Day laborer hiring sites: constructive approaches to community conflict.

Toma, Robin, and Jill Louise Esbenshade.

Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, 2001.

Link to the abstract


Problems with day-laborer hiring sites have involved irritated business owners, angry homeowners, and frustrated police officials. In sharing the lessons learned by a wide array of involved individuals, this manual aims to reduce and/or eliminate much of the human relations conflicts associated with day-laborer hiring sites. The manual is divided into five chapters. The first chapter presents basic information about the people and issues related to “day laborers,” which is a term used to refer to people, usually men, who gather on sidewalks, parking lots, near building supply stores, or wherever they can be visible to potential employers. They want to make themselves visible and accessible for those who wish to hire individuals for short-term jobs of any type. The second chapter presents a step-by-step, issue-by-issue strategy for addressing day-laborer conflicts that may arise. Topics covered include the building of alliances, conflict resolution, site acquisition, organizing challenges, the attraction of day laborers to the project, raising employment levels, job distribution, sustainability, and ordinances and laws. The third chapter presents five case studies of creative solutions achieved in localities in California, Texas, Washington State, and Maryland. The fourth chapter considers what can happen when negotiations, community collaboration, policymaking, and long-term planning are unsuccessful in producing solutions. The fifth chapter presents samples of useful materials developed by various day-laborer projects, a survey of day-laborer projects and ordinances in the United States, and how to contact experienced city officials and organizers to receive assistance. Appended resources and project contact list and a subject index

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