Construction Workers: We Haven't Been Paid


POSTED: Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 4:31pm

UPDATED: Monday, September 19, 2011 - 3:16pm

EL PASO - Imagine working weeks of manual labor under the hot El Paso sun, then not getting paid for it. Local construction workers say that's exactly what happened to them.

"I haven't been paid in two weeks, some of them haven't been paid in a whole month," Ricardo Madrid said.

Construction workers building a luxury hotel say they can't provide for their families because their paychecks stopped coming.

"I haven't been able to pay my rent and my bills. I'm actually on the verge of getting kicked out of my own apartment because I was relying on the paycheck to pay this month's rent. I have a family I have to support too, and I haven't been able to bring anything home," Juan Hernandez said.

Some construction workers that haven't been paid are still working. They say they have to because they have no other hope for money. Now they want something more than promises.

"... I haven't been paid nothing for about four weeks," Jesus Morales said.

We contacted the general contractor, EBCO General, to find out what's going on. Chris Bush from the company blamed the sub-contractor for not paying the workers.

"We are in investigation as to why Cratus Development has not paid their employees," Bush said.

When we called Cratus Development, Eddie Valenzuela admitted the workers haven't been paid, but he told us it was EBCO's fault because they didn't sign the last check to pay Cratus Development for their services.

"They knew very well, that if they didn't sign it, that this would happen," Valenzuela said.

EBCO says they have paid Cratus Development.

"They each blame each other, and of course the workers are stuck in the middle," Madrid said.

The workers say they are now considering legal action to get their money, but first they're hoping for help.

"I'm calling on the legal community. If they want to help us pro bono, maybe, so we can file a mechanic's lien," Madrid said.

We'll stay on this story and let you know when the construction workers get paid.

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The Dept. of Labor would really like to talk to the employer about this. I thought there was federal laws the employer must obey? Which inlcude paying its employees fairly for worked time including all overtime unless exempt and they must pay employees ontime. If not the employer risks of getting fined by the state or federal goverment for each employee this occured too.

these men need to get paid for their hard work.they all have families which they need to support...

To the workers that are unpaid I would suggest contacting the Dept of Labor & I believe they can make the subcontractor pay the employees. El Paso is covered by the office in Albuquerque, the number is (505) 248-6100

If they're employed by the subcontractor it is the subcontractors responsibility to pay their employees. I'm guessing that either the owner (hotel) hasn't paid the general contractor, or the subcontractor failed to do something this month. If not, then I would think the subcontractor would be doing a lot more.

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