JFK workers demand wage records from private contractor

Eulen America employees have the support of Queens lawmakers like Borough President Melinda Katz and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) in petitioning their employer about alleged wage theft from their employer through a workforce app.

“In a show of strength, you have stood up and demanded better working conditions by holding actions at four major airports,” said Katz. “Eulen America should understand that they need to address the issues you have identified. I stand in solidarity with you today and moving forward to ensure you get the working conditions and respect you deserve.”

Maloney shares the borough president’s sentiments.

“It is only right for workers to be compensated fairly and to know if they are, indeed, being paid for their work,” said Maloney. “Eulen America must change their approach and give their employees access to their paystubs and payroll records so they can verify appropriate compensation. The current policy is unacceptable and irresponsible.”

In December 2018, the employees of Eulen America, a private contractor that hires wheelchair attendants, baggage handlers and cabin cleaners for John F. Kennedy International Airport and other airports across the country, has had its workers use the Kronos app to check-in and check-out for work.

Some workers who used the app were docked for lunch breaks they didn’t take and have struggled to even get on to the app to track their wages.

Lasonia Whervin, a wheelchair agent, is one of the workers who have been docked pay for lunch breaks that she didn’t take.

“They had us use this new app called Kronos, which is stealing our money,” said Whervin, who has been at the company for over a year. “Even if we don’t take break they take money out of our paychecks.”

The loss of wages means she has less money to invest in pursuing her nursing degree at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City and that she will have to take out more loans to complete her study.

She also has to rely on her mother to watch her toddler since she is also losing funds that could otherwise go towards childcare, according to Whervin.

“Everything adds up,” said Whervin, who lives on Dutch Broadway in Queens. “I also have bills to pay and a phone bill to pay.”

It is hard for Whervin to track how much she is getting paid because the app frequently requests her to change her password.

“I have to change my password almost every two weeks,” said Whervin.

Levelle Lindsey, a Jamaica resident, a bag runner who has worked at Eulen America for more than a year, had a similar issue with using the app.

“Every now and again I have to change my password,” said Lindsay. “It won’t recognize my password so I have to change to another one every two months.”

Lindsay doesn’t make enough money at Eulen so he also relies on state benefits but didn’t have proof of income in order to apply.

“Kronos doesn’t have a system for us to print our pay stubs,” said Lindsey. “If I need help with state benefits I can’t get it, so I stopped using the app.

Since becoming frustrated with the app, Lindsay has simply decided to just punch-in to work so that he can be guaranteed a check stub and receive the benefits that he needs.

“We stand in solidarity with the workers of Eulen America,” said Katz. “With both New York City’s airports in our borough, we know first-hand how vital airport workers are in ensuring these facilities operate smoothly.”