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To the Industrial Commission
of Arizona

February 18, 2003

Industrial Commission of Arizona
800 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

I am writing concerning the operation of the new job center that the City of Phoenix has opened on East Bell Road.  I am asking that you investigate the situation described below and take actions as you feel may be warranted.

I am not an attorney, however in reviewing the statues concerning the licensing of employment agencies it appears to me that licensing should be required and that all of the laws concerning the posting of information relating to EEO, Workers Compensation and unions should be applied.

The City of Phoenix has contracted with four agencies for the purpose of performing the functions of an employment agency; Tonatierra, Chicanos Por La Causa, Friendly House and Valle del Sol.

This coalition, acting as agents/extension of the City of Phoenix is in direct competition of private sector employment agencies that you license.

The manner in which this center is operated fosters the ability of employers to avoid paying premiums to the Workers Compensation Fund, paying into the Unemployment Insurance Fund, making payments to Social Security and Medicare and avoid collecting and paying out of withholding for State and Federal income tax.  While this center is billed as casual labor there is nothing precluding businesses from picking up individuals, even the same individuals, each day to avoid placing them on a company payroll and depriving them of potential "company benefits."

Businesses that have contracts to clean homes and businesses, such as a maid service or office cleaning, might operate in this fashion.  They know, according to their contracts, how many workers they will need on any given day and should have these people on a formal payroll, even if they work only one day.

The manner in which this center is operated does not openly allow the workers access to information concerning their coverages under Workers Compensation, OSHA, EEO, union activities, right to work, ADA or Federal Minimum Wages.

One of the agencies, Tonatierra, has a website that extols their accomplishments with organizing unions and workers.  And, essentially, describes themselves as a union.  This makes the City of Phoenix, by proxy, the operator of a union hiring hall and should subject them to all of the laws and rules connected with such an enterprise.  Union type activities that have already taken place on the site is the agreement between the agencies and the workers that the minimum acceptable wage is $8.00 per hour and this is what prospective employers are told.

Since no records are being kept of job seekers or employers it is impossible to determine if employers subject to Workers Compensation, OSHA standards and Unemployment Insurance registrations are avoiding these programs for work performed. Since no records are being kept of job seekers or employers it is impossible to determine if workers, who might be collecting Workers Comp payments, Unemployment Insurance payments or welfare are not notifying the respective agencies of their activities.

Since no records are being kept of job seekers or employers it is impossible to determine if practices of discrimination are taking place against non-Hispanics, women or mentally/physically disabled individuals.  Recent photos show that there probably is a lack of accommodations for various categories of physically/sight/hearing challenged individuals.

I will be asking for similar investigations by the EEOC, AZDES, NLRB, U.S. Department of Labor, the IRS, AZ Revenue Department and the Social Security Administration.

I am willing to pay my share but not someone else's.

Tim Richardson

(Beginning of cover letter)

Attached is a letter from me to the Arizona Industrial Commission.  In the letter I have asked that they investigate the operations of a job center, established by the City of Phoenix, Arizona, for the expressed purpose of connecting supposed day laborers with cash paying employers regardless of an individual's right to work in this country.

Additionally, there are similar job centers opening in Chandler and Mesa, Arizona.

None of the cities are concerned that the majority of the people using these centers will be illegal aliens.

From my experience with payrolls, payroll taxes and government operations it appears to me that the situation described in the attached letter would have negative consequences for your programs and be in direct violation of the policies of your department.

I am asking that your review this situation and, if appropriate, take actions to bring this project into compliance.

As I told the Industrial Commission, I don't mind paying my share but I do not feel obligated to pay other's shares.

Tim Richardson


      February 19, 2003
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