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Latinas Catch White Men on 2018 Pay Wednesday

Farmworkers and domestic employees are most vulnerable, advocate says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2019 6:45 PM CST
Farmworkers pick melons in Huron, California, where nearly all residents are Latino. Picking or packing crops pays about $11 to 12.50 an hour, but jobs are seasonal and many go months without work. A...   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(Newser) – Government figures show that on average, Latinas in the US are paid 54 cents for every dollar that a white, non-Hispanic male makes. That means it takes Latinas one year, 10 months and 20 days to match the yearly income of those male workers. A coalition of nongovernmental organizations is marking the Latina Women’s Equal Pay Day on Wednesday, highlighting the day on the calendar when the average pay of Latinas, working both 2018 and 2019, matches the 2018 income of white men. Latino males are paid 65 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, according to federal statistics. The wage gap is greatest for foreign-born Latinas, who are paid just 38 cents to the dollar.

Mónica Ramírez, founder and president of Justice for Migrant Women, said the 12 million Latinas who work full time in the US include about 2 million domestic workers and 1 million farmworkers, two of the most vulnerable groups. Paola Hernández, a member of UFW Foundation who has been a farmworker in Washington state for 30 years, said her male counterparts usually are paid more. "They are seen as stronger and more able to operate heavy machinery. A woman is never allowed to operate a tractor," said the 54-year old Mexican immigrant who aspires to a job as a cashier next year. Experts and activists say the wage gap can be narrowed by strengthening unions, raising the minimum wage and passing equal pay laws.

(Read more Latinos stories.)

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