Construction Workers Not Getting Paid For Their Hard Work

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The boom in the Basin brought in plenty of jobs, but a group of construction workers who came here for work found out the hard way, it's not all it's cracked up to be. They've been working for weeks and claim they haven't been paid a dime.

The workers who have been living in sparse conditions were hired by a subcontractor to do work at the future Spring Hill Marriott in Midland. On Tuesday, they were supposed to finally get their cash but the workers claim the subcontractor never showed.

"I need my money now, I can't wait," Rudy Vega, a construction worker from El Paso, said.

Rudy Vega is among a group of construction workers who have been working up to 12 hours a day framing the future Spring Hill Marriott in Midland.

He says he hasn't gotten paid in over a week, but there are other workers who haven't seen a dime in a month and Vega says that just keep getting the run around.

"It was Friday, he said he was going to pay us on Saturday, come Saturday, he didn't pay us anything Monday, nothing at all," Vega said.

Not only do they claim they haven't been paid, they also say they were living in deplorable conditions. There was no potable water, they had to make their own beds and since there were so many of them, some of them had to sleep in a train container, and when the heat was unbearable, they had to sleep outside.

"We don't have purified water, we don't have food. I sleep on a piece of plywood, there were six beds inside but we don't all fit," Romaldo Acosta, a construction worker from El Paso, said.

The general contractor of GreenStreet, Jimmy Henderson says, they are aware of the situation, but they say their hands are tied since they did pay the subcontractor, Above and Beyond Construction, but they failed to pay the workers.

"He has left those guys without being paid and so we are trying to do everything legally that we can to try to get those guys paid," Henderson said.

Henderson says he understand the situation these men are going through and he is doing everything he can.

"We have actually purchased food for those guys, we are putting gasoline in their tanks to help them get home. We are trying to do what we can legally," Henderson said.

Vega says they're not going to sit around and wait to get paid, they already have a government office in El Paso looking into the case.

"A lady from the government office is working on it right now and she already sent papers to Dallas and a couple of more offices closer to this area. Hope something is being done pretty quick, I am going to need that money as soon as possible," Vega said.

All the men traveled a long way to find a better paying job and even though this experience left a bitter taste in their mouths, they don't discard the thought of coming back to the Basin to work.

"If I do, it would probably be for a better company probably oilfield or whatever, just still trying to look for a job. If I find a job, of course, I will be back," Vega said.

The men NewsWest 9 spoke with left back to their home town, they say they are happy to be going home, but sad to be leaving empty handed.