Seattle workers accuse airline caterer of backtracking on fines and wages | KUOW News and Information

Seattle workers accuse airline caterer of backtracking on fines and wages

Oct 20, 2017

Seattle workers at Sky Chefs, an airline catering company, are still waiting for money owed to them in back wages.

The workers protested this week, saying Sky Chefs backtracked on some fines leveled against the company. And the city of Seattle, they say, hasn’t helped.

Back in January, the city’s Office of Labor Standards, which enforces the minimum wage, announced big penalties for Sky Chefs — over $335,000 in back wages, interest, and damages.

Sky Chefs, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Airlines, packages meals for Alaska Airlines and others.

Earlier this month, the city cut Sky Chefs a deal. Documents obtained by the Stranger show the case was settled for around 40 percent less– around $190,000.

Over 150 employees of Sky Chef’s West Seattle warehouse were paid less than minimum wage in 2015 and 2016. Some workers were owed as much as $7,000, including damages.

Abby Lawlor is with the union, Unite Here Local 8. “We’re pretty baffled by it, pretty frustrated about it,” she said. “This was an incredibly lengthy process for these workers and part of the reassurance that they had was that there would be interest and damages and it wouldn’t just be the wages that were stolen from them to begin with.”

In an email to KUOW, Sky Chefs said it has no comment.

The city’s labor standards office said the circumstances of the settlement are confidential and declined an interview request.