Jan 25, 2009
Progress Illinois reports on support from local unions — including Republic Windows workers — for employees laid off at a Pennsylvania hospital who travelled to Chicago last week.
Like Republic workers, employees of Commonwealth Medical Center are claiming they didn’t get the advance warning of a workplace shutdown required by law. But Commonwealth workers didn’t even get their final paycheck. They’re still owed for their last three weeks of work.
Insult was added to injury when a bankruptcy judge approved continuing payment of hospital executives for “close-out operations.”
The workers’ union, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, blames Chicago-based Bridge Financial Group, the hospital’s chief creditor, for “concocting” the payment plan, the Beaver County Times reported.
Joined by local SEIU members and Republic workers, Commonwealth employees rallied Friday outside the Sears Tower, where Bridge has its offices.
A union representative and several workers were denied entry to Bridge’s offices, and company officials turned down requests for a meeting, according to the Times.
“We don’t think that bankruptcy should be used as an excuse not to pay employees for work they’ve already performed,” a union official told WPXI of Pittsburgh.
Former Chicago activist Carl Davidson, who has relocated to western Pennsylvania (where he grew up), calls it what it is: “wage theft.”