Maria’s story is heart-wrenching but not uncommon. Without the protection of a union, without even the protection of most state and federal labor laws, her employers required her to work 18 hours a day, six days a week for less than $3 an hour. She lived in the basement of her employer’s home, where a broken sewage system flooded the floor by her bed. Bad as these conditions were, Maria was devastated when her employer fired her without notice or severance pay, leaving her with nowhere to go. continue reading

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