Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 20th, 2013 at 2:39 pm
With Justice outside Alta offices yesterday.
(Photos: Jobs With Justice)
Jobs With Justice, a local non-profit that fights for worker's rights, paid a visit to the southeast Portland offices of Alta Bicycle Share yesterday. Jobs With Justice is joining the call from past and current employees of an Alta-operated bike share system in Washington D.C. who claim the company has underpaid them and hasn't given them the health benefits they are owed. (Earlier today we shared a statement from Alta about this issue.)
Chris Phillips with Portland Jobs With Justice contacted us today with photos and a statement. He says a group of about a nine people delivered a petition with over 1,500 signatures (that was started online by the D.C. employees) to Alta's office on SE Grand. The group was led by Father Jack Mosbrucker, a Catholic priest.
"These workers have received substantially lower wages and health & welfare benefits than they are entitled to under the Alta-DDOT contracts," Phillips said in a statement.
Phillips' group also delivered the petition to Washington D.C. headquarters of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Here's more from Jobs With Justice:
The company was urged to fulfill its obligations to the workers, and to become the leader in green jobs that they claim to be. We also made clear that any retaliation against workers in response to their activism around this issue would be unacceptable.
The Portland community has serious concerns about a locally owned company that treats their employees in such a way. We will continue to monitor the situation and will respond if the matter isn’t brought to a swift and satisfactory conclusion. With Alta planning to extend bike share to other cities, including Portland, we insist that the growth of the company should not come at the expense of their employees who are struggling to make ends meet.
Alta released a statement yesterday saying they're cooperating with a federal inquiry into the allegations about unpaid wages and health benefits.
Stay tuned for more coverage of this story.
NOTE, 4:38 pm: This post was originally published with images inside Alta's offices that were given to BikePortland by Jobs With Justice. I have taken down the images after learning they were not authorized and were intended only for internal use by Jobs With Justice.