United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York State’s largest Union representing supermarket workers, commended the New York State Senate and Assembly for passing historic legislation designed to combat wage theft in New York a crime wave responsible for nearly $1 billion stolen from workers every single year in New York City alone. The Union singled out the bills major sponsors, State Senator Diane Savino and Assemblyman Carl Heastie, for their leadership and support for workers, tax payers and the business community.
The legislation’s comprehensive reforms will make it easier for cheated workers to collect on unpaid wages and hold employers accountable for violating wage and hour law. Drawing from best-practices in other states, the bill’s reforms put New York more on par with national leaders in the fight against the crime wave of wage theft. The bill also ensures that responsible employers will operate on an even playing field with those employers who would otherwise seek to violate wage laws. Additionally, as more wages are paid properly, tax payers could benefit in some form of tax relief.
"Senator Diane Savino and Assemblyman Carl Heastie continue to show great leadership. Both individuals, in their respective legislative bodies, steered this bill to passage. Every single New Yorker benefits from the Wage Theft Prevention Act and they recognized this fact long ago. New Yorkers need to know that these two elected officials are fighting everyday on behalf of workers, tax payers and responsible employers," stated Patrick Purcell, Assistant to the President of UFCW Local 1500.
Each bill has minor differences and is expected to be conferenced in the coming days.
The Union also applauded Make the Road New York, a community organization that has been the leader of the coalition formed to seek passage of the WTPA. Our world is a better place because organizations like MTRNY exist and speak for those who often have no voice in the struggle for justice," said Purcell "Make the Road’s membership of 7,500 low-income families and 600 small businesses deal with the devastating impact of wage theft every single day. A day’s stolen wages can make the difference of whether or not you can pay the rent, put food on the table, or buy your child’s schools supplies. These families need to see final passage of the WTPA immediately." Purcell concluded.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Queens Village, represents over 23,000 grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by Pathmark, King Kullen, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, Fairway, D’agastinos, Key Food and Shop Rite