THUMBNAIL

Texas Company Indicted for Wage Theft

Employer John Najera, of El Paso company Sun-City Roofing, was indicted and charged with criminal wage theft last Thursday, the Texas Observer reported.  This specific type of case is the first of its kind to occur in El Paso and Austin is the only other city in Texas to see this type of case, according to the Texas Observer.

Najera allegedly pocketed over $2,000 that was supposed to go to worker Esteban Rangel.  “John Najera promised to pay me over $2,000 to replace a roof,” said Rangel according to a press release from the Labor Justice Committee and Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project.  A statistic released by the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) indicates that one in eight workers do not receive their promised pay.   Although this is El Paso’s first official case of criminal wage theft, employers stealing from already underpaid employees as one in five workers are illegally paid below minimum wage, has plagued the city for years.

 It wasn’t until 2011 when El Paso city officials passed a bill that aggressively put wage thieves in the crosshairs.  The Worker’s Defense Project (WDP), founded in 2002, succeeded in pressing Texas leaders to pass Senate Bill 1024.  Before SB 1024, there was a loophole in Texas law that allowed employers to slip prosecution should they steal their workers’ pay.  Employers would often resort to intimidation tactics to keep workers from coming forward about their severe mistreatment; threatening termination, notifying immigration authorities in cases of undocumented workers, lawsuits, etc.                             

One such example is Mexican immigrant Diego Gala, whom The New York Times reported on weeks before SB 1024 was passed.  “I couldn’t say nothing because I did not have papers,” NYT quoted Gala.  “So he (Gala’s employer) was like, ‘If you say something, you can just get deported.  I can call immigration on you, or you can get fired.”

Rangel heralds the indictment on Sub-City Roofing saying in the press release “this arrest shows him (Najera), and all El Paso employers, that there are serious consequences to stealing from your workers.”

Workers advocate groups like the TCRP and WDP, despite reporting troubles with getting police to enforce wage theft laws and attorneys to prosecute wage thieves, remain steadfast in their pursuit of fair treatment of workers, national and undocumented alike.  Incidents like these are proof-positive that companies like the ones that employed Diego Gala and Sun-City Roofing are criminals and not only violate securities and labor issues, but they also violate decent human rights, to which all are entitled.

Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.

About the Author

Joshua De Leon

Josh de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.

  • Trending Videos

    Bernie Sanders Makes Koch Brothers The Face Of Corporate Greed; Feel The Bern!

    Jeb Made Millions By Bankrupting Florida Pension Funds

    Donald Trump May Put The Final Nail In The GOP’s Coffin

    Chris Christie Is A Jerk — And The Public Despises Him

    Click for More ROF Videos
  • Free Speech TV

    It’s Time To Wake Up — No More Shootings

    Saving Social Security From Wall Street

    Jeb Is Grasping At Straws

    Julian Bond - A Civil Rights Hero

    Click for More Free Speech TV
Tonight on Free Speech TV

Tonight on Free Speech TV

Tonight’s Ring of Fire, hosted by Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins: Weeknights at 8:30pm Eastern on Free Speech TV. Live stream available on our YouTube page. Author Thor Benson will tell us why we need to rethink our drug policy, specifically our archaic prohibition of marijuana. In Tonight[...]

This Week on The Ring of Fire Radio

This Week on The Ring of Fire Radio

This week’s Ring of Fire Radio, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder: Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts Sunday nights at 8 pm Eastern: Author and journalist David Bromwich will tell us what’s happening with the nuclear agreement with Iran. Attorney Tim Beck[...]

Search Our Site

Our Social Media

Copyright © 2015, Ring of Fire Radio, LLC and The Ring of Fire, LLC