Haredi missionary organization under investigation for not paying workers hired to remodel its boys camp. Oorah claims a subcontractor is the true employer but it also admits it owes that subcontractor money.
From the Asbury Park Press:
…Workers hired for roofing, masonry and janitorial work claimed that they were not paid for the last three weeks they were on the job this past summer. They worked at the camp for five months. The workers claim to be owed a total of $60,000 in back wages.
"Regarding the gentlemen who were protesting outside Oorah, not a single one was an Oorah employee," Meth said.
The workers were hired by Fairmont LLC, a contracting firm in Brooklyn, Meth said.
Attempts to reach Fairmont officials were unsuccessful. Meth said Oorah officials are also having trouble contacting Fairmont. There is a dispute between the two companies about payment, Meth said.…
New Labor targeted Oorah for its protest because the workers, mostly Hispanic day laborers, were hired in Lakewood by a man whose first name is Hershel, said Louis Kimmel, the New Labor director of operations and management. The workers did not know Hershel's last name, but they had a telephone number for him.
" "Hershel' at least supervised (I don't know if he was the direct person that hired) the workers," Kimmel said in an e-mail. "His contacts given to workers included his cell phone and the office for Jewish Boy Zone."
When contacted by phone, Hershel declined to give his last name. He referred a reporter to Oorah.…
According to a report the APP published eight days ago, Oorah says it owes this small subcontractor $30,000.
The video shows Oorah spokesman Clifford Meth making snarky comments about the workers and showing absolutely no concern for their plight. Meth makes particular sport out of the fact that many of these workers may be day laborers and perhaps undocumented.
That is odd – if one cares about the Torah, that is – because the Torah (Leviticus 19:13, Deuteronomy 24:15) takes particular care to mandate that day laborers be paid before sunset each day. Indeed, ridiculing the poor and the stranger are themselves transgressions (Exodus 23:9, Deuteronomy 10:18-19).
Day laborers are particularly vulnerable for abuse, and their economic situation is often desperate. The Torah seeks to protect them. Oorah, it seems, does not.