JULY 24, 2014


SANTA FE--Today, workers from Posa's Restaurant held a demonstration in front of the business and filed a formal complaint with the NLRB claiming that they were fired in retaliation for organizing and filing wage claims with the US Department of Labor.


Posa's workers holding signs that said "Stop Stealing our Wages " and "Pay Us. Don't Fire Us!" were joined by dozens of members from Somos Un Pueblo Unido's United Worker Center of New Mexico, the Westminster Presbyterian Church, NM DIA, and Hospital Worker's Union 1199.


Last Monday, the workers filed wage claims with the US Department of Labor (USDOL).  They alleged that the restaurant did not pay them overtime and required them to work off the clock. They also formed a worker's committee and submitted a letter to the employer requesting a meeting to discuss the stolen wages and other workplace conditions.  On Tuesday, the workers were fired.  The Committee filed a formal charge this morning with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that the firings were retaliatory.


"We decided to organize and fight for our rights because we are tired of so much injustice in the workplace.  I've been a good employee for seven years and I think it's terrible that Posa's would fire me simply for asserting my right to get paid for the hours I worked," said Carlos Campos, a member of Posa's Worker's Committee.


Mayte  Flores, a worker at Posa's for two years said at the protest: "I have a family with three children who depend on my wages and my job. They are also victims of Posa's wage theft and retaliation. As a worker in Santa Fe, I want all thieves to be held responsible for their actions. I want them to pay up!"


"Every time we tried to complain about the boss not paying overtime or any other bad conditions at the restaurant, we were told that if we didn't like the way they treated us, we could leave," said Vladimir Gutierrez, another member of the Committee who had worked at Posa's for four years. "Now I know my rights and I'm tired of being treated this way.  I want justice for our Committee and for all the workers at Posa's."


In addition to filing a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, the Committee filed additional complaints of retaliation with the USDOL.


Lorenzo Ramirez, a community organizer at the United Worker Center of New Mexico, said: "Wage theft undercuts the businesses that are following the rules and it's disastrous for workers' families.  All workers have the right to be paid the minimum wage, overtime, and for every hour on the job. If we organize and file a claim, we are protected legally from retaliation."


Worker's Committees organized by Somos Un Pueblo Unido's worker center have successfully filed ten complaints with the National Labor Relations Board recuperating over half a million dollars in back wages and settlement money.






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