By Dulce Carrillo
Many teachers at Latino schools like to tell their students that “If you work hard, you’ll reach the American dream.”
But, I’ve seen people work hard their entire life who make just enough to get by everyday. People from the Latino community depend on that paycheck.
As a college student, having a job helps to pay for school necessities and to not always depend on my parents.
One day while at work, I overheard my coworkers talking about a private agency that wanted to buy half of the Los Angeles Convention Center to build a football stadium.
Yes, I was excited that Los Angeles could possibly have their very own football stadium, but what I didn’t realize was that if the agency does buy off the center, I would be jobless.
As the conversation went on, I asked when this would happen. One of the ladies said, “It can happen at any time.”
That entire day I was blown away and could only think of where I would find a good paying, part-time job if this sale goes through.
My coworkers were let down as well. A few are single parents who depend on this job for food and to support their kids.
Others use this job as an extra income to help around the house.
Some employees from other departments see their job as their profession because they worked here for years.
To see everything vanish just because a private agency will be taking over the center is just crushing.
As I considered this more deeply, I realized there are many people going through this. Even if you work the hardest, you can be laid off.
And what are people doing about it? Nothing.
Some employees are unaware of what goes on in their companies and secondhand news is not the best source of information.
Many times, the negotiations between the agency and the current owners take place on days when employees cannot attend because of other commitments.
How difficult can it be to inform employees a week before or even days before so we can attend?
The city unions are no help and don’t answer, or return, any employees calls.
The union is supposed to be the voice of the employees but when they are needed most, they are silent.
In this struggling economy, this type of situation could happen to just about anyone, including East Los Angeles College students.
Some suggestions that Elans could use to prepare for a sudden loss of a job is to get involved with what is happening at work.
Try to save money every payday even if it is a small amount.
Twenty dollars out of your check every month won’t harm anyone, and it will help save extra cash for an emergency.
Talk to your supervisor, or boss about the company’s future plans.
Every employee has the right to know about meetings and the changes in their company’s future.
Worrying about losing a job is heartbreaking but it could serve as motivation to learn to become more active and independent.
Nothing is etched in stone.