LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – They moved to East Texas to start a new life with new jobs at the Pilgrim's Pride Plant. But after starting work weeks ago, the family says it has been 'all work and no pay.'
We'll call her April. She asked that we not reveal her full identify out of fear that her speaking out could influence her future with other employers.
April and her husband moved to Lufkin to start fresh as a family. Both got jobs at Pilgrim's Pride but now there's a problem. She and her husband haven't been paid in three weeks.
"At first I was getting them in the mail, no problem," April said. Then things changed about three weeks ago when she got sick and had to see the company nurse. "He gave me an absentee form which simply said I cannot return back to work until a doctor's release."
April said she tried to tell her boss she didn't have a doctor, or insurance to pay for it. "He did not issue me a doctor to go to." A week later with a doctor's note, April returned to work only to discover she hadn't been paid in two weeks. She says she couldn't get answers from her supervisor and was told to sort it out with human resources.
"They kept telling me different days that it would come in the mail and I never received it." April adds, when she checked with the post office, thinking the hold up might be with them, they couldn't help her either. "I took off and I didn't have a choice because we weren't getting income."
Bills are late and the family can't afford a babysitter for their seven month old daughter. April's husband hasn't been paid in three weeks either, but is still working in hopes the problem will get fixed.
April returned to work Friday but couldn't get through security. "She said I can't allow you to go through the gate because you have been terminated."
East Texas News called Pilgrim's Pride for answers and spoke to a safety manager who referred reporter Whitney Grunder to Human Resources and told her to call back on Monday.
So far, there are no answers for April or her husband. "Why are we having to work for free? That's crazy."
The couple hopes the problem will be fixed before they have to start over, again. Pilgrim's Pride Safety Manager Danny Massey said he couldn't comment. We did leave a message for Human Resources and expect to find out more by Monday.