"Wage theft’ has been a helpful frame for labor unions to fight for their workers' rights. Could it be applied to attacks on public workers' pensions--or Social Security?
July 13, 2011 |
Compensation for work performed is not guaranteed in the United States, even with significant worker protections in place, thanks to the actions of unscrupulous employers. Employers may withhold overtime pay owed, pay less than minimum wage, renege on benefits contracts, and engage in other activities that labor activists label as wage theft; in all of these cases, an employee works as agreed, and does not receive payment or other forms of compensation in return.
"Wage theft" sounds more aggressive, and flashy, than terms like "withholding compensation," which is exactly why organizers started popularizing the term in pushes like the Retail Action Project's attempt to recover unpaid overtime for workers at clothing retailer Mystique and advocacy work on behalf of vulnerable immigrant laborers.”