Unions, Scranton Clash Over Minimum Wage Pay Cuts
Amid a dispute with the City Council about raising funds for their cash-strapped Pennsylvania city, the mayor of Scranton faces a lawsuit from union workers after he cut their pay to minimum wage.
The attorney for three unions, including firefighters and police, said he expects to file several legal actions, including a motion to hold Mayor Chris Doherty in contempt of court for violating a judge’s order to pay full wages.
“We’ve been busy,” attorney Thomas Jennings told CBS News. “So much nonsense. [It’s] really, really silly that we have to do something like this just to get paid.”
Scranton, Pa.: We don’t have money to pay workers
Doherty last week cut the pay for about 400 employees to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. He says it was the only way for the cash-strapped city to pay bills, and promises to restore pay once finances are stabilized.
On Friday Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse held a hearing and ordered an injunction to unions challenging Doherty’s decision. Jennings said one firefighter who testified was juggling three jobs just to support his kids.
“You can make more money flipping burgers at McDonald’s” than saving people’s lives, Jennings said.
Robert Pugliese, who has worked for Scranton’s Department of Public Works for 26 years, told “CBS Evening News” correspondent Elaine Quijano his $19-an-hour paycheck was cut to $7.25.