The civil suit filed in Los Angles cites a long list of complaints ranging from human trafficking, racketeering, discrimination, and retaliation to wage and labor violations. It asks specifically for a million dollars in unpaid wages, overtime, penalties and damages.
The 11 plaintiffs are all poor Filipino workers who were allegedly lured to America by the bakery owner, a previous employer in the Philippines. They trusted her when they were promised an E2 Visa and $2,000 a month to leave their families and come to America.
But that’s not what they got when they arrived in Los Angeles.
One woman told me she felt like a “slave,” doing forced manual labor. It wasn’t what she signed up for. And when the workers threatened to leave, the powerful bakery owner allegedly threatened the workers and their families in the Philippines. The significance here is that the bakery owner is the daughter of a Philippine official, Juan B. Santos, who is chair of the Social Security Commission, and a wealthy former CEO of Nestle.
I’ll have much more in a later post.
I talked to several workers and I hope to talk to the bakery owners.(Suit filed by attorneys at Latham/Watkins in Los Angeles and the Asian American Advancing Justice-Los Angeles). The complaint is here: 20150318 Complaint-filed CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog
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