The week before Christmas, Casa took up the cause of a group of hotel housekeepers who had not been paid for their work. As we spoke to one worker after another, it became evident that at least 11 workers were owed wages -- many of them owed a couple thousand dollars and many having been paid with bounced checks. These workers clean hotel rooms at some of the best known hotel chains in the country. They are employed, however, through a labor broker who owes wages to dozens of other housekeepers in various Eastern Massachusetts hotels. This is all too common in a world of increasingly fissured workplaces.
On Tuesday, December 20, a group of allies and Consejo members organized an action at one Wakefield-area hotel where three women were owed wages. Along with a worker representative, we delivered a letter to hotel management asking that they intervene and pursue payment for the workers who clean their rooms. The letter specifically requested that the hotel not fire this bad-actor employer, out of fear that the workers would then never see their pay. Instead, we asked that hotel management oblige the subcontractor to pay the workers the wages he owed them. The peaceful action was productive, as we were able to deliver the letter directly to the head manager and speak with him about the situation. He was thankfully sympathetic and took action, connecting promptly with the labor broker and insisting on payment.
By Friday, the three workers had received their back wages. Casa returned to the hotel with a second representative of the workers and they were able to collect all the wages owed and distribute them that afternoon and evening.
Casa will be looking at strategies for pursuing strategies for collecting wages for the other dozens of workers owed wages by the broker at other hotels, where we lack the leverage of an ongoing contract. This type of impactful action will be key to effective strategy going forward. Please let us know if you'd be interested joining us for actions like this in the future as we bird-dog these unscrupulous and thieving employers. Ally support and solidarity is crucial!
As we approach the end of 2022, please consider financially supporting our work. Donations can be directed to our general work or specifically earmarked for a number of different projects and funds: the Injured Workers Fund, Canasta Solidaridad, COVID clinics, and aid against evictions. Your support allows us to continue our efforts alongside immigrant workers and redistribute funds directly to those in immediate need.
Metrowest Worker Center - Casa del Trabajador - Casa do Trabalhador