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Alsip Workers Stage Sit-In As They Wait For Paychecks

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Alsip Sit-In

Workers at Consumer Product Services in Alsip are staging a sit-in. They say they have not been paid for several weeks. (CBS)

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ALSIP, Ill. (CBS) – They were promised paychecks by Tuesday, but workers in southwest suburban Alsip still haven’t been paid. Now they are at a sit-in waiting for their money. CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports.

Workers at Consumer Product Services have stopped working. They are saying they will stay at the factory all night, demanding their money.

The company is using an old line: “the check is in the mail.”

“We have stopped working. We’re looking at a sit-in here for the rest of the night and as long as we need to until we get paid,” said Andres Restrepo.

The workers in Alsip have not been paid for several weeks. Some say their checks have bounced.

“It’s been really hard, it’s been very hard,” said one worker.

Especially in these days before Christmas.

When CBS 2 first reported their story Monday night, employee Chris Kroplewski wondered what he’d tell his young daughters.

“I’m going to have to say that Santa’s not coming,” he said.

A spokesman for the New York-based company this morning said one week’s pay for each Alsip employee would arrive Tuesday; but later said a FedEx plane had mechanical trouble, delaying the checks until Wednesday at the earliest.

When asked if he believes the company’s explanation, Kroplewski said, “No, all my trust that I’ve had in them is gone.”

CBS 2 did get the FedEx tracking number for the package, and found out, in fact, the plane could not get to Chicago.

Consumer Product Services says it has had re-financing problems with its bank, and is urging the workers here not to hurt the image of a small company trying to survive.

So are they worried this kind of bad publicity could perhaps cause harm to the company, and all of them could be out of a job ultimately?

“Right now, I actually feel like I don’t even have a job,” Restrepo said. “Like what I’m doing is a hobby. If I’m not getting paid to work, how is this a job?”

In addition to the FedEx package, the company promises a vice-president will be here Wednesday, hand-delivering checks for all their back pay.

The workers say they’ll believe it when the checks clear.

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