Workers Boycott Transprint
Some Employees Say They’ve Been Unpaid For 3 Weeks
Posted: December 14, 2012
HARRISONBURG — Many employees at Transprint USA’s Harrisonburg plant are taking a stand after they say the clothing design manufacturer failed to pay them for three weeks.
A shift crew scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Thursday refused to report to work, saying they won’t return until they get paid what they’re owed, and a crew scheduled to work today planned to follow suit, workers said.
About a dozen employees spoke to the Daily News-Record about the situation outside the plant on Pleasant Valley Road but asked that their names not be printed out of concern there could be repercussions for speaking to the media, they said.
No one representing the company was available to comment Thursday afternoon, a staff member inside the business said, and a call to Transprint’s New York City office seeking comment also was unsuccessful.
About 75 people work at the plant, employees said, but they weren’t sure because of previous rounds of layoffs. Several employees interviewed for this story said they had worked for the company for more than a decade.
Workers said they’re supposed to be paid weekly but haven’t gotten checks since the week of Thanksgiving, leading to financial hardships.
They did get paid one-third of the first weekly paycheck that was missed last month, but it wasn’t enough to persuade them to continue going in to work, they said.
“We can’t keep working for free and driving in for free. It’s a no-go,” said one print shift crewmember.
Some workers contacted the Virginia Employment Commission, they said, and were told not to quit because they would not be eligible for unemployment benefits if they did. That information could not be independently confirmed with VEC late Thursday.
Workers say being unable to quit but not getting paid is aggravating.
And adding to frustration for some is that they’ve been putting in overtime with no compensation.
The timing, some said, could not be worse.
“It would be bad if it happened at any time, but right here at Christmas,” one said.
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