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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Winning the Fight Against Wage Theft

Three years after initiating a community boycott, and filing a complaint with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Make the Road New York won more than $1,100,000 for more than fifty Brooklyn supermarket workers. Importantly, the supermarket owners were also arrested and pleaded guilty to criminal wage theft and falsification of records. Workers had been paid as little as $14 per day for working 12-hour days.

Make the Road New York also collaborated with the New York State Department of Labor to crack down on supermarkets throughout the city that oblige their baggers to work for no base wage, only tips. Workers from six supermarkets won over $300,000 in unpaid wages, and an additional five supermarkets will likely have to pay over $500,000 that they stole from their workers.

Both of these recent victories grew out of Make the Road New York’s innovative collaboration with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

We are also working with the RWDSU to promote workers’ rights at the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx where a broad community, clergy, labor, and small business coalition (The Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance – KARA) is working to ensure that the redevelopment of the Armory meets the community’s educational, retail, entertainment, recreational and service needs while also providing living wage union jobs to local residents.

For more information, visit KARA’s website: