$20 Million Stolen Every Week
When management steals wages from construction workers they steal important benefits from you too. Learn the names of the companies accused of wage theft.
The U.S. government estimates that workers in New York City have $20 million stolen from their wages every week by their employers. That's over $1 billion a year that would benefit local businesses, working class families and local governments.
Every week hard-working New York laborers have $20 million stolen from their earnings. Every week parents who expected to earn enough to live in NY must forego daycare to pay the rent, or skip health care to afford groceries. Or make even more difficult life-decisions.
Wage theft is a crime perpetrated by the managers of some New York construction companies to lower their cost of doing business. They will undercount worker hours, ignore overtime status, collect health insurance dues and then keep them. It’s a disgusting crime committed by the powerful who victimize the vulnerable.
Here is a list of some of the construction companies that have been caught or accused of stealing from their staffs. Learn these names. Look for them on construction sites around the city. Their accused behavior has harmed workers, and if you’re a New Yorker, they’ve harmed you.
— Casino Development Group
— CRV Precast Construction
— Highbury Concrete
— Parkside Construction
— RNC Industries
— Rovini Concrete
— Sky Materials Corporation
— SSC High Rise
Rajwinder Kaur,, the daughter of Gurmeet Singh, with a family album. Her father fell 140 feet from faulty scaffolding and died. Ms. Kaur says her family was never notified by the company, Pak National Gen. Corporation, and that her father had not been paid by Pak for 3 months. The New York Times
These are just some of the construction companies operating in New York accused or convicted of stealing from their employees.
If you’re a New York taxpayer you get stiffed by wage theft too, even if you’re not having your earnings stolen by your boss. Everyone pays.
If you’re a New York taxpayer you get stiffed by wage theft too, even if you’re not having your earnings stolen by your boss. All the city, state and federal income taxes, the social security payments, and the healthcare contributions that would come from that $20 million per week being stolen from workers, are lost to the nation, the state and the city. And the rest of us have to make up the gap. James Parrot, a former Chief Economist for the city of New York, estimates that the country and the state lose $761 million a year due to under-reporting and wage theft.
Meanwhile our public schools, buses and subways, our hospitals, police and fire all cry out for money to update crumbling systems, to pay for much-needed personnel, and to lift the pay of an over-burdened staff. Think of it. Better equipped schools, on-time transit, properly rested health care staff could all be reality – but it’s all denied us because of the criminal behavior of companies like those above. Wage theft steals from all of us.
Of course, wage theft is illegal. But because current laws lack teeth, it’s a crime that’s been easy to get away with. The penalties are light enough that wage theft fines can be seen as an acceptable ledger anticipation for too many firms. They still come out ahead, even when caught.
But the New York State Assembly and Senate have passed the Wage Theft Bill to make those penalties more biting, and enforcement of the laws more effective, so when bad actors are caught stealing they will pay a real price for their crime. The bill awaits a gubernatorial signature to become law.
Let the Governor know you want the Wage Theft Bill to become law. Let the Governor know you’re tired of being ripped off.
Ivan Duta is now a member of New York Local 46 Iron Workers and Metal Lathers Union. But he says that when he worked for non-unionized Parkside Construction they regularly undercounted hours in his paycheck, and took from him weekly contributions for a health plan that did not exist.
Get The Facts
If you work, shop, study, or live in a NYC high-rise, here are 3 reasons you'll want to know who built it: safety, quality, and cost to you. Find out the real stories about non-union construction in New York City.