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VIDEO: Center City sushi workers go on strike

Employees of Center City sushi restaurant Fat Salmon are on strike, accusing owner Jack Woo of wage theft, uncompensated overtime and retaliation.

Fat Salmon Fat Salmon workers and Restaurant Opportunities Center advocates reading their strike letter on April 8. (Credit: YouTube / Fabricio Rodriguez)

Employees of Fat Salmon sushi restaurant at 719 Walnut Street, along with advocates from the workers' rights nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Center of Philadelphia, will deliver a public statement to their employer on Wednesday after going on strike from the restaurant earlier this month.

The workers are accusing Fat Salmon owner Jack Woo of wage theft, alleging he used "menu tests" as justifications for skimming 10 to 50 percent of tips from employees and retaliated against those who complained of unfair working conditions by verbally abusing them and cutting their shifts.

In a video shot April 8 and uploaded to YouTube Monday, several workers and Restaurant Opportunities Center activists can be seen approaching Woo at Fat Salmon and reading him a letter detailing their charges against him.

"This letter is being delivered for the purpose of informing you that we are going on strike immediately until the wage theft ceases, the tip pool is documented in writing and, at the end of each shift, workers receive breaks and the pay they are owed," the document read.

Workers said the abuse they suffer "includes but is not limited to failure to pay for all hours worked, including overtime pay, failure to provide breaks and failure to properly compensate employees through an illegal tip pool agreement and by retaining a portion of employee tips pursuant to the passage of tests."

Workers gave Woo until April 22 to settle the matter amicably, but an agreement has not been reached.

Fat Salmon sushi employees and activists will gather in Washington Square at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday to deliver a public statement regarding the ongoing fight.

 
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