Day workers center set to open in east Charlotte

Day workers center set to open in east Charlotte
Micah Smith | WBTV

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte's day labor work force will soon have a new place to go to find jobs.

Day laborers have waited on different street corners and properties looking for work for years. After some property owners complained and several contractors refused to pay the workers, two community organizations came together to create a day workers center called the Workers Collaborative.

"Workers centers are already something that exist throughout the country. We started seeing an opportunity to work together," Isael Meija, who is the economic mobility center manager at the Latin American Coalition, said.

Meija said the coalition worked with Providence United Methodist Church on the project. The church is providing it's St. John's campus for the center.

She said the center will be a safe place where both workers and potential employers can come to discuss work and fair wages.

"The hardest barrier has been finding a place that's near where they wait that's accessible for them and also convenient for them and employers. It's great because it's just down the street from where they already wait," said Meija.

But because some of the workers appreciate the flexibility of not having a formal structure, some are apprehensive about the new space, according to Meija.

"There are workers out there who are like, this is working perfectly fine why are you messing with it. Then there's the other side which is like, this is what we need," said Meija.

Either way, the Workers Collaborative is prepared to serve the workers who are interested in the services the center will provide, Meija said.

The Workers Collaborative will ask potential employers to register before picking workers up.

It will officially open May 1.

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