Progressive U.S. Representatives Rally Against Wage Theft In Milwaukee
By Chuck Quirmbach
Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 6:02am
Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus came through the state yesterday to call attention to what they call "wage theft" by corporations.
Some employers have started paying workers on a prepaid card that costs a worker a fee to use. Labor groups say other companies have started doing things like demanding that workers come in a little early, stay a little late, take a mid-shift break, and not get paid for their time. Occasionally, people who worked at shutdown firms have trouble collecting full back pay.
Amir Graham, who works at a McDonald's in Milwaukee, says the money he's lost goes to corporate profits.
"Wage theft is a huge problem, and we need to do something about it so employees can get compensated for what they deserve."
Some members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are highlighting what they call wage theft as they tour the Midwest this month. Caucus co-chair and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., says the wage issue is just one of the assaults on lower and middle-class workers.
"This has to do with unfair trade policy - shipping our job oversees," says Ellison. "This has to do with killing the NLRB and killing the rights of collective bargaining."
Progressive Caucus member U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., is touting an effort to raise the minimum wage. But Republicans that control the House are expected to try to quash that attempt. Companies are defending the use of payroll cards as money savers for their bottom line and as more convenient to workers.
One of the companies criticized during the wage theft rally - McDonald's - acknowledged our effort to get the firm to comment, but did not provide a statement.