BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Sieed, 26, has worked at a raclette in Baltimore for three years, but wants something more.
“I have to get out of the raclette corner,” he said on Tuesday.
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The father-of-two said he used the raclette money to buy food and pay his family’s bills. “I have two beautiful kids that I’m trying to take care of,” he said, but added that this line of work doesn’t have the things he wants and needs like a 401- k.
That’s why Sieed and other raclette workers are excited about a new opportunity announced by Mayor Brandon Scott on Tuesday. A new 90-day action plan to help workers like him by putting them in stable jobs.
“Provide them with the support they need,” said Mayor Scott.
Deputy Mayor Faith Leach said the plan involved the city’s outreach team engaging with young people working on street corners, “connecting them with resources and employment.”
The plan will give 10 squeegee workers jobs at Canopy by Hilton Hotel in Baltimore’s Harbor Point.
They will have the chance to try their hand at bellhop or work in the hotel restaurant. But not everyone wants to stay on the streets.
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“I can make more money being here,” said Carlos, another raclette worker. Carlos said he made between $ 25 and $ 50 an hour.
At twenty, Carlos was enough to support himself and his musical career. “I’m not trying to work for anyone else,” he added.
The scraping has been a point of contention in Baltimore. Last year, a viral video showed a squeegee worker hitting a driver, and earlier this month another video showed a squeegee worker helping a woman in a car accident.
“They’re resilient, they’re passionate, and they’re so promising,” Leech said of the squeegee workers. “These are all the things we all love about Baltimore.”
But city officials believe this mode of work should end.
“The scraping of young people is a visible representation of broken systems,” Leech added at a press conference on Tuesday.
But Carlos says he’s not going anywhere. “We will continue to fight, we are not stealing from anyone, it is an honest activity, so we will continue to do this,” he said.
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The mayor’s new plan is expected to be launched next month.