How to Do Outreach to Latino Laborers

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Overview

Latinos comprise 15 percent of the U.S. workforce and are overly represented in the industry and manufacturing sectors, making them an indispensable source of labor.1
Latinos represent over 20 percent in the following industries:

  • Farming, fishing, and forestry
  • Building and grounds maintenance
  • Construction
  • Food prep / Restaurants
  • Production
  • Transport

Due to issues with employers, legal status, language, education, and working conditions, Latinos face higher rates of wage violations and are forced to work in hazardous environments, many times without access to worker’s compensation or health benefits.2

Outreach

Reaching out to Latino laborers will require a bit more effort if you are attempting to reach employees at actual places of employment. Yet, if the goal is to attract specific sectors of the labor force there are key steps to interacting and informing both employer and employee.

  • Do not show up unannounced: Make an initial cold call to set up an appointment or to get clearance from management as to when best to show up.
  • Get approval to drop off materials.
  • Be certain to explain to the employer what your purpose in leaving behind information will be.
  • Reassure the employer that your role is only educational and for the sake of providing information about affordable health insurance options for employees and their families — and for the employer too, if he/she is interested as a business.
  • Have specific next steps and information for both employer and employees.
  • Be certain to follow-up in hopes of solidifying a working relationship and to capture/answer any new or lingering questions from the employer or the employees.

Where Laborers Are:

  • Agricultural sites (farms, dairy farms, nurseries, fisheries, transport & canneries): Depending on the concentration of agricultural work in your community the levels of outreach to this community will vary. Yet, in areas of high concentrations of agricultural work, the various sectors should be identified and reached out to- from the fields, the factories, and shipping hubs. In agricultural work, you will have to gain access to employees very early in the morning, during lunch, or after work.
  • Construction sites: Construction sites will be key to finding contracted workers who will more than likely lack health insurance. As in agricultural work, you will want to reach out to employees very early in the morning-possibly introduce yourself and come back after work or lunch to fully engage their attention.
  • Restaurants: Because most restaurant employees are hourly shift workers (cooks, wait staff, bussers and hosts) many will lack health insurance. Speak with management to figure out shift changes and best times to approach the staff. Most likely it will be off-peak hours when employees break, either between 10-11 am or 3-4 pm.
  • Bars/Clubs/Concerts: At these venues, the target consumer will be bartenders, security guards, and support staff. Again, the best opportunity to maximize contact will be by arranging a visit with management ahead of time. Again, the times will likely be off-peak hours.

Endnotes

1United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor Force Characteristics by Race and
Ethnicity, 2011. http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2011.pdf

2LACLAA, 2011. Latino workers in the United States.

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