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Workers Say of General Contractor Balfour Beatty: “They Can Build an
Under-Sea Railway Linking England and France But Can’t Seem to Make
Sure Workers in Virginia Get Paid”
Arlington, Va. (August 17, 2016) – Workers for a construction sub-contractor on the $100 million, 20-story luxury apartment complex Altaire will protest at the project at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 18 over unpaid wages.
Metro Industrial Wrecking, a New York based demolition contractor, failed to fully pay employees, according to several workers. The firm has faced investigations for failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance in New York. There is no record of the company carrying workers’ compensation in Virginia.
“I have had to chase the company around to make them pay me just part of what I am owed,” said Royale McGlenn, a former Metro Industrial Wrecking employee. “What they did pay us, they paid in cash. What kind of company does this?”
The workers will inform the public about the company outside the project at 400 Army Navy Drive. The project developer is LCOR, which specializes in urban mid- and high-rise multi-use buildings. Based in Berwyn, Pa., LCOR touts having structured more than $7 billion in developments.
The general contractor on the project, London-based Balfour Beatty, had $8 billion in 2015 revenue. It is the largest construction contractor in the United Kingdom and is among the firms which built the Channel Tunnel, the rail project linking France and England beneath the Straits of Dover sea.
“They can build an under-sea railway linking England and France, but can’t seem to make sure workers in Virginia are paid,” McGlenn said.
“I cannot fathom why a large general contractor like Balfour Beatty would bring a company like Metro onto the project,” said Steve Lanning, director of organizing for LIUNA’s MidAtlantic Regional Organizing Committee. “There are plenty of reputable contractors from the area.”
Lanning said workers will continue to demonstrate until all of them are paid what they are owed in full.
LIUNA’s Mid-Atlantic Region includes more than 40,000 workers predominantly in the construction industry in
Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Virginia and North Carolina