Houston IWW wins first campaign; a multi-worker fight against a remodeling contractor // Houston IWW gana primera campaña ; una lucha de varios trabajadores contra un contratista de remodelación

For context to this campaign, check out this post.

We won!!

The fight against Felipe Serna has concluded.  Serna wrote a check to Hector, Pancho, and Mauricio which was promptly cashed this morning.

After our letter delivery, folks will recall that we organized a phone blast of The Growing Tree daycare and Felipe’s cell.  It was very effective; his phone didn’t stop ringing and he was in tears begging for mercy.  But when the calls ceased, his verbal commitment to settling turned into indignation as he failed to follow through and after a few days texted us an image of his “lawyer’s” business card, the second attorney he had threatened us with.

So we got indignant too and last night covered the surrounding neighborhood of The Growing Tree with “Wanted for Wage Theft” posters with his image prominently on the front.  We made sure to leave one on the front door of the daycare.  The next morning he wrote a check.

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The fight against Felipe Serna and wage theft in Houston // La Lucha Contra Felipe Serna y el Robo de Salarios en Houston

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Houston IWW marching on the boss to demand the return of stolen wages

The Houston IWW is engaged in a fight with a local contractor, Felipe Serna, responsible for wage theft of three former employees: Hector, Pancho, and Mauricio.  These three men were hired by Felipe Serna in May of 2015 for the remodeling of a house in Sweeny, Texas.  They were offered $150/day each for their services and provided room and board at the house.  Several days in Serna decides $150 is too much and instead wants to pay them $100/day instead.  The men held their ground, stating $150 was the agreed upon wage, and Serna backed off.

While at work one day, Serna tells the men he is letting them go.  The men ask for payment for the previous three days of labor and Serna refuses, accusing them of stealing equipment.  To add insult to injury, Hector, Pancho, and Mauricio weren’t driven back to Houston, but told to make their own way.  It cost them $100 total for them to get transportation back to the city. Continue reading