Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

City Contractor Bilked Employees Out Of $100,000

This is EXACTLY why we need unions:

Two dozen workers who were cheated out of overtime and benefits on city construction projects will get back about $100,000 each, city Controller John Liu said yesterday.

The workers hauled debris for Paramount equipment rental on city water and sewer jobs, but were stiffed on overtime, night and weekend pay, Liu said.

After Operating Engineers Local 15 got suspicious, Liu said, his labor law bureau probed Paramount's records and found proof of the ripoffs.

Paramount admitted its "willful violation" of the prevailing wage laws and agreed to pay the 24 workers a total of $2.35 million in restitution - plus a $117,674 penalty to the city.

It was the largest underpayment ever caught by the controller's office.

"We will not tolerate contractors who seek to avoid the responsibility of paying their employees what they are rightfully owed," Liu said.

Paramount has held contracts worth $27 million with the city Department of Environmental Protection in the past four years.

The city paid Paramount $2.5 million within the past year, records show, but Paramount sued the DEP last month, saying it was owed $1.3 million more.

In a comment at CBSlocal.com, someone named johnny says

johnny

See that. Laws are already on the books that protect workers. What do we need a Union for?


I replied:

Hey Johnny,

How do you think the laws that protect workers got on the books in the first place? Do you think the business owners and corporate overlords put them there? Or did unions and unionized employees FIGHT to get these laws put on the books?

Without unions to fight for the interests of both unionized and non-unionized employees, the United States will continue to veer toward a feudalistic state in which the corporate overlords steal more and more of the country's wealth, exploit more and more of the country's people and eventually chain us all with debt and despair into the New World Feudal Order.

It amazes me that people as stupid as whoever "Johnny" is actually have the brainpower to breathe in and breathe out without help.

On a related note, once again John Liu has come through for working class and middle class New Yorkers while the rest of the pols talk a good game but either do NOTHING (de Balsio, Stringer) or actively work AGAINST working and middle class people (Quinn, Cuomo, Bloomberg.)

I think I'm going to want to remember that when the next mayoral race comes around.

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