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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OSHA News Release: [12/10/2009]
Contact Name: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone Number: (617) 565-2074
Release Number: 09-1519-NEW

US Labor Department forms alliance with Mexican Consulate in New York and Diocese of Brooklyn

Effort will promote labor rights of Mexican and other Hispanic workers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Wage and Hour Division today signed an alliance with the Consulate General of Mexico in New York as part of an effort to promote the labor and human rights of Mexican and other Hispanic workers. The New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) and the Catholic Migration Office (CMO) of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn are also part of the alliance.

Alliance participants will work collaboratively to support a call center that will provide Mexican and other Hispanic workers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut education, guidance and assistance about their rights in the workplace.

"It's very simple. The law says every worker has both the right to proper compensation for hours worked and to a safe workplace," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The purpose of this alliance is to provide Mexican and other Latino workers in the tri-state area with the information and resources that will help them recognize and challenge unsafe and improper working conditions, and to raise awareness of their rights as working people. After all, knowledge is a worker's most valuable tool."

Under the alliance, a LABORAL call center will be operated by the CMO. Callers to a toll-free number, 877-52-LABOR (525-2267), will receive information, guidance and assistance in English and Spanish regarding labor issues, including minimum wages, proper overtime compensation, youth employment rules, migrant and seasonal work protections, and the labor rights and responsibilities of workers and employers. When appropriate, the center will direct calls and claims to the U.S. Department of Labor. All information provided by individuals will remain confidential.

The alliance was signed at the Mexican consulate by OSHA Regional Administrators Robert Kulick (New York) and Marthe Kent (New England); Wage and Hour Division Northeast Regional Administrator Corlis L. Sellers; Ambassador Ruben Beltran, Consul General of Mexico; CMO Executive Director Edward Dominguez; and NYS DOL Deputy Commissioner for Wage Protection and Immigrant Affairs Terri Gerstein.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing some of our nation's most comprehensive federal labor laws, including the minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, youth employment and special employment, family and medical leave, migrant workers, lie detector tests, worker protections in certain temporary worker programs, and the prevailing wages for government service and construction contracts. For more information about the laws the division enforces, visit http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.