Seamstress seeking pay

South Surrey woman owed nearly $300 from two years ago

South Surrey resident Gulgun Yerebasmaz

A South Surrey woman says she is losing hope the Ministry of Labour will recover her payment for three days of work from more than two years ago.

Gulgun Yerebasmaz told the Peace Arch News she was not paid $278.16 for three days of work as a seamstress at a Newton-area textile and import company in June 2009.

After filing a complaint to the Ministry of Labour in November 2009, she was directed to their employment standards branch. Yerebasmaz said the officials ruled in her favour and were going to charge her former employer a $500 administrative penalty.

However, after two years, Yerebasmaz has not received any money. She said she has tried to contact her former employer but the address listed on the website is incorrect and her phone calls have gone unanswered.

After contacting officials at Employment Standards BC, Yerebasmaz said that she was told that it was not the their job to find the employer and collect the money, instead the request was sent to the bailiff to collect who later returned the file. According to Yerebasmaz, she was told told that her case will be closed because her former employer could not be contacted.

“I do not believe the officers of the government of Canada cannot reach someone who it’s dealing with,” said Yerebasmaz in an email to PAN.

However, according to David Greer, the communications director for the ministry, Yerebasmaz case is still active and collection is being pursued, but there could be an administrative close if there are problems locating the individual or seizing assets.

The administrative close is not always permanent, Greer said, adding that although the amount being pursued may not be considered substantial to some, it does not mean the file will be set aside and forgotten.

“This file can be reopened – it’s not closed and done with,” said Greer. “Regardless of the amount, it’s the principle. This stuff can really drive you crazy.”

Greer suggested that Yerebasmaz needs to provide more information to the ministry to aid in her complaint – something she said she can’t do.

“I have nothing else to tell them, I have given them all the information I have,” she said. “I just feel cheated or deceived. That is the reason I struggle and try every step I can.”

Yerebasmaz, who is currently working at a new job, says there is one thing she is happy about.

“I am happy I worked for this company for a few days only,” she said. “I am lucky I am only losing my three-day salary.”

 

 

 

 

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