For Immediate Release, May 8, 2012
Contact: Cathy Junia
San Diego, CA – Each year, billions of dollars are stolen from workers, hurting especially those in low-wage jobs. In 2008, Kim Bobo, Interfaith Worker Justice founder and executive director, wrote the book that exposed the gravity of this nationwide crime against workers.
On June 21, the National Employment Lawyers Association will honor Bobo for her work around wage theft, her commitment to worker issues and for mobilizing people of faith on behalf of struggling workers.
In the past 18 months alone, legislation has been passed in Texas, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami-Dade County. These efforts were spearheaded by coalitions of interfaith religious leaders, worker advocates, ethical business leaders and worker centers.
Workers have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars from employers who stole their wages.
“These recovered wages,” Bobo says, “are dollars those workers can spend in their communities. Employers who are being forced to pay back taxes are putting money into government coffers, money to pay teachers and fire fighters. And ethical businesses no longer have to compete with those who cheat to get ahead. What could be a better economic stimulus plan than that?”
Other honorees at the NELA convention are two courageous workers who stood up against workplace abuses: Mary Rose Diefenderfer and John Hithon.
Interfaith Worker Justice has been organizing, educating and advocating at the intersection of work and faith since 1996. There are 70 affiliated organizations in the IWJ network, including a variety of interfaith groups and more than two dozen worker centers. More groups form every year.