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DENVER, April 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SWRCC) members and their families will be at the Capitol on April 15th to educate legislators on the problem of construction industry tax fraud and to lobby for the passage of HB19-1267, The Human Right to Work with Dignity Act. HB19-1267 would make non-payment of an employee’s wages a crime of theft.
Denver’s highlight will feature a noon press conference on the west Capitol steps. Carpenters will be joined by some of the state’s most prominent leaders in the fight against labor trafficking and wage theft, including Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Executive Director Joe Barela, state Representative Meg Froelich, state Representative Jonathan Singer, and state Senator Robert Rodriguez. There will also be representatives from the business, public safety, and labor community to spotlight the broader negative impact of this issue to all sectors of society.
“Contractors who don’t play by the rules hurt working families and law-abiding contractors,” said Dan Langford, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the SWRCC. “This is a serious threat to our industry and impacts our ability to create jobs that provide a middle-class life.”
The construction industry has increasingly turned into an under-the-table economy, which contributes heavily to Colorado’s labor trafficking and wage theft epidemic. In Colorado alone, wage theft is responsible for an estimated $750 million a year in lost pay. Nationwide, construction industry tax fraud costs communities up to $2.6 billion.
“Construction industry tax fraud steals from Colorado taxpayers,” said state Senator Robert Rodriguez, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee and is a Senate sponsor of HB19-1267. “We should be spending that money on schools, transportation, and human services. Companies that break the law leave working people to foot their bill, and that’s not acceptable.”
The April 15th rally in Denver is part of a nationwide Construction Industry Tax Fraud Days of Action by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America to raise awareness and generate action against tax fraud and related crimes.
About the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SWRCC)
The SWRCC represents over 52,000 union carpenters in six states. The Union is dedicated to raising the safety and standards for all skilled carpenters and advocating for the rights of workers, their families, and their communities. The SWRCC is proud to be affiliated with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. For more, visit www.swcarpenters.org
Contact: Heather Rutman 213.615.9211 HRutman@swcarpenters.org Local contact: JoyAnn Ruscha 213.407.0124 JRuscha@swcarpenters.org