Fighting for Workers' Rights In Somerville
About a dozen folks from Somerville picketed the Diva restaurant in Davis Sq. on Thursday, August 2 because the owner, One World Cuisine has been treating its employees unfairly.
The action is part of a campaign by the immigrant rights group, Centro Presente to support seven workers who are victims of wage theft. They received less than minimum wage and were not properly paid for their overtime hours. Centro Presente estimates that the workers are owed over $50,000 in back wages!
Many of the picketers have been active in Occupy Somerville, the Somerville Jobs Campaign and other local labor struggles. Somerville union activists, school teachers, an attorney, some retirees and other citizens were “on the line.”
The seven workers were employed by Mumbai Chopstix located on Newbury Street in Boston and Cafe of India in Cambridge. These restaurants are part the One World Cuisine restaurant group, which in addition to Diva includes other restaurants in Downtown Boston and Jamaica Plain. The owner is of Amrik Pabla.
A similar protest was also held at Bukhara Indian Bistro in Jamaica Plain.
With support from Centro Presente, the workers have been meeting to plan strategies to recover their wages, to learn about their rights and to educate the public about the exploitation of immigrant labor.
Centro Presente is a state-wide Latino organization that advocates for immigrant rights and for economic and social justice.
Labor activists in Somerville are part of a growing trend to insist that local businesses treat workers fairly and adhere to community standards.