CWA filed a complaint with the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division on behalf of workers at 11 call centers employed by General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), one of the largest federal contractors in the U.S.
CWA is calling on the Wage and Hour Division to investigate systemic and serious wage theft by GDIT. The GDIT employees answer questions, help enroll, and provide other assistance to callers about Medicare programs and the Affordable Care Act under a contract for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The New York Times published this story about the complaint against GDIT for wage theft.
Several GDIT workers came to Washington, D.C., to alert senators, members of Congress, and congressional staff to GDIT's misclassification and wage theft that has cost millions. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) were among the lawmakers who met with the group.
Adrian Powe is a durable medical equipment specialist in Hattiesburg, Miss., working with customers and equipment suppliers to make sure the Medicare recipients get the oxygen, wheelchairs, hospital beds, and other equipment they need. He talks to as many as 60 customers a day, and earns $9.64 an hour.
"I've had two rounds of extensive training to get to my current job. It's a lot responsibility and a lot of work. But I'm being paid at a much lower rate. I'm being cheated, and the federal government must hold GDIT accountable. GDIT needs to follow the contract it agreed to," he said.
Kathleen Flick is part of the internal support group at the Bogalusa, La., call center. She said that GDIT's wage theft "makes me feel horrible. Stealing from the working poor is really low."
Like Powe, Flick loves her job. But she doesn't like being cheated of her rightful wages. "GDIT told us that 'the federal government sets your wages.' So we're calling on the federal government to have real oversight of contractors like my employer so that it stops cheating workers out of their rightful wages. We shouldn’t be treated as cut-rate employees."
In a separate development, National Labor Relations Board Region 5 has issued a complaint against GDIT for violating federal labor law and workers' rights at its Alexandria, Va., facility.
GDIT workers visited legislators on Capitol Hill this week. Top photo, from left: Clifton Pollock, Kathleen Flick, Swannie Powe, Venus Nelson, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Sedgerick Lee, and Adrian Powe.
Below: Workers also met with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).