Wandering through our city streets looking at all of the buildings, bridges and roads, you would never know that hidden behind many of those structures are stories of fraud, theft and abuse. In the new series from the Grit NW podcast called Stolen we explore how some contractors are getting away with cheating workers, while at the same time not paying billions of dollars each year in taxes–hurting you and the workers who build your communities.
In the first episode, President Joe Cadwell, host of Grit NW, interviews Ashley Harrison, an investigator with the City of Seattle, Office of Labor and Standards, along with Northwest Carpenters Union’s labor compliance manager Jeanette Aranda and political director Matt Swanson. Discussion around wage theft, the power of our unions working in partnership with local government agencies to go after crooked contractors, and how collaboration benefits our members and the community at large.
‘It’s a known fact that one-in-five construction workers are intentionally misclassified by cheating contractors. This corruption results in losses of over $8.4 billion dollars a year in lost tax revenue and denies honest contractors who play by the rules and the workers they employ opportunities to excel and grow financially. To be clear, this is not about the workers skipping out on paying their fair share, this is about dishonest employers intentionally cheating the American taxpayer and the working middle class to fatten their bank accounts. In the months to come, I look forward to bringing to light the tactics used by unscrupulous operators who manipulate the system to put more money into their pockets while jeopardizing our ability to provide for ourselves and our families,” said Cadwell.