Monday, August 31, 2009

Employers decide not to pay workers

Employers have discovered a new way to Make Money.

It's called not paying their workers. But I call it wage theft - and slavery.

On a weekly basis lately, the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers' Center has received calls from local workers who didn't get paid by their bosses. The stiffed employees range from construction workers to fast food employees. Most of them lack union protection.

The Ohio Department of Commerce has seen a 50% increase in wage theft complaints since 2007.

Why is wage theft becoming more common? You may blame the rough economy, but I think wage theft has been as much of a contributor to the bad economy as it is a result.

I suspect wage theft results more from the fact that this decade has seen almost a total lack of enforcement of federal labor laws. Our public officials have been more interested in listening to right-wing maniacs who yell at town halls than in making sure wage laws are followed.

They complain that minimum wage laws are too much government - yet they think laws that force unions to subsidize nonunion firms are fine and dandy. Brings a whole new meaning to "regulation for thee, not for me", doesn't it?