Posted inLabor

The women of La Parada

On a humid August afternoon earlier this year,  a middle aged woman paced Division Street and Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in front of a line of immigrant women who had congregated for work. The woman, a potential employer, donned a neatly styled bobbed wig, a black flowy skirt that reached past her knees and a long-sleeved blouse, typical attire for Hasidic Jewish women who live in the neighborhood. She appeared to be ready to leave without making a hire when a young woman, a Latin American immigrant like the others in line, anxiously ran up to her. “Take off your mask and let me see your face,” the potential employer demanded.