Amer­i­can work­ers en­ter a ‘dark pe­riod’

StarMetro Vancouver - - WORLD -

A re­view of the U.S. De­part­ment of La­bor’s web­site re­vealed that mul­ti­ple posts about pro­tect­ing pre­car­i­ous work­ers, en­forc­ing labour laws, and crack­ing down on wage theft have van­ished.

“If we have been liv­ing in an over­cast pe­riod for work­ing peo­ple in the U.S., we are about to en­ter into a dark, dark pe­riod,” said Cal­i­for­nia-based work­ers’ rights ad­vo­cate Car­men Ro­jas.

There are no­table dis­ap­pear­ances, in­clud­ing an ex­ec­u­tive or­der that lifted the min­i­mum wage of fed­eral con­trac­tors to $10.10 an hour — a move that pro­vided an es­ti­mated 200,000 low-wage work­ers with a raise. Nu­mer­ous links to De­part­ment of La­bor blog posts also ap­peared to be bro­ken, specif­i­cally on is­sues re­lated to wage theft, en­force­ment, and em­ployee mis­clas­si­fi­ca­tion — the prac­tice of wrongly clas­si­fy­ing work­ers as in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors to avoid le­gal obli­ga­tions like pay­ing min­i­mum wage.

All three ar­eas were cham­pi­oned un­der Obama in an ef­fort to bet­ter pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble work­ers.

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