Our mission is to raise the visibility of, and support organizing by, low-wage workers, immigrant and refugee workers, and workers of color in Los Angeles.
Many of us belonged to the Coalition to End Wage Theft, and celebrated a huge victory on July 1, 2016 when the minimum wage increased across LA County and City. However, after Trump’s election, the Coalition saw that the ongoing fight for economic justice alone was simply not enough.
We broadened our reach to include rapid response to immigration threats, all the while caring for our health and wellness during this crisis for low-wage immigrant workers and workers of color in LA. The LA Worker Center Network was formed in Spring of 2017 and since then has focused on wage enforcement along with rapid response to immigration-based threats.
Wage theft is when an employer does not pay workers what they have earned. Los Angeles is the wage theft capital of the nation — $26.2 million is stolen from workers every week.
Wage theft takes many forms, including: not being paid minimum wage, not being paid overtime, lack of meal breaks, lack of rest breaks, tip stealing, illegal deductions, misclassification as an independent contractor, being paid by the piece, and even complete non-payment.
80% of all low-wage workers in Los Angeles experience wage theft. And those who fight to reclaim their wages through the State Labor Commissioner often wait years to receive a decision. Of those who win their wage claims, only 17% collect even a dime of their money owed.
Wage theft is a crime. We need to take action in Los Angeles to collect, protect, and enforce workers’ wages.
We are a coalition of worker centers and labor organizations throughout LA County. We have united under the following pledge:
The LAWCN includes: