"I was working at Indus Valley. At first, they paid me $2.85 an hour. Later it went up to $5.83 an hour, but I had to work 6, sometimes 7 days, with no overtime pay. I lived nearby with my family, and the boss would often call me to work even on my day off. I almost didn't have any breaks.

We can change the law. We the workers need to get together to fight for our rights. If we do not, nobody is going to do it for us.
Thanks to places like NMASS, we are seeing changes. If it wasn't for fighting organizations like NMASS, it wouldn't be worthwhile to stand up."

                                                                                -Efren, restaurant worker

What is the Workers Enforcement Project?

The Workers' Enforcement Project is an effort to put a stop to the wage theft crisis and proliferation of sweatshop conditions here in New York and beyond. While led by many workers who are the hardest hit by wage theft, such as low-wage and service workers, the Project’s call for stronger enforcement of the labor law has opened the door for all kinds of workers affected by wage theft to join in---including white collar workers dealing with mandatory overtime, unionized workers like home attendants, and misclassified workers like unpaid interns.

Last summer, the generous donations of supporters like you made it possible for low-wage workers to lead the charge against wage theft and towards a real minimum wage increase. With your support, in the last 9 months, we've:

  • Obtained an increase in the tipped minimum wage to $7.50 an hour after a year of petitioning Governor Cuomo and picketing his Department of Labor.
  • Raised public awareness of wage theft and the problems of weak enforcement through press coverage on outlets such as The New York Times, The Daily News, WNYC Radio, and Diario de Mexico.
  • Produced a report with our SWEAT (Securing Wages Earned Against Theft) Coalition, “Empty Judgments: The Wage Collection Crisis in New York”.
  • Held a joint press conference with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal who announced her introduction of bill A5501 (SWEAT bill) to strengthen the law to enable workers to collect their stolen wages.
  • Inspired NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and the City Council to pass a resolution calling on State legislators and Cuomo to support the SWEAT bill.
  • Met with workers’ centers throughout the Tri-state Area to learn about wage theft in other areas and to popularize the need for SWEAT.
Yet, even with these accomplishments, wage theft remains an epidemic at the tune of $18.4 million stolen from workers in New York City every week. Workers across industries continue to toil for long hours, enduring unsafe conditions and blatant theft, just to survive. Restaurant workers, nail salon workers, deli workers, office workers, students, interns and more--together, we are fighting back. Workers are leading the charge for stronger, enforced labor laws and an end to wage theft once and for all! 

We hope you will support us in taking the Workers’ Enforcement Project to the next level in 2015 and beyond! Please consider donating to the Project so that we can continue to campaign for change.

What will your donation support?

With your help, this year we will: 
  • Release a report, based on workers' own investigations, documenting the lack of minimum-wage compliance in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a neighborhood where many workers have been organizing.
  • Initiate new enforcement proposals, such as increasing criminal prosecutions of law-breaking bosses.
  • Build support for legislation like the SWEAT bill by organizing a tour around New York State, meeting with workers' centers, community organizations and elected officials.
  • Fund the NMASS Organizer's Training Program so service workers who are leading this fight can commit to learning how to organize still more workers. 
  • Create new educational material about the progress we have made so far and the next steps in fighting for labor law enforcement.

Thank you again and we hope you will join us to take control of our workplaces, our communities, and our lives.

What is NMASS?

The National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NMASS) is a multi-trade workers’ center founded in 1996. Our members organize where they work and where they live, fighting against wage theft, mandatory overtime, and displacement from their communities.


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