Their Day: Center for Day Laborers a Win for City's Workers
Aug 05, 2015 | 10921 views | 0 0 comments | 235 235 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city's announcement that they've allocated $500,000 to create regulated centers to help day laborers is a great step in ensuring that an oft-exploited workforce, maligned frequently in the public eye, gets the protection it so desperately deserves.

The job of a day laborer is not a desired one, but one that workers take out of necessity. It's a way to make an honest day's pay and gets people off the streets and deters them from trying to earn a living through illegal activity.

On top of that, there is clearly a high demand for work, because the jobs have always existed. But now, with regulation, it's just a little bit safer and could help ensure that these workers get paid.

Anytime you can protect the welfare of labor in a city that was built on it - the magnitude and scope of this city was not built overnight and not placed here by some outside entity, it was built by laborers - with a bill of only $500,000, a drop in bucket in the city's budget, you need to do it. It's a win for all involved.

Day laborers ofter face odious work conditions. They work long hours for little pay, and sometimes no pay, as highlighted by some of the workers at the press conference in Bensonhurst where the announcement was made, and at a wage theft center in Flushing two weeks ago.

Wage theft is one of the biggest threats that day laborers face, but at these centers, written agreements will be signed concerning pay and hours.

At these centers, workers are also granted basic rights like a lunch break. Without any oversight, that's not something that's always granted.

It will also get workers off the streets, offering them a safe place to find work. Often day laborers line certain avenues, waiting for someone to pick them up to work for the day. Without regulation, who knows whom is behind the wheel and with what intention.

Centers across the city will be opening soon, and that's a good thing for the workers and a bad thing for the unscrupulous employers that want to exploit them.

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