2009: Day Laborers and Wage Theft

At JUFJ's 2009 Labor Seder, more than 200 JUFJ members, community allies, labor leaders and day laborers drew a direct connection between the story of Passover and the struggles of day laborers in D.C.  We heard as day laborers told us of lost wages, ineffective enforcement and humiliation, and the fears they have for the future.   

Noe Perez was one of the day laborers who spoke. A former employer owes him more than $2,000, but nothing has happened to his claim since he filed it two years ago. "I realize that injustice is everywhere, but I'm still inspired to move forward," he said through an interpreter. "When I see all of your faces, I'm glad to know that I have your support, and that we are all brothers and sisters." 

After hearing about the struggles of the day laborers, we collected 127 letters to DC's Office of Wage and Hour, urging them to meet day laborers' demands to address the problem of wage theft in DC.

Missed the Labor Seder?  You can still join us in the struggle for social and economic justice in DC, this Passover and beyond.  Here are some ways to get involved:

  • Download JUFJ's Labor Seder supplement. It offers suggestions for incorporating readings and discussion about day laborers' rights into your own seder this Passover.