The following article appeared in today’s Times Herald Record:
Employees at the former Raleigh Hotel say the owners left them in the lurch for weeks, refusing to pay them wages, even while the hotel continued to take guests.
Some 13 employees gathered by the security gate of the hotel on Thursday evening and planned to stage a sit-in on Friday in the lobby.
Maids, security guards and three salaried employees hadn’t been paid since Oct. 2.
Employees also said they consistently were treated poorly and have had their paychecks delayed several times over the past year.
“Mister, this is the only income I’ve got,” said maid Priscilla Reynolds, who has an 8-month-old and a 4-year-old at home.
‘”I do all what they say, and I can’t get any money. Right now, I’m starving. I am running out of food.”
Other employees said they needed money for rent, and one employee said she had no money for prescription drugs. Most of the employees are owed $800 to $1,000.
Many of the employees have been with the hotel for two years, but are afraid to leave. “They know they have us by the neck because there is no work out there,” security guard Bill McQueeny said.
The hotel is now owned by Ralhal LLC of Brooklyn, largely catering to an ultra- Orthodox Jewish clientele. Last week, the hotel hosted 200 guests during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
The 320-room hotel, which has been open through the fall most weekends, also recently took guests of festival, which was held at Kutsher’s.
General Manager Ari Friedman said the Brooklyn office was closed during the two weeks of the Sukkot and Simchat Torah holidays. A payroll company sent paychecks to that office, but nobody was there to mail them to the employees.
He said the same thing happened last year, but other than these two times, the workers were paid on time. Employees were to get checks on Friday.
“My workers are basically happy there,” Friedman said.