Laborers finally getting backpay, raises from city of Cleveland after 19 News report

Checks come only after 19 News reported the delays.

Laborers finally getting backpay, raises from city of Cleveland after 19 News report

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Bryan Bayer is the business agent for Local 1099. In July, he outlined a contract ratified by City Council in March that gave laborers 0% and 2% raises over three years retroactively.

Frustrated by delays in checks arriving, he came to 19 News with the situation.

The next day, the city called him.

“I feel that did help. Why? I don’t know. It was my understanding that things didn’t start getting into motion until we met,” Bayer said.

In the weeks since the report, things did get into motion. The workers money started arriving this week.

“Our members did receive their $500 signing bonus along with their raises. Now, we are just waiting for retroactive money that is owed to our members. It’s going to be up there in the thousands," said Bayer.

Members of Local 1099 do a lot of the city’s dirty work, things like garbage and trash pick up, jobs where they sweat in the summer and freeze in the winter. Tough jobs.

Along with the taxing work, there is danger. Let’s not forget that, at times, workers are threatened in some neighborhoods. DeShane Wilcox was shot and killed while on the job.

Workers say at times, residents come out. They show you they’re armed with a gun and make threats if you don’t pick the garbage up.

Local 1099 isn’t the only union signing contracts that date back years. Same is true with police and others. The half-percent income tax hike has given the mayor more operating cash.

“The communication has been good, you know, moving forward. What about 19, 20, and 21? That’s a whole another question,” added Bayer.

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