Saturday, November 3, 2012

Latino Workers Picket Boston's Diva Restaurant

From the Boston Occupier:

Outside the Diva Indian Restaurant in Davis Square, a boisterous crowd fills the sidewalk on Friday evenings, chanting and holding signs. “Don’t dine at Diva!” one protester calls out. “One World Cuisine Steals Wages!” shouts another. An organizer holds aloft a sign for passing cars to see: “Honk if you hate wage theft!”

Organizers are picketing to inform the public that Diva Restaurant’s owner, One World Cuisine, stands accused of stealing over $100,000 in wages from its workers. According to former employees, Diva paid workers less than minimum wage and failed to pay them for overtime, even while making them work 60 or 70 hours per week. Former workers are now suing the company.

Most would-be patrons stop and listen. Some continue inside. But about half of them, standing on the threshold, change their minds and go elsewhere, thanking the organizers. “Wow. I had no idea,” says one local student.

On the picket line, dozens of Somerville residents—sometimes sporting drums and musical instruments—join former Diva employees, alongside organizers from Centro Presente, a state-wide community organization whose mission is to empower Latino immigrant workers and their communities.

“We want to set a precedent. To teach these employers a lesson. Un entendecedente!” exclaims Edic Herrera, a worker-activist with Centro Presente. “We’re going to make them pay what they owe.” Read more...


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