Latino workers comprise a large sum of the population of workers in America. Particularly in Canada, as many as 244,400 individuals who are of Latin American origin live in Canada in 2001 ("The Latin American Community in Canada," 2006). About 64% of adult Latin Americans in 2001 age 15 and above were employed and working, with 71% of these falling under the age category of 45 to 64 ("The Latin American Community in Canada," 2006). Further Jorge Brea notes that the population of Latin Americans tripled between the mid 1900s to the early parts of 2000, with the service industry being the primary source of employment in many Latin American nations (Brea, 2003, p.4). These facts reveal the presumption that Latin Americans have a sizeable presence not only in the local workforce but also in international workforce such as those found in Canada.
One significant instance with regard to the experiences of Latin American workers is after the time when hurricane Katrina shook America. Prior to the hurricane, approximately 3 percent of New Orleans is Latin Americans. After the hurricane, the population of Latin Americans in the region significantly increased, and most of these individuals sought employment in a city that direly needed the manpower to rebuild it (Agresta, 2006).
One can thus have the idea that at least one part of the experiences of Latin American workers reflects the vision of Latin American laborers in a working environment which has the greatest possibility of churning out the most probabilities of landing a job while putting their lives at risk. Not even distance can hinder the Latin American worker from reaching fertile ground. For instance, approximately 435,500 Latin Americans adults live in Japan wherein 70% send money to their families back at home on a steady rate with an average of $600 ("Remittances to Latin America from Japan," 2005).
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It has also been observed that Latin Americans have a strong attachment to their religion which is predominantly Catholic. This can be observed even among the workers, oftentimes carrying small images of Saints in their pockets or wallets, crosses hanging in their necklaces or bracelets, and small prayer pamphlets or booklets in their bags or tool kits just to name a few. It is apparent that the religious yet diverse cultures of Latin Americans largely influence the workplace roles, especially among workers and managers.
Hence, potential managers should consider the cultural, religious, and financial backgrounds of Latin Americans in order to maximize their capabilities in the workplace. In essence, potential managers should observe several 'do's' and 'don'ts' with regard to their consideration for their Latin American employees.
One of the 'do's' that the potential manager should most likely consider is to give ample space for the Latin American employees to exercise their religious beliefs. That is, managers should allow the observance of religious holidays and other religious events and practices so that the Latin American employees will not be hindered from fulfilling their religious duties. Hindering them from doing so is one of the 'don'ts' since it will most likely result to a form of religious intolerance wherein the employees are suppressed from exercising their religious obligations and, hence, restricting one of their fundamental rights. In its course, a number of these employees will most likely find ways to go around the religious restriction being imposed which may affect their performance and the growth of the organization.
Further, potential managers should nevertheless carefully identify the religious holidays that might lower the performance of the organization. Managers ought to do a balancing act: permit the observance of certain religious holidays without having to sacrifice the performance of the organization or company.
Likewise, managers ought to comprehend the fact that most Latino Americans work in companies far from their homes in order to earn a decent wage and provide ample sustenance to their families. Since this is usually the case, company managers should see to it that their Latin American employees are properly compensated while taking into account the financial capabilities of the organization to pay proper wages and other benefits. One way to achieve this is to carefully consider the suitable number of employees, especially Latino Americans, who will operate the essential functions within the organization with respect to the financial status of the company.
Managers should also make the most use out of significant and reliable information available such as the most recent trends or patterns with regard to the rate of salaries and benefits and ensure a comparable rate to the Latino American employees. On the other hand, the manager should make it clear to prospective Latino American employees that there too are limitations on the financial capabilities of the company. This ensures that the labor of the employees will be compensated properly in compliance to the financial constraints present.
Latin Americans are known to have a history of oppression from other people, a number of which are experienced in the workplace and in other financial institutions. These facts should serve as a reminder to the manager that Latin American workers may have the lingering impression of fear that their history of oppression from other people is not too far from being repeated elsewhere.
While the natural response of these employees from the potential harms they may perceive is to stay on guard of their status in the company and the way their superiors treat them, managers should make certain that their Latin American employees are treated decently and professionally in such a way that the environment of the workplace exudes a friendly yet professional feeling. Managers can achieve this end by constantly interacting with the Latin American employees in the workplace, checking and ensuring that their tasks are efficiently met in a friendly yet professional tone.
These are just a few of the things that managers should do and should not do in order to have a healthy group of Latino American employees working in the organization. Due importance must be realized and given to these people for the reason that they share a significant portion of the economic and organizational development of the country. Without Latin Americans in the workplace, the economy of the country in general will most likely be affected.
This is perfectly exemplified in the movie "A Day without a Mexican" where the film emphasizes the significance of at least 11 million Latin Americans in California in terms of the various jobs across the region ("How Do You Make the Invisible, Visible? You Take It Away," 2004.). The film highlights the absence of Latin Americans which lead to the depreciation in the cleanliness of the state as garbage mounts in the streets of California and in the economic devastation of the state. In both theory and practice, the theme of the film is highly probable.
In general, it should be noted that there are crucial Latino American issues in the workplace all over the world. Across America alone, the numbers of issues are significantly present, and that these things pose an important challenge both to managers and potential managers. The delicate balance between the Latino American factors and the disposition of managers and potential managers spells the difference between an efficient and effective workplace and one that is bound to fail.
Brea, J. (2003). Population Dynamics in Latin America. Population Bulletin, 58(1), 3.
"How Do You Make the Invisible, Visible? You Take It Away." (2004). ADWAM News. August 4, 2007. <http://www.adaywithoutamexican.com/>.
Remittances to Latin America from Japan. (2005). Inter-American Development Bank Multilateral Investment Fund, 2.
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