MEDIA ADVISORY FOR MAY 18th, 2017
Media Contact: Joanna Arellano, Raise the Floor Alliance
Phone: 773.934.1511 / jarellano[at]raisetheflooralliance[dot]org / @RaisetheFloor
Widespread Workplace Violations in Illinois Breeding a Climate of Fear and Illegality
Workers Release New Report and Call on Local, State Reps to Act in Trump Era
What: Telepresser – A new report exposes how companies breed fear among low-wage workers through illegal retaliation and make violating workers’ rights a standard business practice. These degraded working conditions are now further fueled by the Trump Administration’s threats and rhetoric attacking all workers, but especially undocumented working communities.
The report, Challenging the Business of Fear, features first-of-its-kind research based on surveys and interviews with nearly 300 workers employed in a broad cross-section of Illinois’ low-wage industries. Collaborators, Raise the Floor Alliance, a coalition of Chicago-area worker centers, and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI), captured what happened when these workers were injured or tried to address abuse at work.
Who: Sophia Zaman, Raise the Floor Alliance; Brittany Scott, Senior Research Strategist with NESRI; worker leaders with Arise Chicago and Warehouse Workers for Justice
When: Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 10:00AM CT
Where: RSVP to Joanna Arellano by e-mail jarellano[at]raisetheflooralliance[dot]org by Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 to receive the call-in number, along with the digital press kit.
Background: Raise the Floor Alliance and the National Economic & Social Rights Initiative will make public for the first time their new report, Challenging the Business of Fear. In the report, workers’ stories illuminate how fear created by employers is setting the standards in Chicago area workplaces, rather than the law. Disturbingly, the research identifies more sweatshops than Starbucks in Chicago, with 75% of surveyed workers experiencing two or more workplace violations at their current jobs.
The new report highlights the devastating failure to provide these workers with effective protection in the face of retaliation when reporting injuries and abuse, despite public reliance on workers’ ability to speak up in order to enforce workplace laws. In the absence of reliable protection, the constant threat of job loss and other harm creates pressure for workers to accept illegal abuses like wage theft.
Available for interviews: Sophia Zaman with Raise the Floor Alliance, Brittany Scott with NESRI, worker leaders with Arise Chicago and Warehouse Workers for Justice.
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