Construction workers protest; THEY DON’T GET PAID!

A group of construction workers mobilized on March 9 in front of the City Ridge project site located at 3900 Wisconsin Avenue, in Washington DC and which is run by the company WG Welsh Mechanical through the contractor MPC, to protest for non-payment by your employer.

These workers have the support of the Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trade and Plumbers Local 5 unions.

The protest was based on demanding the payment of wages in arrears for more than three weeks.

Tony, the spokesman for the workers, explained that the problem lies in the fact that the companies in charge of the construction hire other companies and it is these companies, who are called contractors, who are in charge of hiring the workers. , and those prefer that these be Hispanic, preferably undocumented. and that is how they end up abusing those workers.

This is a kind of modern day slavery, Tony said. The first thing is to pay them an hour below the minimum wage, which is $15.20 an hour in DC, and they only pay $13.00. In addition, many work more than 8 hours and are not paid for overtime.

“Today we are in front of this work in Washington DC because a good group of workers from various specialties are owed their salary for more than three weeks,” he added.

Regarding the number of affected workers, they mentioned that more than 50 percent of all workers have the same problem, from plumbers and electricians to those who make the pipeline and other specialties.

The workers grouped in the protest stated that they are owed thousands of dollars.

Many have been given bad checks, and when challenged they respond with violence.

Many of the complainants do not want to give their names for fear of being reported to immigration authorities.

They are unaware that under DC’s new wage theft law workers are protected, whether or not they are legal residents.

Additionally, this law allows a worker to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all of his or her co-workers.

Spokesman Tony, from Plumbers & Gasfitters Local 5, clarified that the Department of Labor is already aware of these irregularities and that through their lawyers they sent him the corresponding lawsuit.

“We intervene in defense of the workers since people look for us and give us the report that they owe their wages and we participate in a group that investigates wage theft and looks for those responsible so that they pay and stop doing that new system of blackmail, so to speak,” he added.

He also announced that several lawsuits have been filed in court and the Department of Labor is already aware of these cases. “The lawyers have already filed the papers, we are just waiting for them to run their course,” he said.

That practice of not paying workers is spreading in California, Texas, and Miami, and is now everywhere, including New York.

Construction workers hope that this practice will stop, so that they will stop being exploited.

Finally, they explained that it is easy for these contractors to stop paying since they finish one job and then move on to another.