Coming up to 2 years ago, I posted a blog article entitled: Regina Restaurant Rips Off Workers.
It's a sorry tale of about how the owners of a restaurant called Poverino's Pasta Grill in Regina, Saskatchewan closed up their doors unannounced and left approximately 135 (most young and student) workers holding the bag and cheated out of over $62,000.00 in unpaid wages.
In other words, the owners of Poverino's Pasta Grill stole over $62,000 from a bunch of unsuspecting, trusting, and obviously vulnerable young workers.
So, in the 2 years since Poverino's closed the doors, and the nearly 2 years since they were found by the Department/Ministry of Labour to be guilty of violating the Saskatchewan Labour Standards Act and cheating the workers out of their wages. And since Poverino's has been ordered to pay the 62 grand to the workers, how much money do you think those 135 have received?
Well, according to my information, NOT A SINGLE NICKEL.
At a recent meeting with officials of the Ministry of Labour, I raised this matter again. I was attending a consultation meeting regarding the governments plans to reduce the minimum age of work to 15, in sectors including the notoriously bad "restaurant industry". I said I was skeptical and concerned that young workers would be protected because they aren't being adequately protected now. I questioned why individual workers should have the responsibility for enforcing the governments laws. Why is it necessary for a student to take an employer to court, in order for the employer to comply with the laws of the land? That's the government's job.
This past week, I received the response linked here. It confirms that employers can get away with theft by "positioning themselves in a 'judgment proof' environment".
What do you think would happen if one of those workers took $62,000 out of the cash register and high-tailed it out of town? Do think the cops would be on the look-out? Do you think if they found the crook, that they'd arrest him and toss him in the slammer? You bet!
What we are witnessing in Saskatchewan is government sanctioned corporate theft. When is somebody in the government going to do something about it?