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PJC Introduces Moving Walls Photo Exhibit on Day Laborers

On February 4, 2005, Diana Morris, Director of the Open Society Institute – Baltimore, and PJC Executive Director John Nethercut introduced the photographic exhibit Moving Walls at the Park School.  Moving Walls is an exhibit of photographs of day laborers in Chicago, mostly undocumented Latinos from Mexico and Central America. The Moving Walls exhibit is sponsored by the Open Society Institute – Baltimore. Photographs on display also included Baltimore day laborers, which were taken by day laborers with the support of CASA of Maryland.  A panel discussion after the presentation included John Nethercut, Laura Vareda (staff attorney with CASA), a CASA organizer, and the two workers who took the CASA photographs.
The panel discussion afterwards presented the legal issues facing day laborers, including wage theft (nonpayment of wages by employers), failure to pay minimum wage, illegal deductions, and a very high rate of worker injuries (which is compounded by the fact that day laborers have no medical benefits and are often not covered by Workers Compensation). The panel thus represented a full spectrum of strategies being employed to combat the injustices of day labor, including the policy and legislative work done by the PJC, the street level representation of workers by CASA, and the organizing of workers.  Not to mention using photography as a moving means of communicating the situation to a larger public!

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