DC 1707 Workers, Receive $100,000 in Back Pay
For the employees of La Familia Unida Day Care in Upper Manhattan– who worked 12-hour days without pay for months, only to see their center suddenly closed in April without their knowledge – Monday October 22, 2012 represented a satisfying victory in a long and frustrating battle with their former employers.
Since 2010, the workers, who are members of AFSCME’s District Council 1707, have filed multiple grievances against Alianza Dominicana, for not paying employees that have worked in their day care center La Familia. The money owed included salary and vacation pay prior to the center closing. Recently a judge ordered the organization to provide the employees more than $98,000 in back pay earlier this year. They received the second and final wave of checks on Monday October 23rd. The vacation pay grievance is still working its way through courts, with DC 1707 attorneys representing the employees.
La Familia, on Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights, remains shuttered indefinitely, though according to several former employees, there may be plans to reopen the day care center – but without union labor.
At a meeting with more than 20 former La Familia employees at AFSCME’s Midtown Manhattan Office on Monday, Raglan George, executive director of DC1707, addressed a crowd celebrating their long-awaited checks from Alianza Dominicana.
“I can say, on behalf of the union, that you guys are such a courageous bunch of workers. You were ready to fight for your rights, and you set an example for a lot of other workers,” George said, to applause. “I’m sorry that the end result was that you still don’t have your jobs … but you did fight them, and they lost.”