Tampa Bay Times: Union reps protest wage-theft bill in Tampa

By Bill Varlan, Tampa Bay Times, April 9, 2013

Representatives of labor unions staged a protest in Tampa Tuesday to proposed legislation that would preclude local governments from passing laws against so-called "wage theft."

A bill outlawing wage-theft ordinances, like one in Miami-Dade County, narrowly passed the House Local & Federal Affairs Committee Tuesday...

The dozen or so labor representatives were joined by Hillsborough County commissioner Kevin Beckner outside Frederick B. Karl County Center in downtown Tampa.

Beckner said he has been waiting for a decision in a lawsuit challenging the Miami-Dade ordinance, which was resently upheld, before pushing for a similar law in Hillsborough County. He said if the legislation is rejected he likely will push for a local ordinance. "The practice of wage theft has reached epidemic proportions and it's imperative that it be stopped," Beckner said. He cited the Progressive States Network in saying that Florida has "zero" laws on the books to prevent wage theft, ranking it only with Alabama and Mississippi in that regard.

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