Alaa speaks out… I was searching for work, and saw an advertisement for a kitchen position at a restaurant. I called the owner and he told me to come to the place. When I went in, he asked me to work right away. I started work the next day at 5pm in the evening, and I finished the work by 10pm. The second day I completed one more shift. On the third day, I worked for half an hour only. I then was informed by the chef that I could go home and that if they need me they are going to give me call.
So I kept waiting for a call from them for more than 2 weeks. But they did not call me. I called again, and the owner said if they need me in the future they will give me a call. So I kept waiting for another 2 weeks, but they did not contact me. I called again and asked can they pay me for the hours I worked with them. The owner didn’t answer yes or no; he said I could come in to find out.
I went to the place and I asked again for the pay. The host informed me the owner was out of the city for 2 weeks vacation. So I went back again 2 weeks later. The owner told me I had to fill out an application form to apply for work! I told him I had already sent my resume, and I had worked for 2 days and half an hour. He refused to pay any money.
I came to Workers’ Action Centre and they helped me to make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour. Finally maybe 5-6 months later, the Ministry of Labour gave me a call and said there is a cheque – and they would mail it to me.
This owner is collecting money from working people and increasing the income for the restaurant. If no one stops him, another worker will come and ask for work and he will do the same thing. I want to tell people that if they have difficulty getting paid, they should not give up. People always keep a smile, don’t get sad when there is a problem. Keep a good spirit. Try to get your money back.