Labor Day, “Labor Day” in English, is celebrated in the US and Puerto Rico on the first Monday of September of each year, unlike the rest of the world that preserves May 1 for said event, since 1887
Labor Rights in the US: Carlos was born in Mexico but a decade ago he decided to start the “American dream” and since then, as an undocumented person, he has worked in the United States “tirelessly” in the construction and hospitality sectors, although with “fear” to be discovered.
” I came to Texas ten years ago to visit my brother and I stayed to work without obtaining a work permit, my employers have always been Mexicans, they understand our situation.” Even today, when I leave the apartment, I first I do is look if there is a patrol, “Carlos told Efe.
People Look Askance at Their Labor Rights in the US
After checking that “there is no one”, Carlos begins to run until he reaches the place where he works, a Mexican restaurant in Austin about 20 minutes from his home; Once there he feels “safe” because he knows he has his rights.
The head of legal affairs and protection of the General Consulate of Mexico in Austin, Felix Herrera, acknowledges that despite the anti-immigration policies that arise from the administration of President Trump, they receive “the same influx of usual cases.”
The non-payment of work, working hours of more than 40 hours per week, wages below the minimum established at 7.25 dollars per hour or the lack of medical insurance against accidents are the main problems of this community.
” The majority of people we receive are undocumented, but the reality is that the law protects them in the same way, it does not matter if they do not have papers, they can do any legal management through government agencies or lawyers,” he explained. interview with EFE.
The Mexican consulate in the Texas capital has been organizing an information week for a decade, on the occasion of Labor Day in the United States, so that their fellow citizens “break that fear to believe that if they complain against the employer they can lose their job due to immigration issues ”
The US Department of Labor itself specifies in its code that “you can not discriminate or dismiss an employee for filing a claim or presenting information in the framework of an investigation,” regardless of their legal status.
The Brotherhood of Carpenters of South Texas, based in Austin, is an example of this, since in their training program “they do not discriminate against anyone because of their color, race, ideology or immigration status.”
One of the people in charge of the association, Albino Balderas, commented during a visit of Efe to his facilities that “any person with desire” can join them to work or to start the trade from scratch.
“We do not ask if they have papers or not, we just do a test to see what kind of jobs can be granted and they are asked to be responsible (…) we do notice that some companies request that they have some type of visa, so that if they are not sure, they do not register in that work “, clarified Balderas.
This Brotherhood of Carpenters, with 400 people in the southern sector of Texas, works as a job pool to which companies go in search of labor.
In addition to the 4-year training program for those who want to progress in this job, they offer the possibility of accessing health insurance for the employee and their family, a retirement plan and, even other advantages such as language courses, for both Learn English as Spanish.
Labor Day, “Labor Day” in English, is celebrated in the US and Puerto Rico on the first Monday of September of each year, unlike the rest of the world that preserves May 1 for that event, since 1887.
This date was set by former President Grover Cleveland (1885-1891, 1893-1897) to support the annual parade of the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor in New York, as he believed that May Day, driven by socialist groups and anarchists, generated riots in the city.
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