This is Building Bridges Radio interview with Annette Bernhardt, Deputy Dir. of the Brennan Center for Justice Program at NYU and one of the author's of Unregulated Work in the Global City, a comprehensive study of the underground labor force in New York City.
This report covers the labor violations, the profiteers, the victims and the enablers that let it happen. Unfortunately most people will just bitch about undocumented workers, this report explains in great detail who we as tax paying Americans should focus our anger towards, the unscrupulous employers and those that allow it to happen.
Some quick facts learned via the report:
The policy makers allow what equates to slavery and sweatshop conditions right here in New York. With workers that do not benefit from the labor laws of the state, who are often misclassified and paid off the books, often below minimum wage and are without any means for a safe work environment.From: The open source Archive-Where you can download this in many formats
These workers are often forced to work over 10 hours a day, sometimes 7 days a week, without breaks and usually without overtime pay. They face blatant discrimination and are in constant fear of the bosses reprisal if they step out of line. Sometimes they don't wind up getting paid at all.
Undermanned and under financed investigatory units such as OSHA, with it's 128 inspectors in the entire state, cannot police the jobs (an estimate is that it would take OSHA 96 years to investigate every NYS workplace just once).
Many agencies and politicians which should be regulating these infractions turn a blind eye.
Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report National Edition
Produced by Ken Nash and Mimi RosenbergFor more information contact Ken Nash - firstname.lastname@example.org
A recent study by the Brennan Center's Economic Justice Project, details the systemic violation of federal, state & local labor law which is increasingly the way of doing business in N.Y.C. Over a wide range of industries, employers pay less than the minimum wage, and sometimes nothing at all; deny overtime for 60-hour weeks, routinely ignore vital health and safety regulations even after injuries occur; and workers are subject to blatant discrimination, and retaliated against for speaking up or trying to organize.
Building Bridges is nationally broadcast throughout the country,in the N.Y.C Metropolitan area it is regularly broadcast live over WBAI, 99.5 FM on Mondays from 7-8pm EST and is streamed, archived and pod cast at www.wbai.org
In the words of Ed Ott, the Executive Director of NYC Central Labor Council "Every union official should have a copy" when speaking about Unregulated Work in the Global City
Download Links for Report (PDF Format):
Unregulated Work In The Global City - Full PDF
Building Up New York, Tearing Down Job Quality: Taxpayer Impact of Worsening Employment Practices in the New York City Construction Industry - Full PDF