Filed under: Action, Community Organizing, Labor, Northwest
Seattle Solidarity Network reports on a successful campaign to win back stolen wages.
When one worker came to SeaSol, he had done nearly $900 in labor for his boss. When payday came, his boss gave him a check for a mere $448, a little more than half the owed wages. From speaking to some of the worker’s co-workers, we knew that the boss’s checks had a tendency to bounce. Instead of trying to cash the too-small and likely worthless check, the worker came to SeaSol.
Due to a language barrier, our meetings went slowly, with one SeaSol member interpreting for the whole group. Despite this challenge, we crafted a plan together: We would show up at the boss’s house (which is also his business office) and demand the wages back.
The worker holding a cashier’s check for his back wages
On September 4th, we did just that. Not wanting to have a whole group on the boss’s property, supporters stood on the sidewalk as a few members presented the demand at the boss’s door. We carried picket signs to amplify our presence and to warn the boss: we can take this further.
Thanks to our reputation and long history of successful direct action fights against wage thieves, there was no need. Despite an initial mix up where the boss thought we were there with a different worker he hadn’t payed, he soon agreed to pay. He met a SeaSol member at the bank and wrote his worker a check. This time, a cashier’s check: a check that won’t bounce. Another member took the check to the worker. Now the worker’s $900 in stolen wages has been paid.
If you have also had wages stolen, by this boss or any other, contact us! (en Espanol) When we fight together, we win.