The US Labor Department has been encouraging and helping out migrant workers from Mexico to file complain against their employers, who did not give them their full wage or extra pay for the overtime they did, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 50 US and Mexican consulate all across the nation worked with support from the US Labor Department to make the migrant workers, especially in the essential industries aware about their rights.
The entire campaign was run by the labor officials of both the nations, who celebrated the last week of August from 27 to 31 as labor week. Labor week was observed by the nations in order to honour contributions of all workers, regardless of language barriers or immigration status. The key goal of the program was to provide workers with a fair and safe work environment.
“You and your rights are essential. All workers have rights, regardless of immigration status,” said Mexican Ambassador to the US Martha Barcena, as she kicked off Labor Rights Week, a yearly campaign to keep Mexican migrants informed about their workplace rights in their neighbouring host nation.
However this year’s celebration was different than the usual as the program was conducted virtually and covered a wider section of migrants, was no longer limited to those who had US work permits or were employed by an American company.
The main topic each year is that regardless of immigration condition, every worker has rights. But this year specifically we wanted to focus on essential workers and their rights amid this global pandemic.Carlos Gonzales
The entire team behind the program, on Thursday, asked people that they could call at 502-623-7874, in case of any query regarding labor rights issues which they might be facing. Once a victim called, her/his was re-directed to an expert so they could seek advice pertaining to their case. The workers were also suggested to visit any of the consulate’s social media pages to learn more about the week’s workshops. The workshop sessions were hosted by both embassies, their consulates, and the US Labor Department. El Paso, began the initiative for workers’ rights with the signing of a document, which could be considered as an extension to a memorandum of understanding between the Mexican consulate and the Occupational and Safety Hazard Administration (OSHA). The aim of the initiative was to disseminate information to migrant workers regarding labor rights and how they could stay safe. The program also encouraged them about reporting accidents or hazardous workplace conditions to the department or authorities.