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Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center will protest at Bella Hacienda Adult Day Care, Inc. on Thursday to demand that the owner pay four workers that have not been compensated since July, to raise awareness about the growing problem of wage theft in the Rio Grande Valley.
Speakers include Pedro Alvarez, one of the unpaid Bella Hacienda employees and Hector Guzman Lopez, lead organizer at Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center. Workers who have faced wage theft at other businesses will also speak.
Fuerza del Valle supports the right of employees at Bella Hacienda to be paid in full for the $6,000 they are owed and stronger enforcement of Texas’s Wage Theft.
The protest is also part of a National Day of Action Against Wage Theft. Investigators estimate that wage theft costs workers over $100 billion a year nationally and Texas ranks as one of the worst states for combatting it, said Lopez. In the Rio Grande Valley alone, FVWC has documented 200 cases of wage theft worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last year.
Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center is a project of the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, which is committed to creating a movement of social change through the civic engagement of the more than 25,000 constituents of the network’s participating organizations.
Organizations include La Union del Pueblo Entero, South Texas Civil Rights Project, Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Mano a Mano Promotoras, and Proyecto Juan Diego.
Wage theft hurts workers, families, honest employers, and the local economy,” said Lopez.
Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center was formed to cultivate the leadership and power of unprotected workers, to stop the rampant problem of wage theft, and to build a movement for economic justice in the Rio Grande Valley.