Immigrant Workers Celebrate May Day by Confronting Wage Theft Throughout NYC
Make the Road New York Staff
/ Make the Road New York
MRNY members unite to fight for worker's rights.
On May 1, International Workers Day, millions of people around the globe took to the streets to stand up for workers’ rights.
In New York City, where hundreds of thousands of workers are not even paid the minimum wage or overtime pay that is mandated by law, members of MRNY organized multiple actions against wage theft.
Sadly, wage theft is rampant in low wage industries throughout New York City:
In Manhattan, members rallied at the upscale West Village club, Veranda, where workers are owed $159,000 in stolen wages, tips and damages. After several employees spoke up about their mistreatment,management retaliated by slashing their work hours, in a further violation of labor laws.
In Brooklyn, members marched through the streets of Bushwick and rallied at Sea Town Fish and Meat Market where workers have been paid less than minimum wage and no overtime for 60-hour work weeks, and subject to highly unsafe working conditions.
In Staten Island, members gathered in front of Chirag Indian Restaurant to denounce persistent wage theft, including one instance in which an employee was paid just $200 for 70 hours of work each week – less than $3 per hour.
With New York State’s new Wage Theft Prevention Act now in place, thanks to the tireless advocacy of MRNY, these employers now face strict fines for underpayment of wages and retaliation against employees who speak up for themselves.
Here at MRNY, we are hard at work, designing educational materials, organizing trainings and conducting outreach, to make sure that workers, employers and service providers understand, and respect, the new law.
Since the November NYC elections, MRNY members have been hard at work setting the agenda for our next mayor, City Council and citywide elected officials.
We kicked off "Talking Transition" with a low-wage worker forum and our attorneys have been staffing a Single Stop clinic around the clock at the Transition tent.
Recently, our youth joined the Transitions conversation to bring education and police reform issues into the spotlight for the new elected officials. 17-year-old youth leader Cheyanne Smith was also profiled in the New York Times for her leadership to make NYC schools more respectful, safe, and dignified places for learning.