Out of an abundance of caution, most of the regional councils in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) have suspended planning for the Tax Fraud Days of Action events scheduled for April of this year.
This is a disappointing but easy decision in view of the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes. All of us are functioning in a new reality as we strive to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe and healthy. The responsibility is broader and more complex for a large organization like the UBC, but at all levels we accept our responsibility to protect each other without hesitation and with a strong sense of brother and sisterhood. That is part of our DNA as a union.
We feel we also have responsibilities as part of the larger construction industry, and the COVID-19 outbreak is giving us a stark example of why Construction Industry Tax Fraud is so damaging. There is no doubt that the coronavirus crisis is aggravated by having two million construction workers who routinely go without workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance protections when they should have them. Many of these workers struggle to get by on vastly substandard wages, have their wages stolen by crooked contractors and labor brokers, and work without health insurance, let alone retirement benefits.
During this public health and economic crisis, it is also very clear that the construction tax fraud problem compounds the difficulties of shoring up individuals, companies, and the entire economy. If the industry were operating as it should, our public treasuries would be better able to relieve the economic misery to come.
That is why we won’t stop educating legislators, regulators and the public about the critical need to end the crises that have been created by tax fraud in the construction industry. Workers, legitimate contractors, taxpayers and our communities deserve our continued advocacy on this issue.
When it is safe and appropriate, UBC regional councils will ramp up and re-schedule Tax Fraud Days of Action events. When the call once again goes out to fight against fraud, please be ready to Stand Up, Speak Out and Take Action!