Former Niche, Inc. Employees Receive Settlement Checks
Over 150 former employees of Niche Manufacturing in New Bedford gathered at the Guadalupe Parish of St. James Church Saturday morning to receive checks after winning a two year legal battle.
When the company's government contracts ran out in 2012, they laid off over 300 employees.
Once contracts were renewed, the roughly 150 employees were not hired back.
Two of those employees, Pedro de la Cruz and Julio Torres, teamed up with several community based groups, including Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores (CCT; in English, Community Workers' Center), and fought for compensation for those workers.
They finally received a settlement of $325,000 last August.
Adrian Ventura, executive director of CCT, said that although they didn't get all the money they had asked for, it was still a victory for justice.
Before distributing the checks, leaders in the efforts took time to talk about the significance of this victory and to say they have set an example for all laborers across the region and around the country.
Councilor at Large David Alves also presented de la Cruz and Torres with an official resolution recognizing their efforts and standing up for their rights.
"This is a proud moment for you, the city and labor," Alves told the two former employees.