Day Laborer Center a historic victory!
On Wednesday, March 5th, 2008, Portlands City Council unanimously approved funding for VOZs new day labor center. This is a historic victory for VOZ and the day laborers, which will allow Portland to join with other cities around the country that have benefitted from day labor centers. As Mayor Potter voted in favor, he added, “As several of the commissioners have pointed out, this is about basic human dignity.”
The chamber in City Hall was filled with supporters wearing stickers that said “I support the day labor site!”, and over 20 people testified in support of VOZ, the day laborers, and the center. The City Council did not simply take a vote in favor of the center; they spoke out in strong support of the day laborers right to look for work, and their contributions to the Portland community and economy. After the meeting, day laborers and supporters gathered in the hall, chanting ¡Si se puede!
Day Laborers are a long established community who for over twenty years has successfully met business and labor needs in metropolitan Portland. A Day Laborer Center will cultivate the integration of day laborers, with full responsibilities, into the community where they live, seek employment and work.
A highly visible and accessible Day Laborer Center will help to streamline the process of connecting day laborers and employers. The Center will ensure that workers are able to put in an honest day’s work and receive an honest day’s pay, help maintain a minimum wage, safe working conditions, and discourage wage gouging.
VOZ is looking forward to opening the day labor center in Northeast Portland in early May!