Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
Day labor is an important and rapidly growing part of the United States economy although it is highly informal and unregulated. The nation's leading scholar of day labor, Abel Valenzuela Jr. (2003: 307) in a review of literature surrounding day labor claims: No formal definition of day labor exists, although the term is mostly used to convey a type of temporary employment that is distinguished by hazards in or undesirability of the work, the absence of fringe and other typical workplace benefits (i.e. breaks, safety equipment), and the daily search for employment. Day labor work employs large numbers of immigrants and other people from society's margins. Jornaleros, as day laborers are known in Spanish, can be found gathered in urban settings at for-profit temp agencies, non-profit workers' centers, or simply on street corners soliciting work for the day. As visible as these workers may be on your local street corner or in front of the nearest home improvement retail location, they are often over-looked by the average U.S. citizen. Due to a number of factors, day laborers are often taken advantage of by those who employ them. Valenzuela (2003) comments on the factors that make them one of the most exploited classes of workers in our society: "Most day laborers are male, foreign born, recently arrived and unauthorized, and have low levels of education and a poor command of English. As a result, the participants in this industry are highly vulnerable and exploited" (p. 307).
Date of Award
© Jason Boccaccio
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Boccaccio, Jason, "Day Laborers Speak On Organization" (2007). Regis University Student Publications (comprehensive collection). 487.