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Tarpinian: Misclassification is Theft

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is a statement by Change to Win Executive Director Greg Tarpinian on the misclassification of workers and today's signing of an executive order to prevent employee misclassification by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer:

Change to Win is a partnership of seven unions with six million members in the growth occupations and industries of the 21st century --- from retail to health care, from construction and transportation to food processing and hospitality --- we are organizing the workforce of the future, we are organizing to bring the American dream to the next generation of workers.

For workers that dream is a good job, economic security for the family and opportunity to earn a better life. Misclassification of workers as independent contractors --- directing and controlling the work, but refusing to take responsibility for those doing the work --- is a direct attack on that dream and the economic well-being of working families.

Through misclassification, employers effectively exempt themselves from labor and employment laws that are the foundation of American workplace standards --- from programs like unemployment insurance and workers compensation that provide economic protection for working families --- and, reverse more than a century of social progress. They would turn America into a third world country.

Millions of workers are currently misclassified and tens of millions more are threatened, if we do not actively and aggressively enact and enforce laws and regulations to stop the abuse of designating workers as contractors.

What does misclassification mean to a working family?

It means if you lose your job --- you don't get unemployment --- because you were not an employee.

It means if you get hurt on the job, you don't receive medical coverage or income protection through workers' compensation--because you are not a worker.

Let's be clear: misclassification is not some personnel office error or technical mistake -- misclassification is theft. Outlaw employers steal compensation from workers, security from their families and taxes from their communities. Law-abiding employers are put at a competitive disadvantage, and all of us pay the price with higher taxes and weakened social programs. Some of these outlaw employers are household names and mainstays of corporate America, such as FedEx.

On behalf of all the Change To Win unions, and I believe all workers, I am proud to stand here with Governor Spitzer --- because he is not afraid to stand up for workers --- and to stand up for law-abiding employers --- and to stand up against outlaw employers.

Change to Win is taking action. We are a workplace organization. We have prepared a handbill to distribute to worksites across the state--to inform and empower workers to take action -- to demand corporate compliance with the law --- to demand their rights under the law --- to demand economic justice for themselves and their families.

Workers bring change. Workers can win. Thank you again Governor.

About Change to Win Seven unions and six million workers united in Change to Win to build a new movement of working people equipped to meet the challenges of the global economy and restore the American Dream in the 21st century: a paycheck that can support a family, affordable health care, a secure retirement and dignity on the job. The seven partner unions are: International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers' International Union of North America, Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, United Farm Workers of America, and United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

For more information, see:

SOURCE Change to Win
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