I was responding to yoink saying I'm really not "outraged" by this, by the way, when it seemed to me that there was outrage. And I'm still puzzled by the point yoink is trying to make. I wasn't attempting to "police" yoink's tone - I was attempting to figure out/ask what s/he's objecting to.
yoink seems angry (or puzzled) that there's lots of discussion about how much to tip waiters, but little discussion on how much to tip hairdressers, cabbies, etc. But yoink also points out that many mefites have been waiters (others have chimed in to support this).
Many people here are familiar with waiting tables. Many people here are apparently unfamiliar with cutting hair or bussing tables or driving cabs, so that doesn't come up.
Advocates for day laborers say these workers are among the poorest, the most vulnerable and the most stigmatized.
Anti-illegal immigration activists routinely protest at the day labor sites, saying most of the men are illegal immigrants and should be deported.
In Escondido, Ramirez, who shares a two-bedroom apartment in the city with five other people to save money, said he used to get work two or three times a week.
Now, he counts himself lucky to be hired once a week. That means he has little money to spare after buying food, and none to send to his wife and 2-year-old daughter in Mexico.
Now, they say, they're lucky to get the state minimum wage of $8 an hour.
Because there is so little work, Ramirez said some day laborers are willing to accept less than the legal minimum.
"You can't be picky here," he said. "You do whatever work you can get and the employers decide how much they are going to pay."
Day laborers are exposed to numerous hazards at work, resulting in high injury rates. Multiple approaches including community based organizations which may provide some employment stability and social support for protection at work are needed to reduce occupational injury and illness risk among these vulnerable populations.
Nearly half of 2,660 day laborers participating in the survey by three universities had been underpaid – or not paid at all – in the two months before being interviewed. Forty-four percent said they were denied food, water and breaks, and 18% said they were subjected to violence by their employer.
In addition, one-fifth of the workers interviewed said they had been injured on the job in the previous year, with the majority not receiving medical care.
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