Calling on a local restaurateur Glaydes Coehlo to pay them wages they say that they are owed, workers will protest in front of their former place of employment, the Firebull restaurant today, at 5 p.m., 5 Central St., Peabody Square.
The workers will be joined by local labor and community supporters, who will ask that Coehlo pay the workers the full- back wages that they are still owed after the restaurant closed. She was previously investigated by the U.S. Labor Department for non-payment of wages.
“We, the ex-employees of Firebull Restaurant, are asking for the justice and respect denied to us," said the group of employees in a statement. "We worked hard for our money and deserve to be paid. We have nothing against the owner, but are incredibly hurt by her extreme disrespect and exploitation of us. For weeks, she let us work, knowing full-well she would never pay us and was planning on closing the restaurant. The world needs to know what she did and that we, the workers, are not going to take it.”
Natalicia Tracy, executive director of the Brailizian Immigrant Center added: "The Brazilian Immigrant Center has tried to contact the restaurant owner on many occasions, and to work with her to resolve this issue. Unfortunately, she has chosen to ignore both the workers and current labor laws. We find her behavior to be exploitative and wrong, and we are happy to stand with the workers to fight for social justice."
“We find it very disturbing that this employer apparently still has not made full restitution to her former employees, as mandated by state law,” said Russ Davis, executive director of Massachusetts Jobs With Justice, who is supporting the mostly Brazilian workers along with the Brazilian Immigrant Center and other local groups.