Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama campaign workers angry over unpaid wages

Indianapolis - Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.

The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.

"I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!" yelled one former campaign worker.

A former spokesman for the Obama campaign said 375 people were hired as part of the Vote Corps program and said people signed up to work three-hour shifts at a time. Three hours of canvassing got workers a $30 pre-paid Visa card.

The workers showed up to get their cards Wednesday morning at 10:00 am.

"There was a note on the door saying 1:00 pm and then at 1:20 pm everybody was like why is nobody here. They just got here and they're trying to get it organized," said Heather Richards, a former campaign worker.

The large gathering of around 375 people prompted police to call in extra officers and set up temporary barricades. The barricades helped keep the crowd from spilling out onto Meridian Street. Police say the several hundred people in line were for the most part orderly.

"No arrests. Some of the people were upset at first because the line wasn't moving as fast as they thought it should. But we really haven't had any problems," said Major Darryl Pierce, Metro Police.

Eventually people did start getting paid, but some said they were missing hours and told to fill in paperwork making their claim and that eventually they would get a check in the mail.

"Still that's not right. I'm disappointed. I'm glad for the president, but I'm disappointed in this system," said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.

"It should have been $480. It's $230," said Imani Sankofa.

"They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90," said Charles Martin.

"I worked nine hours a day for 4 days and got paid half of what I should have earned," said Randall Waldon.

Some people weren't satisfied with filling out a claim form for money they felt was still due to them.

"They say that they gonna call you or they going to mail it to you, but I don't know. We'll see what happens," said Antron Grose.

"Talking about they'll mail it to us. I ain't worried about that, man. They're not going to mail nothin'," said Martin.

(Imagine what might happen and how tempers will flair if BO cannot deliver the "$$CHANGE$$" he has promised! Ever get the feeling that if these protesters had that much "free" time on their hands that they may be among the (coughing) unemployed amongst us? Interesting question. I mean if they investigated Joe the Plumber, I think they should investigate every one of these people who worked to elect BO. I'm just saying, "Fair and Balanced". LOL VN8)


Lee said...

Hey, maybe BO could turn off the credit card verification controls again and start campaigning for '12to raise the money! Or maybe he could spread some of his wealth, but he's waiting to spread Joe's.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, now that you're actually employed, welcome to 'withholding'!"

Sure, it's a cheap shot, but if you're gonna play the inflame game, might as well be honest!

Anonymous said...

Its funny, I remember when my son worked at the local pizza place and he had to pay taxes on his earnings. Those folks weren't volunteers and some made more than a couple hundred dollars in "gift cards". They aren't paying taxes on their wages, interesting!
We live here and yep they've been griping about not having a job and why that money "gift card" is so important.

Anonymous said...

Why the "visa card" flim-flam in the first place? If they gave this guy a fair day's work, can't they get a fair day's pay? You know? A reputable check on payday? Or don't we do that any more?