By Ileana Najarro at Houston Chronicle⎪Dec. 23, 2018
The three women crossed the Home Depot parking lot, headed for the men clustered around the trees lining the lot’s driveway. They stopped before two men leaning against a car.
Elvia Escobar stepped forward. She pulled out a square booklet from her tote bag. She cleared her throat.
“Good morning, comrades,” she said. “We’re volunteers with the Fe y Justicia Worker Center.”
She then launched into the script she would repeat multiple times across three hours that Wednesday as she, Silvia Rangel, and Kendra Baldazo reached as many day laborers as possible, asking them if they knew their worker rights.
The Fe y Justicia Worker Center has run its esquinas, or corners, program for well over a decade. About a dozen volunteers are dispatched each week to 36 known sites across Houston where day laborers gather to get picked up for construction and other hard labor jobs. Within two weeks, volunteers can easily reach 200 workers.
The volunteers educate the workers on their rights and on resources available to them should they become victims of wage theft, suffer a workplace injury or other related concerns. They even provide food, water and safety supplies when available.
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