Detroit workers finally get paid after going weeks without paychecks

Frustrated workers accuse Elite Campaigns of holding onto their money

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - A crowd of frustrated residents who work for a seasonal company in Detroit said they hadn't been paid in weeks.

The workers collect signatures for political campaigns, and they called Local 4 looking for help. They said they weren't getting any answers from the company, which moves around the country working for different campaigns.

The workers said they want to get their paychecks before the company moves on.

"This is crazy," worker Chavez Powell said. "Look over here. There are a whole lot of people waiting for their checks."

Powell stood in line for hours, waiting to get her paycheck.

"They didn't pay me all of my money," Powell said. "They only gave me $200 of my money, not even that."

The mother of three said she hasn't been paid for a month.

"I had to pay my rent, and I've been looking for Phil and he's been MIA," Powell said.

The seasonal company is called Elite Campaigns. Workers collect signatures for various political campaigns, earning $2 to $4 per name.

On Monday, the door was closed, only opening briefly to let a few people in at a time to get their checks.

"I think we got paid this much because you all were out here," Chavez said. "Before you all came, people were getting smaller checks and they had to go back in there."

"Phil, Channel 4. Can you talk to us real quick?" Local 4's Priya Mann asked the man in charge.

"No comment," Phil said. "People are getting paid today."

Hours later he spoke off camera, saying discrepancies were due to mistakes or fraud. In some cases, he said workers filled out the dates themselves and couldn't be paid.

"You should be paid what you're owed or worked for," worker Donald Williams said. "Ultimately, the impact is if you don't get your bills paid, you get evicted."

Managers said they still have checks waiting to be picked up.

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