RHA Employees Demand Full Compensation

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During the past week, the Rockford Housing Authority has handed out pink slips to dozens of employees. And if getting laid off wasn't enough, some of the former workers say their final paychecks were thin and others didn't even make it in the mail.

Union representative Jamie Davis says Rockford Housing Authority employees have been robbed. While employees received pay for their final days of work, their last paychecks did not included pay for accrued sick and vacation days.

"It's basically a theft right now. Our contract says if you get laid off, you get paid off. We'll they're not paid off. We have some guys that have several thousand dollars coming to them," said Jamie Davis, Council 30 Painters and Allied Trade Union.

Davis says it's a slow time for painters and carpenters and the laid off RHA workers could be looking for work for quite a while.

"They're looking at the fact that they're probably not going to have a job for the next month and a half and they need their money as soon as they can get it," Davis said.

The executive director of the Rockford Housing Authority says he understands what the workers are going through and the authority is working as fast as it can to honor the contract.

"We're very empathetic. But I think it just needs to be known and said again, it had nothing to do here with us locally. It was the appropriations from HUD. As we get monies we'll do our best to make those employees whole. But at this point I can't give people what I don't have," said Lewis Jordan, Executive Director RHA

Many laid off RHA workers have already filed grievances against the organization and are working with the Federal Department of Labor for compensation.