New York: New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer kicked off Labor Rights Week on Wednesday by announcing that nearly $7.5 million in stolen prevailing wages has been returned to more than 400 workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also launched a series of “Know Your Rights” virtual events in collaboration with labor rights groups, community organizations and the Consulate of Mexico.
The Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law enforces prevailing wage and benefit rates for construction and building service workers employed by contractors on City public work projects. When companies on these public contracts fail to pay the proper wages and benefits, the Comptroller enforces the law to recover the money owed to workers and ensures that they receive the money through outreach. Amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Comptroller’s office launched a phone banking campaign in April to return unclaimed wages to workers cheated out of pay. Since March 2020, the Comptroller’s Office has returned nearly $7.5 million to more than 400 workers.
“During the economic hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that workers get the wages they are rightfully owed,” said Stringer.
The Mexican Consulate in New York hosts Labor Rights Week every year just before Labor Day. This year’s Labor Rights Week will be a virtual event and will take place from August 30 through September 5, 2021. An MOU is signed every two years in commitment to the partnership between the Comptroller’s office and the Mexican Consulate to promote labor rights and advocate for workers. The Mexican Consulate has similar MOUs with New York State and the United States Departments of Labor. For the Comptroller’s office, the object of the MOU is to ensure workers are aware of their rights to prevailing wages on City-funded public work sites.