Monday, Americans Against The Tea Party reported on a number of exploited Domino’s workers in New York City, who after being paid less than minimum wage, were fired for reporting the injustice to management. Those 25 employees rallied in protest of their former employer and today, we are happy to report that they have all been reinstated to their former positions.
The dispute surrounding what is regarded as “wage theft” arose from Domino’s hiring of staff at a base rate of $6.00 (which is $1.25 less than the standard legal minimum wage of $7.25,) through exploitation of a loophole allowing tipped employees to be paid less than standard hourly workers. Domino’s, seeking to maximize the use of these underpaid employees, took to utilizing the workers for extended shifts inside of the restaurant itself, where they received no tips to offset their below minimum wages. When the employees sought to address higher management regarding the business’ dishonest labor practices, each were summarily fired for their efforts.
However after the employees joined the growing ranks of dissatisfied and exploited food service workers, such as those in other fast-food chains, they have managed to reach an agreement with the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and will be returning to work, no later than Sunday.
Jose Sanchez, who was one of the fired and later protesting workers, offered a statement of joy at the reinstatement and solidarity with his fellow wage slaves recently, saying:
We are overjoyed by the Attorney General’s fight on our behalf, and are excited to be able to return to work at a legal wage. This was never just about us alone — it was about the 84% of NYC fast-food workers who, like us, are victims of wage theft in our city. My fellow employees and I were so moved by the solidarity and support we received from this community. As we keep up our push for $15/hour and the right to form a union, we know the community has our back.
Echoing this sentiment in a press release by NY A.G. Schneiderman’s office, NY State Senator Adriano Espillat said:
I want to thank Attorney General Schneiderman for helping our community resolve this heartless case of worker exploitation, and make sure the rights of all New Yorkers are respected. I’m glad these employees are returning to work – this time without the abusive demands that Domino’s had subjected them to.
Though the employees and many public servants are hailing their reinstatement as a victory, all involved continue to recognize that the issues of wage theft, poverty wages and the generally unsustainable nature of current minimum wage law will continue to evolve until positive action is taken. Presently the fast food strikes and demands for a union continue to rage throughout the country.
Though often only a side line item in the mainstream media, dedicated organizations such as Americans Against The Tea Party and it’s affiliates will continue to bring updates and crucial information regarding this ongoing fight for worker justice, as they develop.