By Sahid Fawaz
A union is alleging that an airline caterer refused to stop paying sub-minimum wages despite a huge fine.
"Labor leaders are calling foul on a settlement reached earlier this month between the city and Sky Chefs—an airline catering firm—over that company’s noncompliance with Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance.
In January, the Office of Labor Standards fined Sky Chefs $335,000 for paying workers below the city minimum wage between April 1, 2015 and Oct. 27, 2016. But in the settlement reached Oct. 5 and publicized this week, Sky Chefs has agreed to pay just a fraction of that—$190,500. This amount waves penalties and damages originally levied against the company for the violations, as well as any interest on the back wages. In addition, the union that represents the workers says that the settlement ignores 11 months that Sky Chefs continued to pay below the minimum wage as it fought Seattle’s ruling.
'As Sky Chefs dragged this out, our expectation has always been that once the city process concluded, workers would be made whole for the entire period, not just the period of the initial investigation,' says Abby Lawlor with Unite Here 8, which represents the workers.
Furthermore, Lawlor says, it is the union’s understanding that the settlement waives the city’s right to go after more back wages at Sky Chefs, meaning that a new investigation could not be opened to cover the time period in question."
For the rest of the story, check out the full piece at Seattle Weekly.