Last week, we attended a dinner of the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center at which a vote was taken on the worst case of wage theft and worker abuse on the cases where the Center had recently been involved.
The choices that the organization chose were a family who had overworked and underpaid a domestic worker, a self-proclaimed contractor who had underpaid seven workers on a home remodel, and Carole Johnson, LLC who had performed the interior construction for a new Wal-mart in Houston and paid a group of workers with checks that bounced. When she was confronted with the situation, she denied that the workers had ever even worked for her on the job.
After the gala attendees reviewed the cases, they overwhelmingly selected Carole Johnson, LLC as “The Most Despicable Employer” for cheating her workers out of their pay and failing to provide basic safety equipment like eye protection and gloves for workers cutting metal for the job. Laura Boston, Director of the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center, announced the winner of the vote.
Construction Citizen knows the situation first hand as we covered it along with a Univision reporter several months ago. We were told that through the efforts of the Center, an attorney is currently negotiating for the pay that is due the workers. Perhaps the attorney can hand Carole Johnson her award as the “Most Despicable Employer” this year.
Interfaith Worker Justice is a Chicago based group who focuses on helping workers who have been cheated out of pay, put in unsafe conditions, abused and denied their rights get the pay and overtime that they are due for the work that they performed.