|The BDR Program would provide a solution to end wage theft and other workers’ rights abuses in the non-union construction industry|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12th, 2022|
Contact: Isabela Escalona, firstname.lastname@example.org (708) 557-1119
MINNEAPOLIS – Construction workers with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) and allies call on Twin Cities developers, including Doran Properties Group, MWF Properties, Solhem Companies, United Properties, YellowTree and more to join the Building Dignity and Respect (BDR) Program to offer a solution to the rampant wage theft and other workers’ rights abuses in the non-union construction industry.
BDR is a human rights program modeled after the Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) model. Under the Building Dignity and Respect Program, participating Developers sign a legally binding agreement to uphold certain human rights standards on their projects. This includes worker protections from wage theft, physical and sexual abuse, and human trafficking, as well as access to safe working conditions and fair pay. Workers are made aware of these protections through comprehensive, worker-designed education sessions, empowering them to become frontline defenders of their own human rights.
The Building Dignity and Respect Standards Council then monitors participating developers’ job sites to ensure all contractors are operating in compliance with the Code. If contractors are found to be in violation of the Code, and refuse to take appropriate steps to come into compliance, they will no longer be able to work for Participating Developers. Read the full BDR Report published in 2019 here.
Daniel Sanchez, a CTUL member and construction worker who claims that he is owed over $110,000 in wage theft, opened the press conference: “We know that we are not going to change this industry by getting rid of just one subcontractor. Developers need to work with us to put an end to wage theft and other abuses in the industry”
Pedro Carbajal, a CTUL member and construction worker stated “These developers have the power in this industry to make a change. They have a choice to make. We hope they work together with us to put an end to wage theft and other workers rights’ abuses”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said “No one is above the law or beneath the law. That’s why when someone breaks the law, it’s important that they are held accountable. But what is even more impactful is when we can prevent injustices before they take place. CTUL is going to the root of the problem and attempting to prevent problems before they may rise to a legal issue.”
Merle Payne, co-director of CTUL said “Housing developers in the Twin Cities are at a crossroads. On one path, they can choose to ensure basic dignity and respect for the workers who develop their projects by either signing into the Building Dignity and Respect Program, or by using 100% union labor. On the other path, they can continue business as usual, maintaining an industry with rampant wage theft, dangerous working conditions, and at the extreme, labor trafficking.”
In five weeks, on June 16, 2022, construction workers and CTUL allies will take this message to the broader public with a large public action and call-on the three large, multi-family developers believed to be the most impactful in the industry to sign onto the BDC Program.