Workers Share Their Experiences in the Low-Wage Labor Market

May 24 2011


Joseph Rendeiro
(202) 776-1566

NCLR publishes collection of Latino workers’ stories and announces alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) is pleased to announce the release of We Needed the Work: Latino Worker Voices in the New Economy, a collection of personal stories about the experiences of Latino, immigrant, and other workers in the low-wage labor market in the U.S. These firsthand accounts offer a glimpse into the conditions that millions of low-wage workers face every day, including exposure to hazardous equipment, wage theft, and long hours with no breaks. In conjunction with the report’s release today, NCLR is hosting representatives from the AFL-CIO, the National Employment Law Project, the National Partnership for Women & Families, and the Center for Law and Social Policy at NCLR’s Washington headquarters for a panel discussion on policies that would eliminate the pervasive problems found in the low-wage labor market.

“The powerful words of these hardworking Latinos demonstrate the need for urgent reform in the low-wage labor market” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at NCLR. “The stories of these few individuals illustrate conditions that are rampant in the low-wage labor market and affect millions of workers across the country. Our nation must restore basic dignity and respect for the millions of American workers who are the foundation of our economy.”

NCLR will also announce a new partnership with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the branch of the U.S. Department of Labor that sets and enforces standards for safe and healthful working conditions. According to OSHA, Latinos have the highest rate of fatal workplace injuries. The alliance with OSHA will enable NCLR and its Affiliates to raise awareness about OSHA’s rulemaking and enforcement initiatives, and to offer outreach and training opportunities in Latino communities.

“Through our alliance with OSHA, we hope to support NCLR’s community-based Affiliates in their efforts to advocate for and empower victims of work-related injuries or illnesses,” said Rodriguez.


Geography:California, Far West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Texas