Workers Stage Protest Against Chinese Govt. Owned Wu Liang Ye
I don’t know what I’m more surprised about… that Wu Liang Ye might be paying their employees slave wages, or that the popular Szechuan restaurant is owned by the Chinese government?!? Either way, workers staged a protest yesterday in front of the Wu Liang Ye on 39th & Lexington handing out flyers that condemned the restaurant for paying their workers as little as $1.10 an hour, and stealing credit card tips. They also claim that after a number of workers filed a lawsuit against Wu Liang Ye last year, the company retaliated by firing “the most vocal workers and even assaulted workers for speaking out.”
The entire flyer, including a list of demands from the protesters, is after the jump…
Known as the “Gem of the State,” Wu Liang Ye, is an internationally renowned government enterprise and trademark of China , which on 1993 started expanding its operations in NYC, opening up 3 four-star restaurants in the heart of midtown Manhattan . The three restaurants bring in an estimated $6 million a year. However, Wu Liang Ye paid its workers as little as $1.10/hour and stole 10 percent of workers’ credit card tips. When 25 servers and delivery workers filed a lawsuit against the restaurant for violating U.S. and state labor laws last year, Wu Liang Ye retaliated against the workers. They fired the most vocal workers and even assaulted workers for speaking out.
Workers of Wu Liang Ye restaurant filed a retaliation charge with the National Labor Relations Board earlier this week. They will be joined by others to demand that Wu Liang Ye comply with the labor laws, reinstate the workers, and pay the workers their stolen wages. We also urge the Chinese government right its wrong and take responsibility for Wu Liang Ye’s wrongdoing.
Justice Will Be Served! (JWBS) is a campaign that unites restaurant, hotel, deli, and other service workers in different communities across New York to fight against long hours, second-class wages, stolen tips and other sweatshop conditions. JWBS! is composed of a coalition of organizations: 318 Restaurant Workers Union, Chinese Staff & Workers’ Association, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops, CSWA P.O. Box 130401 , New York, NY 10013-0995 ; tel: 212-334-2333; fax: 212-334-1974
 Wu Liang Ye, USA, Inc., the holding company for the chain’s 86th and 39th Street location is a subsidiary of the Chinese state enterprise Wu Liang Ye Group. Owner Liang Zhang disclosed in response to the Federal Court the history of the state enterprise’s expansion in U.S.A.
The City Room Blog confirmed that the workers filed their complaint this week with the National Labor Relations Board, and that it doesn’t effect the famous branch of Wu Liang Ye on 48th btw. 5+6th. That particular location of Wu Liang Ye proved in court last year that they had a different owner than the location on 3rd Avenue.