Hannah Kane of the Employment Justice Center sent the following message to online activists asking them to support Alta Bicycle Share Inc. and Capital Bikeshare workers in their fight to receive the benefits and back pay they're owed:
Capital Bikeshare, operated by Alta, is a popular bicycle-share program that was piloted as a green alternative to driving. In Washington, D.C., Capital Bikeshare has been so popular that Alta has landed similar contracts in cities all over America. But while Alta claims to be progressive, its employees say the company is refusing to pay them the prevailing wages and benefits that are required by federal law.
Alta has contracts with the federal government, which means the company must comply with certain federal wage and benefits standards for work under those contracts. Samuel Swenson experienced this wage theft firsthand while working for Alta's Capital Bikeshare for a year as a bicycle mechanic. The government says bicycle mechanics and light truck drivers on federal contracts must be paid at least $14.43 or $15.66 per hour, but Sam says Alta only paid him $13 and refused to pay for required health benefits, totaling thousands of dollars in underpayments.
Sam is one of 18 past and present Alta workers who have started a petition to demand their back wages.
Scott worked for Capital Bikeshare as a rebalancer, hauling truckloads of bikes between docking stations in grueling nine-hour shifts. He was hired with the promise of a raise within 90 days and benefits soon after, but Scott also was paid only $13 per hour, below the federal requirement and below what he was promised.
Mia Birk, the head of Alta, has the power to immediately address the concerns of Capital Bikeshare's past and current employees. Join us in signing the workers' petition to send Mia Birk a message that Alta can't treat their workers like this and get away with it.