PHOTOS: Striking Center City sushi workers speak out

May Day is traditionally a celebration of workers’ rights, marking the anniversary of an 1886 general strike that won the eight-hour workday.

But the restaurant industry is one remaining bastion where substandard working conditions are often the norm and efforts to organize are met with strong resistance.

“Any restaurant jobs are seen as disposable or transient,” said Diana A., an employee of Fat Salmon sushi restaurant in Center City.

“Some people don’t stay in these jobs very long and a lot of them are people who are disadvantaged in some way, they’re not educated or younger or elderly or don’t have the immigration status … and so it’s easy for them to be taken advantage of.”

With that in mind, Diana and six of her coworkers have gone on strike from Fat Salmon, alleging wage theft, illegal tip pools and employer retaliation.

“When I started, I was told about how there are menu tests in which you earn what you get based on how you score,” employee Claire T. said.

“So for about a year and a half, I’ve been missing out on 10 to 30 percent of what I should have been making, and I just don’t think that’s fair and I didn’t realize it was a violation of the law until recently.”

Workers also claim Fat Salmon’s owner hosts nights out at bars, pressures female employees to return to the restaurant and comes onto them.

“He also pressures male coworkers to get other female coworkers to drink and become intoxicated so he can prey on them,” Diana said.

Fabricio Rodriguez of the Restaurant Opportunities Center said the workers, who have filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, are taking an “innovative action.”

“A lot of folks, when their rights are being violated, just quit,” he said.

“But they’re not going to go back to work until these issues are resolved.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.