Job Done Just in Time

February 23, 2015

Just before the holiday season, temporary workers employed at Fulfillment America, a supplier to chain stories like Dunkin Donuts, finally had something to celebrate. After years suffering from wage theft and unsafe work conditions working for Job Done, a temp agency employed by Fulfillment America to supply itself with workers, more than 180 workers were awarded $430,000 in a settlement between the workers and the supplier.

“I feel very amazed to receive what [was won] by my sweat and my effort,” said Veronica Alias, as she received her check at the MassCOSH Worker Center’s East Boston site. “I am very pleased to have people like MassCOSH who helped us and we could talk and assert our right without fear of losing our job.”

With support from the MassCOSH Worker Center, and legal representation by Fair Work P.C. and Justice at Work, Job Done workers organized their coworkers, planned public actions, spoke to the press, and filed a class action lawsuit to get what was rightly owed to them. The fight was a slow and tedious one, but in the end, the workers were victorious.

“This was a classic example of a large company trying to evade the wage laws by relying on a placement agency,” said Steve Churchill, an attorney and partner at Fair Work, P.C. “In this case, it was even more flagrant, because it appears that Fulfillment America created a temporary agency [to underpay their workers].”

Recognizing that their success was made possible because they united with each other and other MassCOSH members, the Job Done workers promised to remain involved in the Worker Center and give support to others who suffer abuses on the job.

“It was a great achievement for us, through the organization of MassCOSH, nobody would have achieved alone,” said Alcides Villegas. “So I tell my coworkers to join the organization that helps immigrants and teaches workers our rights.”

The workers not only agreed to give their time, but many are contributing their hard-earned money so that other workers can avoid the suffering that they endured.

One worker, who asked not to make his name public, was so moved by MassCOSH’s aid that he made a donation of $400.00. Not only was this a sizeable donation for any one person to make, but when adjusted for his income, the worker's donation may be the most generous gift from an individual MassCOSH has ever received.

The workers have also pledged to fight to address unlawful transportation charges and other violations of the Temporary Worker Right to Know Law, passed by MassCOSH and a powerful labor-community coalition in 2012.

“These workers truly embody the spirit of the labor movement,” said Worker Center Organizer Jonny Arevalo. “It is through their hard work and commitment to holding their employer responsible for its actions that not only contributes to justice for Fulfillment America workers but also sends a strong message to other temp employers throughout the Commonwealth.”

With MassCOSH’s membership drive in full swing, now is your chance to help win future victories and impact the lives of hundreds and maybe even thousands of workers in just this year alone. With a monthly gift as little as $10, you can make all the work you read about in this e-newsletter possible and much, much more. Make your mark on the Labor Movement today by becoming a member at today!