee Workers The CIW has been at the forefront of efforts to improve farm labor conditions, exposing abuses and driving socially responsible purchasing and work practices in the Florida tomato fields.
Conclusion: Change takes action People mobilizing creates social movement No human is illegal
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