Construction Workers Say They Were Stiffed on Dallas' $50 Million Affordable Housing Project

Categories: City Hall, News

When the city broke ground on the $50 million Buckeye Trail Commons housing development, everyone grabbed a shovel. Never mind that they were all wearing business suits; this was supposed to be the beginning of a renaissance in the Bonton neighborhood that had until recently been burdened with the notorious Turner Courts housing project. So, Mayor Mike Rawlings, Councilman Dwaine Caraway and a handful of other officials flung a ceremonial shovelful of dirt. And then they left.

The real work of building Buckeye Commons' 322 affordable housing units fell to the contractor, the Siltek Group, or, rather, to the employees of Siltek's various subcontractors. They have done good work. Some of those workers now say they haven't been paid.

According to a news release from the nonprofit Workers Defense Project, five workers who put up siding in January and February are still owed more than $4,000 for their work.

WDP says it notified Siltek of the issue in March but was told that the company had no knowledge of the subcontractor. This, the group says, is a violation of state and federal labor laws and of Siltek's contract with the Dallas Housing Authority.

See also: "It's Time to Celebrate Easter Early," Says Mayor Mike Rawlings About Resurrection of South Dallas's Bonton Neighborhood

Luis López, one of the workers in question, says in the release, "We held up our end of the bargain, our employers should hold up theirs."

Such treatment is not uncommon. A study published earlier this year by WDP and UT-Austin concluded that one in four local construction workers is denied payment for his work.

Siltek's Florida headquarters was closed when we tried to reach it. We'll update when we hear back.

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Yo eyez not be saying eyez’ gifted or nothin’ but eyez created my own birf certificate with da Photoshop.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

This right here? - This is why it's much better to be a banking executive than a siding installer.

It's their own fault for not becoming banking executives.


Florida? Couldn't they find a local contractor greedy enough to screw the workers? Or a clever ploy to generate distance and therefore inaccountability?


I'm sorry for those subs if they're getting screwed.  But it's not unusual to have these kinds of issues with any big construction project for any number of reasons (anything from a deadbeat owner/GC to crappy work product on the part of the sub).  Being a public housing project in Dallas, I'm sure the money was siphoned off to some do-nothing nephew of a city council member or someone else who takes precedence over a lowly siding installer.  At any rate, the subs have remedies, including filing a lien or going after the completion bond.  They should take advantage of them instead of issuing press releases.

All that said, it's not clear from the post whether it's the subs that haven't been paid or the individual employees of the subs.  (The post implies that it is individual installers who are getting the shaft).  If a siding subcontractor didn't pay its employees, that's not the developer's problem or liability.  It's a matter for the Texas Workforce Commission.


Illegal Aliens have no rights to collect wages.

mavdog topcommenter

why haven't they slapped a lien on the property? the right exists for them to use to force payment.


But I assume the politicians got their kickbacks by now, yes?

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