PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Several Port Chester businesses will be the first to put up a “Good Workplace” decal in their storefronts Thursday to show they follow all wage and hours law as part of a new campaign to make the village a no tolerance zone for wage theft.
The Workers of America Local 1103 has partnered with the Port Chester-based Don Bosco Workers, Inc. to launch the campaign named “No Pay No Way. They are working with a “broad based coalition” that will have a press conference Thursday.
“We thought Port Chester is a great place to start a campaign where we can educate both businesses and the community about the problem of wage theft,” said Christopher Calabrese, of Local 1103. “It just doesn’t affect the workers, it affects the entire community.”
Businesses that display the decal must sign an agreement stating they will follow all wage and hours law. There are 17,000 open cases of wage theft in New York, and $23 million in stolen wages was recovered in 2013. Calabrese said this is a “pervasive” problem in industries like construction, retail and restaurants.
“Most of the low wage and immigrant workers in Port Chester they spend their money locally in the economy,” he said. “And when they’re not getting paid what they should be that money is not being pumped back into the local economy.”
Don Bosco Workers, Inc. President Dr. Ann Heekin said wage theft has been seen as an immigrant issue up until now.
“Wage theft hurts resposnbile businesses, reduces spending in the local economy and strains publically funded social services programs that costs taxpayers,” she said.
After the press conference a solidarity walk to Main Street will give local businesses supporting the campaign a chance to be the first to display their “Good Workplace” decal.
“Port Chester is a microcosm of our great country,” said CWA 1103 President Kevin Sheil. “A healthy economy where both Capital and Labor prosper can only be achieved when everyone is playing by the rules.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.