Several Protest David's Cafe On Miami Beach

Oct 31, 2012

Carlos Perez said the group will continue protesting until they recoup their wages.
Credit Melissa Sanchez, El Nuevo Herald

David's Café in Miami Beach is a popular campaign stop for politicians. Now, it's become a site for protest.

A group of former workers claims they are owed about $70,000 in unpaid wages from a satellite location that closed in July.

Carlos Perez was among the protestors outside the main restaurant on Collins Avenue in South Beach Tuesday. He claimed its owners offered to pay a fraction of his original wages.

"If I worked at a 100 percent level, then I should be paid at the 100 percent level, not 57 or 67 percent,”  Perez said. “It's shameful that this happened, especially in this country. We're going to keep protesting until were paid 100 percent of what we're owed."

Eighteen workers have filed complaints with Miami-Dade County's wage theft program, which tries to mediate this kind of labor dispute.

The county's wage theft ordinance took effect in 2010 and since then, more than 400 workers have recouped more $500,000. Several hundred more cases are pending.

Broward County approved its own wage theft ordinance last week making it the second county in the state to have such a law.

El Nuevo Herald's Melissa Sanchez’s contributed to this report. You can read her full story in Spanish here: