It seems simple: The act of gathering around the dinner table with our loved ones.
Not every worker, though, has the luxury of taking time out of their busy work day to partake in the pleasures of family life. Some are forced to work grueling schedules for little pay, with the hopes that one day their situation may change.
That was the experience for Jesus. A carpenter with 10 years of experience, Jesus has consistently worked under various construction companies for cash without benefits. In those 10 years he has fallen in love, married his wife and created a family with three kids.
Unfortunately, he has also missed out on his kids’ childhoods and is forced to work in unsafe conditions for little pay, up to 13 to 14 hours per day.
“You don’t have time to be with your kids, you don’t have time to talk with your wife,” Jesus said. “You lose out on a lot of experiences with your children. You just don’t have a life.”
Jesus works, eats, sleeps and repeats. He gets home after his children are asleep and leaves long before they are awake. He’s missed Christmases and Fourth of Julys, all because he was at work and trying to earn a living for his family.
For all the time he spends at work, he has little money to show for it. In fact, he and his wife recently moved in with her parents because they were unable to keep up with their bills.
“I don’t have benefits, I don’t have anything,” Jesus added. “If you work you get paid and if you don’t work you don’t get paid at all. That’s the reality of working for cash.”
Jesus wants basic rights, rights he is entitled to under the law. He wants to watch his children grow up. He wants to be there for birthdays and family dinners. He wants benefits, fair pay, job security, safe working conditions and to be treated fairly by his employers.
Help put an end to experiences like Jesus’. Sign our pledge to stop defrauding carpenters of their worker’s rights and dignity.