On November 11, 2019, dozens of construction workers walked off the job at CPS Energy
in San Antonio to protest not getting paid. The workers were joined and supported by the carpenters union, which is fighting worker abuse in a campaign called SiSePuedeATX!
The goal is to expose and then stop subcontractors who use labor brokers to supply crews without any protections or guarantee of when, or if, they will get paid. The CPS Energy workers were placed on the project by labor brokers Miguel Candelaria and Omar Roa. Some workers were owed up to $3,000. These interior systems carpenters are building the new headquarters for CPS Energy under general contractor Sundt Construction
. Baker Triangle
is the drywall contractor directly responsible for these workers. Contractors use the labor brokers to pay these workers under the table to avoid paying unemployment, workers compensation, and other taxes. Contractors also misclassify these crews as “independent contractors” to cheat the government out of taxes and cheat the workers out of their pay. “Workers have rights and it’s about time they are given the wages and respect they deserve,” said Alex Ornelas, Director of Resource Management of the Central South Carpenters Regional Council
, which services Texas. “This isn’t a union-nonunion battle. This is a human rights issue and an economic problem because people are going to work every day without any guarantee they will be paid. It has to stop once and for all. We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our San Antonio brothers and sisters.” As for this walkout, we can report that most workers were paid an undisclosed amount of pay from Roa by the end of the day.