FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-06
February 13, 2008

CONTACT:
Kate McGuire
(415) 703-5050


EEEC Cites Bay Area Pallet Manufacturers for Widespread Labor Violations

San Francisco—February 13, 2008— The Labor and Workforce Development Agency today announced that Economic Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) investigators issued 49 citations for safety and labor violations – with fines totaling more than $567,000 – in a recent sweep of Bay Area pallet manufacturers.

The enforcement actions, conducted on Feb. 6 and 7, uncovered serious violations that included:

"California law provides protections for workers and it is our responsibility to ensure that the laws are being followed," said Robert Jones, the Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s deputy secretary for enforcement. "We are investigating unscrupulous businesses like these for their mistreatment of workers and creation of dangerous working conditions. By targeting enforcement against illegal operators, we help level the playing field and restore competitive advantage to law abiding businesses and their employees."

To request a complete list of the violations and businesses cited email the Department of Industrial Relations at: Communications@dir.ca.gov.

Launched in July of 2005 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the EEEC is a multi-agency task force designed to root out California’s underground economy by enforcing California labor laws, and educating business owners and workers about those laws and regulations in workshops held regularly statewide.

Businesses engaged in the underground economy deprive the state and legitimate businesses of millions of dollars each year, and in many cases, pass the cost on to the consumer. During unannounced enforcement sweeps, the EEEC targets businesses that avoid labor, tax and licensing laws, safety and health regulations and carry no workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

EEEC is currently targeting garment, agriculture, construction, pallet, auto body, car wash and restaurant businesses. These industries have been identified as having a high incidence of workplace violations and a lack of regulatory compliance.

In collaboration with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Employment Development Department, EEEC works directly with DIR’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to carry out its mission. The U.S. Department of Labor also participates in the EEEC as does the Contractors State License Board when the construction industry is being targeted.

For more information on the EEEC, please visit our website at www.dir.ca.gov.

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