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Monday, April 8, 2013

Citizens to Call on the Board of Aldermen for Hearing on Wage Theft in Somerville

Press Advisory
For news on April 9, 2013

For more info contact: Rand Wilson at or Patrick McDermott, Workers' Rights Organizer at Centro Presente or email

Citizens to Call on the Board of Aldermen for Hearing on Wage Theft in Somerville

Over 150 residents of Somerville have signed petitions to the Board of Aldermen requesting a hearing on the extent and severity of the problem of Wage Theft in Somerville and the merits of passing an ordinance to prevent wage theft.

Somerville allows citizens to compel the Board of Aldermen to hold a hearing if 50 or more residents sign a petition calling for it.

Our concern arises out of the case of a group of seven employees who worked at One World Cuisine restaurants. With support from Centro Presente and Greater Boston Legal Services, last year the workers filed suit in federal court for $183,500 in unpaid wages, minimum wage, and overtime violations. $20,500 of this claim is for work done at Diva Indian Bistro in Davis Square.

"Violations of labor rights are a systemic problem affecting all workers in this country," said Patricia Montes, Centro Presente's Executive Director. "Immigrant workers are even more vulnerable to this exploitation. The enormous movement of immigrants to the U.S. is the result of a global economic system that exploits the rights of workers in their own countries."

Other cities around the country have passed local ordinances aimed at preventing wage theft in their communities. We are hoping to follow their example and make Somerville a fairer place to work and do business.

Supporters will gather at the Somerville City Hall on Tuesday, April 9 at 12:00 PM to turn in the signed petitions and kick off a campaign to stop wage theft in Somerville.

For a copy of the petition to the Board of Alderman, email Rand Wilson.


Anonymous said...

This is such an issue! Good luck to all involved and I hope the Board of Aldermen react strongly to this!

Anonymous said...

go Rand

Anonymous said...

Isn't this a matter for the MA department of labor to deal with? I get nervous that some sort of duplicate draconian local department or regulation will get setup that cost money or stifle business.

Anonymous said...

Aparently not...