A Conversation with Veronica Mendez Moore of CTUL

A Conversation with Veronica Mendez Moore of CTUL

What has allowed us to be successful is the upfront clarity of what we expect of each other. We know that each of us has a base that we’re accountable to. We don’t expect negotiations with companies to be an all-or- nothing situation.

Part of the legacy I feel proud of leaving with CTUL is being very serious about what solidarity and alignment means.

It is a difficult shift for me to be preparing to leave. What helps me is that we have done an incredible job of building clarity around our theory of change, the way that we operate in ecosystems, the importance of leadership development, and what that looks like in our organization.

I’m excited for the new things CTUL will do in building that broader base and going after the real decision-makers — focusing not just on laws and elected officials, but the corporations that drive our economy.

When I started this work, I was working 60-hour weeks. That was unsustainable. We shifted the organizational culture.

This work is emotionally taxing. It breaks your brain sometimes. There’s conflict, and there’s tension, and we have to lean into all of it and have hard conversations. That makes anybody tired.

I’m leaving because I think it’s time for evolution in the organization. I’m also ready for transformation myself. I am going to take significant time off and spend more time with my kids while they’re little. Then I will figure out what’s next.

Resources and additional information

The Commonality of Wage Theft

Amazon paid $18 million to settle a wage-theft class-action suit in Oregon in November 2022, and paid a $61.7 million fine in 2021 over allegations of stealing tips from Amazon Flex drivers. From January 2000 to 2018, Walmart paid more than $1.4 billion in fines and settlements over wage theft violations, according to a 2018 report by Good Jobs. FedEx paid more than $500 million during the same period.

A 2021 study of the construction industry in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin reveals that those states lose out on at least $362 million in tax revenues annually due to misclassification of workers as taxable employees.

“About five years ago, most of Minneapolis’ Subway, Little Caesars, and McDonald’s franchise restaurants did not comply with city wage standards. Now workers at each of the locations that violated the law receive the required minimum wage and time off when they’re sick, thanks to a co-enforcement program.

Sources: Economic Policy Institute 2021 report; The Guardian; MN Reformer

Minnesota OSHA Investigates Complaints

Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance division conducts worksite inspections, responds to employee complaints, conducts accident investigations, and provides education and technical assistance.

651-284-5050 or 877-470-6742

[email protected]

ctul.net, tendingthesoil.org

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