March 16, 2016 — The Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA) gathered to present their findings on the staffing and funding needs for the Office of Wage Standards. The office is charged with ending wage theft in Los Angeles and scheduled to open July 1, 2016.
In honor of women’s history month, members, workers, and community leaders of the Los Angeles Coalition Against Wage Theft gathered outside of the hearing to hold a pop-up art gallery. The image and stories uplifted the struggles of women who have suffered from wage theft and the impacts it has on their families.
Luz Elena, a member leader of the CLEAN carwash campaign, shared her own battle with wage theft with the crowd that gathered on the steps leading to City Hall.
“I worked for six year at a car wash, washing cars, where I was paid $35 a day for ten hours,” said Luz Elena. “They stole from us a lot. I am here to lift our voices because what we are being paid right now is not enough. I am a mother of four children and honestly right now I split my rent by renting out my living room because my wages are not enough. I am here because we need women to lift their voices so this proposal can get where it needs to be.”
The coalition and the BCA has asked city council for 4.2 million to fully fund enforcement, including 1.2 million for contracts with community-based organizations and 22 full-time staff positions in the office. Mayor Garcetti, with the help of the Los Angeles City Council, is scheduled to deliver his first draft of LA’s 2016-2017 budget on April 20, 2016.