New video on how wage thieves cheat human trafficking survivors
SACRAMENTO, California – A new video showing the link between human trafficking and wage theft was released by the California Fair Paycheck Coalition and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST).
Three workers tell stories of how they were brought to the United States on false pretenses, forced to work seven days a week without pay, mistreated and ultimately escaped with the help of good Samaritans.
When each worker went out and found jobs in the “legitimate” economy, they were victimized again—this time by employers who refused to pay them for all of the hours they worked.
Just like those who engage in human trafficking, employers who commit wage theft target those who they will believe will be most vulnerable: immigrants, women and people of color.
“Silence is bliss for traffickers and abusers,” said one worker, Flor. She described being locked in a factory, escaping, then going to work for an employer who disappeared before payday. “They know how to manipulate the system,” she said.
They are going public with their stories to push for passage of SB 588 by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). The legislation would greatly improve enforcement of California’s wage theft laws by allowing the state to pursue the money with levies and bonds. Currently, most workers who win wage theft claims are never paid.
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