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Walter Reed janitors say they haven't been paid for weeks

Sunday - 11/11/2012, 6:32pm  ET

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of workers who clean and maintain buildings at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center claim they have not received paychecks, and are uncertain when the wages will return.

Janitors were supposed to be paid Friday, according to union representing them. Some who were paid the previous pay cycle received bad checks.

The Services Employees International Union Local 32BJ has filed a complaint with the Department of Labor on behalf of more than 300 workers.

It claims contractor Escab Enterprises Inc. has failed to pay employees for two weeks of work.

"[Escab] told the workers the reason they are not being paid is because the government has not paid them," says Jaime Contreras, a vice president for 32BJ of the SEIU.

Escab has not returned requests for comment.

In addition to the complaint, the union is calling for the government to pay workers directly and withhold payment from the contractor.

"These are people who have families, who have bills, and they've gone without pay for two weeks now," says Contreras.

He says workers will stay on the job for now.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)