Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Day laborers fight back--and win

I've read millions of stories about employers taking advantage of Latino immigrants. And the immigrants don't want to report the employers because they're afraid of going to jail or getting deported. A real shame. Bad employers really need to get a swift kick. And one did on Monday.

A group of day laborers in Maryland decided they were tired of not receiving their wages from subcontractor Francisco Sandoval. He shorted twelve workers $39,390 for six weeks of work. (Thirteen other workers who had not been paid didn't want to join the group.) On Monday, Sandoval pleaded guilty in Prince George's County Circuit Court to seven misdemeanor counts of failure to pay wages. An attorney with Casa of Maryland, a nonprofit immigrants' rights group based in Silver Spring, said this is the first time a state prosecutor in Maryland has charged an employer with a felony for not paying day laborers.

Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said: "This is really a historic day in Prince George's. If you hire people, you have to pay them. You can't rip them off. We'll prosecute you."

Immigrants on Bowie Job Win Back Pay
Group Helps Day Laborers Bring Felony Theft Case Against Subcontractor
By Ruben Castaneda, Washington Post Staff WriterTuesday, April 19, 2005; Page B01

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