Local recovery workers walk away empty handed

Local construction workers wait in line to get their paychecks. Seems routine enough. Except these workers said they have been waiting for these checks since January.

Caleb Brown said he’s been waiting for months for his money. He said its’ been a constant waiting game, of pushing back payment deadlines or excuses from management.

“Oh she’s supposed to come last week or the checks are in the mail. They’re gonna be here this weekend. And then its’ been like three weeks. And then we come here today and several people’s names are not on the list. For which they did receive the paper work,” Brown said.

So Saturday, ALLCO, a Texas based firm, set up the meeting for workers to come collect their paychecks. But some, like Brown, walked away without anything.

Zachary Smith with ALLCO said they workers didn’t have the documents to prove they were working those hours.

“I am here because we did a government program for the roofing contractors. We have paid people that we had needed to pay and people that had not been paid did not submit the correct, proper, work the proper forms and the proper submittals for them to be paid,” Smith said.

As workers began to get frustrated for their lack of payment. I was asked to leave.

“I was asked to step outside here in Red Hook where the meeting was taking place. They asked me to leave as they were working with some of the people that were coming in and working to get their paychecks. I was out here and either talking with people who were either not getting paid as they walked out and finding out why they weren’t receiving their paychecks or to some that received a paycheck but it might have been half or maybe even less than half of what they were actually owed,” reporter Kellie Meyer said.

In a photo obtained by USVI NEWS, the agreement with ALLCO states that the amount the worker is receiving is the “full and final payment.”

Workers tell USVI News once they signed this, this amount was all they would be getting. Even if they were owed more.

Some, walked away Saturday taking the deal. They said that they rather have something than nothing at all to support their families.

Others, aren’t taking the money and fighting back against the mistreatment.

“They’re giving you whatever little bit of money they’re giving you and they want you to sign a paper stating that they owe you nothing, even if they give you half of what which everybody does you’ve been hurting all this time so you’re gonna take whatever they can give you and then you’re going to sign off saying that I’m not going to sue you I am not going to get the rest of my money. That is wrong,” Maekiaphan Phillips a local worker from St. Thomas said.

ALLCO stood by their payment they said workers sign on knowing it will take 60 days for money to be released.

They said they wont get paid until the job is done.

Meanwhile many of these workers have stopped reporting to work.

We’ll have more from that women you saw there on how her entire family is being affected by this payment issue coming up Tuesday on CBS USVI.