About 50 female workers picketed in solidarity with a former nail salon employee, Susan Kim, earlier this week.
Kim won a settlement against her boss in October 2007 for a violation of labor laws, including failure to pay overtime and retaliatory firing. But she has yet to be reinstated or paid the back wages she was awarded, according to the rally’s organizers.
The March 3 protest, which took place in front of Kim’s former workplace, Simply Nails on 67th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, was timed to precede International Women’s Day. It was organized by the Justice Will Be Served! campaign, which has successfully mobilized delivery workers at Saigon Grill and other local restaurants. Josephine Lee, an organizer with the group, said she was impressed with the burgeoning movement of female salon workers, who may face pressure not to speak out both at work and home.
The salon’s owners, Dong Rim Park and Mou San Rim, “still think they are above the law,” Lee said at the rally.
Council Member Gale Brewer and a representative from Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s office also spoke. Both said that legislation to protect the health and rights of salon workers was in the works.
A woman answering the phone at Simply Nails said the owners were unavailable. Workers at the salon drew the shades during the rally so that protestors and press could not see inside.
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