TEMPORARY AGENCY WORKERS TO RECEIVE NEARLY $200,000 IN BACK PAY AND UNPAID VACATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TEMPORARY AGENCY WORKERS TO RECEIVE NEARLY $200,000 IN BACK PAY AND UNPAID VACATION

 New Bedford, MA:  On Wednesday, August 30 at 5 p.m., over 80 workers in various industries, all of whom were hired through the Chelsea-based temporary agency Employment on Demand (EDA), will receive checks compensating them for unpaid overtime and vacation. The check distribution will take place at the headquarters of the Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores or Community Workers’ Center (CCT) at 1532 Acushnet Avenue in the North End of New Bedford, which helped workers bring class-action lawsuits against EDA, together with the non-profit law firm Justice At Work and a private attorney. Although the agency denies any wrongdoing, they agreed to a cash settlement to end the lawsuits.

Nicolas Sincú Panjoj, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of himself and fellow agency employees, says that EDA sent him to work for two different companies – a tree-service company and a seafood-processing plant. “Although I sometimes worked as much as 60 hours a week, I didn’t work more than 40 hours at either company,” Mr. Sincú reported, “and I never got any vacations.”  He was unaware that, under Massachusetts law governing temporary employment agencies, he was entitled to overtime pay if his weekly hours totaled over 40, regardless of whether he worked at more than one company. “But I’m very glad, not only for myself, but for all of the other workers who didn’t know about their rights,” he added. “Now it will be harder for the agencies to take advantage of us.”

 

Adrian Ventura, the executive director of CCT, noted that the real culprits in such cases are the companies that stand to profit from the wage theft. According to Ventura, “the companies use the temporary agencies as a smoke screen, but they’re just interested in their earnings and they don’t care about the workers.”

The lawsuit and settlement stems from CCT’s work over the past several years monitoring temporary agencies’ compliance with Massachusetts labor laws. This is also part of a campaign around wage theft and subcontracting launched by Community Labor United (CLU), in which CCT is playing a leading role.

For more information contact CCT at: cctnbm@hotmail.com or 508-979-1961 (Spanish only)

AdriáVentura
Executive Director, Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores (Community Workers’ Center)
1532 Acushnet Ave
New Bedford, MA 02746
774-961-8283

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