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Finish Go Home

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Asturian-American Migration Forum Index -> Work & Industry - Trabajo e industria
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1727
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 2:20 pm    Post subject: Finish Go Home Reply with quote

My father tells the story of my grandfather at work in the zinc industry in Spelter, West Virginia, and later in Niagara Falls (in a different heavy industry), and I recall my grandfather telling the same story. Grandpa would go to work, do his job for the day, and when he had accomplished what he was supposed to do for the day, he could go home. The number of hours worked did not matter. He called it "finish, go home."

Does anyone else have similiar memories?

Bob Martinez

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[Translated by JuanLeon]

Mi padre cuenta la siguiente anécdota sobre mi abuelo en la industria del zinc en Spelter, Virginia Occidental, y luego en Niagara Falls (en otra industria pesada), y yo también me acuerdo de oírsela a mi abuelo. El abuelo iba al trabajo, hacía su labor diaría, y, cuando había terminado cuanto debía hacer ése día, se podía ir a casa. No importaba las horas que se necesitaran. A esto lo llamaba "terminar, a casa".

¿Tiene alguien memorias parecidas?

Bob Martínez
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Suronda
Co-Founder


Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 97
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 7:38 am    Post subject: Day Laborers Reply with quote

Bob,

Your "finish go home" quote seems to be reflective of a "day laborer" situation that I know about from Spelter, WV. In many occasions, men were hired to work for the day and didn't receive an hourly wage. They were paid at the end of the day at the pay rate established for one day's work.

As I remember the story, men who needed work would line up outside the plant in the mornings and the supervisor would selecte those he needed/wanted to work. The others either went home or continued to look for other work. My father says that many of them returned after every shift in hopes of being selected (morning, afternoon and night). This type of day labor is still common among some immigrant groups who don't have steady employment.

It must have been a bit difficult finding a job if you weren't selected, since Spelter was a company town. Folks developed a variety of ways to make ends meet. Some married men lived during the week with family in another town (perhaps in Grasselli or Donora) where they found work in the zinc industry, and then they returned to Spelter on the weekends. Others families traded services, took in laundry and borders, and farmed. The grandfather of Art Zoller Wagner (one of our moderators) was a painter, others had small businesses, and still others found cash in bootlegging.

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[Translated by JuanLeon]

Bob,

Esta cita tuya de "terminar, a casa" parece reflejar una situación de jornalero que conocí en Spelter, Virginia Occidental. A menudo, la mano de obra se contrataba por día y no se le pagaba por hora. Se les pagaba al final de la jornada una cantidad establecida por un día de trabajo.

Por lo que recuerdo, los hombres que necesitaban trabajo hacían cola en la fábrica por las mañanas y el capataz seleccionaba aquellos que quería o necesitaba. Los demás o se iban a casa o buscaban otros trabajos. Mi padre dice que muchos volvían al final de cada turno con la esperanza de que se les escogiera (por la mañana, la tarde, y la noche). Este sistema de trabajo por jornada es aún común entre los inmigrantes que no tienen empleos más o menos fijos.

Debe haber sido bastante difícil el encontrar trabajo tras no haber sido escogido, puesto que Spelter era un poblado de la empresa. La gente se buscaba la vida de varias maneras. Algunos casados vivían por semana con familia en otros sitios (quizás en Grasselli o Donora) donde trabajaban en el zinc, y se pasaban los fines de semana en Spelter. Otras familias intercambiaban servicios, alquilaban habitaciones y lavaban ropa, ó trabajaban la tierra. El abuelo de Art Zoller Wagner (uno de los moderadores) era pintor, otros tenían pequeños negocios, y otros vivían de las destilerías ilegales.
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