A recent report highlighted the stark conditions that Chinese restaurant workers face even in the progressive environment of San Francisco.
The report, called "Check, Please! Health and Working Conditions in San Francisco Chinatown Restaurants," had several main points
- Workers experience widespread wage theft, pay-related violations such as sub-minimum wages or lack of overtime pay. 1 in 2 workers report working for less than the minimum wage;
- Workers report long work days and weeks and lack of breaks where 42% report working over 40 hours a week with half of those workers working 60 hours or more. Workers also do not get any rest or meal breaks at all;
- Workers experience injuries, work in hazardous workplaces and do not receive training. Almost half of the workers have been burned. Four out of ten have sustained cuts at work in the past year;
- The workplace environment produces high levels of stress for workers;
- Workers do not have the necessary healthcare and time off to address their medical conditions and injuries. Over half the workers surveyed are paying for their medical care out-of-pocket.
Over 170 people attended the release of the report at the Chinese Progressive Association. They heard CPA worker leaders share their personal experiences, survey findings, and reactions from members of the Board of Supervisors and community allies.
The report was produced by the the Chinese Progressive Association in collaboration with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the University of California, San Francisco Medical School, the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and the Labor Occupational Health Program.
The executive summary and full report are found below.