Save the Date!
What: Standing up for Houston workers’ right to be paid for their work!
When: Friday December 16th, 2011 – 3:00pm
Where: R&R Duct Installers – 228 W. 27th St. Houston, TX 77008
Why: To accompany these workers to hold the employer accountable, denounce a system that allows such labor abuses to continue, and pray for justice.
Jose Virgilio Lemus is part of a group of 6 workers who were employed by R&R Duct Installers from October 2010 to May 2011. They performed A/C duct installation for Humble I.S.D. schools in Atascosita. Throughout their employment, their supervisor Raymond Alvarez kept pushing back their paychecks under the excuse that R&R was not being paid by their contractor, Ft. Bend Mechanical (also a notorious H.I.S.D. contractor).
Once the project was completed, the workers were told blatantly that they would not be paid and R&R has refused to talk to the workers ever since. Collectively, the 6 workers reported over $42,000 in back wages, and are currently suing R&R Duct Installers in an attempt to receive their due compensation.
Unfortunately, this story is far too common in the construction industry, where workers are often in constant uncertainty as to whether their work will be paid and who will pay them. Companies take advantage of the industry’s multi-layered subcontracting system to diffuse their responsibility to workers, while continuing to profit from their work.
Meanwhile, public funds continue to be siphoned into projects that lack accountability for both the workers and taxpayers. (Not surprisingly, R&R is not the first Ft. Bend Mechanical subcontractor that faces wage theft allegations). In an industry so susceptible to these types of labor abuses, school districts, and other entities entrusted with our public funds, should ensure the basic rights of all workers to be paid for their work and enforce responsible contracting practices.
For more information on the protest, contact 713-862-8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.