Posts by Erika_Gal

Join the Struggle for Working Families this May Day

Join the Struggle for Working Families this May Day

By on Apr 30, 2015 in News |

In March 2014, the Dallas Morning news reported on the success that has followed the Texas construction industry. As of 2014 it ranked fifth nationally, boosting Texas’ economy so much that it has become one of the best state economies in the country. The construction industry in Texas depends on over 900,000 workers, and many are cheated out of sharing the benefits of the economy. In 2013, the Workers’ Defense Project released a study in which they reported that more than one in five workers in construction has been denied pay. The study, titled “Build a Better Texas,” reports that fifty percent of construction workers have never been paid overtime even though they work as much as 80 hours a week. More than fifty percent of workers earn poverty level wages Not only is the industry booming as construction workers in Texas are paid poorly, the industry has also been one of the most dangerous in the country. More people die in Texas construction than in any other construction industries in almost any other state. Texas workers have reported that one in five have had injuries on the job that required medical attention. An outstanding fifty percent of workers have reported that they never received basic safety training and the WDP researches reported that at almost every construction site they visited, they discovered numerous safety violations. The Rio Grande Valley has seen significant growth in the last number of years, a lot of it tied to the construction industry. Any resident that has lived here for ten years or longer can tell you that the RGV has constant new businesses setting up shop, implying major construction projects.. It’s astonishing that the majority of cases reported to the Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center are claims where workers are denied payment in some form of another in an industry where millions are spent. When contractors are approached about the problem, the blame has always been handed to the contractor ahead or below them in the chain of command, all while RGV construction workers are left out in the cold needing to support themselves and their families. This May Day, we call upon Fuerza del Valle members and supporters to come out...

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We Are The Heart of The Home: Join Domesticas del Valle and celebrate domesticas

We Are The Heart of The Home: Join Domesticas del Valle and celebrate domesticas

By on Feb 9, 2015 in News |

On this month of friendship and love Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center (FVWC) celebrates, recognizes and appreciates the sacred work of domestic workers. Throughout the month we will be promoting with extra vigor, more than usual, our respect and love for Domestic Workers. Join our efforts, follow Fuerza del Valle on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and share our photos and information regarding domestic workers. Pass the word; share the Workers’ Center newsletter (attached). We celebrate the sacredness of the work of our compañeras, sacred because they take care of what is most important to us, our families, or daughters and sons, our parents, our homes. As Celia, FVWC member, states, “We are the Heart of the Home” The Domestic Workers’ Committee invites you to our celebration this Saturday, 14 of February; we will have a ceremony with testimonies, appreciation, and words of inspiration. We recognize the value of Domestic Workers and we commit ourselves to continue to struggle with our compañeras. We are asking each organization to limit themselves to 3 people, preferably domestic workers or ex domestic workers from your base, membership, or affiliates. You do not have to be a domestic worker to attend. Please RSVP by sending an email to fuerzadelvalle@gmail.com, domesticasdelvalle@gmail.com or call at (956)787-8171 or at (956)433-3523 or at...

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Texas Can do Better: A Day of Action

Texas Can do Better: A Day of Action

By on Feb 9, 2015 in News |

    Fuerza del Valle will be joining Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA) to urge lawmakers in the 84th legislature in Texas to keep the welfare of working families in mind. We must once again defend students’ right to in-state tuition, a vital feature to keep education in reach and accessible. We are also demanding accountability for enforcement agencies operating on the border and affecting the quality of life for members of border communities. Hundreds of advocates will convene on February 11 at the state capitol to remind lawmakers of the humanity of those who will be affected if these backwards, anti-immigrant laws are passed in a state in which 1.68 million people are undocumented. We remind everyone that those who help make our community the vibrant and productive societies that they are are immigrants, and deserve to be represented by Texas lawmakers. We hope that this marks one of many events in 2015 in which we stand with immigrants and we encourage you to join us. Contact Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center at fuerzadelvalle@gmail.com, on Facebook or at (956)283-5650  to find out how you can get involved in the struggle for a dignified...

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Picket Line Against Wage Theft at D Wilson Construction Company

Picket Line Against Wage Theft at D Wilson Construction Company

By on Sep 17, 2014 in News |

The Cement Workers’ Committee of Fuerza del Valle will be protesting at D. Wilson Construction Company on Thursday, September 25 at 3:00 p.m. Wage theft has plagued various construction sites under D Wilson Construction Company’s management. Dozens of workers have yet to be paid for the construction work completed at our schools in Pharr-SanJuan-Alamo, Sharyland, Los Fresnos, Harlingen and for constructing the Clark Knapp Honda car dealership in Pharr, Texas. We demand an end to the practice of wage theft and for the workers to be paid their wages. If you work, you should get a decent wage, no question asked. Stand with the Cement Workers’ Committee and the Workers’ Center on September 25th as we let D Wilson Construction Company and McAllen know that we will fight wage theft and demand human rights for working...

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This Labor Day, let us reflect on unpaid labor in the Rio Grande Valley

This Labor Day, let us reflect on unpaid labor in the Rio Grande Valley

By on Sep 1, 2014 in News |

As people enjoy time at the beach or barbequing for Labor Day, Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center urges society to reflect on the most vulnerable sectors of the modern day workforce, those who do not get paid for their work. We urge residents in the Rio Grande Valley to consider and partake in action to curb such labor abuse. Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center, a low wage worker organization dedicated to educating, advocating, and organizing with working families to transform exploitative relationships in the workforce, has been responding to the need of many unprotected workers when it comes to labor abuse. Fuerza del Valle provides the tools necessary for workers to fight back unpaid labor and other abuses through weekly “Know Your Rights Clinics” and vigorous outreach. These “clinics” consist of brief wage theft orientations, basic labor law and tools to solve wage claims. They are kept alive with Fuerza del Valle members, volunteers and ally organization such as La Union del Pueblo Entero, South Texas Civil Rights Project, Mano A Mano promotoras amongst others. Through these orientations the Workers’ Center has managed to capture a glimpse of poverty in the Rio Grande Valley reflecting the reality the economist Paul Osterman highlights when he states the RGV is home to the lowest-paid workers in the country. A quarter of workers in the Rio Grande Valley is not even paid the minimum wage (a poverty wage), taking only an average of $6.19 or less an hour home (a sub-poverty wage). The average wage for adults is $8.14 an hour. No wonder cities in the Valley routinely make annual lists for Nation’s Poorest year after year. While the Valley’s economy has continued to be praised and lauded for its ability to thrive as the rest of the country took a downturn in the economic recession, the reality is businesses may be faring well but working families are actually only scraping by. More needs to be done by legislators at all levels of government in order to fight poverty and transform our current state. The Workers’ Center has documented hundreds of incidents involving wage theft (over 150 this year so alone) and helped file suit in many situations involving subminimum wages. There...

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