Remain Without Jobs Or Pay
From El Diario
January 18, 2004
By Rosa Margarita Murphy
Garment workers demonstrated in front of a
Brooklyn factory where they worked until recently. The owner
of the factory shut it down without paying them for their last
About 40 employees of the now-defunct company Crown
Linen, located on 43 Hall Street in Brooklyn, say that they have
received pay for the last two weeks they worked for Charlie
Seidenfeld, the boss of the sheet-making company.
"The majority of us are owed for two weeks of work, all
we want is to get paid. Until about two months ago we worked under
him so we would get paid," pointed out several of the
former employees who spent hours waiting for their one-time
boss in front of the door of the business.
They explained that
Seidenfeld first fired a portion of the staff. Then, one month
later, he fired the rest of the employees,
canceling their last two weeks of pay.
"He normally cashed our checks for us, but charged us $3.
We accepted this because the checks always bounced. But this time
it was different. He gave us the checks knowing that there
wasn't enough money in the bank. He told us that he would
pay us today [Friday, January 16], but up to this moment he
has not appeared, and we don't know what is happening
with him," said María Betances, who worked in
Ana Luci Quito, who worked cleaning the factory,
said that during her eight years working for Seidenfeld she
him move his business from state to state.
"Charlie Seidenfeld had always moved the factory around
and changed its name. For two years he worked to move the company
to New Jersey. Now it has happened," she said.
40 immigrant workers in the factory, 37 are woman, mostly single
mothers, and three men. They make salaries between $5.25
and $8 dollars an hour.
"I am a single mother, I need my money. As if we don't
need it, he closed the factory on us. It seems that Seidenfeld
is going to move the business to the Dominican Republic. The
last time we spoke with him, he told us that he didn't
care if we complained to the Department of Labor," said
The checks that the employees
hold as proof were signed by Angelo Figueroa, who the workers
identified as a supervisor.
Those affected said that they don't know if the company
for which they worked was actually called RSNY Fashions, Inc.,
as it appears on their checks. In the company's mailbox
there was a placard that said Charlie Seidenfeld, Crown Linen
RSNY Fashion Worldwide Manufactury International Home Fashion.
the telephone directory, El Diario looked
up Crown Linen, located on 43 Hall Street in Brooklyn, intending
to speak with the manager. No one, however, answered our call.
We also made several calls to Angelo Figueroa, but could not
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Translated from Spanish by Joshua Brustein.