NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton restaurant workers are fighting against what they’re calling “wage theft.” They gathered Thursday night to address issues in the food business.
A new report looked at 235 workers at 85 different restaurants in Northampton. It found the majority of workers receive low wages, few benefits, and face poor working conditions.
Several employees reported working more than 40 hours a week, without receiving any overtime pay. Others reported earning as low as $5 an hour.
Diana Sierra of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center told 22News, “There has been a lot of negative responses among restaurant owners, that they’re being personally attacked. That is not our intention. Our intention is for workers to be treated with respect.”
Key findings in the report:
- 95% do not get paid sick days
- 94% did not receive health and safety training from employer
- 94% do not receive health insurance from their employer
- 80% have worked when sick
- 78% do not make a living hourly wage ($13.18)
- 70% do not receive overtime pay when working more than 40 hours
- 30% experience some sort of verbal harassment at the job