A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

National Day of Action in Washington

Interfaith Worker Justice declared November 18, 2010 a National Day of Action Against Wage Theft, and helped organize actions in 50 cities across the United States.  Interfaith Worker Justice Executive Director Kim Bobo spoke at the rally and press event held in Washington, D.C.  She talked about the various events occurring that day around the country, including the Justice Bus in Houston which we wrote about earlier.  Other actions included a Jazz Funeral in New Orleans where participants celebrated the death of wage theft, mayoral proclamations in Grand Rapids and Miami, and the announcement of a new partnership between the Denver community and the Department of Labor.  Bobo also mentioned that several lawsuits were being filed that day, stating:

“There are lawsuits being filed against employers for both low wage workers and middle income workers.  [Wage theft] is a crisis not just for low wage workers but also for middle income workers.  There are 28 writers that worked for a book publishing company in New York City and their company closed down and none of the 28 workers got any of their pay they were owed.”

Other speakers at the Washington rally included a construction worker and a painter who each shared their stories of employers who refused to pay them until they called on the police for help.  Mackenzie Baris of DC Jobs with Justice introduced each speaker and provided background information for the purpose of the rally.  She explained:

“Wage theft effects workers of every race, every gender and every sector of the city, especially in the construction, restaurant and retail industries.”

Rally participants held up blue cards which represented actual workers from the area who were owed wages and with whom the DC Jobs with Justice were working to try to recover those wages.

Bobo is the author of Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid – and What We Can Do About It.  The National Day of Action was held as part of a national effort to inspire communities and legislators to come together to strengthen enforcement and stop wage theft.

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