By Kate Groetzinger and Frida Garza, Quartz
June 30, 2016
Omar Trinidad immigrated to the US from Mexico nine years ago and started working as a jornalero, as day laborers are known in Spanish, in New York City. Six years ago, he worked at a job site for a week, with the promise that he would be paid when the work was complete. But when Friday came, his employer disappeared.
“I felt bad because I didn’t know what to do,” he says. “I said, ‘Okay, how do I report this?’”
Wage theft happens to at least one out of five day laborers each month, according to Maria Figueroa, a professor at the Cornell University-School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Cal Soto, a coordinator at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), says each of the 45 workers’ centers affiliated with the group across the US reports at least 10 instances of wage theft each week.
Today, Trinidad is helping create a tool that he hopes will reduce those numbers. He is working with Cornell, NDLON, and a New York City-based artist named Sol Aramendi to develop a mobile phone app called Jornalero.[...]
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