Skip to comments.Federal government to day laborers: We're here to help
Posted on 04/01/2010 6:02:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
CONCORD A crew of federal officials wandering into a day labor hiring zone used to mean one thing: time to leave.
Not the case Thursday morning on Monument Boulevard. Armed with coffee, not handcuffs, investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor chatted warmly with Latino immigrant workers about how to find jobs without being exploited.
"We're the feds, but the good ones," said Paul Ramirez, speaking in Spanish inside the Michael Chavez Center, a gathering spot for day laborers. "We're here to help workers."
The unprecedented visit was part of a campaign to bring long-established workplace protections to the nation's most vulnerable and underpaid workers, including those who have no legal right to be living in the United States.
"Documented or not, the law is: If you work certain hours, you are owed certain money," Ramirez told the small crowd. Met at first with apprehension, the Brentwood native captivated his audience of men from Mexico and Central America as he told of tending tomatoes, onions, asparagus and cucumbers as a young California field hand. Now an enforcer of workplace rules, he advised what to do when contractors skirt the law.
"We already knew some of these things, but now we feel more comfortable, more support," said laborer Gilberto Villanueva, who came to the East Bay eight years ago from southern Mexico. "It's good that they came."
There was nothing new about the standards Ramirez mentioned: minimum wage, overtime, sick leave. But none of the workers had heard this before from a federal agent. "We've always been very active in the community, but now we're becoming more vocal, more transparent," said Susana Rincon, Bay Area director of the labor agency's wage and hour division. "Other than that, the message is the same."
(Excerpt) Read more at contracostatimes.com ...
Let's have a coffee and chat a bit.
Now that's customer service. and yur paying for it. :-]
Drink ze coffee, Manuel. and then fill out the census form too .. Pleaze.. and then another cup..
Here’s a voting for already filled out!!!
your tax $$ at work, fellow freepers.
This is akin to a police officer not arresting a bank robber but offering him coffee and doughnuts.
They can leave my country.
Wow. And they don't understand why people are pissed. How can people who have no legal right to be here enjoy long standing protections?
I'm fine with that statement - we probably all are. The problem is that it is likely a lie - they left out the word ILLEGAL in front of "immigrant." Bet on it.
Too bad we can’t arrest these DOL employees who forgot they are supposed to work for the legal US citizens. They are using tax dollars to aid and abet illegal aliens.
It seems all this guy is really accomplishing is driving up the labor rate (know your rights!) and pricing out mexican labor.
Labor laws Good
Immigration laws Bad
Citizens: Must observe and obey all laws
Illegal aliens: Can observe only those laws which benefit them, all others....don't worry
Has anyone mentioned to Mr. FedGov guy that he's in commission of the crime of aiding and abetting?
April Fools? I hope.
We need to incorporate that area into Maricopa County and let Sheriff Joe do his job
Not only are they trying to b***f*** us, they’re demanding we pay for the lube they’re not going to use before they do it.
This is worse than “Let them eat cake.”
shhhhhhhh. The law of unintended consequences might just be our friend here. The RATs never think past step one or two. Eliminate the labor price differential and suddenly hiring an illegal is all risk. Risk you get caught that they’re ilegal, risk that you aren’t dotting t’s and crossing i’s for wages, withholding, insurance, etc.
I can’t begin to tell you how this makes my BLOOD BOIL!!!
“Ramirez made the same speech recently to workers who gather outside a Home Depot in Pittsburg. And it’s not only a message for day laborers; it was delivered Thursday at the Chinese Newcomers Service Center in San Francisco.
The awareness campaign, called “We Can Help,” is being led by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, a former Southern California congresswoman who joined the Obama administration early last year.
Solis inaugurated the campaign Thursday in Chicago with a speech at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, a 19th century landmark of labor reform and social welfare movements.”
Don’t I recall you doing some rallying at day labor sites? Did you see this article?