Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Workers File Suit

Workers File Suit Against Largest Military Uniform Contractor for Labor Abuses

On January 28, fifteen workers employed by the largest military uniform contractor in the United States, Propper International, filed a collective action lawsuit in a Puerto Rico court alleging violations of Puerto Rico labor laws.

According to Puerto Rico Law 180, workers are allowed one sick day per month. Propper, however, has been running its facilities without providing sick days to its workers.

The fifteen lead plaintiffs each work in one of Propper International's eight manufacturing sites in Puerto Rico and they are seeking a total of $225,000 compensation for violations of their workers rights.

The suit also alleges other violations of Puerto Rico labor laws including failing to provide the number of vacation days required by law; charging workers vacation days for paid holidays; imposing half-hour lunch breaks instead of the statutory hour break, without properly obtaining worker consent; denying a second meal period to which some employees are entitled when they work overtime, requiring unpaid overtime, and charging workers for work materials.

With 2,500 who may be affected, many have already joined the lawsuit since filing in January. Workers from Propper International factories in Puerto Rico have been working with UNITE HERE to form a union since May 2008.

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