Day laborers sing ‘Ese Gúey No Paga’ (That dude doesn’t pay)

thatdudeNot only is getting the work really fracking hard – you have to hang outside Home Depot and chase contractors’ trucks – but lots of times day laborers work all day and then get ripped off for their pay.

This cumbia music video from Los Jornaleros del Norte (The Day Laborers of the North) and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network highlights the fight against wage theft.

Ese gúey no paga,” they sing. “That dude doesn’t pay!”

Here’s the backstory from the OC Weekly:

Outside the Anaheim home of Michael Tebb two years ago, an oppressive sun beat down on protesters but not their spirits. The contractor hired Guatemalan day laborer José Ucelo back in May 2012 outside a nearby Home Depot. At the end of 10 hours of toil, Ucelo didn’t receive a dime from Tebb. Instead, he ended up in the clutches of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after the contractor called Garden Grove police claiming that Ucelo robbed him!

Los Jornaleros del Norte (The Day Laborers of the North) kept the music going at the protest where lawyers tried serving Tebb with a wage theft lawsuit. “Ese güey no paga” (That Dude Doesn’t Pay) became an improvised slogan and jam session with members of Son del Centro joining in.

Now the slogan returns as a full-fledged song courtesy of Los Jornaleros del Norte.

“Be careful day laborer women and men / don’t let them trick you!” accordionist and vocalist Omar León warns in the catchy cumbia telling the story of a day laborer hopping into a truck outside Home Depot only to be done wrong by a cheapskate wage thief.

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