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Fighting wage theft in Iowa CityFighting wage theft in Iowa City

first_imgIowa City, Iowa – Workers are demanding justice for labor violations committed by Georgia-based Rimax Contractors during construction of the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital last year.Members of the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa (CWJ) hosted a press conference and public demonstration outside the hospital on Dec. 15, charging Rimax with violations of state and federal law, including payroll fraud, misclassification, failure to provide check stubs, making unlawful payroll deductions and unlawfully retaliating against workers.In June, Silvia Williams and four other construction workers were recruited by Rimax from Puerto Rico for drywall work on the new hospital. After a while Williams noticed that her paychecks did not reflect the hours she had worked. The nonprofit group CWJ, based in Iowa City, examined the statements and discovered evidence of payroll abuse by Rimax.“Iowa law requires employers to provide workers with a written statement of hours worked, amount earned and any deductions made from their pay,” according to CWJ. The check stubs reviewed “list only a lump sum payment with no other information.” Rimax failed to pay Social Security and payroll taxes, and wrongly referred to employees as “independent contractors” when they were hired as hourly employees.“Many companies misclassify their employees to evade their duty to pay Social Security contributions, provide workers’ compensation and follow employment laws,” noted a CWJ press release promoting the Dec. 15 press conference and demonstration.After realizing she was not the only one being affected, Williams raised these concerns to a Rimax manager. She was fired the following day. According to documents obtained by Workers World, Rimax told Williams to stay in Iowa City with the promise of moving her to a new job site. Yet Rimax cut off Williams’ housing payments, leaving her homeless while waiting for another job which has yet to materialize.In a Dec. 1 letter addressed to Jason Miller, director of project management at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, CWJ President Mazahir Salih states, “Rimax made at least two deductions made from Silvia Williams’ pay without her written consent, including a deduction for the cost of two nights of her housing.” Such actions are prohibited by the National Labor Relations Act and the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Act.When neither Rimax nor Minuti Ogle Co. Inc. (an Oakdale, Minn., company which hired Rimax as a labor broker) replied to the charges, CWJ filed complaints with the Labor Division and Misclassification Unit of Iowa Workforce Development.It is important to note this is not the first time Rimax has been accused of violating workers’ rights. As reported by the Louisiana Record in 2015, a group of workers hired by Rimax in New Orleans filed a class action suit against the company, alleging they were not paid for overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Such abuses are quite common in Iowa, as they are just about anywhere in the U.S.It was not long before a group of low-wage workers and allies in CWJ became involved, and have since championed Williams’ cause and that of her fellow workers.CWJ Executive Director Rafael Morataya, a first-generation immigrant turned labor activist, told WW, “I know how difficult it is to leave your home and struggle to adapt to a new culture and language, the importance of finding allies and the damage that discrimination causes.”Starting his work in the U.S. as a custodian, Morataya witnessed injustices in the workplace. “I decided I wanted to be the kind of person who stood up for dignity for myself and my co-workers, so I got involved in the union.”As CWJ continues to fight on behalf of Williams and other Rimax employees, the group announced on Jan. 7 that they will continue defending the gains made by Iowa workers and others across the country last year.Since the 2016 presidential election, to quote a CWJ press release from Dec. 27, “We have seen a spread of racism, xenophobia, and apathy for low-wage workers in our news and in our communities. With Trump’s coming presidency, there promises to be many struggles ahead for low-wage workers, people of color, and immigrants.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

CELEBRATION: Troy Nutrition Center marks 40 years of serviceCELEBRATION: Troy Nutrition Center marks 40 years of service

first_imgLatest Stories Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Print Article Book Nook to reopen Sponsored Content “Good things are happening at the Troy Nutrition Center and we look forward to another 40 years and more,” she said. “We have the best and we are the best.”For information about the Troy Nutrition Center call 566-0201. CELEBRATION: Troy Nutrition Center marks 40 years of service By Jaine Treadwell Email the author The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… “The Troy Nutrition Program has been at different locations but with the same purpose,” Deveridge said. “We are here to provide a good, nutritious lunch for our clients for their physical health and fun and fellowship for their mental and emotional well-being.”The Troy Nutrition Center provides 123 meals a day to senior citizens in Troy and Pike County.“We have 50 clients who come to the center for lunch and we provide 73 take out meals for those who are unable to come to the center,” Deveridge said. “For those who come to the center, this is their home away from home. They look forward to coming here for the fellowship, for Bible study and choir. They come to play dominoes, checker, Bingo and Wii games. We’ve got it all.”Deveridge said senior adults who stay active and involved are less likely to become lonely and depressed. “It has been found that activity and good emotional health can prolong life,” Deveridge said. “The Troy Nutrition Center is a great place to come and be among seniors who are enjoying life and continuing to make contributions to their community. Mayor Reeves was so right. This building is filled with blessings, 50 of them every day and they make life better and brighter for all of us,” she said.The Troy Nutrition was recently granted five additional slots and Deveridge said more growth is certain in the future.center_img Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration You Might Like Troy University professor found dead A Troy University professor was found dead on Wednesday when university police responded to an apartment on Park Street to… read more By The Penny Hoarder Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Around the WebIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthGet Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Shelia Deveridge, center director, said the growth of the center has been tremendous over the 40 years and she envisions even greater future growth.The Troy nutrition program started on Segars Street and topped out there at 25 clients. The program center was moved to the Dunbar Housing Authority, then to the senior center on Elm Street and now to its “forever” home on East Walnut Street in downtown Troy.Charlie Terry, age 96, is the only client who was with the nutrition program when it began 40 years ago and continues to participate today. Published 3:00 am Thursday, January 19, 2017 Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Patrons of the Troy Nutrition Center celebrated its 40th anniversary on Wednesday. The center hosts more than 50 clients daily, for meals; fellowship; and activities that range from bingo to sing-alongs. “For those who come to the center, this is their home away from home,” said director Shelia Deveridge.The Troy Nutrition Center turned 40 years young on Wednesday, and the clients celebrated in fine fashion, looking back at the center’s history and ahead to its future.In surveying the gathering of senior adults, Troy Mayor Jason A. Reeves said he was looking at the many years of blessings that have been bestowed upon the Troy community.“And, each and every one of you is a blessing and special to the City of Troy,” he told the senior adults.last_img read more