?San Juan Star? Staffers Awarded Back Pay ? Two Years After Paper Folds

By: E&P Staff

A U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico has ordered the San Juan Star to pay four years of back wages to five employees who were fired six years ago, The Guild Reporter reported. “Whether those former employees actually get any money, however, remains an open question, not least because the Star closed its doors two years ago,” the publication of the Newspaper Guild added.

The Guild Reporter said the court order was issued Aug. 17 following an arbitrator’s award in 2006 in the case of five lay-offs challenged by the Guild local known as UPAGRA. The arbitrator determined the five employees —  Ana Delma Ramirez, Francisco Quinones, Carlos Otero, Marisol Calero and Rafael Pichardo — were fired “under the guise of economic hardship,” that the Star could not show actually existed.

When the Star folded, UPAGRA modified its complaint, seeking payment of back wages from Nov. 14, 2004, when the employees were discharged, to Aug. 29, 2008, when the Star folded. The Guild Reporter said the Star never answered the latest complaint.

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