Service + Solidarity Spotlight: BAC Joins Forces with Indian Union to Demand Justice for Construction Workers in New Jersey

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) and Indian labor union Pathar Gadhai Mazdoor Suraksha Sangh (PGMSS) are joining forces to raise the alarm about forced labor allegedly taking place at a construction site in Robbinsville, New Jersey. The unions are fighting for the more than 200 Indian immigrant workers there who are being exploited in the construction of a new Hindu temple. In their legal filing on Tuesday, the workers allege shocking levels of wage theft, coercion and fraud by an employer who lied to them and to the U.S. government, claiming that they were religious volunteers who did not seek or expect pay in return for their skilled labor.

“The shocking levels of exploitation alleged in this case are a stark reminder that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We applaud the BAC and PGMSS for their work to support these brave temple stone workers, and America’s unions will stand proudly with them in their fight,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA). “To fix the systems that have failed working families, we must be united across borders. Only then can we rewrite the rules of the economy and ensure that workers are no longer treated like disposable commodities in our global supply chains. The labor movement will remain steadfast in this struggle until all people, regardless of where we were born, are able to live and work safely and with dignity.”

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