Christina Ramirez Testimony for SB.21.087 (March 2021)


Main Participant

Christina Ramirez, Agricultural Worker

Legislative Action

SB.21.087 ("Agricultural Workers' Rights")

Original Language

Español

Transcription

N/A

Translation Language (if available)

English

Translation

Show Translation?
[Christina Ramirez] [original in Spanish/original en espanol]

[English translator]
Good morning, my name is Christina Ramirez. Thank you for letting me speak on behalf of SB.21.087. I work for Project Protect Food Systems Workers. Uh, dear Senator Rodriguez and Business, Technology, Labor Committee, I live in Denver, District 33 with Senator Angela Williams, and today, I want to focus on the pay received by most of the agricultural workers with whom I have had contact. I will give an example: Let’s talk about Worker #1, a middle-aged man. He says that he earns [$]13.50 an hour, which is considered “good pay” for a farmworker. He receives a biweekly check of $1,400 after all deductions for taxes, medical, etc. He works six days a week from 11 to 12 hours a day. It is a total of 144 hours biweekly, and in analyzing his paystub, we realize that it does not include the hours he works; he does not receive overtime pay. At the end of the pay period, he receives [$]9.72 per each hour worked during this period. He is the head of the family, the only provider in his household because his wife lost her job due to the pandemic and they have two children. Of the $2,800 per month that he earns, he has to pay $1,200 for rent in a small two-bedroom apartment, $330 for utilities, $200 for gas, $500 or more for food with a very basic pantry, $120 for the phone bill, $50 for the internet, $120 for car insurance and other medical expenses. A total of $2,520 of the [$]2,800 he earns. He recently got sick from an infection because he drank water directly from the workplace tap, and the last payment he gave to the hospital was $380. This is only an estimate of the monthly expenses that this family has, many emergency expenses were not included. The most frustrating thing for him is realizing that no matter how hard he works he doesn’t make enough–that his work hours are so long and so heavy that his body can’t take anymore work. If he received a fair salary where he was paid the 64 hours of overtime for the work he does, after the 80 hours of regular time, he would receive a gross pay of $2,376 biweekly. With two weeks of his hard work, he could support his household expenses and lead a decent life for himself and his family. If it is difficult for him to survive without that wage and he is one of the workers who receives a few dollars more, just imagine the lives of most of the workers who receive $1,100 dollars biweekly or less. I ask that you take into consideration that these are workers who make it possible for us to have food on our tables–who with their hard work, have come to be considered essential workers since the Pandemic began, but sadly they are not recognized for their work with a decent salary. For these reasons, I ask you to support Senator Danielson and SB.21.087 that would remove the minimum wage and overtime exception for these essential workers and give them an opportunity to live a decent life. Thank you.

[Senator Rodriguez]
Thank you very much. Is there any questions? Uh, Senator Coleman.

[Senator Coleman]
Thank you, Mr. Chair and Ms. [unintelligible]. I also live in Senate District 33 with Senator Andrew Williams, and I want to say thank you for your testimony.

Archivist Notes

Christina testified on March 17, 2021 at for the Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee. Senator James Coleman (D) of Senate District 33 addressed Christina at the end of her testimony, thanking her for her contribution.

Title

Christina Ramirez Testimony for SB.21.087 (March 2021)

Subject

legislative comment, SB.21.087 ("Agricultural Workers' Rights")

Description

Christina Ramirez, a promtora from PPFSW, gives testimony in favor of SB.21.087. She gives an example of a worker's salary without the benefit of overtime pay and the expenses this family lives with.

Creator

Christina Ramirez

Date

March 17, 2021

Contributor

Mitchell Christensen

Format

Citation

Christina Ramirez, Christina Ramirez Testimony for SB.21.087 (March 2021) March 17, 2021 . Esencial Colorado, accessed July 22, 2024, https://esencialcolorado.org/items/show/84