Sept. 22 Letters: Construction laborers deserve protections

At a time when working people across San Jose are struggling to meet the high cost of living, Scott Herhold’s attack on basic worker protections for construction laborers – on taxpayer-funded projects, no less! — is disappointing.

Wage theft is rampant in construction, where certain unscrupulous employers routinely violate wage and hour laws. Government data shows that, since 2003, over 10,000 construction workers in the Bay Area have been victims of wage theft.

This unlawful practice not only deprives hard working families of food; it also harms responsible employers who can’t compete with wage theft violators.

The Project Labor Agreements San Jose is considering are a critical tool to combat wage theft. They set up monitoring to make sure laws are followed and workers protected. They do not “require projects be built with union labor” – that is a myth spread by wage theft violators who don’t want their unlawful practices exposed.

Ruth Silver Taube
Santa Clara County
Wage Theft Coalition

This Letter to the Editor was originally published in The Mercury News.

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