Friday, April 30, 2010

What Did Sheriff Candidates Say About Wage Theft?

On April 29th, Workers Interfaith Network (WIN) held a non-partisan forum for Shelby County Sheriff candidates to discuss the issue of wage theft. Candidates heard presentations from workers, attorneys, union and community organizers about wage theft in our community, including information about a proposal WIN has presented to the current Sheriff Mark Luttrell and District Attorney Bill Gibbons to treat wage theft
as a criminal offense under Tennessee's theft of services law. This proposal is similar to one currently
used by the Austin Police Department.

Candidates were asked to answer two questions:

(1)How will you address wage theft is you are elected Sheriff?

(2) Will you support Workers Interfaith Network's proposal to arrest and prosecute employers who deliberately do not pay workers for their labor, using our state's Theft of Services law?

Larry Hill (D), Randy Wade (D), James Coleman (R), and Bennie Cobb (D) all took part in the forum. You can read a transcription of their remarks on wage theft at our website, as well as previously submittede written statements by Bobby Simmons (R) and Bill Oldham (R) were not able to attend. Reginald French (D) and Dale Lane (R) were not able to attend and did not submit statements.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wage Theft is a Crime Rally Delivers Results

Last week, WIN members showed once again that you are powerful when we stand together against injustice! More than 40 people rallied at the Shelby County Courthouse, calling on Sheriff Luttrell and District Attorney Gibbons to treat wage theft as a crime.

Jose Leon and Bill Bright of the District Attorney's Office receive more than 1,200 petition signatures on wage theft that you helped collect.

The rally delivered results: Sheriff Luttrell called the day before the rally and agreed to contact Attorney Gibbons to request a joint meeting with WIN to discuss our proposal to criminalize wage theft. At the rally, attorneys Bill Bright and Jose Leon of the District Attorney's office came out to meet the crowd and receive over 1,200 petition signatures that you helped collect. They also indicated they are willing to meet with WIN to discuss our wage theft proposal.

We will keep you posted about developments in the campaign.

Be sure to attend our Sheriff Candidate forum on Thursday, April 29th to make sure that no matter who our next Sheriff is, wage theft is on his agenda! The forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, located at 692 Poplar Ave.

The non-partisan forum is open to all candidates for Shelby County Sheriff and all community members. Workers and community members will talk about the crisis of wage theft, and ask candidates for Sheriff how they will address the crisis if elected.

Even if Sheriff Luttrell develops a policy to treat wage theft as a crime before he leaves office, the next Sheriff's actions will determine whether or not the policy is enforced. Show Sheriff candidates just how important this issue is to the community by attending the candidate forum!

View press coverage of last week's rally: A story in The Commercial Appeal and a guest column on wage theft by WIN board member Erika Eubanks.

Learn more about the Wage Theft is a Crime campaign