In Newsletter: Fall '23

On November 15, 2023, IUPAT DC 35 hosted a panel discussion with Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell along with Democratic Attorneys General from across the country and IUPAT General President Jimmy Williams, Jr. to highlight the remarkable success they have achieved in the fight against wage theft and worker exploitation.

Leaders at the event shared valuable insights gleaned from the recent investigation of an unscrupulous Massachusetts contractor. The partnership between the Massachusetts AG’s office and DC 35 proved instrumental in securing justice for the impacted workers and resulted in a substantial $500,000 citation against a Medfield contractor for wage and benefit violations.

The Massachusetts case serves as an important example of how strategic alliances between law enforcement and labor organizations can yield tangible results, ensuring that workers receive their rightful compensation and that law-breaking contractors are held to account. This collaborative effort not only exposed and rectified egregious instances of wage theft but also sent a powerful message that such practices will not be tolerated in the Commonwealth.

In a panel discussion, attorneys general and local labor leaders highlighted the vital role of these partnerships in fighting worker exploitation like wage theft:

“Labor is a critical ally in the fight against wage theft and worker exploitation,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Campbell, highlighting that their office recently partnered with DC 35 to hold a contractor accountable for significant wage and hour violations, and as a result, workers received restitution for wages they were rightfully owed. 

Campbell noted that this success proves how the partnership between labor and the attorney general’s office leads to safer workplaces and economic justice for workers. 

DC 35 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer Christian Brennan said, “Wage theft hurts working families and it hurts local economies, costing states millions in lost tax revenue. 

“The alliances we forge with attorneys general are a driving force behind our fight for fairness and accountability. Together, we stand against corporate exploitation, fortifying labor laws and protections to ensure our workers’ safety,” Brennan added.

“We thank these Democratic Attorneys General for upholding the values of the working people of America for supporting unions in our effort to give all workers a strong, collective voice, and for empowering legislation that brings us closer to a more equitable future for all,” said DC 35 Director of Organizing Jorge Rivera.

In addition to the wage theft discussion, visiting Attorneys General and their staff, and Progressive State Leaders Committee staff visited with union members and DC 35 apprentices Melissa Schneiderhan, Hull; Melody Williams, Dorchester; Christopher Hernandez from Revere; and Randall Rodericks, Roxbury, who showcased their training with a painting, drywall finishing, and glazing demonstration.

In the same week, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office announced that it issued three citations against Quad Coatings, LLC, yet another bad actor in the construction business for misclassification of employees as independent contractors and failure to provide them with earned sick time and pay overtime correctly. The citations have a combined civil penalty of $52,500 and $87,267.86 in restitution to employees. IUPAT DC 35’s partnership with the AG’s office is helping hold unlawful developers and contractors accountable and win justice for workers.

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