Working on Faith: failures to protect workers in the Katrina cleanup.

In the summer of 2006, I reported on three studies on Katrina cleanup workers. In the last few months, a fourth one was been published.
In early summer of this year, Chicago-based Interfaith Work Justice published a report called Working on Faith. It addressed worker rights and protections among Katrina cleanup workers. Many of these workers were migrant workers.
Interfaith Work Justice interviewed 218 Katrina cleanup workers in mid 2006. It found that 47% did not receive all the wages they were promised, 55% were not paid overtimes after 40 hours a week, 58% said they were exposed the hazardous substances, and virtually all workers were unaware of the U.S. Department of Labor as a source of information about work rights and protections. IWJ called up the federal government to expand DOL’s resources to protect these workers.
IWJ maintains a network of 16 worker centers located in 13 states.

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