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Students and workers protest U.C.-hired contractor

by Laura Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 at 12:20 AM

People come out to the University of California Santa Barbara campus on December 3rd to support workers who remain unpaid by a contractor hired by U.C.S.B.

Students and workers...
ryan__s_painting_protest_005a.jpgaz6l7k.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x800

Ryan's Painting is a San Diego-based painting company who has failed to pay over a dozen workers for up to seven weeks.

The U.C., in conjunction with the general contractor Prowest, allowed this to happen. Prowest recently admitted to some knowledge of falsified documents stating that workers are making over $30 per hour, a figure three times the actual salary of most. Workers who brought the injustices to light were threatened with deportation.

Luis Robles, a spokesperson for the Painters and Allied Trades union, stated, "they [Ryan's Painting] think that they [the workers] will just go away and never get paid a dime."

There were two apparent main goals of the protest; those present were both concerned with sending a message to the U.C. system to hire more responsible contractors and to get the money to the workers.

"Is doing the work more important than the exploitation of these workers?" asks Mike Gutierrez from Painters and Allied Trades.

Among those in attendance were U.C. students and professors, the aforementioned Painters and Allied Trades union, painters from Ryan's Painting, members of the press and other concerned people.

One painter, a woman named Sara, said, "We're very thankful for the support. We really hope this works, because another week without work... It's very hard. Christmas is coming, and my children are already asking for gifts, and we won't be able to give them any."

It is estimated that over $87,000 is owed to the painters. When they would take their checks, personal checks from Ryan's personal account rather than his business account, to the bank, they would bounce. Also, one painter recalled being told that his check was in the mail, but never received it.

"All we ask," said Gutierrez, "is that we get these workers their money, nothing more."
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inflatable rat

by Laura Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 at 12:20 AM

inflatable rat...
ryan__s_painting_protest_008a.jpgxvhbvv.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x441

This rat represents the "rat contractor."
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by Laura Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 at 12:20 AM

ryan__s_painting_protest_009a.jpgijw7gk.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

At the peak of the march, before marching to Cheadle Hall where U.C.S.B. administration has its offices.
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at Cheadle hall

by Laura Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 at 12:20 AM

at Cheadle hall...
ryan__s_painting_protest_010a.jpgktwy2e.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x400

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the group at Cheadle Hall

by Laura Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 at 12:20 AM

the group at Cheadle...
ryan__s_painting_protest_013a.jpgfziema.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Apology Laura Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 at 1:16 AM
facts c831 Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 at 7:33 PM
What's an "illegal"? nazis for target practice Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 at 8:55 PM
Contractor without conscience Gab Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007 at 1:06 AM

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