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Fighting for Workers' Rights In Somerville

Activists picketed Diva restaurant in Somerville because the owner has been treating employees unfairly.

About a dozen folks from Somerville picketed the Diva restaurant in Davis Sq. on Thursday, August 2 because the owner, One World Cuisine has been treating its employees unfairly.    

The action is part of a campaign by the immigrant rights group, Centro Presente to support seven workers who are victims of wage theft.  They received less than minimum wage and were not properly paid for their overtime hours.  Centro Presente estimates that the workers are owed over $50,000 in back wages!

Many of the picketers have been active in Occupy Somerville, the Somerville Jobs Campaign and other local labor struggles.  Somerville union activists, school teachers, an attorney, some retirees and other citizens were “on the line.”  

The seven workers were employed by Mumbai Chopstix located on Newbury Street in Boston and Cafe of India in Cambridge.  These restaurants are part the One World Cuisine restaurant group, which in addition to Diva includes other restaurants in Downtown Boston and Jamaica Plain.  The owner is of Amrik Pabla. 

A similar protest was also held at Bukhara Indian Bistro in Jamaica Plain.

With support from Centro Presente, the workers have been meeting to plan strategies to recover their wages, to learn about their rights and to educate the public about the exploitation of immigrant labor. 

Centro Presente is a state-wide Latino organization that advocates for immigrant rights and for economic and social justice.

Labor activists in Somerville are part of a growing trend to insist that local businesses treat workers fairly and adhere to community standards. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rand Wilson August 09, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Today we continued to support the workers employed by One World Cuisine by again picketing Diva Restaurant in Davis Sq. Two more workers (making it now a group of nine) have joined the fight to win wages that were not paid for their labor. These workers often worked over 70 hour weeks for less than minimum wage and without overtime pay
Frank Mulligan August 11, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Today we have a minimum wage. This owner just thought. He don't halfta pay them. The Labor Board also will step in. Good Luck Folks getting you MONEY back.
Alan Cohen August 11, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I've always believed in a living wage. When I was a child, my dad could work a minimum wage job and make ends meet. Today, a month's pay at $8.00 an hour is $1,280 before taxes. That's barely the rent for many places in Somerville and nearby communities. Forget about food, clothing, heat, and electricity. It's not the case of somebody too lazy to work or wants an iPhone and the top cable tv package; it's about making ends meet. If someone is willing to work 40 hours per week, they should be able to afford the basic necessities.
Rand Wilson September 13, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Protest at Diva is on again for tonight at 6:00 PM!! Join us to protest wage theft!
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