The most dangerous jobs for Latinos also happen to be all essential work, including construction, motor vehicle operators, maintenance workers, and agricultural workers.
Latinos are dying while at work more than any other group in the country, a new report shows. The figures show that three states in the country show high fatality rates for Latinos, which include Florida, California, and Texas. These are the same states that have a sizable COVID-19 infection among the Latino community.
The most dangerous jobs for Latinos also happen to be all essential work, including construction, motor vehicle operators, maintenance workers, and agricultural workers. The 246-page report was filed by the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions.
Other startling statistics show there’s an increase in deaths among Latino immigrant workers. In 2018, at least 641 Latino immigrant workers died on the job. In 2017, 568 Latino workers died. The immigrants were originally from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
“Our report did show that the job fatality rate for Latino workers continues to be higher than the national rate. It’s at 3.7 per 100,000 workers, compared to 3.5 for all workers,” said Rebecca Reindel, director of occupational safety and health at AFL-CIO, during a virtual press conference.
The report noted that 76% of all Latino worker deaths in Florida were of immigrant workers. In Texas, it was 63%, and in California, it was 61%.
Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO, also said during the press conference that in 2018, more than 30,000 workers were assaulted because of workplace violence on the job.
“These findings show what happens when our leaders in Washington play politics with our lives,” Trumka said. “It shows how ill prepare our country was for this pandemic.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Latino essential workers were exposed to the virus more than any other group. While the shutdown allowed many to stay home and work remotely, many Latino workers had no choice but to work at their low-paying jobs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted in many of their COVID-19 reports that minorities would be more susceptible to the virus.
“People from some racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately represented in essential work settings such as healthcare facilities, farms, factories, grocery stores, and public transportation,” the CDC reported. “Some people who work in these settings have more chances to be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 due to several factors, such as close contact with the public or other workers, not being able to work from home, and not having paid sick days.”
During the press conference, Reindel added that these same Latino essential workers are already facing a high risk for death in the workplace, and the pandemic just made it even worse.