As we mentioned both here and on our Facebook page, we recently took action against Susaki Lounge for their alleged pattern of unpaid wages. As we hope is clear, the Labor Justice Committee is committed to fighting for worker justice in the El Paso area. As I’m sure you all have seen, Susaki Lounge owes money to at least two members of the Labor Justice Committee. We have seen very strong evidence that makes us believe he owes many Susaki workers and former workers. If this is true, we believe this pattern of wage theft, along with other issues, is worthy of police attention. We have already submitted one member’s case to the police for criminal prosecution. But we need help. We need more Susaki workers to come forward. The only way we can make sure Susaki owner Jose Fernandez faces justice is if workers are willing to talk. Without your voices, without your stories, Susaki Lounge can continue stealing money from workers. If you are owed money by Susaki Lounge, please contact us at 915-209-2551 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(For the original article in Spanish, click here.)
Protesting a Japanese Restaurant for Labor Abuse
El Diario de El Paso | 27-04-2012 | 00:21
Approximately 20 people met yesterday close to Japanese restaurant Susaki Lounge, on the east side, to protest the business’ alleged “appalling and criminal” practices against their workers, specifically lack of wages.
At the protest, Maya Sanchez, Susaki ex-manager, said she would submit a police report asking for her unpaid wages. Around her, members of the Labor Justice Committee stood near Lee Trevino Street and showed their support for Maya with signs asking for a boycott against the Japanese restaurant.
“When I was there, I saw almost all the servers and bartenders get paid less than promised, every single week. The owner, “Joe,” always said he was short on cash and that he would pay them later,” she said. “He has been getting away with this for too long and I know if I sued him or just protested, he would ignore me. That’s why I’m going to the police. They are the only ones who I think he’ll listen to,” she added.
Regarding this, a representative of the Labor Justice Committee said that as of September, the police have said that they will be accepting wage theft cases for criminal prosecution. “We believe this is a strong criminal case. By failing to pay his workers, we believe he’s showing a clear intent to violate the law,” said Lidia Cruz.
In fact, according to research done by the committee, this case is not the first of its kind for the business owner, as, they say, there are multiple judgments against him for unpaid debts.
Sanchez said that she faced indifference when she asked for the wages she was owed. “He didn’t pay attention to me when I went in to ask for my wages, but hopefully this publicity will pressure him to pay me and change the way he runs his business,” she said.