Thursday, August 2, 2012

7 things you can do to help pass the Shelby County wage theft ordinance

Two out of three low-wage workers are affected by wage theft. It's time for a local wage theft law!

     People all across Shelby County are sending our County Commissioners a clear message: all workers should be paid for their work. And when you aren't paid, you should have an easy way to recover your stolen wages.

     That's why we're calling on the Shelby County Commission to pass a local wage theft ordinance. They'll only pass the law if enough of us press them to do so. I hope you'll join other workers, people of faith, students, and activists in our campaign to stop wage theft.

Here are 7 things you can do to help get the wage theft ordinance passed:

1) Learn more about what wage theft is and why the local wage theft ordinance is needed. Want the quick version? Download our one page summary of the wage theft ordinance. Want to go more in-depth? Read our report "The Epidemic of Wage Theft in Shelby County." It has stories of workers like Cynthia Marquez, who took a waitressing job to put herself through college and was only paid in customer tips.

2) Sign the electronic petition to County Commissioners, calling on them to support the ordinance, and meet with members of the Stop Wage Theft Coalition to talk about the proposed law.

3) Collect petition signatures on our printed petitions from your friends, co-workers, members of your congregation or union, or your neighbors. We'll deliver these to Commissioners at a rally in September. Contact Kyle Kordsmeier to get petition forms.

4) Invite a WIN staff member to come speak about the wage theft campaign to your group. This is our most powerful way to spread the word about the campaign! We'll speak to Sunday School classes, Bible studies and women's groups; student organizations; union meetings; neighborhood associations; political organizations, and more. We can do something short or a longer (30 minutes or so) presentation. If you'd like a speaker, let Kyle Kordsmeier know.

5) Ask your congregation, union, community group, or business to endorse the wage theft campaign. Again, Kyle Kordsmeier can give you endorsement forms or additional info about this.

6) Of course, it also takes money to run this campaign. Become a sponsor of our Faith and Labor Picnic to help raise the funds needed to pass the wage theft ordinance.

7) Sign up to be a volunteer with Workers Interfaith Network. We need folks to do everything from being part of lobbying delegations to calling our members about actions they can take. Fill out our volunteer form here, and under the "special skills I'd like to share" be sure to indicate you'd like to help with the wage theft ordinance campaign.

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