Gilroy, CA…On March 4, 2021, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) revoked two ABC licenses in Gilroy – M and M Liquor located at 7901 Westwood Drive, Suite H and Gavilan Market located at 8110 Westwood Drive, Suite A. While M and M Liquor suffered a hard revocation, Gavilan Market’s license was revoked, with the revocation stayed for one full year to allow for an ownership transfer approved by the ABC. Meanwhile, that license is immediately suspended for 45 days and indefinitely for up to one year, and alcohol sales are prohibited at both locations.
These ABC license revocations come after a joint investigation by ABC and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Investigation revealed labor human trafficking. The investigation took place over several months and led to the arrests last year of the ABC licensees, 66-year-old Balwinder Singh Mann and his wife, 66-year-old Amarjit Mann. The investigation found that the Mann’s allegedly harbored at least one victim in the back of the M and M Liquor store where the individual slept on a mattress in unhealthy conditions.
In addition to the labor human trafficking charges, the Mann’s face multiple Penal Code violations, including wage theft, conspiracy, witness intimidation, and failing to maintain workers compensation insurance. The criminal case involves as many as four victims.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Labor Trafficking Fact Sheet, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines labor trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.” A modern-day form of slavery, labor trafficking is a fundamental violation of human rights.
There are several forms of exploitative practices linked to labor trafficking, including bonded labor and forced labor.
- Bonded labor, or debt bondage, is probably the least known form of labor trafficking today, and yet it is the most widely used method of enslaving people. Victims become bonded laborers when their labor is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan or service in which its terms and conditions have not been defined or in which the value of the victims’ services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt. The value of their work is greater than the original sum of money “borrowed.”
- Forced labor is a situation in which victims are forced to work against their own will, under the threat of violence or some other form of punishment, their freedom is restricted, and a degree of ownership is exerted. Forms of forced labor can include domestic servitude, agricultural labor, sweatshop factory labor, janitorial, food service and other service industry labor, and begging.
ABC protects communities through education and by administering prevention and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws.
ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency