Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Piñata assemblers treated like piñatas

From the Daily News:

Three women workers at a Queens piñata factory took a whack at their bosses in a lawsuit Monday, accusing them of sweatshop conditions and lousy pay.

The plaintiffs were forced to work 11-hour shifts in the locked basement of a party supplies store while earning only $3 per hour off the books, according to a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

A malfunctioning boiler in the confined space at Let’s Have a Party retail store added to the deplorable working conditions, the suit said.

The illegal basement factory in Woodside had "no windows, no ventilation … was cold, damp and smelled of dead mice and sewage," the complaint said.

The basement factory was connected by a staircase to the party supplies store on 45th Ave., but the doors at the top of the stairs were locked and there was no other direct access to the street, the workers’ lawyer, Artemio Guerra, said.

The plaintiffs, Maria Diaz, Ruth Dominguez and Laura Vidals, were "imprisoned" in the basement when government inspectors attempted to gain access to the building.

They are seeking unspecified back pay. Domingo and Diaz were fired allegedly after complaining about their low pay.


georgetheatheist said...

Alla en el rancho grande.

Anonymous said...

THis is what happens when illegals are hired. It should be illegal to hire them in the first place since they are illegally in this country (CRIMINALS) Enforce the law initially to avoid spend $$ later! Illegals have more rights than citizens? What's the point of becoming a citizen?

Anonymous said...

Recall that according to John Liu, his mom worked in a sweatshop.

RJ said...

Anonymous - it IS illegal to hire undocumented workers. And no one's saying that they should have more (or even equal) rights to citizens. But just because a worker is an illegal immigrant doesn't mean the employer gets to circumvent the law and pay below minimum wage. It's illegal to hire someone and not give them minimum wage, whether they're a citizen or not.

The real issue here is with the employers. If there wasn't a demand for illegal labor, then there wouldn't be a supply. Sleazy employers need to be stopped from exploiting cheap labor. Not because it'll save money by preventing potential lawsuits (that very rarely happens anyway), but because paying people less than they've earned is immoral.

Queens Crapper said...

When Fresh Direct got in trouble for hiring illegals, this blog was all over them. When illegals die at the hands of employers working fast and cheap, the blog exposes it. There's a lot more to the story than just people crossing the border.

Auntie Invasion said...

How about they all be deported, the workers and the employers? Let them complain in Mexico.

AND these people were paid off the books otherwise they would have gone to the Department of Labor.

This is what happens when a good neighborhood goes bad. It's hard for me to work up sympathy for them when so many people I know are out of work.