A Protest Rally Against Wage Theft by Crazy Buffet in Sunnyvale, California

On March 4, 2015, the Santa Clara Wage Theft Coalition organized a rally to protest the practice of wage theft by Crazy Buffet restaurant in Sunnyvale, California. Crazy Buffet has a total of 21 judgements against it, totaling over $1 million, for not paying worker wages. In the last 2 years, the Labor Commissioner has issued citations totaling $1.6 million to the owners of Crazy Buffet.

Among the groups that participated in the rally were the Santa Clara Wage Theft Coalition, the Labors’ International Union of North America, members of the Democratic Club of Sunnyvale, a member of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center and the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants. As a Filipino American, I was especially happy to see the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants, or PAWIS for short. I took a lot of photos and talked to many people about wage theft. I learned a lot from the conversations.

Wage theft is a problem with many buffet restaurants in Northern California. California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Sue has issued wage theft citations against ten Northern California buffet restaurants totaling approximately $16 million. The citations include civil penalties as well as wages and damages owed to more than 600 workers for multiple wage theft violations.

Investigations found that servers were paid an average of $1.15 per hour for 72 hours of work each week. Some servers were either not paid at all, or were paid just $200 per month. Kitchen workers were paid very low fixed salaries, without any compensation for overtime. Workers were not given meal or rest breaks as required by law, and were paid cash without the required itemized wage statements.

Here are some photos I took of the protest rally against Crazy Buffet.

A video by the Santa Clara Wage Theft Coalition and the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS) about a January 24, 2015 protest rally against Crazy Buffet in Sunnyvale for wage theft violations

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About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He does a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippines Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since March 2013, he has also contributed cartoons to the Manila Mail, a Filipino American newspaper based in Washington D.C. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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One Response to A Protest Rally Against Wage Theft by Crazy Buffet in Sunnyvale, California

  1. L.A. Kurth says:

    thanks for the great photos and coverage of a very important issue

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