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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ILAB News Release: [03/22/2011]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-8666 or x4661
Release Number: 11-0402-NAT

US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis joins President Obama in El Salvador to highlight labor solidarity in protecting migrant workers’ rights

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and El Salvador Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugo Martinez today signed a new agreement that will make it easier to protect the rights of citizens of El Salvador who work in the United States. Secretary Solis is in El Salvador to strengthen partnerships with the government, having joined President Obama for part of his Latin America trip.

Through education and training, the joint declaration will help make migrant workers aware of their rights to safe workplaces and to receive full payment of wages owed to them under the laws of the United States. Both migrant and American workers suffer when employers evade their legal responsibilities to migrant workers.

"Salvadorans are an important part of both the American and the world economy. Their rights should be respected and protected, and I am pleased that the U.S. and Salvadoran governments are working together to help make that happen," said Secretary Solis.

The program has already been implemented in the U.S. for the benefit of other migrant workers. Under this agreement, regional offices of the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and its Wage and Hour Division will cooperate with the Salvadoran Embassy and Salvadoran consulates in the U.S to reach out directly to migrant workers. The Labor Department will distribute information about health, safety and wage laws, and will provide training for workers.

The program also will help the department identify problems experienced by Salvadoran migrant workers and better target labor law enforcement efforts. For example, OSHA will provide a toll-free telephone number staffed by multilingual operators who are ready, day and night, to receive workers' calls.

For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/ilab/toolkit.