News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day-labor controversy simmers on back burner

Complaints are fading about workers who congregate at a downtown parking lot looking for temporary jobs

By Matthew Rodriguez and Kristina Davis
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
February 17, 2008

On a recent Saturday morning, several men gathered in the parking lot of a busy Vons shopping center in downtown Vista, eager for a day's work.

When a potential employer pulled up beside them, the hiring process only took seconds as two day laborers hopped into the back seat and the car sped away.

Before taking the jobs, neither worker asked whether the employer was registered with the city or had a written job description, something city law mandates. Only a handful of workers on that recent Saturday said they were aware of such requirements.

“They don't want to pay us a lot of money,” day laborer Blas Bazan said, referring to why some employers might not hand out what are called term sheets that describe the job, rate of pay, transportation and the employer's contact information.

More than 18 months and two lawsuits have transpired since a controversial day-labor hiring law was enacted in Vista, and questions remain about the intentions of the ordinance and whether the goals of the ordinance have been achieved.

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