BACK Pay Our Interns (NEW YORK) — On hot days, some over 100 degrees, workers spend hours harvesting fruits and vegetables for very little money — produce that ends up on kitchen tables of people across the country.
Tens of thousands of these workers have experienced heat-related injuries and hundreds more have died from heat, all while earning an average of $25,000 to $29,999 per year in one of the most hazardous jobs in the country, the Economic Policy Institute found.
The workers, a majority of whom are Latino and undocumented, are in a constant battle for fair and safe labor practices.
However, the labor rights movement transcends industries, though it may look quite different for others.
And in local and federal government agencies, interns have been at the center of a debate about unpaid labor.
It wasn’t until recently that some government offices have begun paying their interns, which has created a new pathway for people from lower-income households to support themselves while gaining entry-level experience in policy and politics.Pay Our Interns, created and spearheaded by two Latinos, fueled this change through their advocacy on Capitol Hill.Latinos have been a major force in the labor rights movement for decades, with icons such as […]
Michelle Rojas-Soto is Social Justice Director at the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and Managing Director at Encompass, a racial equity nonprofit. Her children attend LAUSD and Glendale USD schools.