From Canada’s Atlantic coast to San Diego; from Pittsburgh to Portland, Ore., and dozens of points across North America, UBC members and allies are waking up this morning with a plan to stand up and speak out against tax fraud and worker exploitation in the construction industry. Events start today and will go through April 16.
Hundreds are expected to take part in rallies, public forums, jobsite visits with lawmakers and meetings with prosecutors—and other events to call attention to the fraud crisis that exploits vulnerable workers and families, undermines law-abiding contractors and steals resources from taxpayers.
Click the tab at this website to learn about Days of Action events in your area.
Outright wage theft, misclassification of employees as independent contractors, off-the-books employment, the use of labor brokers and layers of crooked subcontractors, shady banking practices, failure to pay overtime, unemployment and workers compensation insurance premiums and refusal to deduct and pay payroll taxes like Social Security and Medicare are just a few of the business practices in wide use by fraudsters.
As many as 2.41 million construction workers, up to 21 percent of the construction workforce, are victimized through these methods. The resulting state and federal tax losses reach $8.4 billion a year. Tax fraud and the underground economy are a scourge in Canada as well. In Ontario, $3.1 billion is lost every year, while the number is $1.5 billion in Quebec.
In addition, the University of California Berkeley Labor Center found that 39 percent of U.S. construction worker families, about 3 million, rely on one or more taxpayer-funded safety-net programs including Medicaid, the earned income tax credit, temporary assistance for needy families and federal nutrition assistance.
The researchers attribute the numbers, which are higher than those for all workers, to low pay, wage theft and illegal employment practices.
It’s outrageous and it must stop. Members of UBC regional councils will not rest until we have eliminated the tax fraud playbook from the construction industry.
Click the tab at this website to learn about events in your area.