On February 11, State Supreme Court Judge Marcy Friedman ruled that the current owner of Saigon Grill must pay the 38 former employees over $1 million owed to them from the judgments against the former boss Simon Nget.
After Nget went to jail for fraudulent payroll records the new owners, Jiu Sheng Lin and Qiao Lin, purchased Saigon Grill’s 90th Street location in 2010 with the requirement that they would pay Nget’s debt to the workers. The Upper West Side community was led to believe that the Lins would run the business with better labor practices. Instead, the Lins fired the older workers and the younger workers who spoke out against their age discrimination practice. Furthermore, the restaurant fired the workers trying to unionize the delivery department.
Since November 2010, the fired workers and supporters have been picketing in front of Saigon Grill to demand justice. The determination of Saigon Grill workers has inspired many workers and residents. Many other workers have come forward to demand improved work conditions in dozens of establishments including Domino’s Pizza, Land Thai, Tomo, Sun Lee West, Gabriella’s and Aqua.
Workers and supporters continue to picket Saigon Grill 5 days a weeks and twice a day until the employer pays the judgment and rehires the fired workers.