Bay Area Pinoys mark International Workers' Day

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at May 03 2014 12:29 PM | Updated as of May 03 2014 08:29 PM

REDWOOD CITY, California - Filipinos in the Bay Area joined others across the country in yesterday’s commemoration of International Workers' Day.

Filipino organizations in Oakland, California took to the streets to protest the unfair treatment of workers.

"It’s such a big sacrifice to leave your family in the Philippines to come here to give yourself a good future," said Roger Adino, president of Migrante Northern California.

Even young Pinoys said they experience the hardships their parents face every day.

"Now they have no days off because they need to keep working in order to make ends meet and we keep getting hit with audits so it’s been hard," said ALAY member Claire Warren.

Meantime in Daly City, Filipino high school teachers gathered members of the community into the Westmoor High School library to hear from actual victims of wage theft.

Ofelia Prettyman of San Francisco is a caregiver who only wanted to make sure her family in the Philippines was receiving her hard-earned money.

As one of the many victims of wage theft, she is speaking out about its injustice.

"I was getting paid way below the minimum wage which the law allows to pay workers. I didn’t realize that. What’s in my head is as long as I have work, as long I make money that I can send to the Philippines then it’s ok not realizing there is more than just working," said Prettyman.

NAFCON National Treasurer Aurora Victoria David summed up the importance of how Filipinos from all over the country can gather to voice the same issue.

"A worker’s issue in Daly City is a worker’s issue in New York. It’s a worker’s issue in LA. It’s a worker’s issue in the Philippines. Worker’s rights in human rights! It shows with collective action we can change things,” said David.