One of the missions of CoFiA is to help workers resolve wage theft disputes when they do work but don’t get the payment promised to them. It is often frustrating and slow-going work. That’s what makes it particularly rewarding when it’s met with success! The Committee reported this week that they were able to collect $1,750 for one of the workers (of $2,000 due). The contractor met with the committee and gave them a check which they then turned over to the worker. Another payment is still due a second worker–who volunteered to have the first check go to his friend because he had gotten the job for him and felt responsible.
People often ask how we are able to convince the contractors to make these payments. Most people believe that when something is stolen, the law has to follow up and recover the lost property, as is the case when workers do their job but are denied the wages promised them. But wage case situations seldom work that way. The committee has found that the only feasible action in nearly all cases is personal contact between the committee and the contractor. In some cases, like this one, the contractor seemed genuinely surprised that anyone would call him to account. However, the work of bringing this unethical behavior to light had the intended effect this time and we are thrilled!
Help us continue the work of ensuring fairness in wage theft cases by joining CoFiA today. And re-post this story on Facebook to spread the word!