September 28, 2012 by 99pickets
For years, the owners of Saigon Grill, Simon and Michelle Nget, failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to many of the delivery workers. In 2008, the U.S. District Court issued a judgment of $4.6 million for the workers. In 2010, the workers reached an agreement with the owners, who then sold their two restaurants to pay for the settlement.
A group of shareholders bought the Upper West Side restaurant and promised a payment of $1 million to the workers by October 2011. They have not yet made this payment. Furthermore, when the new owners took over, they created additional problems for workers, including discriminating against older workers, firing several workers who protested, and the failure to pay the workers overtime and report the workers’ income to the government. Management brought in a phony union, the International Brotherhood of Trade Unions Local 713, to obstruct genuine worker organizing. The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against the restaurant for unfair labor practices.
There is currently a boycott of the restaurant. The workers are being supported by the Justice Will Be Served Campaign, which includes the Chinese Staff and Workers Association (CSWA), the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NMASS) and the 318 Restaurant Workers’ Union. Also supporting this boycott is the Sweatshop Free Upper West Side Campaign, which is a coalition of residents, workers, students, faith institutions, local organizations, and small businesses that are fighting for good jobs and fair labor standards in the community.
There is picketing at Saigon Grill on Wednesday-Sunday, 12:30-2pm and 6:30-8:30pm. Supporters are particularly urged to come to the picket line on Friday evenings, but participation at any time is appreciated.
For more information, contact Sarah Ahn at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the Justice Will be Served Campaign.
Sweatshop Free Upper West Side Rallies the Troops to Battle Saigon Grill, March 28, 2011
New Owners, and New Labor Complaints, January 5, 2011
Restaurant Owners Charged on More Than 400 Counts, December 3, 2008
Saigon Grill Must Pay $4.6 Million to Workers, October 22, 2008
The Deliverymen’s Uprising, August 6, 2007