The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

L.A. Workers Fight for Stolen Wages

Jan 17, 2022

The California State Labor Commissioner’s Office has upheld a 2018 ruling of wage theft for 148 low-wage, elder-care workers in the Los Angeles area. The judgment rules elder care business, Adat Shalom Board & Care, now rebranded as Land of Peace, owes 8.3 million dollars in back wages.

The citation found the company subjected its workers, most of whom were Filipino immigrants, to “oppressive working conditions.” Workers were subjected to 24-hour shifts, six days a week, caring for patients who had Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as bedridden hospice patients. Often times, workers would find themselves responsible for dozens of patients. The Commission determined that workers were reportedly making $2.40 an hour with no overtime. One worker said, “[It] was like slavery.”

While the Commission ruled in favor of the workers, the company has not paid out a single cent. It is up in the air when these workers will be awarded their stolen wages. Not waiting for the courts, the workers continue their fight to get what is theirs. On October 1, 2021, many of the former workers protested in front of the facility. Joining in on the festive season on December 23, workers went caroling to the company owner’s house. They sang the old classics but with a twist.

Here are some of the lyrics they sang (to the tune of Oh, Christmas Tree),

“Oh pay of us please, our salaries

“The wages that you stole from me.

“We worked all day and into the night

“For little pay and that not right.

“Oh pay us please, our salaries

“The wages that you stole from me.”