UNITE HERE: City of Los Angeles Issues Notice to Correct to Airport Concessionaire—Delaware North—for Possible Living Wage Law Violations

Dépèche transmise le 1 juin 2009 par Business Wire

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Friday May 29th, the City of Los Angeles’ Office of Contract Compliance (OCC), issued a ‘Notice to Correct’ to Delaware North, for possible violations of the City’s Living Wage Ordinance. The Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance was approved by the City Council in 1997 and applies to contractors doing business with the City of Los Angeles. Delaware North entered into a contract with the City of Los Angeles in 2001 to operate concessions at the Ontario Airport. The living wage, which is the minimum hourly wage some employers who hold contracts with the City of Los Angeles must pay employees, is set at $11.25/hr, or $10.00/hr if the employer pays at least $1.25/hr towards health care benefits for employees and their dependants.

The OCC asked Delaware North to make available all payroll records from March 30, 2001 to the present and to pay back pay to former and current employees to whom they failed to pay the living wage. The OCC gave Delaware North 10 working days from the date of receipt of the ‘Notice to Correct’ to provide the OCC with proof that they have paid workers owed wages. If Delaware North fails to comply with the ‘Notice to Correct’, the OCC can ask the City to declare a material breach of the contract between the City of Los Angeles and Delaware North.

Delaware North employs 92 workers at the Ontario Airport and operates Applebee's, T.G.I. Friday's, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, El Paseo, Schlotzky's, and Round Table Pizza.

The wage scales for Delaware North workers at the Ontario Airport are lower than the city’s Living Wage rate. UNITE HERE Local 11, the Union that represents the workers, estimates at least one hundred concession workers could be owed up to five years of unpaid wages. “I get paid $8.84 an hour as a prep cook. I can’t afford the cost of the health insurance offered by the company. I had to travel to Mexico for heart surgery because I didn’t have health insurance. We ask to be paid the wages that are owed to us so we don’t have to choose between paying for rent or paying for our health care,” said Maria Estrada a Prep Cook at Applebee's, who has worked at Delaware North for 3 years.

“Companies that do business with the City of Los Angeles know that they must pay their employees a fair living wage. They should also know that I am paying attention and will hold them accountable to their employees,” said Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who chairs the City Council committee that oversees Ontario Airport. “Now that this has been brought to the attention of Delaware North, I expect that they will do the right thing and pay these hard working employees the back pay that they deserve.”

Dozens of Delaware North Ontario and LAX workers, food service workers from around the City of Los Angeles, and their supporters held a picket line at Ontario Airport on Friday to protest the company’s violations of the city’s Living Wage law.

Business Wire

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