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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Los Jornaleros del Norte's New Catchy Cumbia Inspired by Day Laborer Fight in OC


Outside the Anaheim home of Michael Tebb, an oppressive sun beat down on protesters but not their spirits two years ago. 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!

Read more on my latest OC Weekly Heard Mentality Blog post:

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