A personnel on the Viking Lakes house venture in Eagan have accused a minimum of two subcontractors of wage theft in what might be one of many largest circumstances of its type in Minnesota, in accordance with a carpenters commerce union representing the employees.
Officers from the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters union stated this week the case is being investigated by the Minnesota Division of Labor and Business.
Officers from MV Ventures, the property growth arm of the Minnesota Vikings, stated in an announcement they haven’t but been contacted by the labor division and stated unfair labor practices weren’t raised throughout the building interval in query.
“Ought to an investigation be initiated, we’ll absolutely help and cooperate, and if these claims are official, the subcontractors in query — neither of which have been chosen to work on the [next phase of the] residential venture — may have breached their contracts with MV Ventures and ought to be held accountable,” the assertion stated.
Laborers employed for final 12 months’s venture by subcontractors Absolute Drywall in Burnsville/Lakeville and Property Upkeep and Building (PMC), stated they have been owed a complete of greater than $100,000 for his or her work, as first reported by MInnesota Reformer. Staff have been informed to work six to seven days per week, generally for 13 hours a day, and by no means obtained extra time, they stated Thursday throughout a information convention held by the carpenters union and the labor group Centro De Trabajadores Unido En La Lucha (CTUL).
By means of an interpreter, former PMC employee Javier Mendez Velasco stated he labored 65 to 90 hours per week and was ordered to work holidays and by no means obtained extra time. He additionally stated the subcontractors ignored work accidents.
“We have been abused,” he stated.
Adam Duininck, the carpenters union authorities affairs director, stated greater than 25 staff got here ahead to share their tales, making this “what we consider is the biggest case of wage theft that now we have seen within the state’s historical past within the building trade.”
The union’s legal professional, Burt Johnson, stated he by no means noticed a case with this many staff on one venture in his 26 years representing shoppers within the subject. “They should be believed,” he stated.
The Division of Labor and Business wouldn’t say if it has opened a case, however it stated circumstances of wage theft and employee misclassification in opposition to Absolute Drywall led to citations or fines in 2010 and 2018.
Officers at Property Upkeep and Building and Absolute Drywall proprietor Daniel Ortega couldn’t be reached for remark.
However Absolute Drywall’s former accounting supervisor, Chad LeBaron, stated he personally verified staff’ hours and immigration inexperienced playing cards and denied the allegations. He referred to as the employees disgruntled and stated the carpenters union was upset its members did not win a contract to work on a part of the venture.
LeBaron stated one Absolute Drywall worker was fired almost a 12 months in the past after the corporate found he was demanding kickbacks from Latino laborers to maintain their jobs and transportation.
Officers on the carpenters union stated they met with MV Ventures to debate wage theft issues at Viking Lakes and to request that the corporate use respected subcontractors who haven’t got a historical past of wage theft complaints.