Hispanic Heritage Month offers a time to recognize the contributions of the nearly 53 million Hispanic workers living in the United States and to highlight the issues facing our community. One critical issue is the federal minimum wage. Every day, millions of Latinosgo to work but struggle to support themselves and their families. Working with unions in the labor movement, we have seen the positive impact of fair wages on the lives of workers and their families. As a Latina advocate for workers, I have witnessed the difference higher wages can make on living conditions for workers and on future opportunities for their children.
In what should be considered standing logic on its end, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that while public colleges have an interest in having a racially diverse student body, nonetheless, the racial majority of a state can vote to remove racial diversity as a goal. This is a radical and activist reinterpretation of the Constitution, since by strict construction, the 14th Amendment had been added to explicitly limit white majority action to deny full legal protection to the newly freed slaves and their descendants. The purpose was to limit majority rule from becoming mob rule, continuing a legacy of inequality.
Nearly 6.8 million Latino workers would benefit if Congress raises the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, according to the new AFL-CIO study Closing the Gap to the American Dream. While Latinos comprise 16% of the country’s workforce, they make up nearly one-quarter of the workers who would be positively affected by raising the minimum wage.
We've heard of the looming retirement security crisis, but this statistic is extremely sobering: The majority of black and Latino workers (62% and 69%, respectively) do not own assets in a retirement account. This is from a new report by the National Institute on Retirement Security released this week.
A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that Latino workers are 50% more likely be killed on the job from falls and dangerous and unhealthy working conditions such as exposure to chemicals or being struck and killed by equipment than the overall workforce. The CDC study also found that young Latino workers (18–4) are 50% more likely to be killed on the job for any reason that the overall workforce.
A disproportionate number of Latinos and immigrants are disproportionately killed in fall accidents in New York, according to a new study by the Center for Popular Democracy, because they work in construction in relatively high numbers; are concentrated in smaller, nonunion firms; and are over-represented in the contingent labor pool.
As we approach Labor Day, the AFL-CIO has released a new report, The Elusive American Dream: Lower Wages, High Unemployment and an Uncertain Retirement for Latinos. The report compiles economic data from recent Economic Policy Institute (EPI) studies that show Latinos face higher unemployment and underemployment rates, are paid lower wages and have less financial security as seniors.
New technologies and social media are increasingly important and effective ways to communicate and they can open doors for the labor movement to build stronger relationships with the Latino community. But, says Elianne Ramos, there are several key points to keep in mind when using tech to reach Latino workers—the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. workforce—and the community.
Be sure to join Elianne Ramos today from 3–4 p.m. EDT for a live online discussion on how to build a stronger movement for working people, with today’s chat spotlighting Latino workers. Ramos, principal and CEO of Speak Hispanic Communications and vice-chair of communications and PR for Latinos in Social Media, poses this question:
Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. workforce and their employment experiences are as varied as their individual histories. How can the labor movement use new technologies to solidify its Latino membership?