Latinos comprise almost 40% of the US labor force, which is double our percent of the population. Many are having a well-deserved day off today, fortunately. Millions of Latinos are among the 30 million Americans who are currently out of work, due to the economic collapse caused by the gross mismanagement of the deadly COVID-19 virus that is totally out of control. Forty million previously employed Americans, including a disproportionate number of Latinos, are at risk of losing their homes because they’re having to choose between food for the family or paying their rent or mortgage.
Among workers who are having to work today are farmworkers, especially those in California. Latinos comprise 85% of all farmworkers, and tens of thousands do not have access to adequate healthcare or PPE. Not only are farmworkers in California having to risk virus infection, they’re having to endure unbearably hot temperatures and smoke from the worse fires in history, that are sweeping across the state.
Also having to work today are Latino frontline workers, particularly those trying to save Americans suffering from COVID-19 infection. Tens of thousands of Latino healthcare workers have been infected themselves on the frontlines, and thousands have died from the virus. Yet those who can, are working this Labor Day.
USHLI proudly salutes all Latino workers today, whether they’re off today, or unemployed, or having to work today to feed Americans, or fighting to save their lives.
Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr.
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Inc.