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Latino Workers Fuel 'Texas Miracle' - Let's Pay Them Fairly: Cristina Tzintzún

October 11, 2014 (1 min read)

"Latino workers, documented and undocumented alike, are keeping our state’s economy afloat.  Texas has one of the largest and most important construction industries in the nation, and it is driven by Latino workers — they represent 81 percent of the 1 million-strong Texas construction workforce.  They build our state to meet the demands of the “Texas Economic Miracle,” but they don’t feel the benefits.  More than 52 percent of those working in the construction workforce in Texas earn poverty-level wages, and one in five has been a victim of wage theft.  They are working 50 to 60 hours a week but are not making enough to support themselves and take care of their families.  Undocumented workers fare far worse than their native-born counterparts.  While they have the right to the same legal protections on the job as all other workers, employers often take advantage of their undocumented status to intimidate them.  Undocumented workers are paid less, are more likely to be victims of wage theft and are at a greater risk of being injured or killed on the job.  These workers contribute significantly to the workforce and the economy.  They make up at least half of the Texas construction industry and pay billions in taxes — without them our state would not grow and prosper.  Our nation’s broken immigration system is creating a crisis within the Texas construction industry and the entire national economy." - Cristina Tzintzún, Executive Director, Workers Defense Project, Oct. 11, 2014.