New America Media — Yank Sing Workers Win $4 Million in Backpay and Benefits

Yank Sing, a high-end dim sum restaurant operating in two locations in San Francisco’s Financial District, announced Wednesday that it has reached a $4 million backpay and benefits settlement for 280 affected current and former employees, according to Chinese-language newspaper Sing Tao Daily.

In 2003, three Yank Sing employees contacted the Chinese Progressive Association and the Asian Law Caucus, claiming their labor rights were being violated. In consultation with the two organizations, the workers organized a campaign, recruiting nearly 100 workers, to demand better working conditions.

According to a joint statement from the groups involved in the out-of-court deal, the “settlement not only compensates for past practices, but provides workers with pay and benefits beyond what the law requires,” including “base wage increases, holiday and vacation pay, fully paid health care for full-time employees, a workers compliance committee.”

Ms. Hu, who has worked for Yank Sing for eight years, is among the group of employees who will be receiving backpay.

“I am satisfied with the result,” Hu, who declined to give her real name for privacy reasons,  told Sing Tao. Hu will only receive backpay for her last four years of employment, under the terms of the settlement. “I urge workers to speak out if they face wage theft. We workers have to protect ourselves,” she said.

Yang Sing’s Director of Operations Jonathan Glick said that the restuarant’s ownership made mistakes.
“We’ve taken responsibility for them. We are compensating for the past, and have put in place a structure that ensures we will be a company that our workers enjoy working at for a long time in the future,” Click told the Sing Tao.

by Ngoc Nguyen