$2 million in unpaid wages recovered for Filipino workers in California


The Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) successfully recovered $2 million in unpaid wages for Filipino workers this year, addressing wage theft through legal action.

The announcement: Despite California’s robust employee protection laws, wage theft remains widespread, particularly among low-wage and hourly workers, reported Inquirer.

PWC Executive Director Aquilina Versoza shared the non-profit organization’s accomplishment at the 6th Annual Larry Itliong Festival, which concluded Filipino American History Month. The festival, held in Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles, honors Larry Itliong, who was a Filipino American labor leader and civil rights advocate.

Securing a budget: PWC, in line with Itliong's mission, focuses on championing workers' dignity and rights. The organization collaborates with the California Domestic Worker Coalition to safeguard the rights of immigrant women. According to Versoza, they were also able to secure a $35 million budget for education and outreach programs benefiting domestic workers.

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About the event: The festival, which featured performances by Filipino American celebrities and local artists, highlighted the contributions of Filipinos during the Delano grape strike. Additionally, the festival's speakers, including California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo and Senior Justice Deputy Esther Lim, recognized Itliong's significant role in leading a powerful labor movement.

“We recognize Larry Itliong as important, not just as a Filipino leader and icon, but also as an American leader and icon in terms of what he brought to the labor movement,” Lim said. “That is something to be commemorated, to be remembered and talked about.”

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