With events planned for the next several days across Canada and the United States, members of the Carpenters Union and our allies are setting out to stand up and speak out against employer tax fraud in the construction industry.
Click the Events tab at this website to learn about Days of Action events in your area.
Events are taking place April 12–18, from San Antonio to Toronto; from Washington D.C. to Seattle, and dozens of points in between.
Hundreds are expected to take part in rallies, public forums, jobsite visits with elected officials and other events to call attention to the fraud crisis that exploits vulnerable workers, undermines law-abiding contractors and steals resources from taxpayers.
Outright wage theft, misclassification of employees as independent contractors, the use of labor brokers and layers of crooked subcontractors, shady banking practices, refusal to deduct and pay payroll taxes like Medicare and Social Security, and workers compensation premium fraud are just a few of the business practices in wide use by fraudsters.
As many as 2.41 million construction workers, more than 20 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 is 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, costing state and federal taxpayers $28 billion a year.
The researchers attribute the numbers, which are higher than those for all workers, to low pay, wage theft and illegal employment practices. We are all subsidizing the low-road behavior of crooked contractors.
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 Events tab at this website to learn about events in your area.