Friday, October 03, 2003

So What's New: Hispanics still face more deaths, injuries on the job

And to add injury to injury, not only do Hispanics have more deaths and injuries, but they're far less likely to have health insurance coverage, which means they can't get treatment for diabetes and cardiovascular disease which often result from their hard work and long hours.
Many Hispanics work in construction, an industry with a history of higher injury and death rates than other jobs.

Ricardo Benitez, an organizer with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Union Local 551 in Houston, said he commonly sees contractors cutting corners with Hispanic immigrant workers, who by his estimate perform 80 percent of the construction work in Houston.

He also blamed some of the construction accidents on slipshod training methods and said many Hispanic workers are reluctant to complain.
To top it off, they often don't get paid for the work they do, but are afraid to complain to government authorities.

That's why Hispanic groups are so focused on the legalization process:
Much of the focus for Hispanics is on the legalization process -- getting work authorization, getting permanent residency status and then getting U.S. citizenship -- so they don't have to accept the living and working conditions they faced before receiving the official right to work and live here.