Federal court upholds city’s racist ban against day laborers

A Redondo Beach, Calif., ban against day laborers soliciting work has been upheld in the federal courts as a permissible restriction on speech. The ban both prevents a person from standing on a street to solicit employment from passers-by, and prevents passers-by from hiring a day laborer.

At issue is the attack on the right of day laborers to work. City officials justified the ban for “traffic flow and safety” purposes. Yet, tens of thousands of day laborers work in the region. Banning day labor is just another way of attacking workers and driving their wages down.

The law suit, Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. Redondo Beach, arose from a racist police crackdown against day laborers in Redondo Beach in 2004. The police disguised themselves as possible employers and arrested anyone who asked for work.

The attacks against day laborers are also racist, as the workforce is predominantly Latino immigrant. Attacks against day laborers are attacks on all—workers must fight back and demand fair labor conditions for all.


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