Poverty-wage workers and supporters call for criminal investigation of fast food wage theft crime scenes, including Northgate Jimmy John's
As unrest continues to spread across our area and across the country, poverty-wage fast food workers will hold an informational picket outside the Northgate Jimmy John's right in the heart of the lunch rush, calling for a criminal investigation of what they allege is one of dozens of wage theft crime scenes across the city. The wage theft crime wave is estimated to cost Seattle fast food workers as much as $100,000/week in lost wages.
Who: Poverty-wage fast food workers from Jimmy John's and other chains
What: Hold an informational picket to demand an investigation of fast food wage theft crime scenes, including the Northgate Jimmy John's. Workers and supporters, uniting under the call "Wage Theft is a Crime. Make Them Pay." will carry picket signs, banners, and giant crime scene tape.
When: TODAY: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 12:00 noon, in the heart of the lunch rush
Where: Jimmy John's, Northgate. 507 NE Northgate Way, Seattle, WA 98125 (Storefront faces Northgate Way.)
The informational picket comes just days after fast food workers announced they had filed criminal wage theft complaints with the Seattle Police Department, and kicks off several days of escalating actions that will culminate in a rowdy demonstration scheduled to begin Thursday at 4:30 pm at Westlake Park. Follow along as events develop all week at #MakeThemPay .
In just a few weeks of worker-to-worker outreach, surveys, and even a popular webcomic that racked up nearly 30,000 views, Good Jobs Seattle has received hundreds of reports detailing multiple frequent violations of wage theft law at Jimmy John's and numerous other fast food chains. This is all too common: a formal multi-city study by the National Employment Law Project found that about 68% of low-wage workers experience some form of wage theft, and that those who do experience wage theft lose approximately 15% of their income to the crime. Extrapolating from that data suggests that the 4,300 fast food workers in the City of Seattle lose as much as $100,000 a week to the crime of wage theft — more than $5 million a year that goes missing from the paychecks of poverty wage fast food workers in the City of Seattle alone.
- Wage theft occurs when an employer fails to pay time-and-half for hours over 40 in a week; requires employees to work without pay before or after their shifts, or during breaks; takes illegal deductions from paychecks, for example for uniforms or register shortages; or otherwise fails to lawfully pay workers for all their hours worked.
- Income inequality is a growing crisis. Recent surveys show that 4 in 5 Americans will struggle with poverty or joblessness... and that 2 in 3 millionaires don't consider themselves to be "rich".
- The Good Jobs Seattle Wage Theft Fact Sheet and Fast Food Fact Sheet have more information.
Sparked by the May 30th fast food strike, Good Jobs Seattle is a growing movement which seeks to build a sustainable future for Seattle's economy from the bottom up — by turning poverty-wage jobs in fast food and other industries into good jobs that offer opportunities for a better future and pay enough for workers to afford basic necessities like food, clothing and rent. Good Jobs Seattle is supported by organizations including Washington Community Action Network, Working Washington, OneAmerica, and hundreds of workers and grassroots supporters.
Contact: Sage Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org