Blog

Viewing: Capstone
Page
of 1

Durham Carpenters to be paid Posted by on

Carpenters who were cheated of tens of thousands of dollars in wages reached a settlement with Capstone Development and Cottage Builders yesterday to receive their pay. The companies are the owners and developers of the “Cottage of Durham,” an upscale housing project where the carpenters were employed. It will serve students attending the University of New Hampshire.

The carpenters solicited help in getting their pay after their employer, Builders Construction Services of Alabama, refused to pay them and then fired them and evicted them from company-provided housing when they asked for their wages.

The Carpenters union and local church, student and community groups supported the carpenters, holding a high profile march and demonstration last week. The event garnered significant local and regional media attention (link) that put Capstone under a public spotlight and raised questions about other troubles the Alabama-based company has had with college housing projects, including one in Connecticut.

“We’re happy that these carpenters are finally going to be paid,” said Joe Donahue a representative of the Carpenters Union in New Hampshire. “Wage theft is a real problem in the construction industry right now. It drives down industry standards and drives qualified people out of the industry. Capstone and other developers and general contractors need to be held accountable for the subcontractors they hire. They should implement better controls and have severe penalties for members of their building teams who break the law.”
 

 





Community challenges Capstone over Cottage flap Posted by on

A press conference and rally held by union carpenters and other church, student and community groups in support of unpaid construction workers from a Durham site drew dozens of people as well as multiple media outlets yesterday.

The event was planned to bring attention to a group of workers hired to work on construction of the "Cottages of Durham," upscale housing for students at the University of New Hampshire. It is being developed by Capstone Development/The Cottages of Durham.

The workers say that they worked for Builders Construction Services from Alabama on the site long hours for many weeks without pay. When they complained about nonpayment of their wages, they were terminated and evicted from their housing.

Supporters of the workers marched to Capstone's local office, where a company representative came out and claimed the company would look into the issue.

Among the media reporting on the event were:
The Manchester Union-Leader
WMUR-9, Manchester (follow link for video)
Seacoast Online (Portsmouth Herald)
Foster's Daily Democrat (story and video)
The Associated Press, who's story was picked up by Boston.com and Yahoo! News, among others.

Statements made or issued during the day tried to distance project owners from accountability for the nonpayment of wages and the termination. But this isn't the first time Capstone has been called into question for payment issues regarding subcontractors.

According to an article in the Hartford Courant, work Capstone did for the University of Connecticut was marred by an investigation that found "25 of 30 subcontractors working for Capstone on the Hilltop Apartment complex were underpaid by nearly $1 million."

Future tenants of the Cottages of Durham should take note of UConn's experience with Capstone. The University had to sue in order to recoup what they estimated to be $25 million in necessary repairs or construction defects Capstone refused to return and fix leading to, among other things, safety code violations. A report estimated that Capstone ultimately agreed to pay almost $15 million to settle the suit, but that was after expending an estimated $800,000 in legal fees.

Please visit the Cottages of Durham Facebook page and politely ask them to do right by these workers.

 


TAGS: Capstone



Carpenters to support unpaid workers in Durham Posted by on

Union carpenters will join with church, student and community groups to hold a news conference today at 3pm at the Community Church of Durham (NH) at 17 Main Street to release information about serious violations of state and federal law--including non-payment of wages--at the "Cottages of Durham." The "Cottages of Durham" is a new student housing development for students of the University of New Hampshire. It is being developed by Capstone Development/The Cottages of Durham.

Please read this and consider visiting the Cottages of Durham Facebook page and politely ask them to do right by these workers.

Construction workers at the Cottages of Durham describe multiple and flagrant violations of state and federal labor law.

These workers say that they worked long hours for many weeks without pay. When they complained about nonpayment of their wages, they were terminated and evicted from their housing.

Union carpenters stand in solidarity with these exploited workers and demand that Cottages of Durham/Capstone Development promptly pay these workers what they are owed in wages and overtime.