Low Paid Workers often cheated, exploited, study reveals
In the New York City area, the issue of labor unions has become central to a lot of people, pro and con; especially to New Jerseyans who watch the conflict between gubernatorial candidates Corzine (incumbant) and Christie, in which labor unions are often spoken of scathingly by the Republican candidate. This study, highlighted in today's New York Times, puts a spotlight on low-paid worker's rights.
Low-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new studybased on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The study, the most comprehensive examination of wage-law violations in a decade, also found that 68 percent of the workers interviewed had experienced at least one pay-related violation in the previous work week.
“We were all surprised by the high prevalence rate,” said Ruth Milkman, one of the study’s authors and a sociology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the City University of New York. The study, to be released on Wednesday, was financed by the Ford, Joyce, Haynes and Russell Sage Foundations.
In surveying 4,387 workers in various low-wage industries, including apparel manufacturing, child care and discount retailing, the researchers found that the typical worker had lost $51 the previous week through wage violations, out of average weekly earnings of $339. That translates into a 15 percent loss in pay.