`Work without Justice'

By Jones, Arthur | National Catholic Reporter, September 1, 2000 | Go to article overview

`Work without Justice'


Jones, Arthur, National Catholic Reporter


Report details tough conditions for `serfs of the service economy'

For most Americans, Labor Day is little more than a punctuation mark at the tail end of the summer. For "the serfs of the service economy," however, those who support most American's affluent lifestyle by contributing their low-cost labor to low-cost foods, hotel bills and less-than-minimum-wage restaurant jobs, Labor Day represents an ideal, a star they can see but not touch.

In its recent study, "Work Without Justice: Low Wage Immigrant Laborers," the Catholic Legal Immigrant Network, which goes by the acronym CLINIC, describes once again reality for those in the white coats busing the holiday tables, in the grease-stained coats serving up food 12 hours a day seven days a week, in the green overalls keeping the resort gardens manicured, in the crisp uniforms working the toilet bowl brush in the vacated hotel room and in the sweat-stained shirts and blouses plucking the greens for the all-you-can-eat salad bar. And those in the hardhats building the next resort a mile further along the beach.

The foreign-born, states CLINIC, constitute 10 percent of the U.S. population. They make up 34 percent of those working in private households; 21.4 percent in personal services (hair styling, etc.); 18.5 percent in eating and drinking places; 12.8 percent in construction.

Eighty-one percent of farm workers are foreign-born.

"They endure," states the report, "sub-minimum wages and non-payment of wages, or receive pay checks and do not earn enough to escape poverty. From 1968 to 1994 the incomes of the bottom fifth of wage earners increased only 8 percent, a decrease in real dollars. By contrast, the incomes of the top fifth increased by 44 percent." At the same time, these sacrificing, impoverished laborers manage to send home $30 billion annually to families poorer than themselves.

"Work Without Justice" reports that despite recent successes at organizing immigrant laborers, membership in unions has declined from 39 percent of workers in 1954 to 13.9 percent today, "with lower rates in service industries."

In the absence of unionization, low-wage laborers depend heavily on federal and state enforcement of workplace safety and anti-discrimination regulations, but the Department of Labor has only 942 "wage and hour" investigators for the entire country.

When workers try to organize, other laws -- those of the Immigration and Naturalization Service -- can be suddenly used against them.

CLINIC reports on a 1999 roundup at the Holiday Inn Express in St. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

`Work without Justice'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.