With all of the recent protests about low wages in fast food joints, this has to be the icing on the cake. Dominoes pizza delivery workers make under $6 an hour and rely on tips to meet minimum wage. New York has a minimum wage of $7.25. $6 bucks an hour comes out to about $240 for a 40-hour week.
Because of this low wage, the employees of a Washington Heights, N.Y. Domino’s walked off their jobs, in unity with the country’s underpaid fast food workers who have been striking all over the nation, which included a significant amount of workers in New York City.
After the walkout, delivery workers were asked to work extended hours inside the restaurant but were not offered an increased hourly pay for their time inside the store. After bringing the issue to management’s attention, the 24 employees were fired.
— Ydanis Rodriguez (@ydanis) December 8, 2013
After the firing, Assembly Member Gabriela Rosa and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez joined a group of vocal activists in a rally outside the uptown chain, demanding that Domino’s rehire the unjustly terminated employees. “Having all these workers fired, not able to bring the food to their families, in part of a season when we are supposed to be able to give thanks and share with others, is really outrageous,” said Rosa
“This community stands committed to fighting for the rights of workers, particularly low wage workers who face harassment and unjust labor practices,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Northern Manhattan). “This will not end until these workers’ jobs are restored and their rights respected. Nor will we stop fighting along with the hundreds of thousands around the country dedicated to improving their lives with higher wages and the right to unionize. Too many face the grueling struggle of providing for a family on minuscule pay. Workers have spoken and the time for change is now.”
And further – “Domino’s treatment of these workers has been unjust, unethical, and utterly shameless,” said Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-Upper Manhattan/Bronx). “These workers deserve justice for the harassment and exploitation they have faced, and our neighborhood is going to fight for them until that’s achieved. If we allow these workers’ rights to be violated, then all workers’ rights are imperiled. These low-wage employees have families to take care of – we’re not going to let Domino’s leave them out in the cold this holiday season.
It is very likely that after the city officials spoke, Domino’s decided to reinstate the workers jobs.
From the Daily Kos: The 25 Manhattan Domino’s workers who lost their jobs after protesting being forced to work below minimum wage will be back on the job this weekend, thanks to an agreement with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Jose Sanchez, one of the reinstated Domino’s employees, said, “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.”
The workers will continue to fight for a pay raise. According to data from the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy organization, Domino’s Pizza workers often can’t survive on their wages alone and are forced to sign up for various public assistance programs.
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