Sen. Labor Committee Hearing on Abuse–TODAY

by Chris Sturr | March 09, 2009

A press release from our friends at Interfaith Worker Justice, about a hearing this afternoon. Kim Bobo, author of Wage Theft in America (and this excerpt we posted here) will testify. Sorry for the delay posting.

Senate Labor Committee to Hold Hearing on Extreme Abuses

Wage Theft Expert Kim Bobo to Deliver Testimony

Kim Bobo, Founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice and the author of the recently-published Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid—And What We Can Do About It, will present testimony on Monday (March 9) at 2:30 p.m. in Room 430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, at Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearings on “Preventing Worker Exploitation: Protecting Individuals With Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations”.

Bobo will be available for media interviews immediately following the hearings.

The hearings were prompted by recent shocking reports of the squalid housing conditions and illegal deductions from the paychecks of disabled workers at a turkey processing plant in eastern Iowa. Last month federal police, state health inspectors and county prosecutors ordered an emergency evacuation of the living quarters and launched a major investigation into Texas-based Henry’s Turkey Service, a company that for more than three decades has employed mentally retarded men with Iowa’s West Liberty Foods meat-processing plant.

As alarming as this report is, it is not nearly as uncommon as one might imagine. In her testimony Monday, Bobo will underscore the pervasiveness of the practice of illegal paycheck deduction—one of the many faces of wage theft.

Bobo’s is the first book-length study of the national epidemic of wage theft, which has been called “the crime wave no one talks about.” Wage Theft in America not only anatomizes the crisis but offers a bold new vision for how the Department of Labor can fix the problem. In a jacket blurb for the book, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), who chairs the Senate committee, praised Bobo for writing “an excellent and informative book on one of the most pressing issues facing millions of hardworking Americans.” The book, he said, “offers bold, practical, and progressive solutions for how policymakers and advocates can end the growing crisis of wage theft in America.”

WHAT: Senate Committee Hearing: “Preventing Worker Exploitation: Protecting Individuals With Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations”

WHO: Kim Bobo, Founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice (and others)

WHEN: Monday, March 9, 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Room 430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building

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