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Carmaker faces unpaid wages claims

Given that we are the hub of the American car scene, Detroit readers probably follow stories about the automobile industry. Thus, a new story about Swedish automaker Saab and the troubles it is having with allegations of unpaid wages might be of interest.

Saab, formerly a subsidiary of General Motors, is known for its distinctively contoured, beetle-like cars. As of late, though, it has made headlines more often for its financial distress and accusations that it is not observing its employees' rights. The latest blow: two of its unions are clamoring about unpaid wages and have asked a court to put the company into bankruptcy if it does not pay up in two weeks.

Saab has allegedly struggled to pay its workers and has not paid them on time all summer. Employees have gotten tired of never knowing when (or if) their next paycheck would arrive and so have become more active and aggressive about standing up for what they are entitled to.

Saab had to stop producing cars in March and its main factory has been dormant since June. Sweden's Debt Enforcement Agency started collections Aug. 16 after Saab did not make payments to creditors.

Although this story comes out of Sweden, U.S. workers should know that they, too, have a right to the wages they have earned. Any worker who feels that he or she has not received the compensation that he or she is due might want to speak with an employment law attorney. Sometimes it is hard to get an employer to listen to you, but employment law attorneys know how to make sure your claims are taken seriously.

Source: The Detroit Free Press, "Unpaid wages may bankrupt Saab," Aug. 25, 2011.

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