Thanks to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, a group that is often ignored might soon receive some support.
The board approved a motion at Tuesday’s meeting to look into potentially cracking down on employers who don’t fairly compensate day laborers.
This is a good first step. The board should look for enforceable ways to punish employers who exploit the work of day laborers.
Wage theft is not criminalized under federal and state employment statutes. This can create a loophole for employers.
Carrboro’s day laborers, the majority of whom are Hispanic, gather outside most mornings in hopes of getting work.
In Carrboro, they often gather across from the Abbey Court Condominiums.
Some of those day laborers have said that they have worked as much as a month without pay and yet are fearful of filing a complaint with the Department of Labor.
Day laborers often stand in the excessive heat or extreme cold. They often seem to be impervious to the conditions they work in every day. They rise early in the morning and in many cases work late into the night.
It is both sad and unjust that these workers have gone unpaid for the work that they have done and the service that they have given to the community.
A loud round of applause should be doled out to the town of Carrboro and Chapel Hill for being two of the five cities in the United States to create a human rights policy.
These human rights should extend to the day laborers.
And while there may be a few who disagree with the decision of the board, they would surely agree that a person who works deserves to be paid.
(This is my first editorial for the Daily Tar Heel)