BROOKLYN — In addition to being investigated and fined by the New York State Department of Labor, several dozen food markets and retail stores along the "Street of Shame" were impeded with protesters marching down Knickerbocker Avenue in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn over the weekend.
Knickerbocker Avenue has long been known as the "Street of Shame" by labor advocacy groups that want to put an end to the numerous violations of employee rights to earn minimum wage and overtime pay.
Nearly 100 marchers, including overworked and underpaid employees who are upset with their working conditions, participated in the annual holiday march, which took place on Saturday.
Supported by labor advocacy groups Make the Road New York, and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the Despierta Bushwick! Campaign insists that "shop owners acknowledge the vital role these mainly immigrant retail workers play in maintaining the economic vitality of their community and this city by paying them the legal minimum wage and time-and-a-half when they work more than 40 hours a week."
The protest began on Grove Street in Bushwick, and ended 10 blocks down the road in front of the Associated Supermarket, where some employees are not paid any wages at all, according to the campaign.
The Labor Department began conducting sweeps of several dozen food-markets and retail-stores last week along Knickerbocker Avenue, issuing numerous wage and hour violations. A press conference is expected to be held by the department later this week.