Metro promises to compensate underpaid workers

Portuguese subcontractor Cinterex was fired for not paying its workers for all the hours they worked

Metro workers will be reimbursed for lost earnings after it was revealed that many were being systematically underpaid, Politiken newspaper reports.

The Portugese firm Cinterex is contracted to pay its employees according to Danish salary and labour rules, but was fired in December after it was revealed that it was underpaying its 30 Portuguese and Romanian staff.

The company responsible fro the metro expansion, Metroselskabet, and its main contractor, Copenhagen Metro Team (CMT), have now agreed to reimburse the workers.

“We feel that it is important that the employees who received the wrong wages are compensated,” Metroselskabet's CEO, Henrik Ploughmann, told Politiken.

READ MORE: Metro firm controls employees through "fear"

Ignored hours
The union 3F helped uncover the poor salaries offered to Cinterex staff, who were officially being paid 115 kroner an hour.

Cinterex was not paying its staff for all of their hours, however, bringing their average wage down to around 70 kroner an hour before tax.

3F also discovered that Cinterex was docking its employees' salaries by 9,500 kroner per month to cover food and housing even though that agreement was not included in the employees' contracts.

Owes ten million kroner
Cinterex’s contracts will be taken over in January and 3F is worried that the company will leave without paying the ten million kroner it estimates Cinterex owes.

“We have told Metroseselskabet and CMT that it can’t be right that the employees lose their jobs and Cinterex leaves the country without anyone behind to pay the money that is owed,” 3F spokesperson Palle Bisgaard told Politiken. “That’s why we have asked [Metroseselskabet and CMT] to withhold money that they are supposed to pay Cinterex.”

Politiken reports that 3F, Metroselskabet and the employer’s association Dansk Byggeri have decided to sign a partnership deal that will detail how to resolve conflicts on worksites, how to help foreign contractors get started in Denmark, and how to provide a secure working environment.