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We all succeed as a community when everyone has the resources not just to survive, but to thrive. New Mexicans have been working hard, especially through the pandemic, where they have been risking their health and safety. Many of those workers aren’t being fairly compensated for the difficult- and newly life-threatening- work they’re doing. Every single worker in New Mexico contributes a critical skill or service that fuels our community and economy, and they all deserve to earn a thriving wage.

Many workers in New Mexico and across the nation left service industry work during the pandemic, and many are…

This is a collection of Haikus written by members of OLE’s Workers Committee.

1. We are all losers/ when our coworkers work sick/ paid sick leave for all!

2. Want us to work , Want us to get sick at work, Workers need paid sick leave !

3.Oye mi jefe, dependes de nosotros. ¡No nos maltrate!

4. We will not be last. We have lasted together. At last we will rise.

5. We work to survive / Paid sick leave is vital/ We deserve to be valued

6. Be humane for all ; golden rule has come to call …

Mi nombre es Gabriela Carrillo. Si yo hubiera tenido días de enfermedad pagados, yo no me hubiera contagiado del COVID-19. Yo sospechaba que alguien estaba contagiado en mi lugar de empleo. Pero tan solo de pensar que pudiera perder cinco días sin pago, me hizo dudar y fui a trabajar en lugar de quedarme en casa, y me contagie del COVID-19.

“Si yo hubiera tenido días de enfermedad pagados, yo no me hubiera contagiado del COVID-19.”

Over the course of my job as a wine professional, I worked closely with local sales teams, trade professionals, and distributor partners. I also contributed to bringing national recognition to a local business. The pandemic’s impact continues to create immense stress and uncertainty. For single women, working mothers, women of color, native and immigrant women, this cannot be overstated. On a personal and professional level, I have experienced the immeasurable loss of family members, professional alliances, and the loss of my livelihood.

By Brian Gillespie

Author’s Note: This is a slightly edited essay I submitted to the Albuquerque Journal in June of 2020 when city Councilors Sena and Benton were proposing a Paid Leave ordinance. Since June of 2020 the statistics related to Covid deaths have only become more grotesque further illustrating our nations’ criminally inept response to the disease.

Paid Sick Leave Opponents are Racist Capitalist Overlords. And they smell bad too. Name calling and click-bait titles aside, I’m dead serious. The connection between systemic racism, exploitation capitalism, and the fight for paid leave has never been more transparent. Opponents in…

by Josefina Gallardo

Mi nombre es Josefina Gallardo, tengo tres años de voluntaria en educación temprana y tres años como maestra en Encuentro. Mi experiencia como educadora ha sido buena con algunos obstáculos en lo que cabe, el pago es muy bajo pero es una ayuda económica. Me gusta mucho cuidar y aprender de los niños, cómo saber sus necesidades, enseñarles lo que he logrado aprender en clases de capacitación que he tomado y poder usar esas experiencias para aprender el respeto y ganar la confianza de los niños.

Durante este tiempo como educadora me di cuenta que no hay mucha ayuda para…

We are a very big community of immigrants, residents and citizens of New Mexico’s early childhood educators.

I only had the opportunity for two of my kiddos to go to pre-k. It was very difficult, two of my other kiddos didn’t have the opportunity to go because there was no space for them. This is hard because we wanted all of them to have the same education, and because of this I decided to get involved in early childhood education.

I went to CNM (Central New Mexico Community College) to receive my CDC and for now I am working on…

Esta historia es en nombre de todos los empleados, que en su momento son trabajadores essentials

Yo trabajo para una cadena de comida rápida donde días de enfermedad pagados no es una opción para nosotros. Soy madre soltera, tengo dos niñas y estoy trabajando dos trabajos de 7am a 5pm asta las 12:30am. Tengo que trabajar muy duro para mantener a mis niñas. Afortunadamente, mi trabajo por la mañana ofrece días de enfermedad pagados, pero el trabajo de noche no.

Tengo que vivir y trabajar, pero sin tener días de enfermedad pagados es agotador.

Me preocupo mucho por mis niñas ahora con la pandemia. Tengo que trabajar todos los días sin saber qué es lo que va pasar- si ahora me va pegar COVID o alguien de mis familiares.

Hello, my name is Emma Mazzullo I am a preschool teacher at La Petite Academy in Albuquerque New Mexico. I’m going to tell you my story because my story is one I think everyone should know. I’ve worked in education for the past 12 years and am currently working as a preschool teacher for about a year.

I am currently suffering from COVID and have been sick and out of work for two weeks. I found out that we are not getting paid for being out of work for two weeks.

I called my HR department to ask if I would get paid while out with COVID and the HR representative told me they had never heard of anything like that. I said OK there’s my answer. I am very upset and disappointed with…

This is on behalf of all the employees, that at the moment, are essential workers.

As for me, I work for a fast food chain where sick leave is not an option for us. I am a single mother of two girls and working two jobs, from 7am-2pm and 5pm to 12:30am. I have to work this hard just to care for my kids and myself. Luckily, my morning job offers sick leave but my night job at the fast food chain doesn’t.

Living and working without paid sick leave is exhausting.

I worry for my kids with this pandemic and the rest of family. …


OLÉ is a community organization, who uses grassroots organizing within the local community of working families in New Mexico.

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