Workers protest wage theft in Pima County

. - Two dozen people protested outside of Loews Ventana Canyon Resort Saturday afternoon in Pima County, calling for an end to wage theft.

Nine workers, joined by advocates and volunteers with Derechos Humanos, made claims that they still haven't been paid a total of more than $10,000 for work that they completed in February and March.

Manuel Ramirez, who said he worked at the resort for two weeks in that time, said he's been working any job he can find to help cover the money he's owed.

“They say no more work for you, I don't know why,” he said. “Maybe they don't want pay.”

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort has never missed a payroll, according to Director of Public Relations Sarah Moran.

She said the resort contracted cleaning services to LandCorp, a Phoenix-based company.

In an email, Moran wrote that the contract was paid in full and ended on April 30, 2015, which makes the workers employees of LandCorp and not Loews Hotels.
Isabel Garcia, with Derechos Humans, said subcontracting a service does not mean a company should be free from accountability in a situation like this.
"They have responsibility because this is exactly where these individuals are working," she said. "This is who they're benefiting. This is who they're creating wealth for."
Even though the dispute dates back several months, LandCorp was not aware of the issue until 10:55 p.m. Friday, according to spokeswoman Alicia Oros.

She said that's when someone finally made a claim with the company. LandCorp is now investigating the matter and will have a full statement after the investigation is complete, according to Oros.
Ramirez said he just wants what is owed to him and he will fight for it if that's what it's going to take.
"Don't pay, we go to court," he said.
Some of the nine workers involved in the protest have issues with other companies, which have not been reached for comment at the time of this report.
Advocates said Saturday that wage theft is more prevalent in southern Arizona than people may think.
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