Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Aliquippa Hospital Workers Get Some Backpay

Former Aliquippa Hospital workers were told by a bankruptcy court judge Tuesday that they will be getting at least some of the pay still owed to them. The hospital, now know as the Commonwealth Medical Center, filed for bankruptcy December 5th and shut it doors December 12th. Workers were scheduled to be paid December 12th but were told the checks would be delayed until the 15th. When the 15th came they were told there would be no check. Union members have been holding regular rallies in an effort to get the back pay, including one rally outside of bankruptcy court this morning. More than 30 ralliers were in the courtroom Tuesday morning when the judge ruled that they will be paid for any hours worked after the bankruptcy petition was filed December 5th and before the hospital closed its doors December 12th. Union organizer Linda Graham says the workers are owed between $120-130,000 for those days. Lawyers are still fighting to get the hospital to pay the union members for their work prior to December 5th, which for most workers was three weeks pay. That bill comes up to about $360,000. Hospital management has already been paid for pre bankruptcy work. Former emergency room nurse Linda Karamarkovich says the ruling from the judge was “fantastic” and shows their efforts in the last month and a half have paid off. Bankruptcy hearings continue Wednesday.

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