Security guards of the now-defunct Hawk One security company, which used to protect the city's government buildings and schools, are asking Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and the D.C. Council to help them get their last paychecks.
Many of the guards have been transferred to other security companies, which now have taken over the city contracts to secure the buildings. But hundreds of guards did not receive their last checks from Hawk One, said Julie Karant, a spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union 32BJ.
"Even if they're back to work, they're still missing two weeks' pay," Karant said.
Karant and a handful of guards stood outside the John A. Wilson Building Wednesday and spoke to council members Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who vowed to look into the issue.
The news conference followed confusion Tuesday when guards were contacted to go to the company's downtown offices for their paychecks, only to find out that they would not be paid.
Wells said city officials could look into Hawk One's assets and the company's financial obligations in its contracts with the city.
"I'm missing a week's pay, my vacation payout and my sick leave," said Renee Young, 48, who is now working for another security company. "Unfortunately, some of us are working paycheck to paycheck. We're running low on food. We just want what belonged to us. We worked for it."
Doniai Royster, 41, said she worked for Hawk One for six years but has not yet been transferred to a new security company. She cried as she talked about past troubles with the company, which she said also lacked a good health plan that led her to pay exhorbitant costs for prescriptions. "They have really taken advantage of us," she said.
-- Nikita Stewart