Alberto speaks out… Facing an employer for unpaid wages is a nerve-racking experience. Feelings of anxiety, exploitation, degradation and desperation overtake you, which are only amplified by the idea that you may not get paid after working so hard just to earn an honest living. I experienced working with an employer who had no difficulty exploiting students, and attempted to forego paying me what was rightfully owed.
I am a university student and I am conscious of the social issues of precarious work and wage theft. It still happened to me. It is not just about knowing our rights, our rights have to be enforced on the job. However, my employer was unsuccessful and an order was made by the Ministry of Labour demanding that my wages be paid in full. I was capable of getting my point across, but there are many other workers who are still struggling to make their voices heard. Our fight is against employers who feel they are above the law. Our voice shows that employers do not have to get away with the injustices they perform against workers. The fight continues, but speaking from personal experience, it is a fight that can be won with bravery, dignity, and perseverance.