Day Labor Organizing Project

There are numerous labor halls in the city of Cincinnati that contract with local businesses to provide unskilled, manual labor. Due to the low wages and the usually arduous and undesirable nature of the work offered, these agencies rely on the employment of low-income and often homeless individuals. For a worker lacking a permanent address, identification, and/or marketable job skills, day labor is the only immediate option for fiscal survival. It is estimated that over 60% of homeless individuals in Cincinnati work, yet still remain without enough incometo obtain permanent housing.
The campaigns that DLOP initiates or supports are directed toward improving wages, benefits, and conditions for workers, and encouraging solidarity among day laborers and other low wage workers through education and organization. DLOP is a joint project of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless and CIWC.

Workers Rights

Outreach: worker and community education

Distribute materials and have conversations about work-place issues at events and where people gather, for example; local parades and festivals, farmers markets, NAACP convention, AFL/CIO Labor Day Picnic, rallies,press conferences, Mayor and City Council, churches, schools and universities.

DLOP Survey in Partnership with UC Dept. of Geography:

This survey was developed to answer the most pressing questions about the population in Cincinnati that find work through the temporary day labor halls. How many people seek these jobs, daily, weekly, monthly? Why do they seek these jobs? What are the problems with these jobs? The answers will be invaluable in proving the need for real change throughtout the day labor industry.

Grievance / Health & Safety Programs:

On June 26, 2007, 40 Day Labor Workers and their supporters from the Clergy, Labor and Community
Organizations gathered to remember a Day Labor killed at a Rumpke Tire Shredding Facility. A colleague who had worked with him at the Facility pointed out that neither she or any other temporary workers received safety training before or during their assignments at Rumpke. During this meeting workers found common elements of lack of training, safety equipment and oversight in many of these situations. To date, six current or former day labor workers have completed the International Chemical Workers/UFCW Workers Health and Safety Education Training.

In development are worker-led Grievance & Safety Committees, which will be forums for the discussion of
safety concerns as well as labor law, civil rights violations and unjust treatment by their employers, as well as starting points for collective action solutions.

Derechos de Trabajadores

Los Jornaleros de la ciudad se han unido en nuestras campañas que buscan el alivio del abuso extenso en el trabajo. Ellos sufren de sueldos bajos, tiempo, impagado los costos alto del transporte, los estándares pobres de la seguridad, las malas prácticas para emplear arbitrarios y despedir, y los bloqueos a permanente empleo.

Rumpke Shredder Accident

Resources

Downloadable Materials:

  • Into to Day Labor in Cincy – Mayor’s Packet – pdf
  • Recycling in Cincinnati: Who Does the Work – pdf

Online Resources:

  • Jobs Are Not Created Equal: Fighting for the rights you think you have
  • Job Quality and Black Workers

Campaigns

Rumpke Living Wage campaign in partnership with the Blue/Green Alliance:

The City of Cincinnati passed a Living Wage ordinance in 2003 which requires all businesses with City contracts over $20,000 to pay a living wage to any employees working on the contact. The workers who sort the City’s recycling through Rumpke Waste Mgmt. are covered by this ordinance and yet only receive minimum wage. This campaign resulted in public outcry and a motion by City Council to renegotiate the contact to include the Living Wage for these workers in 2009. Additionally, several improvements have been made to the worksite and firing and transportation practices

Development of a Non Profit Day Labor Hiring Hall:

In 2005, DLOP decided a top proiority was the formation of a non profit hiring hall with worker participation. The group has investigated many models and alliances. DLOP has successfully found partners to make our visions a reality.

  • Streetvibes, 8.08, pdf

Legislative Reform:

For more than four years DLOP has been working with the Mayor’s office and Cincinnati City Council to pass an ordinance that would regulate day labor halls in Cincinnati.