In collaboration with six workers’ organisations, New York State has launched a Wage Watch pilot to train workers at day-labour corners, laundries, restaurants, nail salons, supermarkets and department stores how to know and defend their rights. They will also be given contacts in the Division of Labour Standards to report violations.
The pilot is welcomed by the New York Times. In an editorial, the newspaper points out that repression alone will not make illegal immigrants go away: “It will make them silent partners in a system that forces honest Americans and businesses to suffer with them”.
“You don’t need a bleeding heart to apprehend the tragedy of worker exploitation”, the newspaper adds. “A cold eye will do, calculating the cost to honest businesses and workers when bad employers pocket the wages of fear and desperation”.
New York Times. See also this follow-up editorial. Extensive description of the Wage Watch programme