Wednesday, February 22, 2012

[olympiaworkers] Unexpected Visit Prompts Pizza Place to Pay Up

Friday, 17 February 2012 Seattle Solidarity Network

It was almost Christmas when Luis got in touch with SeaSol and he hadn't
been paid since before Halloween. A part-time pizza chef at a local
Pizzeria, Luis had not received a penny for his hard work for almost three
months. Instead, management had only given him three bad checks from
different banks and scores of broken promises.

As his bills continued to mount and his family kept asking him when he
would finally be getting paid Luis wondered what he should do. A
dishwasher at the restaurant had recently been slapped in the face and
subsequently fired for being too insistent about being paid on time. Luis
thought about not showing up to work until he got paid or just quitting
for good, but he didn't want to lose his job and knew he shouldn't have

After joining SeaSol, he decided it might be possible to fight for his
stolen wages while continuing to work at the restaurant. On Friday,
January 13th, nearly thirty SeaSol members marched into the restaurant
with Luis on one of his off days to bring a little bad luck to the
thieving establishment.

While the owner was spotted hiding in the back Luis was eventually able to
deliver a letter to the general manager containing a simple message: pay
him everything he was owed within two weeks and do not retaliate against
him in any way or expect further action.

SeaSol received a phone call later the same evening from the general
manager apologizing for how she had behaved during the demand delivery
(screaming, swearing, and calling the police) and assuring us it was all
just a misunderstanding because Luis doesn't speak English. Most
importantly, she promised to pay him the next day.

She broke this promise and time started to run out fast as SeaSol and Luis
could not agree with the restaurant on exactly how much he was owed. As
the deadline of Friday, January 27th, approached SeaSol and Luis began
organizing an action for Saturday the 28th if the restaurant should fail
to pay. However, this action never happened.

When Luis got off work Friday night he was handed a check for $1,774.24.
And this check didn't bounce. There was a small discrepancy regarding an
additional $150 being owed, but once it was brought to their attention
management added this amount to the first up-to-date and in-full paycheck
Luis had received in months the following week. Luis got his money and
kept his job and as of this writing he is continuing to be paid on time
and in full. Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible and stay
ready in case anything should change for the worse at Luis's workplace.

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