Local News

Raleigh settles overtime dispute with sanitation workers

Posted July 28, 2008 3:26 p.m. EDT

— Almost two years after dozens of city sanitation workers walked off the job to protest long hours and low pay, Raleigh on Monday settled the remaining claims for unpaid overtime.

City checks of between $50 and $325 were issued to about 50 workers under a proposal approved by the City Council last fall to settle a federal labor lawsuit.

"We didn't get all we justly deserved, but it was a step in the right direction," said Jerry Ledbetter, a spokesman for the workers.

In September 2006, more than 50 sanitation workers staged two work stoppages and picketed City Hall, saying they received neither overtime pay nor extra time off for the long hours they worked. Many also complained that they were listed as temporary workers for years, making them ineligible for city benefits.

Following the dispute, the Solid Waste Services Department switched to an electronic system to keep better track of overtime. The city also changed its temporary worker policies, making many sanitation workers full-time employees.

Also, the Solid Waste Services director resigned and another top manager was reassigned after the walkout.

Raleigh paid about $45,000 to about 200 sanitation workers in March 2007 to satisfy claims of back pay owed to them, but some workers said the city's record-keeping was off.