LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A coalition of community groups gathered Thursday outside the offices of a Chinese electric bus manufacturer in downtown Los Angeles to protest alleged labor law violations.
The California Department of Industrial Relations fined Build Your Dreams (BYD) Electronic Company nearly $80,000 on Oct. 10 for violating labor laws in Los Angeles and Lancaster.
BYD was also ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in back wages for violations involving 22 employees, including some workers at the company’s Lancaster facility, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Times reports BYD paid some Chinese workers at its Los Angeles site just $1.50 an hour.
In response, community, labor, faith, and immigrant groups gathered at the company’s office office, 1800 S. Figueroa, to call on public agencies — including the L.A. Metropolitan Transit Authority and Long Beach Public Transportation Authority — to sever economic ties with BYD for its alleged “rotten treatment of workers and hollow promises of good jobs for Angelenos.”
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) protest organizer Rachele Huennekens told KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero the company has a civic responsibility to both its workers and the city at large.