A lot of Florida construction contractors are currently facing fines for not being paid overtime.
In response, Florida Construction Workers Union president Joe Pinto says he wants to change the law.
Pinto has called for the state to impose a three-day work stoppage that would force contractors to pay their workers an additional $1,000 per day, instead of the current $50 to $100 per day.
Pinch points out that while the workers might not be receiving the maximum pay, the extra money is being spent on things like overtime and supplies.
“They’re not paying for anything,” he says.
“We have the luxury of not paying the bills, but if we have to pay the bills we have no choice but to pay them.”
The union is planning a sit-in at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity headquarters on April 4 to demand the state lift the two-day suspension, as well as to demand that contractors who don’t pay overtime be fined an additional amount equal to three times the $1.15 per hour they are currently paid.
“This is the most unfair and unjust way to treat workers,” Pinch says.
The strike is one of several actions taking place in Florida this week.
A strike by workers at the Orlando-based Tampa Bay International Airport is also planned for April 4.
The Florida Department for Economic Opportunity says that in addition to paying overtime, contractors must be prepared to pay for workers’ medical expenses and any other expenses incurred during a strike.
“If a strike is called, the department will provide support services to assist affected employees during the stoppage, including counseling, health and safety briefings, and transportation,” the agency says.