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Fri Dec 1, 2017, 08:32 AM

Undocumented workers in Houston face hazardous conditions and unpaid wages

According to a report published by the University of Illinois at Chicago, day laborers in Houston are being exploited amid recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The report highlights the economic exploitation of these workers and the hazardous working conditions they face.

The report surveyed 361 workers in the Houston area in October, approximately one month after the hurricane. The vast majority of them engaged in disaster relief in the area were from Mexico and Central America, 72 percent of them undocumented.

In Houston, undocumented workers are hired on an as-needed basis for manual labor in construction, landscaping, loading and moving. In most cases, undocumented workers are hired at some 20 informal hiring sites in the Houston area, located near building supply stores, gas stations and along major roads and intersections.

According to the report, 26 percent of undocumented workers reported wage theft—nonpayment of wages for work completed—in the period following Harvey. The unpaid wages among the 361 workers surveys exceeded $20,000, with an average of $212.48, a median of $85 and a maximum amount of $2,700. Furthermore, 44 percent of undocumented workers reported wage theft in previous months, and 57 percent in the past year.

Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/01/undo-d01.html

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