From Defensa Comunitaria:
ASHEVILLE, NC—Workers will gather outside the Buncombe County Courthouse Wednesday, April 17 at 12:30 pm for a press conference to demand wages owed to them by their former employer, Shogun Buffet Hibachi Grill. The press conference is being held in anticipation of a court mandated settlement conference next week, as part of the workers’ claim to thousands of dollars in unpaid wages. “Shogun didn’t pay us minimum wage and they still owe us for over 3,200 hours of overtime. Our families are still waiting,” states Jose Antolin Castillo, one of the former restaurant employees. “And we are fighting back!”
Workers state that after 17 months, they remain unpaid for work performed in opening and operating the restaurant. “The owners of Shogun have said they do not owe us our wages, but this is a lie. Even after the investigation by the US Department of Labor, they continue to underpay their workers like they underpaid us. We believe they do not value their employees and have made wage theft part of doing business,” explained Flor Funes, also a claimant for unpaid wages.
“We call on all workers denounce wage theft and abuse now! Together we demand that Shogun and all employers pay minimum wage and overtime. The people of Asheville should hold the government accountable to enforce wage and labor laws, so that workers and families do have have to continue suffering this great injustice,” urged Audencio Aguilar, worker and organizer.
Workers will gather at Pack Square at 12 noon and march down to the courthouse to give their testimonies and answer questions at the press conference planned for t 12:30pm at the Buncombe County Courthouse. Several groups will be present in solidarity with the workers including Defensa Comunitaria, COLA, Nuestro Centro, WNC Workers Center, and other community groups in support of worker justice and fair wages.