Thank you Cummings Foundations!
Monday, June 26, 2017
www.CummingsFoundation.org The funding offers three years of support to advance our joint Building Justice Project, which helps build worker leadership and combat wage theft in the construction, building maintenance, and cleaning industries.
Wage theft is a major problem in Massachusetts. Recent estimates indicate $700,000,000 is stolen from low-wage workers in the Commonwealth every year, with workers in residential construction and other industries often going for weeks without pay. The members of the Building Justice Workers Council are very thankful for this support, which will allow them to strengthen their efforts to help workers recover the paychecks their employers owe them and to deter wage theft from happening in the first place. “As a member of the Building Justice Workers Council I am very grateful”, says Eli, a worker and leader of the Building Justice Worker Council. “This means trust in us, in the organization, and the importance of our work. It will make us stronger.”
Executive Directors Natalicia Tracy (Brazilian Worker Center) and Thomas Smith (Justice at Work) will serve as program managers of the Building Justice and the Small Claims Wage Theft Project, which will be carried out by worker members of the Building Justice Committee and staff of the two organizations. Project components include: staffing the monthly wage and hour clinic at Suffolk Law School, in collaboration with the Attorney General’s office; training legal advocates to receive and support worker wage theft complaints in the Small Claims division of the Boston Municipal Court, Central Division; expanding basic know-your-rights trainings to other workers in the region; new cycles of leadership development training for Building Justice members; advising additional worker centers in developing worker-led anti-wage theft committees like Building Justice; training additional worker center staff in use of small claims court resolution of wage theft complaints; and working toward expanding the Small Claims Wage Court model beyond Boston to other municipalities in Middlesex and Essex counties, Massachusetts.