By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A laundry service in Delaware County finds itself at the center of a union’s effort to get better wages for laundry workers throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia Joint Board, a labor group, has launched a campaign to end what it says are worker abuses and violations of the federal minimum wage requirement in the laundry industry.

PJB manager Lynne Fox says the abuses are many. “Underpaid, not paid for overtime, and then when workers ask to get paid properly, they were treated with verbally abusive responses in return.”

The campaign is being launched with a lawsuit filed in Delaware County against one service, Olympic Linen of Yeadon. “They are going to be our poster child, but there are many other bad actors,” said Fox.

The attorney for Olympic did not reply to our request for comment. The Olympic suit has two former employees as plaintiffs, but Fox hopes that publicity about it will prompt other laundry service workers who feel they’re paid less than the minimum wage to step forward and lead to an eventual class action suit:

“This is not an isolated case. Its a workplace safety issue, and an economic issue and a human rights issue. There’s lot of responsible laundry owners and operators, but there’s also many who are not.”

The PJB says it represents about two-thirds of laundry service workers in this region.

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