From the Pioneer Valley Workers Center:
We’ve been working for well over a year on this and we’re pleased to be able to say that it is looking like we’ll have good news on the horizon….
What? Mayor David Narkewicz and City Counselors Alisa Klein and Maureen Carney will introduce an executive order and ordinance to stop wage theft in Northampton.
Come to City Council on Thursday night to show your support.
The introduced measures will make the obtainment and renewal of businesses’ licenses conditional upon compliance with existing labor laws, thus creating an employer disincentive to steal wages.
This victory will benefit all workers, but will especially impact undocumented and immigrant workers who are subject to the most intense exploitation. Now more than ever, cities must support workers, immigrants, and people of color.
When: 7pm on THIS THURSDAY, January 19, 2017
Where: City Council, Rm 18, 210 Main Street, Northampton
Why: We need your support on Thursday to show that the community stands with immigrants and low-age workers. Wage theft is a systemic problem.
In March 2016, the PVWC and UMass Labor Center released a report, “Feeding Northampton,” that surveyed 235 Northampton workers in 85 out of 100 restaurants. The report found that 65% of workers who worked more than 40 hours a week did not receive overtime pay and 75% of workers did not earn a living wage ($13.18 per hour). In June 2016, twenty-five workers and residents testified at City Council about wage theft in the Northampton restaurant and construction industry.
In September 2016, The Daily Hampshire Gazette documented that some employers steal $2,000 of monthly wages on average. In Massachusetts, Community Labor United estimated that wage theft costs workers almost $700 million annually. The Economic Policy Institute estimated that “wage theft is costing workers more than $50 billion a year” in the United States. For these reasons, cities such as Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, and most recently Worcester have passed wage-theft ordinances that establish meaningful punishments for employers who steal wages.