Tax Fraud Days of Action: Unions Lead the Way to Ethical Labor Practices

May 9, 2024

Tax Fraud Days of Action: Unions Lead the Way to Ethical Labor Practices

In accordance with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America call to action, the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters (EAS Carpenters Union) led a series of critical events to combat pervasive tax fraud in the construction industry during this year’s annual Tax Fraud Days of Action (TFDOA). Spanning from April 13th through April 19th, 2024, the EAS Carpenters Union advocated for the need for ethical labor standards through on-the-ground change.
Over two million construction workers are estimated to be misclassified annually in the United States. Tax fraud and wage theft denies employees access to critical protections they are entitled to, including overtime pay, minimum wage, family and medical leave, and, in some cases, safe working conditions. This practice strips workers of their legal protections and siphons off approximately $8.4 billion each year from government resources, undermining public services and fair market competition that not only impacts the construction industry, but all sectors of the U.S. economy.

Through roundtables, regional rallies, and jobsite campaigns, the EAS Carpenters Union took action to transform the industry into one that values fairness, rewards all workers appropriately, and builds on integrity, benefiting the economy and strengthening community foundations.

Attorney General Zoom Roundtable
On April 12th, the Carpenters Contractor Trust, alongside the EAS Carpenters Union Industry and Labor Compliance Department, hosted a virtual roundtable of five Attorney General offices. The annual discussion educated EAS Carpenters Union staff, membership, and local elected leaders throughout the region on wage theft and tax fraud.

Speakers for the event included Delaware Deputy Attorney General Oliver Cleary, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb, Deputy Chief of Staff & Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Attorney General Kristen E. Heine, and Deputy to the Maryland Attorney General Leonard Howie. William Waterkotte, Eastern District Vice President for the International United Brotherhood of Carpenters, and Matt Capece, Representative of the General President (Doug McCarron) of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) also participated in the event.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin highlighted the collective efforts in enforcing labor laws, stating “We’re going to continue to prioritize work on misclassification because it matters to those on the ground as well as to the integrity of our businesses.”

Harrisburg, PA Press Conference

At the heart of Pennsylvania’s democracy – the Harrisburg Capitol Rotunda – the EAS Carpenters Union held a press conference on April 15th to spread the word about construction industry tax fraud, how it strips an estimated $82.3M annually from the State, and how taxpayers can rally against construction industry tax fraud.

Speeches from PA Department of Labor and Industry, Secretary Nancy Walker, Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton, and others drove the message that the fight against tax fraud is not just a union battle; it is about defending the Commonwealth’s financial integrity and the rights of its workers.

Banner Campaigns in Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA and Jersey City, NJ
To further drive visibility of construction tax fraud, EAS Carpenters Union representatives held banner campaigns across Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Jersey City job sites to bring greater public awareness to known offenders. These banners were public declarations demanding accountability and integrity within the industry.

As TFDOA concludes this year, we appreciate all who contributed to its success. The path has been paved for a greater continuation of this campaign. Let’s move forward, together, to forge a future of fairness and equity.