Garment workers form the backbone of L.A.’s manufacturing sector. But tens of thousands of garment workers are routinely underpaid—or not paid at all—for work performed. Wage theft is rampant across L.A.’s low-wage industries: Angelenos lose $26.2 million dollars a week in unpaid wages. But more than four in five workers who win their wage theft cases never end up seeing a dime.
When corporations violate the law by calling some workers “independent contractors” instead of recognizing them as employees, those workers are denied a host of fundamental protections like a minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance and workers’ comp. Without these protections, working people are living on the edge. Every single day.
Many NEU members are employed at legal services and advocacy nonprofits. We’ve secured workplace policies and procedures that make our legal services and advocacy nonprofits more inclusive, accountable, and effective. Here are some examples of how we’ve done this.
Gig companies like Uber, Lyft and Doordash, desperate to avoid providing basic protections and decent pay to drivers, are engaged in an all-out disinformation campaign to defend their illegal business models and kill legislation that would protect workers. We can’t possibly provide flexibility AND treat our workers with dignity and respect, they say.
In 2018, CEOs of S&P 500 companies made, on average, $14.5 million, a $500,000 increase from the previous year, according to the latest AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch report. Compare that to the average rank-and-file worker who received barely more than a $1,000 raise, bringing total take-home pay in 2018 to $39,888.