Join us Thurs. 9:00am, L100 I. Wage theft is a defining trend of the 21st century labor market and it's happening to all kinds of workers. What is wage theft? When an employer refuses to pay you all of the money you are legally owed under the law-- that employer is stealing your wages. This can be anything from refusing to pay overtime to claiming someone is an outside contractor when they're really an employee.
The good news is that by first naming the problem and then doing some very creative organizing, employers are finally being forced to pay workers the money they're owed. The "wage theft" meme has been called a rare messaging success for progressives. This meme names a complex problem—employers who illegally underpay their workers--and reframes wages as something that a boss owes his or her workers, rather than the dominant narrative that money belongs to the bosses who can dole it out as they see fit.
Wage theft affects all kinds of people, even people with white collar jobs or who work in arts and entertainment. Here at the Writers Guild of America, East we are tackling wage theft in the TV industry as part of our campaign to improve the exploitative working conditions faced by writers and producers working on some of your favorite shows (think Biography, History Detectives or Cash Cab).
Learn about how wage theft hurts millions of workers from day laborers to retail store workers to nonfiction TV writers at our Netroots Nation panel. Hear the creative ways worker centers, unions and other advocates are organizing to combat this crime--and how they are winning.
Stop! Wage Thief! How Workers are Getting the Money They're Owed
Thu, 06/16/2011 - 9:00am, L100 I
Adam Kader of Arise Chicago a workers' center that has collaborated with more than 2,200 workers to recover over $4.6 million in stolen wages and compensation. (Adam also wrote my favorite article about wage theft messaging "Storytelling as Organizing: How to Rescue the Left from its Crisis of Imagination"- read it!)
The Writers Guild of America, East's Tim Tharp who will be exposing the problem of wage theft in the nonfiction TV production world. He'll talk about how the companies behind some of Televisions most popular shows have been engaging in wage theft against its staff for years and what writers and producers are doing to stop it.
Carrie Gleason of the Retail Action Project(RAP), a growing network of NYC retail and fashion workers who weave art into their activism for some very successful organizing campaigns that have won retail employees millions in back wages and has lead to the arrest of the owner of a boutique chain who is now facing jail time for his theft!
Sarah Leberstein of the National Employment Law Project who will explain the legal and legislative side of the issue.
Veronica Mendez of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha whose members are leading a courageous campaign against wage theft happening right in Minneapolis. (and they have an awesome fundraiser concert on Saturday--check http://ctul.net/ for updates on the location).
I'll be tweeting the panel using the #wagetheft and #nn11 hashtags so follow along if you can't join us! And I'll rt as many of your comments and questions as I can.
See you all Thursday morning 9:00am, L100 I
You can also RSVP on Facebook.