November 19th, 2009: Campaign against Wage Theft National Day of Action

On November 19th, 2009, Agencies, organizations, and individuals joined together in taking action to fight Wage Theft. Some organized delegations to unethical employers, while others participated in demonstrations and other actions to raise awareness and support for those who have had wages stolen.

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Current list of media coverage for Wage Theft National Day of Action

California, Los Angeles Times
Colorado, Denver Post
Colorado, Public News Service
Florida, Ft. Myers NBC 2 News
Florida, Miami CBS 4 News
Illinois, Chicago, In These Times Magazine
Louisiana, The Times-Picayune
Michigan, Detroit, Labor Notes
New York, New York WNYC
New York, New York 1
Ohio, Columbus Dispatch
Tennessee, Knoxville Sentinel
Tennessee, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Texas, El Diario de El Paso
Washington D.C., Dept. of Labor press release
Washington D.C., Todays Workplace blog
Wisconsin, Madison Badger Herald
Wisconsin, Wisconsin Raio Network
National, Public News Service

List of known Day of Action activities

Washington, DC

Interfaith Worker Justice National Office
and allies ROC DC and DC Jobs with Justice
Press conference with members of congress, clergy, and workers speaking about Wage Theft
Ted Smukler (773)206-6776 cell
Press Release for IWJ National Day of Action DC press conference


Northwest Arkansas

Interfaith Worker Justice Arkansas
Working with student groups on campus to increase awareness of the issue of Wage Theft, and to encourage participation in actions to fight it.
Fernando Garcia / Ana Aguayo


Los Angeles

Pilipino Worker Center
The Pilipino Workers Center will be interviewed about wage theft on Thursday, November 19th at 4:30 pm on a show called Kababayan LA airing on Channel 18 in the Los Angeles area. This is one of the shows widely viewed by the Filipino American community in Southern California. The people being interviewed will include Lolita Lledo, director of the Pilipino Workers’ Center, Georgia Danan, the caregiver that was not paid by Mt. Sina Home Care Agency and Atty. Carmina Ocampo from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center who has been providing pro bono services to caregivers that are victims of wage theft.
Lolit Llito (213)250-4353

San Francisco

Young Workers United
Press Conference with local allied organizations including Chinese Progressive Association, Young Workers United, La Raza Centro Legal, Filipino Community Center, and Pride at Work, with the NBC Workers Campaign, and local unions.
Dianne Enriquez (415)621-4155


East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
Press event in front of city hall at 11am with various workers centers
Vanessa Coe(510)893-7106 x323



Front Range Economic Strategy Center (FRESC)
Planning to have workers speak at an event to be held in either the Worker Center or a Church or in front of a targeted employer’s place of business. They also hope to announce Ed Perlmutter’s co-sponsorship of the Wage Theft legislation.
Also they are coordinating efforts to secure a commitment of co-sponsorship from Representatives Diana DeGette (D ) and Ed Perlmutter (D). A meeting with Rep. Perlmutter is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17th.
Daniel Klawitter (303)477-6111



South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
Organizing to win Wage Theft ordinance for Dade County. Press conference with AFL-CIO and other community partners as well as Presentation by Womens Catering Coop at UCC Luncheon.
Jeannette Smith (305)598-1404



Northeast Georgia and Rural Worker Center for Economic Justice
(On Nov 13th) Will have an EEOC speaker discussing wage theft and workers rights
Ray MacNair (706)549-1142



ARISE Chicago
Press conference focused on four Polish workers each owed over $10,000 by a contractor who is also president of Chicago Polish Contractors Association. Announcement of lawsuit and other components of demonstration at location of one of contractors current work sites with religious leaders, and community groups
Anna Karewicz (773)769-6000 x106
Press Release for ARISE Day of Action


New Orleans

NOLA and Workers Center for Racial Justice
Delegation of clergy, workers, and community allies going to the police chief to ask workers not be harassed when reporting incidents of Wage Theft. Also a protest with restaurant workers in front of restaurants in the French quarter that perpetrate Wage Theft. Lastly, clergy will go with a sign on letter to the city council in support of a local ordinance that stipulates stronger penalties for employers who steal wages.
Keron Blair (504)267-4685



Food and Medicine Worker Center
Discussing Wage Theft around a showing of "The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant".
Martin Chartrand (207)989-5860



Interfaith Worker Justice of Massachusetts
(on NOV 18th due to state legislative schedule) Faith leaders and clergy will attend and testify at Massachusetts State House hearing regarding bill ammending statute of limitation on Wage Theft
Anthony Zuba (617)840-5860



Detroit IWJ and Restaurant Opportunities Center Michigan
Educational Breakfast, partnership between ROC Michigan and clergy. Restaurant workers will be telling of their experiences with Wage Theft and organizers from ROC will explain how Wage Theft effects the larger community.There will be a representatives from a number of faith traditions and a few important community leaders present.
Joan Smith
Detroit Day of Action writeup: MS word document
Bolg entry and call to action for Detroit event



Interfaith Center for Worker Justice
Delegation of workers to state representatives to discuss the national Wage Theft campaign
Veronica Mendez (612)332-0663



Noel Anderson

New Jersey

New Brunswick

New Labor
On November 18th, there will be 15 house parties focused on immigration which will incorporate Wage Theft into discussions.
Marien Casillas Leon

New York

New York City

New York State Departnent of Labor
Commemorating National Wage Theft Day, State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith will be holding a press conference in the Park Slope neighborhood to detail the findings of the targeted investigation around wage theft at over two dozen cafes and restaurants in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. November 19th, 11am at the corner or 5th Ave. and 3rd St. in Brooklyn.
Contact Leo Rosales (518)457-5519
Media Advisory

Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York
Jeff Mansfield (212)343-1771


Tompkins County Workers Center
(T.B.A.) A future event is in the works. Recently they had successful results from a county wide "sweep" for violators of wage laws
Pete Meyers (607)269-0409
Press release for Tompkins County Worker Center event

North Carolina

Western Region

Press release to local papers about National Day of Action and legislation. Also potential prayer vigil
Bless Burke



Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center
Education and outreach about Wage Theft begining at 5am, 1pm, and 4pm, ending with a press conference at 5:30pm. Press conference to include workers telling of personal experiences, as well as organiztions voicing support, and tentative speakers from local and state government adressing wage theft policies.
Dan Moore (513)621-5991
Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center flyer for National Day of Action events PDF


Greater Columbus Jobs With Justice
Press conference at 10am at the Senate Democratic Caucus
Cameron McNamee
Press Advisory for Ohio Senator Morano Wage Theft press conference
Video of Senator Morano Wage Theft press conference



East and Mid-Tennessee Jobs With Justice and WIN in Memphis
Coordinated around state hearings on Wage Theft and worker safety in Knoxville on Nov 5th, Nashville on Nov 6th, and in Memphis on Nov 7th.
Jason Schumer or Frances Ansley(901)634-3568


Memphis Workers Center
Call in day to Congressman Cohens office about Wage Theft, also on the same day an article on Wage Theft will be published in "The Commercial Appeal", a local paper
Rev. Rebekah Jordan (901) 332-3570


El Paso

Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project
Demonstration in front of District Attourneys office to encourage collaboration with community allies to help start enforcing state wage statutes, then shift action to front of local business violating employment law
Press Release for Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project Day of Action
Blog entry with video


Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center
Formal release of local report on Wage Theft in the morning. Afterwards the "Justice Bus" and riders will be a mobile protest going to specific abusive employers to demonstrate and pressure them into resolving currently issues with employees. Enroute, workers will tell of experiences, and what efforts have been made to remedy the situation.


Workers' Defense Project
Workers’ Defense Project will be sending out a press release around Wage Theft and highlighting a current case that would benefit from proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Emily Timm (512) 391-2305



Madison Workers' Rights Center
Press conference and rally at Wisconsin State Capitol at noon, and a forum on campus at 6pm with the Student Labor Action Coalition and workers who have experienced wage theft
Patrick Hickey (608)255-0376
Madison Day of Action Flyer: MS word document