May 2013
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Also In This Issue 'The future is now' for IBEW young workers read_more

North of 49°
New Growth in Ontario:
Tree Trimmers Join IBEWread_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Nouvelle augmentation d'effectifs en Ontario :
des élagueurs joignent les rangs de la FIOE read_more

IEC minutes and report read_more





Brotherhood Outdoors TV

  Cover Photo

Exposing the Underground Economy
Labor, Lawmakers
Take on Payroll Fraud

It's still before dawn in Austin, Texas. The sun won't be seen for hours, but parking lots and street corners throughout the city are alive with chatter as laborers, carpenters and even some electricians arrive early to queue up for jobs. Construction is booming in the metro area, and subcontractors are on the lookout for employees willing to work on the cheap. Spanish is the first language here. Most are immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Many are undocumented.

Dependent on the goodwill of the foreman for work, their average hourly wage often amounts to less than $10. They don't have an office or business cards, and often the only work items they own are a pair of steel-toed boots. The last thing they would call themselves are small businessmen. But according to tax forms filed by their employer (at least for those who don't just pay under the table), that is exactly what they are. And that means they are ineligible for unemployment benefits, minimum wage, overtime pay or Social Security. And they are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act and other workplace protections.

The practice is called "1099ing," after the IRS Form 1099 issued to contractors, and it's one of the biggest problems facing workers across the country. It's against the law, but in Texas, payroll fraud is becoming more and more the norm in the construction industry. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Hill: Giving Good News
Its Due read_more
Chilia: The Wrong Conversation read_more

CircuitsOhio Member Named Instructor of the Year read_more

LettersMembership Privileges;
Living the Dream;
Giving Back to the Traderead_more

TransitionsJames R. McAvoy;
Carl Cantrell;
Peter Routliff read_more

In MemoriamMarch 2013 read_more

Who We AreNew Hampshire Member Keeps it Positive in Election Win read_more