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Nullo's avatar

Whatever happened to the day laborer?

Asked by Nullo (21939points) February 18th, 2010

Back in the day, a company’s unskilled labor pool could be supplemented by finding people not otherwise employed and have them work for the day, at the end of which they’d get paid. But you never hear about that anymore.
What happened?

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24 Answers

rangerr's avatar

Clearly you don’t hang around 7–11 enough.
Or is that just Northern VA?

davidbetterman's avatar

They pick them up at the liquor store and drop them off there at the day’s end. We haven’t quite figured out how to outsorce this job to China…

Grisaille's avatar

They are around.

Take a drive in the hood at 7–9 in the morning. Typically Hispanic Americans, all waiting at the corner. That’s how they get work.

tinyfaery's avatar

They are in front of Home Depot where I live.

gemiwing's avatar

They are still here. Manpower is one such company.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

They still exist,but most have been replaced by machines that could the job of many.

wundayatta's avatar

Natives don’t do that anymore. Immigrants do.

And there’s lots of construction and farming work that can not be done with machines.

gailcalled's avatar

I am the regular day-laborer here. (Ask Milo. I just took him to the vet’s for an enema. Talk about unconditional love. I will spare you the details of the 40 minute ride home.)

Lots more labor after we got back.

Cruiser's avatar

They have them here quite a few not far from our plant. My plant manager can drive over any day of the week and pick from a couple dozen or more men/women wanting to work for the day.

marinelife's avatar

There are lots of companies that do this. Labor Ready is one of them.

Val123's avatar

They’re in bed asleep.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

If you ask a landscaper or anyone running a lawn mowing business, they can tell you where they can be found.

DominicX's avatar

Happens all the time in Redwood City (I know you’re from there and I go to Redwood City a lot). At the corner of Fifth and El Camino there are always a lot of day laborers (yes, they are Hispanic) who loiter in that area. Right by the Jack in the Box and Chavez Market. I’m sure this kind of thing is not uncommon in California; we do have a high immigrant population and I’d wager that the majority of them are immigrants.

augustlan's avatar

They are certainly still around, both in formal (Man Power, Labor Ready) and informal (locally known corner or store) ways.

CMaz's avatar

I do not know how you get away with using day labor off the streets.
It seems like a law suit waiting to happen.

Like people with signs saying, “I will work for food.”
Bring them to your place and the next thing they are suing you for some back pain that they got while on your property.

tinyfaery's avatar

Immigrants are very unlikely to invloved with the court.

lillycoyote's avatar

@rangerr, or Home Depot.

Berserker's avatar

There was one in Winnipeg if I recall, called “Labor Ready”. Denno if it’s still in function or not, but I reckon that job placement is killing that market, if it’s not an evolution of said market to begin with.

Nullo's avatar

@ChazMaz
Well, if there’s no record of them having ever worked for you…

YARNLADY's avatar

There are several Day Labor sites in the large cities in California, plus loiterers around home improvement sites. In San Diego, several vigilantes ganged up on dozens of such sites and conducted ‘citizen arrests’ of the people they could catch. It was a terrible disaster, since the workers are badly needed, and many of those ‘arrested’ were badly beaten, even if they were legal citizens.

Haleth's avatar

Once I lived in a really shady group house for $500 per month. The house was really centered around drugs and music. One couple that lived there supported themselves by being day laborers- he did more heavy lifting and she cleaned things around the work site. Apparently the way it works is that they wake up early in the morning and go to an agency where they get their assignments, which might last a few days or a few weeks. Then they went back to the agency at the end of the day to get paid (they took a cut of the money out of the paychecks). There have been so many stories in the news lately about companies getting busted for paying workers under the table, so maybe we’re just moving away from that.

evandad's avatar

He’s buried in the back yard.

thriftymaid's avatar

There is a place in the city where day laborers gather around 6:30AM. People pick them up for jobs by the day. My guess is that many may be undocumented, but I always hope they get a fair wage for their work.

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