October 16, 2015
Statement by MaryBe McMillan on our state’s failure to combat wage theft
MaryBe McMillan, secretary-treasurer of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, had this to say in response to the News & Observer investigation into failures by the North Carolina Department of Labor under Commissioner Cherie Berry to protect workers from wage theft.
“Reporting by the News & Observer has exposed the problem of wage theft in North Carolina and the reluctance of our Labor Commissioner to do anything about it. That Cherie Berry dismisses cases of wage theft as “bugaboos” is unconscionable.
“Wage thieves are real, they are criminals, and last year Cherie Berry let them get away with stealing $1 million from workers in North Carolina.
“Stolen wages devastate working families, and regulators victimize those families again every time they refuse to take action against deadbeat employers.
“Our state has failed unpaid workers on so many levels. Our Labor Commissioner refuses to do her job. The Department of Health and Human Services continues to contract with unscrupulous employers. And our Governor remains silent. These failures are akin to aiding and abetting criminal activity and doing so with taxpayer money.
“If policymakers won’t take action to help workers whose wages are stolen, then voters need to take action in 2016. Working families in North Carolina deserve so much better than this.”