San Remo Pizzeria Accused Of Owing Over $200,000 In Back Pay And Penalties To Workers

San Remo Pizza. (Photo by Ditmas Park Corner)
San Remo Pizza. (Photo by Ditmas Park Corner)

Local pizza joint San Remo, 1408 Cortelyou Road — and our pick for best delivery pizza back in 2013 — has been accused of underpaying some of their employees, according to a report in the Daily News.

The newspaper reports that a former employee of the restaurant, Abel Martinez — who is originally from Mexico — quit his job and filed a complaint with the Labor Department after being paid only $300 weekly without overtime, while working 77 hours over six days as a deliveryman and dishwasher.

Investigators from the the Labor Department have concluded that Martinez is owed $4,100 and the shop owes a total of $202,000 in back pay to other longtime employees, as well as additional penalties.

This has come to light as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in his State of the State address that his administration is planning to sponsor temporary visas, known as U visas, to undocumented immigrants who have been victims of wage violations or other abuse from their employers.

We have reached out toe San Remo Pizzeria for comment but have not received a response.

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  1. I don’t know if there’s any truth in these accusations, but I will say that the pizza this place serves up is itself CRIMINAL!

  2. Considering the figures came from an investigation by the Labor Department, there is a good possibility of truth to it. They were already one of the more expensive traditional New York slice joints in the hood. Wondering how this will reflect in future pricing in addition to the eventual minimum wage increased to all staff.

    And yes, the combination of high pricing and mediocre pizza is criminal.

  3. this makes their HIGH PRICES and shrinking portion sizes even more of an outrage! maybe like john’s bakery (mediocre pastry, but at least they were reasonable, price-wise) they’ll go out of business. oh wait, they didn’t go out of business, just SOLD OUT another one of our few remaining blue collar pocket friendly spots to corporate greed. smh!

  4. We’ve always liked their pizza–and I don’t think we’re that philistine about your basic delivery pie–and have a place in our heart for them from back in the day, when they were almost the only option around. (Unless you count terrifying bucket shops like Church Ave’s “Number One Chinese Restaurant.”) Very disappointed in them if this is true, and hope their hard-working guys get what’s owed them. I am reminded of an item in an old-school Roman Catholic “examination of contest” (essentially a checklist of sins): “Did I fail to give a fair day’s work or a fair day’s pay?” Yes, it’s a sin!

  5. Have any of you people (Blog Losers) ever owned a Small Biz. In NYC??? Paying high rent or mortgage payments??? Paying extremely high taxes??? All while working 80 hour work week??? Don’t make comments about High Prices or Selling Out if you never walk in that persons shoes!

  6. Why would you say they sold out to corporate greed? I know people with family run businesses, similar to John’s bakery – 7 days a week, 365 days a year – and it can take a toll on you. Maybe they were ready to move on. I don’t know the details but I’m pretty sure they owned the building as well and had no control over what business would take over the spot. That’s up to the new owners of the building.

  7. Exactly Mike! It drives me crazy when people open there Big,Fat Mouths w/o no sense of what goes on in The Real World!!

  8. I think their pizza is fine. Not the best, not the worst. And I have little with which to compare it price-wise, but it never seemed unreasonable or notably out of step with the surrounding neighborhoods. I will say, however, that everybody who works there seems absolutely miserable all the time.

  9. Been going there for years and by far the best pizza around with the nicest guys working behind the counter. I heard that it’s not the first time this guy has done this. It’s a total scam set up to ruin small business people in nyc.

  10. Around 2005 to about 2007 they had good pizza, I used to go there pretty regularly but then they hiked up their prices and the quality of the food seemed to deteriorate as well. Haven’t been in that place in at least 4 years, it would be a shame if they are underpaying the workers with the fairly high prices they charge for their pizza. They must have high margins on that business.

  11. The whole purpose of a business is to earn as much profit as possible, its a great thing if someone wants to buy out your business. As a business owner you should be charging as much as you can for your product and its up to the consumer to decide if they want to pay it or not. Consumers should vote with their dollars if they don’t like the price but I wouldn’t bash any small business for trying to increase profits or selling out for a nice payday.

  12. They did do some renovation and expansion. Could it have cost them $202,000? I guess this
    ex – employee had his crust burnt and was fed up being the “dough” boy.

  13. Rocky’s > Lo Duca > San Remo

    It’s a shame the NY Brick Oven guy didn’t work out (the second version; not the terrible first version), but apparently the landlord makes it tough on anyone.

  14. Angelo’s on Cortelyou between E. 21st and Flatbush is much better than San Remo by a long shot. Nice folks and you can order online for delivery.

  15. We love Sam Remo, though I did see (albeit many years ago) a massive screaming and shoving match between the owner and seemingly one of his relative/workers. Seemed ‘all in the family’. Wonder if related.

  16. chris, you really need to keep YOUR mouth shut – because you simply sound like a classist and ignorant at best, like a small child on the playground (can’t make a point without namecalling?) at worst. the “real world” you speak of is subjective – and open to interpretation depending upon where you stand. i’m standing up for the people who work there and don’t get paid. if your idea of “the real world” doesn’t involve this, then please troll along elsewhere. ps. don’t you realize by now that when one namecalls they are actually referring to themselves?) i’m sorry you feel that you are a “blog loser” (whatever that is) and have a big fat mouth. that really sucks, hope you get better soon!

  17. mike, there’s a big fancy fishbowl.. i mean pediatrician’s office.. there now. we all know what’s going on in this neighborhood.

  18. Yup. Add this to the internship and tipping controversies and you’re going to see laws being passed for an across-the-board standard minimuim pay for anyone who punches a time card, citizen and non alike, and freebie labor practically being eliminated. Not all, but most.

  19. The opening of a respected pediatrics office – a small, local, successful business that puts us on more equal footing with Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and Manhattan neighborhoods is not selling out to corporate greed. Another Dunkin’ Donuts, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Starbucks, YES a sell out. But a local doctor’s office, hell NO.

  20. “Equal footing”?!? Oh HELL no. Ditmas Park started out far better than all those places, and let’s try and keep it that way, okay? If you want Park Slope, go living in effing Park Slope.

    I love me some Dunkin’ Donuts, and the prices match my income.

  21. I wish a Citibank branch would open here. Wouldn’t mind a Starbucks either. Both would provide jobs to local people.

  22. I’m sorry, how does Tribeca Peds not employ local people? And if it’s just a bank of ATMs like a BoA, there ain’t no people working there!

  23. They’re nice enough in store, but I’ve often wondered about the thugish mafia-esque types that, especially in the summer, pull up in front of the business and linger in their “fancy” cars. I hope this isn’t true, and I certainly hope they’ve always been fair to their long-time delivery person. That is one hardworking dude.

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