Lynn City Council Unanimously Passes a Wage Theft Ordinance Developed by Worker-Leaders of the Lynn Worker Center
Lynn Worker Center (LWC) is proud to announce the unanimous passage of our Municipal Wage Theft Ordinance by the Lynn City Council last night 3/27/18). This campaign began over a year ago in conversations among our membership among workers who had directly experienced wage theft. Since last year, Lynn Worker Center members have been studying ordinances in other cities to learn about the worker protections, concessions made, and success of implementation of each one, to make the Lynn Wage Theft Ordinance as robust and successful as possible. With the support of the North Shore Labor Council and legal advice of Greater Boston Legal Services, we were able to grow the campaign into a resounding victory for workers, making this the first municipal wage theft ordinance to include companies who receive TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) into the enforcement language.
The voices of workers were the most impactful and memorable throughout the process, as they showed the real impact wage theft has on our communities, and the need for our communities to organize together. Laura Ramirez, who had a month of wages stolen from her at the restaurant where she worked. She said, “If it weren’t for the Lynn Worker Center, I would still be waiting for the courts [to make a decision], but I’ve come to understand that together, as workers, we can fight to improve our working and living conditions.” Mario Chun, who had thousands of dollars of his wages stolen while building a commercial building in Lynn, echoed this sentiment, stating, “I had thought that my stolen wages would be lost for good, but thanks to the Lynn Worker Center my employer has recently made a payment agreement with me.”
Lynn Worker Center would like to thank the city councilors for their unanimous vote, and our allies in this struggle for their solidarity and assistance throughout the campaign, including North Shore Labor Council, Greater Boston Legal Services, and the Immigrant Worker Center Collaborative (IWCC).
LWC is also grateful for the financial support from Community Labor United, Haymarket People’s Fund, Lenny Zakim Fund, Burgess Urban Fund, and RESIST, who believed in the power of LWC’s members.